Saturday, August 31, 2013

Moving Back to a Day of Paying Joint Taxes

When I was in a "straight" marriage, we filed joint taxes. It was economically smarter than filing individually for both of us.

When I entered a significant relationship, we filed separately.

The IRS now let us know that I can once again file jointly, at least on a federal basis.  This is remarkable. It is only complicated by having to now figure out the TurboTax package we usually use in which we could file jointly on our federal taxes, but file separately on our state taxes (NC, go figure).

This should be fun.

More here:

NM is moving, county by county, to be next civilized state in the US. But conservative lawmakers on the state level are having a hard time with civilization and the conservative ideal of marriage for all.  The state's laws on marriage are gender neutral (bravo), and this has caused a problem for the conservatives.

Here's more on the topic:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Post on Q Notes: Lessons From a Sit In

My last column in Q Notes, "Lessons from a Sit In"

Almost hidden from the public behind a main stair case in the large James E. Shepard Library at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., is what remains from Durham’s F. W. Woolworth lunch counter. The formica counter top, the bright orange plastic seats, and the chromium spokes that made up the back of the seats look out of date in the modern library building. My Ethics and English’ classes begin at this historic point in the civil-rights movement: the sit-in at Durham’s Woolworth lunch counter on February 8, 1960. Durham’s anti-segregation sit-in followed a similar protest in Greensboro a week earlier. Organized by the NAACP chapter at North Carolina College (now NCCU), students Lacy Streeter, Callis Brown, Robert Kornegay. The sit-in got the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Rev. David Abernathy, who came to visit Durham’s Woolworth’s lunch counter on Feb. 16. The store closed the counter after the sit-in demonstration and the students moved on to protest at other stores. On Feb. 16, Dr. King preached at Durham’s White Rock Baptist Church, delivering the famous “Fill Up the Jails” speech, in which he advocated non-violent confrontation with segregationists for the first time in the South.
The sit-ins of Woolworth lunch counters spread from Greensboro and Durham, N.C., throughout the Southeast. In Lee Daniel’s movie, “The Butler”, one powerful scene took place in a Woolworth building in Tennessee, with the re-enactment of the violent reaction against African American young people simply sitting non-violently in the “white’s only” section of the lunch counter. In his “Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” King himself refers to the power of the simple non-violent sit-in movement as a way to combat racism and racial segregation in Birmingham, Ala., and other cities in the South (April 16, 1963).

More Here:

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Mexico is Rushing Towards Marriage Equality

A district court judge gave Albuquerque, NM permission to issue marriage licenses for one and all, LGBTQ and straight alike! Bernalillo County is opening the door to inclusion.

Sitting and writing in a state that does not welcome inclusion as a norm for society makes this a bit depressing. But we work here for justice.  Our children and grandchildren are watching what we do in the face of adversity. 

From NM: In anticipation of the judge's ruling, the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office printed around 1,000 marriage licenses that could be issued to same-sex couples. The difference? The new licenses say, "spouse and spouse." The old licenses read, "bride and groom."

Here's the article:



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mazel Tov to Harper Estelle, Jenna, and Stephanie

New lesbian parents on the block!  Let us welcome Harper Estelle who was born to Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk of NBC.

This is a very public birth, and the more pics and stories about LGBTQ people having babies, adopting babies, becoming foster parents, the more our being parents will be moot in the face of those who keep on saying that we cannot and shouldn't be allowed to be married "because of the children."


Here's the link:



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LGBTQ Brain Drain...Or One Foot In, and One Foot LGBTQ Diaspora?

I feel like I'm doing the "Hokey Pokey," with "one foot in and one foot out," and frozen that way.  I'm working hard in NC to right the injustice that I see being executed by the NC General Assembly Republicans. The changes are vast and drastic. This is a time to fight for change.  But I have one foot out of the state, looking at positions in other states.  It is wearying to live in a state where one is denied rights simply because of who one is.  NC--like other states around us--will be suffering from a brain drain, an LGBTQ diaspora.

To fight or not to move or not to move...

This was well articulated in the article from

Face it: Hawaii (thought the price is high in living there) may soon welcome marriage equality!  NC or HI...hmmm...



New Zealand: Destination for Marriage Equality

My friend Jaqui is my soul-mate.  We walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. She lives in Wellington, NZ, and recently experienced the earthquakes of the area, wobbling to an fro as the earth underneath here rocked and rolled---literally.

She celebrated the first 31 couples who recently got married in NZ. 31!  Just like states in the US, there is an excitement, in which LGBTQ couples are willing to wait in line in county offices (or the NZ equivalent) to get married. Married.

State by state in the US, country by country in the rest of the world, the moral arc of justice is bending...



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sour (Wedding) Cakes

What is it about bakers who are discriminating against LGBTQ couples who try to order a wedding cake? From OR, again, a lesbian couple tries to order a wedding cake and are refused by the owners because of "religious beliefs."

Putting this into perspective: IF the same baker refused an African American couple, or mixed race hetero couple because it was against the bakers "religious beliefs," then wouldn't we call that racism? And can private businesses be allowed to practice racism, even in the South?


So why do these bakers in OR keep on doing this? 

And yes, I know NC would be no different.

Link here:

De-fanged DOMA and the Pentagon

Amazing to read this latest from the Pentagon:

"In addition, the official said that service members who are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be offered up to 10 days of leave so they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that grant same-sex marriage licenses."

The Pentagon is quickly moving in welcoming LGBTQ couples, and is working hard to make it legal.  The above comment means that an LGBTQ couple in NC, who are part of the armed service, can actually be given 10 days of leave, go to DC, get married, and come back to NC, and while on base, they are treated as legally married LGBTQ couple. But woe if you go OFF grounds!  Outside the bubbles like Ft. Bragg, Camp LeJeune, Cherry Point, and Seymour Johnson AFB, you will be treated like the rest of us in NC: anathema to the NC Constitution.

How much longer can this cognitive dissonance continue?

Here's the rest of the article from towleroad:



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Second/New generation of LGBTQ parents coming onto the stage

My son Parker is almost 21, kidding me about my taking him out ofr his "first" drink. My daughter Adrianne is talking marriage, etc., at the age of 25.  I'm no longer a young gay dad...just a dad who is gay. Not a grandpa yet, but that may be inevitable.

My take on the NEW generation of LGBTQ parents:

In the last two days, I’ve received phone calls from three different casting agents who are “looking for LGBT parents with a unique parenting style. We are starting a new reality-show cable series. Are you a spoiler? An authoritarian? Permissive? Free range? Unschooler? Or, have a style that is all your own? We’re looking for moms and dads with unique perspectives on parenting for a new series on a top-rated national cable network” (read “Bravo,” “TLC,” and “MTV”). They contacted me because of my writings on gay parenting and LGBTQ advocacy, both through my blogs and this column in qnotes. Initially, the inquirer wants to know the age of my children (both are over 20 years old) and whether or not the children are living at home. Because both children are now young adults and are no longer living at home, the inquirer then wants to know if I know any unique lesbian or gay couple who are parenting children under the age of 18 years old and living at home. I take down their phone number and email addresses politely, but that’s where it usually stops. All the lesbian and gay couples I know are not willing to place their families under the constant glare of klieg lights for a reality show that produces an Andy Warhol-type “15 minutes of fame” motif that may leave the family destroyed after the fame is over and the darker side of the family exposed for the world to witness.
gayfamily_sfWhy all the interest in our families? We are the new “rave” item in terms of modern society’s attention. With all the focus on marriage equality in the context of the states here and the world around us, the next logical line of inquiry after we get married is the one which is true for opposite sex couples as well: When are you going to have a baby? With surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, home remedies and adoption as the primary means of bringing children into our LGBTQ lives, having a baby as an LGBTQ individual’s or couple’s life is not far-fetched. Instead, my hunch is that it will soon become the norm — dating, engaged, married, then we welcome children into our lives (though not necessarily in that order, so create your own sequence of events).

Read more here:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

RI and MN: Civilization by any other name.

Can't imagine (though I'm trying to) what it would be like to live in a state with marriage equality.  Today, RI and MN welcome couples who wish to marry, regardless of sexual orientation.  Regardless. Of. Sexual. Orientation.

This both thrills me and depresses me. Thrills: glad to share your happiness.  Depress: not able to imagine a state of being in which you weren't a second class citizen, like we are in NC.