Tag Archives: religion

Wedding Photos!

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Hey all,

For those of you that followed my journey, again I thank you. As promised, here are the wedding photos. If more come in the days ahead I will make another post but now, enjoy these:

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Gardening as religion

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I don’t normally garden…ever. I don’t like the feeling of dry dirt on my hands and under my nails, I don’t like not being able to wipe my face because I’ve got nothing clean with which to do it, I don’t like blisters, I really just don’t like much about it at all. That being said, I spent a good three hours yesterday tilling up the backyard soil in preparation for fall planting next weekend and I managed to uncover what used to be a vegetable garden (complete with nine separate plots!) so I should be able to start some onions too.

It was super-weird, this crazy drive to start this project and then I read today over at Feminism and Religion that yesterday was the Fall Equinox. I don’t usually believe in the turning of the earth regulating people’s moods, activities and behaviors, but yesterday was so out of character for me I wonder if there might be something to that whole idea after all.

Anyhow, I give you the Feminism and Religion article, as well as a few more, for the Sunday Roundup:

To Garden

  • Kathryn House reflects on gardening through the lenses of community, justice, faith and hope;
  • Having her own garden reminds her to be careful what she uses to tend it knowing that whatever is in the garden ends up on her table and in her body, but it also reminds her to pay attention when she shops for food – making choices based on what will have the most positive impact on her, the farm workers and the earth;
  • “Gardening is a radical act of faith and hope. It is where I, who often doubt, who can be so anxious for results, have learned to trust that when conditions are right, things will grow.”

In defense of “social-service” programs

I was Raised by Welfare: A Defense of Social Safety Programs

  • An opinion piece on why Welfare is an absolutely invaluable program for those that need it;
  • Bertha Alvarez Manninen counteracts the idea that folks using government assistance are lazy, rather the jobs that some folks can find don’t pay enough to raise them or their families above the poverty threshold;
  • “I am in favor of a strong social safety net not because I don’t want people to work or because I prize laziness. But because I know, from firsthand experience, that in many respects hard work just isn’t enough.”

A different look at the perilous life of a political make-up artist during an election year.

Mitt’s Bronze: Political Makeup Artists and the Perils of their Craft

  • A number of political makeup artists are interviewed, each bemoaning their job during an election year;
  • Artists must walk the fine line of making their subjects look good while also making them look natural;
  • “If they have a booger, that’s your job and trust me, you have to deal with it,” said Michele Probst, who traveled with Obama during the 2008 campaign. “These are the things you have to think about. It takes a lot of work to look natural when you’re under the eyeballs of the world.”

And a graphic for the road:

Thanks Ryan…

OMG So Many Good Things to Read This Week!!!

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Sunday News Roundup, I haven’t done one in about two weeks (okay exactly two weeks) so you are getting a little extra today…or a lot extra. Because they are so good. And may or may not be newsy so much. But just very, very good.

Get ready to spend an hour with your coffee and this post and these articles.

In Obama We Trust

  • For the first time in decades, The Advocate endorses a candidate (Barack Obama) for president;
  • Beyond his on-record support for marriage equality May 9, Obama also signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act in 2009, announced the lifting of the ban on HIV-positive green card applicants and visitors to the U.S., signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (the first pro-LGBT federal law in U.S. history), and after just two years into office, he had appointed more LGBTs to head commissions and agencies, to ambassadorships, and to senior staff positions than any president, surpassing the entire two-term record of Bill Clinton. He has also quadrupled the number of openly gay judges on the federal bench and ended the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the U.S. military;
  • Mitt Romney on the other hand used to support gay rights when it was popular, but has recently changed his position, whether that’s a result of fear of blowback from an increasingly conservative GOP or just a personal devolution,” no one can assume he would make any strides favorable to LGBTQ folks during his term as president.

Ebony Magazine brings us a piece on why hip-hop star Frank Ocean’s “I’m Gay” announcement might just be bigger than that other guy’s:

GAME CHANGER: Why Frank Ocean’s Coming Out is More Significant than Anderson Cooper’s

  • Anderson Cooper is already an established journalist with money to burn, Frank Ocean is still waiting on his first CD to be released;
  • In the world of hip-hop, “perceptions of Black masculinity are dominated by hyper-sexuality, thug swagger and a deep homophobia. Neither hip-hop nor R&B has ever boasted an openly gay or bisexual mainstream male star.”

It seems that Exodus International is finally admitting what most of us knew all along. Although I’m not sure sure that “Being gay is natural, but being celibate or marrying someone of the opposite sex are still the only choices you have” is any better…

Rift Forms in Movement as Belief in Gay ‘Cure’ Is Renounced

  • Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, declared last week that there is no “cure” for homosexuality and that the “reparative therapy” offered false hope and may even be harmful;
  • Exodus has been the leading force of the “ex-gay” movement for the past 30 years, which holds that homosexuals can be “cured” through Christian prayer and psychotherapy;
  • Chambers’ statements are causing a rift in the “ex-gay” community, 11 programs under the Exodus heading have since defected.

In a world where the “obesity epidemic” (read: not an epidemic and technically not even a medical condition but instead simply a ratio of height to weight) is making everyone run scared, one fearless (skinny) black woman tells it like it is:

From One Skinny Girl To Others: A Few Words on Fat Phobia

  • The author feels that white people ought to be educating white people about racism and men ought to be educating men about misogyny because it should not be the job of the minority (people of color and women) to always do the educating, she also feels it is appropriate for skinny folks to educate other skinny folks about fat phobia;
  • Favorite line ever: “And, really, let’s be honest, little of this is about health anyway. Talking about it in terms of health is just a convenient way to make fat people, especially fat women, wrong.”
  • Fat phobia surrounding women has more to do with helping women get healthy and more about control over their lives;
  • Another take on this would be Ragen Chastain’s Dances with Fat blog and her crusade to help the Health at Every Size movement gain acceptance.

If you hadn’t heard, lesbian bands are rocking the stage(s):

Lesbian Bands, Hear Them Roar

  • Four lesbian bands you may never had heard of… and not one (except one) plays folks-rock hippie music;
  • Not that there’s anything wrong with folk-rock hippie music;
  • The article focuses on their music, certainly, but also details their struggles and triumphs as being lesbians (and women) in a mostly straight male music industry.

Last but not least, there’s no War on Women, really. Honest there’s not.

What war on women? Riiiight…

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Don’t Forget! Support the name change!

Any amount is helpful, we’ve got until the end of July to raise the money…we’re up to $237 which gets us two sets of fingerprints a piece, covers the cost of the federal and state background checks for both of us and gives us money for one of the name change application. We’re still looking to cover the other $120 for the second application and some money for dinner… We’re looking to raise $375 – only $138 to go!

Sometimes people just shouldn’t talk

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Seriously?!? That’s your response?

Last post I dropped a bomb (okay, not really a bomb, maybe more like a water balloon or a Nerf ball) about the fact that Marianne and I are changing our last names and what a big pain in the butt it’s going to be to switch everything over and that if we could just get married it would all be easier.

Most of the reactions were sympathetic, like Megan’s:

I changed my last name to my wife’s before our first baby was born (we’re in Columbus, OH). It didn’t involve the fingerprints that you had to submit, but did require requesting a court date and the ridiculous printed (in a local newspaper) admission that I was changing my name. you know, in case a bill collector needed to find me or something. The “paperwork” for court was perhaps a total of $150 and the newspaper thing was, I think, around $35. I know the total was under $200. My friend in PA who did the same thing around the same time spent $400. Makes me NUTS.

And Fiercesappho:

It’s not easy that is for sure. In NC, changing your name actually changes on your BIRTH CERTIFICATE which is kinda sad to lose that part since in heterosexual marriages they just append their name. That of course leads to many other difficulties that require proving the name change via a paper trail all the time…It’s all super annoying, but in the end, it’s all worth it because we share the same last name and are forever bound.

And then there’s Lisa:

Luckily, after marrying my partner legally here in MA, I had zero problems changing my last name to hers.

Well, congratu-freakin’-lations to you!

But I mean seriously, you read my blog and that’s your comment? I mean I’m glad YOU had the ability to get married legally and whatnot, but this is my situation and your comment is so not what I want. I’m not expecting sympathy, but smugness and arrogance aren’t really what I’m after either.

*SIGH*

Seriously, some people just shouldn’t talk sometimes…

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Don’t Forget! Support the name change!

Any amount is helpful, we’ve got until the end of July to raise the money…we’re up to $62 which gets us two sets of fingerprints a piece and covers the cost of the federal background check for both of us. We’re looking to raise $375 – only $313 to go!

Silence will not protect you

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Yep…pretty much

Lately I’ve been sensing (through what I read online and through conversations with certain family and community members) that others feel like I am challenging their way of being in this world. It’s not that the straight folks giving off this vibe feel threatened by my relationship with Marianne, or that they particularly think that our physical relationship (if they think about that) is “icky;” rather the vibe I’m getting is that I am challenging the status quo – their status quo. Like I can’t have a same-gender marriage because it somehow challenges their notion of marriage – and they don’t like it.

That’s not my intention. I don’t spend my days gleefully rubbing my hands together and constructing ways to make others feel uncomfortable, I simply live my life the best way I know how.

To the title of this post – it’s an overused quote from Audre Lorde but I really do think it’s true and appropriate here. My being silent about who I am does not protect me, not does it allow me to fully live the life I was called to live.

I watched the movie Bent the other evening. The plot is basically that Max is Jewish and gay and sent to a concentration camp in 1930s Germany. He pays off the guards and successfully “passes” as simply Jewish (earning a yellow star to wear) rather than gay (earning him a pink triangle to wear). The idea was that gay men were the lowest of the low and he tried to avoid that at all costs. While there, Max falls in love with another man who does have a pink star. Long story short, they both end up losing everything in the end. The fact that Max thought he was passing didn’t protect him.

We’re moving to Greenville, NC in about a two months and from what we’ve been told the city is not as open and welcoming to gays and lesbians as where we live now. But it is what it is. I’m certainly not going back into the closet, so I may as well be up front and honest with everyone I meet. That includes folks at whatever new job I have – they will most probably ask about the ring I wear on my left ring finger – the folks in whatever community we end up making there, potentially my neighbors if they ever realize what the flag and funny looking yellow equal sign on my car are – or take the time to ask me about it.

I’m not pushing anything on anyone – how they choose to view my life in relation to theirs is on them.

There’s also been talk that by Marianne and I being out and planning our wedding so publicly, it might be unduly influencing children to try “the gay lifestyle,” whatever that means. Again I say, I’m not pushing any lifestyle on anyone because it doesn’t work like that. But that fact that a child knows two women in a happy, healthy relationship can only be a good thing. If the child grows up straight, then they have learned to be more compassionate and loving toward everyone. If, by some combination of genetics and life and who knows what else, they turn out to be gay or lesbian, then they know they’ve got two allies to whom they can talk.

I am (finally) living exactly as I was made to live, fully realizing every aspect of myself and sharing that with others. I am always amazed at how fast authentic relationships can form when people stop hiding behind anything. I’ve said it before, being out is a choice that I cannot force on anyone. But for me, it’s the only choice that makes sense.

F- This, I’m choosing happiness

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Ménage à God?

If you’ve been paying attention for the last six months or so, you know by now that today is the primary election in North Carolina. It’s also the day that folks get to vote on my civil (not religious, not biblical, not the fact that you don’t like gay marriage) rights.

(Yes this amendment harms women and children and impacts domestic violence protections, but it also means no recognition of my civil union should Marianne and I choose to get one out of state. And it means that only one of the mothers of a child I know has any legal rights to that child because she is the biological mother. And it means that a friend of mine may not be able to visit her partner is the hospital because they’re lesbians and thus not a “real couple.” And it’s all bull).

It’s also been unusually slow in the office today.

Which has allowed me time to troll the internet for stories about how the day is going. Most of the news I’m finding is encouraging, at least we’re getting out there and voting, but now there are reports that folks aren’t getting the right ballots and aren’t being allowed to vote on the amendment. Considering we need as many people as possible on our side, that’s no good at all.

Anyway, it’s ended me up in a funk. So I took a walk around downtown Greensboro to clear my head and ended up at the Green Bean… with all their hand painted “vote nope” signs coloring up their windows.

And I decided that I get to choose my attitude. What will be will be and I have done what I can. At this point it’s up to the voters. So, to cheer up other folks who may be feeling a bit blue, I give you some of my favorite Facebook statuses today:

From Protect NC Families

The original sponsor of the amendment voted against today. Isn’t that a sign?

From me after spending an hour holding a “Vote Against” sign at my local (rather conservative) polling location:

Well, I’m certainly not scoring any point with the J.C. Crowd this morning. Seems they forgot the 11th Commandment: Don’t be a jerk.

From Chris Speer, who continues to rally people to Vote Against:

Direct voter contact. #winning. Don’t forget to #voteagainst TODAY!

This from me this morning, after the rally against Amendment One Interfaith Voice sponsored

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, our rally had triple the number of people the pro-amendment rally had last night. See, love ALWAYS wins!

From RuPaul’s Drag Race (the TV show on Logo)

North Carolina, tell Amendment One to sashay away!

From my friend Lindsey, I really hope Lindsey doesn’t mind being featured here:

Ever wanted to be as cool as me? Here’s your chance. VOTE AGAINST AMENDMENT ONE. (all the cool kids are doing it)

Another one from Protect NC Families:

(Winston-Salem) Republican City Councilman, Robert Clark, in opposition to the amendment: “You’re taking something that is written in ink, and you’re chiseling it in stone” – VOTE AGAINST

From my friend Ash Mo:

If you vote FOR amendment one, and I have a baby with Anna… that baby can’t have her po-po health insurance. You will never be able to visit our baby because she will have to live in a bubble to protect her under-insured little body.
Thus, vote against the amendment and you can hold our hypothetical baby.

From my friend Georgia, a quote of Ben Franklin:

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence

And last but not least, from my friend Kathryn, a primer making it’s way around Facebook:

For those who need a flow chart–here are your instructions!

Go vote Against if you haven’t,  take someone else to vote Against if you have… and at the end of the day, let’s all collapse into one big collective North Carolina hug because we, as a state, and as individuals in this state, will be fine.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Thanks MLK, as always, for the reminder.

Science, religion and statistics O My!

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Good Sunday afternoon dear readers!

This week’s news is all surrounding gay and lesbian issues so if you’re not into that stop reading. Actually, stop reading my blog at all really, considering it’s about a lesbian getting married.

Hey…how’d you find me anyway? Were you searching for Neil Patrick Harris poems again???

No matter, below are the bits of news from around the Web this week.

Homophobic? Maybe you’re gay

  • This New York Times piece explores the link between some (obviously not all) folks who spew anti-gay rhetoric and their true attraction to members of the same sex;
  • In a study of 784 university students in the United States and Germany, over 20 percent of folks who self-described as “highly straight”  turned out to have some homosexual tendencies;
  • “Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects.”

The best case for the Bible not  condemning homosexuality

  • Gay Christian writer John Shore makes the case for, as it says in the headline, the Bible not condemning gays and lesbians;
  • “God does not ask us to choose between compassion and faith in the Bible;
  • If there is no biblical reason for marginalizing gay folks, Christians must cease doing it;
  • Using so-called “clobber passages” to deny gays and lesbians their full humanity is not okay;
  • The Bible isn’t a rule book, and any attempt to life one passage out of it’s context results in an incomplete understanding of that passage;
  • “The Bible’s clobber passages were written about same-sex acts between heterosexual persons, and do not address the subject of homosexual acts between a committed gay couple, because the concept of a person being a homosexual did not exist at the time the Bible was written.”

Monday numbers by N.C. Policy Watch

  • The numbers concern Amendment One that would define marriage as the only relationship that counts in N.C.;
  • These are from last Monday, but the only difference is that we now have eight days before people in North Carolina get to vote on my civil rights;
  • Amendment One is super-bad, if you’re in North Carolina and can vote early, please do it;
  • Vote Against!