Monday, June 30, 2014

"Two Persons"

Here's a link to my latest blog posting on on the effect of the Authoritative Interpretation that makes possible my option of marrying an LGBTQ couple.

Here's the link:



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy Wedding Day, Ryan and Matthew!

Wandering through the wedding section of the NYT this morning while watching "CBS Sunday Morning News," I bumped into this wedding announcement celebrating the wedding of Ryan and Matthew.  Now what stood out about this announcement was its so Presbyterian. Matthew is a Presbyterian, and is a candidate for ministry in the PCUSA. Even though our Constitution doesn't quite support this union (sigh), nonetheless, they're married in NY. We're hopeful that the Constitution of the PCUSA changes in the next two years to stay "two persons".

What was also nice was that the Rev. Abby Mohaupt, a Presbyterian minister, married them.  This is legl as of last week after my denomination changed the Authoritative Interpretation and voted that ministers or teaching elders have discretion to marry LGBTQ couples.

So Mazel Tov to Ryan, Matthew, Abby, and to the PCUSA!

Here's the link to the announcement:


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Amazed, delighted, thankful for the moves within the PCUSA

Well, we came late to the party of inclusion of people like me, the LBTQI community, but the Church finally came to a place of inclusion. Today, I am free to marry a same sex couple in a state where such marriages are legal. And sent back tot he Presbyterieis is a new wording of marriage, which includes the traditional one man one woman, but also "two people."

In reading some of the responses from the conservative voices in the Church, I'm a little taken aback, though I expected it. While it was painful to hear people argue on the floor of General Assembly we should study this again, one more time, I was also sad to read that such unions--like mine--would seem to be either an abomination (thanks Leviticus...helps a lot), or is simply not in line with the Gospel (at least according to a skewed reading of Paul, though Jesus never says anything).  It was these voices that I allowed to speak to me that pushed me deep into the closet and keep me there for the first 40 years of my life.

In the words of MLK, Jr., today I'm free at last, free at last, thank God all might, I'm free at last.

And thanks GA of the PCUSA.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

"You may now kiss one another"! Presbyterian Church (USA) Makes History: I can wed LGBTQ couples!

That about sums it up: today, the Presbyterian Church (USA) said that, at my discretion, I can wed same sex couples in states where it is allowed, including the DC area.

Here's the link:



Monday, June 16, 2014

PCUSA debating marriage equality

Hey!  Go to this link and watch what my denomination is saying and thinking and feeling (or not saying) today in Detroit during our General Assembly:

Here's the link:

Pax, B

Sunday, June 15, 2014

On Being a Gay Parent, Seven Years Later

I wrote the book On Being a Gay Parent seven years ago (or that's when it was published). This book was made possible by my kids Adrianne Webb-Mitchell and Parker. Published in 2007, still learning from it today. I wrote in the book that being a gay parent was "like improvisational performance art" because we are playing off of no master narrative or script. Unlike non-LGBTQ parents, there are plenty of stories and narratives to play off of as you parent. The same is not true for us LGBTQ parents.  I still think the same is true today as I grow older: with the paucity of stories of being an LGBTQ parent, we are still making this stuff up as we grow up with our children and now grandchildren.  We fly by the seat of our pants and are improvising each and every day.  Sometimes it works, other days, it bombs. But we smile, laugh, and move on. Someday I may write about being a grandpa who is gay. Oy!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hallmark Loves Us Gay Dads!

I read on both towleroad and queerty that Hallmark cards loves us gay dads!  This is a hoot and a half.  I remember when coming out to the kids, and there were no cards for gay dads, let alone lesbian moms, etc. My kids took the creative tact and made their own cards, which was just super. But for the industry that knows how to read the cultural tea leaves, this is huge.

Welcome, Hallmark, to life!

Here's a link:



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Article from Chapel Hill News on LGBTQI Employees Getting Equal Access to non-LGBTQI benefits at CHCYMCA and YOTA

Hot off the

Here's the link to the article/guest column I wrote on the CHCYMCA and YOTA offering LGBTQI employees the same benefits they were offering non-LGBTQI employees through Blue Cross Blue Shield/NC:



Sunday, June 8, 2014


I saw a one woman performance of the play, "Etty" based on the life of Etty Hillusem, a Dutch Jew who was sent to the Nazi concentration camps in WWII.  It was directed by Austin Pendleton of movie/B'way fame, and Susan Steiner was the actress.  Broadway quality.

I was shaken by the play. A few weeks ago saw a play about Japanese internment camp in WWII. Normandy and celebrations the past few days came to mind.  Rwanda.  Cambodia.  Jim Crow laws.  Stonewall. LGBTQ rights.

During our fight against Amendment 1 in NC, a Baptist pastor thought there should be a fenced area in western NC to house all us LGBTQ people. The same impulse behind Naziism's fence is in all of us, on all issues.


Friday, June 6, 2014

PCUSA Absent in Lawsuit Against NC

We PCUSA ministers are AWOL on the latest law suit filed by the UCC against NC, in which the UCC are suing the state based upon the fact that a UCC minister who weds a same sex couple in NC could be committing a misdemeanor for such a marriage. Lately, The Alliance of Baptists, Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, and Central Conference of American Rabbis joined their suit.

However, we Presbyterians did not.

This is because we are not allowed to officiate at such a wedding, as so stated within the Constitution/Book of Order.  Until there is a change in our constitution (which could come this summer) we cannot participate in such wedding or such a lawsuit.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

OR moves forward...still waiting on NC

Good news, Oregon!

Supreme Court Assoc. Justice Kennedy isnt' going to stay OR decision to start marrying people. You get to stay in the category of states that are civilized.

NC? We await word from the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond to see what is the status of our less than civilized amendment to our state constitution.

Forward together, not one step back!

Pax, B

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chapel Hill YMCA/CHCYMCA and YMCA of the Triangle (YOTA) Agree to Give LGBTQI Benefits!

It happened!  After five years of work with CHCYMCA and YOTA, LGBTQI full time employees and their families will be eligible for the same benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shield NC as non LGBTQI families.  This is huge!  It was a cliff hanger...almost didn't happen.

For five years I worked at this plan, working with numerous groups, people, excitement and disappointment.  This was a last minute decision. It almost didn't happen, except that there were a lot of people reading the signs and seeing what was coming down the pike.

Thanks to all for the support.

One small step forward, not one step back!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

LGBTQI Month! Hooray!

Been working hard for the last three days:

* Working with YMCA of the Triangle or YOTA, who want to take over and merge fully with Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA or CHCYMCA.  YOTA does not include LGBTQI employees with their health care policy.  We at CHCYMCA didn't include them because of the 50+1 rule of NC Insurance, in which you had to have 50 full time employees using the benefit plan for 1 LGBTQI person to start using the benefits. CHCYMCA had 38. YOTA has hundreds.

After delaying, tabling, and discussing this for five years, we almost gt to the merger without this being solved.  But through serious discussion, YOTA has seen the light and WILL include LGBTQI people in terms of benefit plan with BCBSNC.

And yesterday June 2, 2014 was Moral Monday in NC, and I protested for the rights of all NC to get quality education, health care, no fracking, and equal rights. The chicken Republicans of the NC General Assembly adjourned early, and thus the doors were locked to the Legislative Building.

We are not amused.

Forward together, not one step back.

Happy Holiday Month!