The Cheeky Trio at Pride

A very tame and lovely Pride in Boulder. I had a lot of people compliment my cards… My favorite quote, “Wow! Cards for us!”

The guys below made me smile…. They were so serious.

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Coming Out

 

Loved this so much!  What a wonderful thought… one day.

Two Spirit People

 

From WHOF

Am I Better Off? Post One

With the Republican and Democratic national conventions over and the final push from both sides before this November’s election, the question keeps coming up “Are you better off than you were four years ago.” As a progressive and Obama supporter, my gut reaction is to yell “yes!” without even thinking about it… but that isn’t really fair. It’s an appropriate question that gets asked before every major election. So I started thinking about it… am I better off? I decided to look at the Various aspects of my life to see.

As a Gay Man

In the past four years, a lot has been achieved in the struggle for equality for LGBT Americans. Personnaly, I have benefited from some of those changes directly:

  1. My then partner, Michael, needed major surgery in 2010 that kept him in the hospital for several days. Because of the official memo issued by President Obama in 2010, I was allowed be designated to make all medical decisions on Michael’s behalf. Before his surgery, I was allowed to go to the pre-op area and wait with him when while he was prepped for surgery. During his surgery, I was given updates by the staff, and after it was done, the surgeon came out and told me how it all went. I was allowed to go to the recovery room immediately after he woke up and was able to hold his hand and tell him how wonderfully he had done. I was able to stay with him in the room and check on him throughout the nights he was there. Would I have been able to do these things regardless of the memo? Maybe, but knowing that the hospital had to acknowledge me as Michael’s family gave me huge piece of mind.
  2. In March of 2012, Michael and I flew to NYC and got married – an amazing day that allowed me to look into the man I love’s eyes and say “my husband”… an indescribably good feeling!
  3. In 2011, the president directed the Department of Justice to stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act – a law specifically designed to keep gay and lesbian citizens at a “less than” status. With DOMA, legally married gay couples are denied over 1500 rights afforded straight married couples. The President’s decision was heralded by some and villified by others, but since then the law has been found unconstitutional by 5 separate federal courts – many of the judges on those panels appointed by conservatives. It was a bold move that is directly responsible for the rapid pace of change in both the polls and the courts. I am sure it will be struck down eventually, possibly by next spring – the appeals process has lead to 3 cases that may be heard by the Supreme Court in their next session this fall.
  4. As my husband is from Canada, the president’s decision to have ICE prioritize immigration cases, same-sex couples are now among the lowest priority. Since Michael is here legally on a student visa, this doesn’t affect us yet, but it gives us some piece of mind that if something does happen that jeopardizes his immigration status, we have time.
  5. Although not a member of the military nor a veteran, the repeal of the discriminatory law “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has made a huge difference in how gays and lesbians see themselves and how we are seen by others.
  6. The day the president came out as personally supporting marriage equality, I actually started crying. To have the most powerful leader in the world supporting my right to be married to the man I love was overwhelming.
  7. Hearing that the DNC had adopted marriage equality for the parties’ official, national platform was another reminder that equality was not only inevidable, but being actively pursued by an entire politiacl party. Official statements have far reaching consequences in shaping public opionion and policy – again, we are headed toward equality at a quicker pace than anyone could have imagined four years ago

With each step toward full equality, we can all, gay and straight, hold our heads a little bit higher. As a gay man, I am definitely better off now that I was at the end of the Bush administration.

HRC Puts Together a Video Of LGBT Inclusion at the DNC

Times are changing.  I have seen some comments like “It is disgusting that we have to ask for the obvious” and I agree.  But if we get mired in the negative about what should be versus what is, we lose our momentum.  I have no doubts that as a country we will look back at the struggles of LGBT rights and wonder how discrimination was tolerated for so long.  I also know we will have a list of heroes and villains much like those of other civil rights struggles… but in the end, we will have our equality, and that is all that matters.

 

TOP US Marine – Openly Gay Service Members Not A Problem

Commandant Gen. James Amos told the Washington Blade that there have been no issues following the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law last year.  ”I don’t think there is a problem, I don’t see it.  I don’t hear it”

Remember how the anti gay bigots foretold of horrific consequences?  Once again, allowing people to be themselves has had no impact on anyone but them.

I wonder when the world will stop listening to these people the way they did with racists?

Proposition 8 Plaintiffs Ask Supreme Court to Not Hear Case

 

The Plaintiffs in the case against Proposition 8, the law prohibiting same sex marriage in California, have filed a brief withthe Supreme Court asking them to not hear the case, according to the Advocate.  Lower courts have ruled that the law is unconstitutional as it is based on “animus” (or prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will)  towards gays.  If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the lower courts decisions stand, and the law will be reversed, making same sex marriages legal in California.

In part the brief states, “”The Ninth Circuit found that eliminating the ability of gay and lesbian couples to have their relationships designated as marriages — and relegating them to separate and unequal domestic partnerships — achieves nothing except the marginalization of gay and lesbian individuals and their relationships, and therefore cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”  The brief was written by ” plaintiffs’ attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who famously argued against each other in the Bush v. Gore case in 2000.

A review of the case so far can be found here.

Democrats Include Marriage Equality in Party Platform

More than 100 Democrats unanimously agreed to include Marriage Equality as part of the official party platform.   Although the final language has not yet been made public, early reporting form the Washington Blade included this statement:

“We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law,” the language states. “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.”

This is a very important.  The last statement is just pandering as it reaffirms what is current practice.  Churches  can and always have been able to decide who can and cannot get married in that church.  The screams from the religious right get everyone excited, but this is nothing new.  Marriage, as far as the government goes, is a civil contract.  You do not need to be married in a church to get marriage benefits…. that is if you’re straight.  If you are gay and get married in this country, you are denied more than 1500 rights afforded to your straight counterparts.  Somehow, the words “…with liberty and justice for all” just don’t right true in this great land of ours….. at least, not yet.

Read the full article here.

thinkprogress: Remember w…

thinkprogress: Remember when Paul Ryan, because he’s such a deficit hawk, insisted George Bush pay for his massive tax cuts and wars? #meneither

Obama Speaks Out Against The Boy Scouts’ Descrimination

Once again, President Obama shows he’s on the right side of history.  Through a statement made to the gay newspaper, The Washington Blade, the president, while praising the organization as a whole, calls out their recent decision to ban gay leaders and scouts as “discrimination”.

“The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in the statement. “He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”

Either he sees his recent  statements supporting LGBT equality as a political plus (many polls show the acceptance of gays has increased dramatically in recent years) or he is doing what he thinks is right regardless of the political consequences.  Either way,  history will look back and see a pioneer in the new civil rights movement…. I wonder how we’ll see Rick Santorum and Michele  Bachmann?

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