With Molly, Allison, Cathy, Lydia, and Mia, we are changing the HR practices of the YMCA of the Triangle, YOTA for short. YOTA wants to merge with Chapel Hill/Carrboro YMCA. This idea was brought forth five years when I was on the Board of CHCYMCA, and some people wanted to merge with YOTA. The problem? CHCYMCA didn't give same sex employees the same benefits to same sex couples as they did non same sex couples because of the 50 + 1 rule of NC: you needed 50 full time employees to participate in benefits to let 1 same sex couple receive the same benefits (sigh). But YOTA has more than 50 but they didn't give the employees the same benefits. So we (the group mentioned above) publicized the discrepancy between the YMCAs. The reason YOTA didn't? Because of the evangelical Christians on their Board. But CH and Carrboro are more progressive.
Now that we are on the cusp of a deal, they YOTA are changing. Finally. It took five years.
Progress was made by the voices of those who objected.
You pulled the nation to number 19 of states approving of marriage equality. Are we not at a tipping point? After all, the entire West Coast is now a marriage equality zone, as is the entire northeast. Watch out, NC: It's creeping up on us quickly.
The Mitchell part of my heritage doesn't have a decent tartan that is, well, authentic, given that it is an English name. My mom's side of the family is Ferguson, so there's hope.
I've thought that when I marry or wed, one of us should have a kilt. But those wedding plans are not in the work, given the sad state of affairs in NC. However, my daughter is getting married to Scott in the fall, so I can wear a kilt for her wedding.
Men in kilts: its truly not a gay thing. It is a thing about one's roots in Scotland.
I have a pic above of PA State Rep. Brian Sims above (in the handsome beard). In PA, they might actually be state 20 in moving the country toward marriage equality. Yesterday, my second home state of OR (NY is the first state) went forward.
People called and wrote to see if we (Dean and I) were going to be married. The answer is no. Why? Because it means nothing in the state of NC. While it is a wonderful thing to get married (Adrianne and Scott her boyfriend are marrying in October 2014), it costs a) money, and b) involves a community; and c) means nothing for LGBTQ couples in NC. Nothing. Nothing for taxes. Nothing in terms of contract with the two of us with the state. Nada.
So we wait. But I loved listening to the stories from OR yesterday. It was great. I was jealous. Envious. Depressed. But happy for those wed.
See what Justice Scalia did? He predicted the future accurately! With the demise of federal government's section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the Supreme Court last year, the dominoes have been falling in terms of state constitutional amendments outlawing marriage equality. In the last two days, marriage equality is moving forward in VA, ID and OR. In ID, Judge Wagahoff Dale refused to stay the decision to overturn the ID marriage amendment. In OR, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has denied efforts by the National
Organization for Marriage to intervene in the federal challenge to
Oregon's gay marriage ban. Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz31j53h3Qm; and in VA, the Fourth Circuit Court is hearing a case that may move marriage equality forward for all states that are covered by this circuit court, including NC.
Parker finished the semester with all As at UNCW...whoop whoop for Parker. He is also now a member of an honorary business society at UNCW, and is doing an internship in the Wilmington area as he takes a summer class at the University;
Adrianne is almost finished teaching and is headed to Spain to meet her mom for a break. Then she'll be teaching this summer at Asheville Montessori School. Meanwhile, she and Scott are preparing for their wedding on Oct. 11, 2014.
Michael Sams is now an NFL player, and kissed his boyfriend, Vito, which caused a ruckus;
Jason Collins is playing basketball for the NBA in Brooklyn;
Arkansas now allows for marriage equality;
OH, OR, and even NC may be getting closer to marriage equality;
ENDA doesn't seem to be moving anywhere;
At NCCU where I teach, we had our first inaugural Lavender Graduation, which was also a kind of first for an HBCU, especially in the state of NC.
And finally, my friend Mark Chilton is going to be the Register of Deeds in Orange County, NC. This means that, as of Jan. 1, 2015, when he is sworn in, he is going to be issuing marriage licenses to ALL who wish to marry/wed.
More to come, now that another academic year has drawn to a close.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina, United States
I am a dad, who happens to be gay, with two amazing young adult children who have taught me, my partner, and their mom what grace, faith, hope, and love are all about. I am also an ordained clergyperson in the Presbyterian Church (USA), involved in congregational life, sometimes preaching here and there, and an oblate of St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. I taught at Duke Divinity School at Duke University for over a decade, and I currently teach at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. I teach Ethics, World Religions, and English. And I am the Director of a religious non-profit, "School of the Pilgrim" (www.schoolofthepilgrim.com), in which I take people on actual pilgrimages to break out of the religion of rush hour in order to find their inner spiritual path. I am also glad to work with and be an advocate with people living with disabilities in faith communities, who teach me more about life in all its wonders and quirks. Enjoy the blog! And for more information about the book ON BEING A GAY PARENT, go to www.onbeingagayparent.com. Email contact: email@example.com, and phone is 919-444-9111