Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vermont's Same Sex Marriage Law

It has happened. Vermont's Same Sex Marriage Law has gone into effect today. Yeah! And in honor of this and their committment to Social Justice Issues, Ben and Jerry's partnered with Freedom to Marry and renamed the Chubby Hubby ice cream, Hubby Hubby. This is only happening for the month of September and only in their Vermont stores. So, all you Vermonters, go to Ben and Jerry's have a scoop of Hubby, Hubby and thank them for their committment to Social Justice. Anyone who cannot get to Vermont, please go here and leave them a comment. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Belong

I know it has been a while since I posted and I apologize. I have been a little sad and disheartened by the mess the NYS Senate has caused in my home state and have not been able to write. But, when I saw this on my facebook I had to post it. My wife's cousin, Emily, (I guess she is my cousin now too, heehee) posted it. I applaud Emily for her courage and conviction to post this. I applaud her generation, because I know they will make the changes this country needs. I saw them at Equality and Justice Day in NY. Not even old enough to vote, yet there they were talking to the Senators, holding signs at the rally, holding hands and showing their love. Amazing. Watch the video below. I warn you though, have tissues handy. I cried. A lot. Hearing one of the boys' father talk about his own hatred and abuse of gays and his eventual acceptance and love of his gay son, pulled at my heart. The song in the video is sung and written by transgendered artist, Namoli Brennett. Amazing as well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

LGBT Family

I am posting this blog for Mombian's "Blogging for LGBT Families Day 2009."

My wife Leah and I have not started a family yet. But, we plan to someday. What I want to write about here is my other LGBT family. That is all the people who are LGBT and straight who have supported, shown up and been there in my life. They include some of my immediate and extended family members, some old friends and some new ones. These are the people who help me keep going especially when my marriage was at stake by 7 judges in California. This family has shaped my openness, my ability to take a stand against injustice and my compassion and empathy. I love my family and am a better person because of them. Just today, my wife and I attended a press conference for Marriage Equality for NY. Senator Tom Duane, the sponsor of the bill, held it. Who would have thought I could be this involved in the politics, the media, the outness that comes with a press conference. It is because of the support I receive from my family that I am able to do these things. So, I want to say Thank you to my family. You are my rock.

And to my wife, Leah you are my love, my inspiration, my heart and my being. I love you always.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Marriage

Tomorrow the California Supreme Court decides if my marriage is legal or not. Tomorrow they decide if Prop 8 is overturned or not. Tomorrow my life as a wife could change. It is disheartening to know that at 1pm (eastern time) I could not be married anymore. Tomorrow at 1pm, 17,999 other couples could not be married anymore. It is so sad that people feel it is their right to take away my happiness. They argue that they aren't against me, they are just upholding what is tradition, what is right. Tradition used to be to own a slave, own a woman, put mentally ill, developmentally disabled and disabled in an institution. Traditions change because we realize that they are not right. I don't know what the Supreme Court is going to decide tomorrow. The experts are saying they will not overturn Prop 8 but will uphold all the marriages that happened before Prop 8, including mine and the 17,999 others. But, what does that mean. Am I to celebrate because I am still married, am still a wife. Am I to be angry and protest because they ruled to uphold an amendment that to me seems so unconstitutional. What am I to do?

I guess I will know better tomorrow after I hear the decision. My wife, Leah, and I will be at the Albany, NY Day of Decision. If you are in the Capital District area, join us for celebration and/or protest. If not, check the Day of Decision website for an event near you. They are holding them all over the country and Canada as well. Here's hoping it will be celebration.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Go Maine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Official Statement from Governor John E. Baldacci's office:

Governor Signs LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom. Signed on this day, May 6, 2009.

AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci today signed into law LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.
“I have followed closely the debate on this issue. I have listened to both sides, as they have presented their arguments during the public hearing and on the floor of the Maine Senate and the House of Representatives. I have read many of the notes and letters sent to my office, and I have weighed my decision carefully,” Governor Baldacci said. “I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste.”
“I appreciate the tone brought to this debate by both sides of the issue,” Governor Baldacci said. “This is an emotional issue that touches deeply many of our most important ideals and traditions. There are good, earnest and honest people on both sides of the question.”
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Governor Baldacci said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”
“Article I in the Maine Constitution states that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person’s civil rights or be discriminated against.’”
“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State,” Governor Baldacci said.
“It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government.”
“Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognize that this may not be the final word,” Governor Baldacci said. “Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people.”
“While the good and just people of Maine may determine this issue, my responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and do, as best as possible, what is right. I believe that signing this legislation is the right thing to do,” Governor Baldacci said.

I absolutely love his reasoning. I love that he listened to both sides and came down on the side of equality. I love that he said that "it reaffirms the separation of Church and State." Thank you Governor Baldacci.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kelly McGillis is a lesbian!!!!

Okay, this is not news to the millions of lesbians out there. Yes, Kelly, we all knew. We were just waiting. And now, she has officially come out to vlogger, Jennifer Corday, at shewired. And, btw, she is still as hot as she was back in the '80's! Check it out:

I, as a young, newly out, lesbian, fell in lust with her when I first saw her breasts in Witness. Then as the hot, tough teacher in Top Gun. Damn! I had heard the rumors back then. I had hoped, dreamed and waited. Then she appears in the L-Word. Well, that is all it took. Good for you girl. Welcome to the family. Now, join us in our fight for LGBT equality.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Go Hillary Duff! I knew I liked her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

I am stepping away from Wordless Wednesday because I have some things to say today. Today is considered Tax Day. Everywhere around the US, people are going to their respective Post Offices to mail their taxes. Some because they owe and wanted to wait until the last minute to pay and others because they forgot to do them earlier. My wife, Leah, and I finished our taxes last month. Unfortunately, we could not file together as married, even though NYS recognizes our marriage. See, there is this little glitch with the Federal income taxes. It's called DOMA. Oh, and the little glitch with NYS income taxes, it's tied to the federal taxes.

So, to get to the picture. Around the US today, hundreds, probably thousands, of same-sex marriage supporters will be protesting at their local Post Offices for fair treatment. It's called "Equal Taxes, Equal Rights." Well, unfortunately, the one that was going to happen in Albany, NY was canceled because of lack of participation. Don't get me started on this. I am angry because we had hundreds of people show up for our demonstration against the passage of Prop 8 (which wasn't even our state, mind you) and yet we couldn't get enough people to sign up for this. I guess people need to be angry to join together. Bull, people. It's not about getting together once to protest an atrocity, it's about fighting the fight continuously until it is changed. I digress, sorry.

So, the picture. I decided to protest myself at the Saratoga Springs Post Office, during my lunch hour. I thought long and hard and felt I had to do this. How can I ask others to fight for me, to vote for same sex marriage, if I am not willing to get out there and fight myself. Now, you can ask anyone who knows me. I am not one to start and lead something. I am more of a follower. Give me something to do and I will do it. Ask me to lead or implement it and I run for the hills. This took a lot for me to do. I drove to the Post Office and sat in my car holding my signs. It was a beautiful day out, very sunny in the spot I would stand and yet I sat. I was scared. What would happen. Would people yell at me, throw things, call me names. Would the police ask me to move. I had to will myself out of the car. I had to tell myself, some people may say things, but others may be moved by the experience. Some may even praise me and give a thumbs up. And the police can't ask me to leave, it's a public space. So, out of the car I went. I stood at the corner of a very busy intersection and stood for an hour with my signs.

It was an amazing experience. No one yelled at me, cursed me, threw things. Although, some parents with children steered them clear of me, even while the child was asking, "what does his sign say, Mommy?" hahahahaha. Try explaining that one, Mom. What I did get was a lot of smiles, way to go's, I'm with you, honks in support and thumbs up. It was awesome. Most of the praises and support came from the young teenage community. It was great.

So, what did I take from this experience. I found that yes, I can lead, maybe not a group of people, but myself anyway. I found that one person can make a protest and a difference. I found that I have courage, conviction and strength. I also found hope. Hope in the next generation. I believe that our youth are going to make great changes. They are taking up the fight. They are couragous. They are fighting to have LGBT groups like GSA and GLSEN in their schools. They are fighting the bullies. They are at the protests. They are campaigning for political candidates even though they aren't old enough to vote. I plan to keep on fighting, keep on protesting, keep on lobbying my legislators. Not just for me, but for the next generation. Fight with me. Make changes. Make a difference.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marriage Equality in Vermont and Iowa

Today is a glorious day! On the heels of Iowa making same-sex marriage legal, the Vermont legislature voted to override a veto by Governor Douglas and passed their same-sex marriage bill. How cool is that. As a New Yorker though I am a bit ashamed. I always thought that NY was a bit ahead of the curve for gay rights. I mean we had Stonewall, right. Now, we sit behind Iowa, WTF. Well, I don't want to bitch on this glorious day. I just want to revel in the news. Oh, and hot off the presses, DC Council voted today to recognize same sex marriages from other states. Woo, hoo.

Here is an interesting take on the amendment process from the Iowa Senate Majority Leader, Michael Gronstal.

Iowa’s Senate Majority Leader has said he will not consider any proposals to begin the process to amend Iowa's constitution to overturn the same-sex marriage decision. "The politics of it are I'm not going to put discrimination in the Iowa Constitution," he said. "That's a horrible idea. The people who are pushing the amendment are saying equal protection under the law -- except. I think that's unacceptable."

Now, why can't California see this. You can't have equal protection under the law with an exception. How is that equal. That makes no sense. Here's hoping that California does the right thing and repels Prop 8 and uphold all 18,000 same-sex marriages. And, oh, as an aside, can we maybe stop calling them same-sex marriages. A marriage is a marriage, right? Isn't that what we are fighting for......hmmmmmm. And here is a picture of a happy marriage:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fostering Kittens

Recently Leah and I sent off our last litter of kittens, Moo, Flower, Silver, Tiger and Buzz were all adopted within a week and found their forever homes. I have to say fostering kittens is tough. Not because there are so many cats in the house but because it is hard to let them go. Leah was away in California when they had to go to the clinic for adoption, so I had to do it alone. As I brought them in, a little boy and his mother were standing there to pick out one of the kittens for him to take home. OMG, I was crying as he patiently held each one to see which would fit best. He ended up picking Flower and naming her Polly. It was very hard to leave the rest there as well. We still have Bella, the mom cat. She will be going to clinic later this week. Here is a picture of them. Bella is in the back, Silver is curled up behind her, Flower is the all grey on the left, Tiger is looking at the camera, Moo is next to Tiger and Buzz is on the end.

So now we are kitten free. No more yelling to get off the table or out of the garbage. Just an aside, don't put discarded tissues in the bathroom garbage if you have kittens running around. In the morning you will find it shredded all over the house. Ah, loving the freedom when we get a call. Jan, from Animal Lovers asking if we will take a litter of 2 day old kittens with mom.

"What, no, we can't, we just got rid of a litter, what, they are how old, aaawwww they are calico, mom is long haired calico, they are stuck at a shelter, mom is stuck in a cage with all other animals nearby trying to raise her babies, oh, we can't have that, of course we will take them."

So, off Brenda goes on Friday to pick up the mom and the babies. And yes they are cute. And they are very tiny, fitting in one hand. Mom is beautiful too. We get to name them as well. Yeah. Jan wants us to name them all with the same beginning letter to make it easier for them to identify Mom and babies. So, we decided to name Mom, Molly. She looks like a Molly. The kittens are too young to tell their genders so they don't have real names just yet. We do know, however, that the calico kitten is female because male calicos don't survive. We also know that the orange kitten is probably male as most cats that color are. We have not named the calico, but have been calling the orange one manderine (manny if it is a boy, mandy if a girl, heehee.) Leah has been calling one of the black and white ones, Michael Jackson, after his Black and White song, heehee. Here is a picture of all of them.

Aren't they adorable? So now we are a household of 8 again. Bella will be going to the clinic on Thursday, so we will be down to 7. Fostering kittens is tough but I love it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

In the style of Tina and my wife, I give you:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Missing White Ribbons at the Oscars

I find it very sad that Hollywood had a chance to stand up for equal rights and they failed terribly. I ask them why? Was it that hard to put on a white ribbon. You all proudly wore the red AIDS ribbon when needed.

I find it apalling that Hollywood, some of these actors were in commercials supporting gay marriages, did not see it fit to continue expressing their support at a huge media event that would be seen by many. Where is the support that they could be giving. Jack Black, where was your ribbon? Were you not one of the actors in the Prop 8 Musical? WTF!!!!!!! I can't believe that these actors are still scared to stand up for what's right for fear of being too close to anything gay.

And to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, where were your ribbons? You both have stood up and said you won't get married until everyone can get married. You gave money to the no on 8 campaign and asked hollywood to stand up and do the same. So, I ask you, where were your ribbons? Shame on you, both.

I do applaud Josh Brolin and Gus Van Sant. Although Josh didn't win (did he even stand a chance against Heath,) he was wearing the white ribbon. Thank you, Josh. Gus didn't win either but, thank you for wearing a ribbon. Someone else associated with the Harvey Milk movie, I believe he was the producer, was wearing a ribbon. Thank you.

During his acceptance speech, "Milk" writer, Dustin Lance Black ,offered an impassioned tribute to Milk, the pioneering gay-rights politician who was slain 30 years ago. He also wore a ribbon.
"If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours," Black said. Thank you, Dustin.

Although Sean Penn did not wear a ribbon, he did do us justice in his acceptance speech for Best Actor. He called the Academy "Commie, homo-loving son of a guns," He talked about all the hate filled signs that he and others had to drive by on their way to the awards and told all those who oppose gay marriage and voted yes on the ban, they will have to deal with that shame. Thank you, Sean.

Below is the videos of both Sean's and Dustin's acceptance speeches. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekends at the Aunties

This past Christmas, Leah and I gave our niece, Krystianna, and our nephew, Thomas, the greatest present ever......a weekend with us. What could be better, right? The whole weekend with the coolest Aunts ever. First up was Krystianna. I picked her up on a Friday evening and as soon as we got to our place......Rockband!!!!!!!! Oh, yeah!!!!! We rocked the house. Krystianna on drums, Leah on guitar and me on vocals. We unlocked them all by weekend's end.

I know, she doesn't look like she is having fun, but, she is really concentrating. Check out those slippers. We played until midnight. Ssshhh, don't tell her Mom, heehee. The next day, after waking up at 11am, we set off for a fun day at the Winterfest. Can you believe these crazies, jumping into sub zero water. And they paid to do it. For charity, of course.

After the Winterfest, we went home had a late lunch and off to the Women's RPI Ice Hockey game. The RPI Women did not win but it was a great game. Krystianna even got a puck from the game.

After the game, back home for dinner. We made pizza. Yummy.

A great weekend was had by all. Oh, and check out the background. That's Leah in my lovely Victoria Secret Country bathrobe. She loves it.

Next up was Thomas. His weekend was Valentine's weekend. I know, not the way to spend our first Valentine's Day as wives, but Leah and I were never too big on Valentine's Day anyway.

I picked Thomas up on Friday and it was to the Playstation we went. He is not big on the music games. He is more into car racing games and a game called Monster Bash, which I hate. Of course, it is the one he wants to play the most. I guess I really don't like it because he knows how to manuever his monster better than I do, so he kicks my ass every time. He also, hides things from me, like how to use my super power and what all those damn colored dots stand for. I sometimes do use my super power (merely by accident from pushing every damn button) but, then can't remember what button I pushed. I don't have any pictures of us playing mostly because I was cursing the controller the whole time. Thomas is an early riser so he went to bed much earlier than Krystianna.

Up at 6am, Thomas went downstairs by himself and played games until about 9am when he came upstairs to wake us. "Aunt Brenda, Aunt Leah (both of them asked if it was okay to call her Aunt Leah, so cute) when are you getting up." So, up we got. It was games all day until dinner time. That's right, making pizzas.

Then it was off to the Men's RPI Ice Hockey game. The game was sponsored by Bank of America and was called Big Red Freakout. They gave out free t-shirts, so cool. We had seats all the way up but, it wasn't too bad as we could see it all. The men didn't win but, we saw a couple of fights break out. Thomas liked when someone got put in the penalty box. Another great time.Back home and another hour of games and time for bed. In the morning, we played some more games of Monster Bash. Oh yeah, he always gets to play the same monster and doesn't let me be that one, ever. I'm not bitter though, really, hahahaha. Then Thomas and I went to my sister's house for a Daytona 500 party. Thomas is a big fan of NASCAR. Dale Earnhart, Jr. being his favorite. A great time was had there, as well.

Not all was lost for my bride and me for Valentine's Day. Leah, surprised me (not an easy feat) by sending 2 dozen roses to my workplace with a beautiful note. I gave her a beautiful card and a Hallmark christmas ornament of hoops and yoyo. Love those guys.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Love

Today I celebrate love on this Valentine's Day. Below is the picture of my wife, Leah, when we got to kiss (finally) as beloved wives.

Wedding dress and suit....over $1000, wedding ceremony and reception....ask the 'rents, Getting married to the woman of my dreams......priceless.

Happy Valentine's Day, baby. I love you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Many Colors, Feedom To Marry Week

Ah, so today's theme is something blue. My something blue for our wedding was an embroidered monogram made by my wife, Leah. Leah's blue was a beautiful pin that my sister gave her.

That was pretty much the only blue at our wedding. Our wedding was very colorful. Lots of orange, green, pinks but not much blue.

See, lots of colors including blue. I loved that we used so many colors. Leah and I wanted to celebrate our love, but, we also wanted to celebrate our fun side. This was the way to do this.

As an aside, Leah and I participated in the Freedom To Marry Day in Albany, NY. We rallied for Marriage Equality in NY. It was a small gathering, northeast wind and cold kept people away, but it was a great rally. I even kissed Leah while the news cameras were taping. Click here to see video. I am not sure how long it will be available, but enjoy while you can.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Borrowed Quotes (Freedom to Marry Week)

join the conversation

Freedom to Marry Week continues. Get more information here.

Today's theme, Something Borrowed. When I was contemplating what to blog about today, my wife, Leah, suggested that I use a borrowed quote. I, being me, of course said, "that's not interesting." Well, here I sit trying to think of something and all that is stuck in my head is borrowed quotes. Damn her, heehee. Okay, honey, here is my blog utilizing borrowed quotes.

So, I am going to borrow a few quotes from a Civil Rights leader and lesbian icon herself (although she would have never thought of herself as either), Eleanor Roosevelt.

These are ones I send out to my fellow LGBT protesters.

  • Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway.

  • Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.

  • It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

  • It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

  • Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes.

  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

  • We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

  • Understanding is a two-way street.

  • Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.

These quotes are for those who spread hatred under the guise of Religion.

  • Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.

  • Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

  • Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

  • Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.

  • Understanding is a two-way street.

  • When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?

These quotes are for the politicians.

  • What you don't do can be a destructive force.

  • Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little.

  • Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

  • It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

  • Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.

  • Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.

These quotes are for my parents.

  • The giving of love is an education in itself.

  • What you don't do can be a destructive force.
This quote is for me.

  • I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.

As you can see, many quotes are used a few times. It is because, I feel, all sides can use them. I hope all who read this think about these quotes and try to understand their meaning for them. There are far too many for me to take and give my thoughts behind them. I will, however, discuss my quote and what it means to me. My thoughts behind this quote go along the lines of what some people at the protests, rallies and the like continually like to use as a tool for equality. "We are just like you, we are normal, everyday people, just like you." Well, to tell you the truth, I am not like you. I am not normal, like you. I am me and I don't want to be like you. Life in general would be pretty boring if we were all like each other. I know, some people argue that we need to do this, say this, to relate, etc. You know what, I don't need to relate, they need to know me as I am, not how they want to cookie cutter me in to something that will make it more comfortable for them. So, there, I said my peace on this. I feel better.

I am going to leave you with one more Eleanor quote. It is not directed at anyone but I think it is hilarious and shows Eleanor as a whole, sexually charged person. Enjoy.

  • I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Newly Married (Freedom to Marry Week)

Freedom to Marry Week continues and the theme today is, Something New. Well, going with the something old post, my sisters found a beautiful tie tack for my wedding. I got my wife to be a beautiful diamond necklace that I found at JC Penney. Unfortunately, do you think I could find a close up picture of either.....of course not! So, just believe me when I say they are both very beautiful.

Something new.....oh, I know. My wife surprised me yesterday. She is so sweet. I was called to the front desk at work and was handed a long package. Yup, that's right. My wife sent me flowers. She is so amazing. Here is a picture of them. Aren't they gorgeous? I love surprises. Leah does not like surprises too much. But, I am changing that, heehee.

I am newly married. That's new. I have to say, being married is the best feeling ever. Leah and I have been living together for over a year and I really didn't think things would change for me. I mean, we had made a commitment to each other, wasn't that the same thing? I was so wrong. The planning, the setting up, the getting ready and then seeing Leah for the first time in her dress. Wow! I can't even put words to the feelings I had. She was beyond beautiful. Hearing her words to me and saying my words to her was amazing. It still sends waves of excitement and love through me just thinking about it. I know I didn't say everything I wanted. But, now I have a lifetime to say them to her.

Being married is different. I can't even say how. I just know that I look at her and I am in awe of the amount of feelings I have. When I am near Leah, I have to touch her in some way. It usually is holding her hand. She told me I am the best hand holder (see pic.) I love that. The picture below was taken at the March for Marriage Equality in Albany, NY. The little girl in the photo is my niece, Samantha. Isn't she cute. Leah wrote about the march on her blog. Click here for that post.

Everyday I look at Leah, I know she and I are a part of something that is so essential to being. The common denominator that humans have is that we all look for true love and that one person that can give that to us. It is an innate part of us. We all want someone to share our life and dreams. Fortunately for me, I found that person. Unfortunately for me, some people don't like my choice because I am a woman loving another woman. I have been lucky. I have not expierenced too much hatred or felt that threatened for my being gay. But, when Prop 8 passed and now Ken Starr trying to forcibly divorce us, I feel hatred. I feel threatened. And now, I feel empowered. Keep hating, keep threatening. We are not going away. You can make up laws, you can strip us of our rights, you can do whatever you want but, in the end, we will still be here. And we will continue fighting for each other and our love. I love you, Leah!

For more information on the Freedom to Marry Week, click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Courage Campaign

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

If this video does not touch your heart then I don't know what to say. Go to http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce for more information and to sign the letter.

Leah and I are one of the 18,000 couples who got married in California. We are one of the couples that Ken Starr (you remember him, Bill Clinton/blue dress fame) wants the government to invalidate and forcibly divorce. We have our marriage license in hand. Signed and sealed and legal. Leah has legally changed her name. Our state is recognizing our marriage (to a point, don't get me started.) This whole thing saddens me, but, at the same time empowers me to do more and fight for my rights. I am an empowered butch lesbian. Watch out world.

New Traditions

So, in continuing with the Freedom to Marry Week, this is day 2 post. Today, according to The Other Mother, we have to post about something old. Pictured left, is an old picture of Leah and I before we got married. If you notice, we are dressed alike, hahahaha. We were in a phase. No, really, we went to Albany Pride and decided to make shirts about the recent announcement of marriages in California. The backs of the shirts say I love Leah or I love Brenda. We ooze cuteness, aaaawwww.

As for old, we did do that tradition for our wedding. My sisters had all been married before me and so they gave me my something old. It was so great. They gave me a hankie from each of my grandmothers. It was so sweet. Leah's Mom gave her a hankie from her grandmother as well.

What I want to talk about in this post is tradition. The old tradition has to go. This is one of the arguments that we hear to not give us marriage. It's tradition, it's always been done this way. Wake up people! Have we learned nothing about it's always been done this way. It's not always the right way. The tradition of slavery, women as property, institutionalization of developmentally disabled and those with psychiatric dianosis'. The list can go on and on. You can find it in everyday life, as well. At work, those co-workers at staff meetings who don't want to try a new idea because the old one still works okay. "We've always done it this way." "Why fix what ain't broke," is their motto. Well, I am here to say it is broke. Just because it works for you, doesn't mean it works for me. We grow as a person, as a nation, when we change for the better. As we evolve, we change. That is the process. That is the way things work. That is the way we grow.

So, I say, let's start new traditions. And someday, when our children say to us, "that's so old, Mom, no one does it that way anymore," I plan to say to them, "you're right, let's change and make some new traditions." Here's to all the new traditions.

For more information on Freedom to Marry Week click the link below: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/get_involved/freedom_to_marry_week_2009bl.php

Monday, February 9, 2009

Freedom To Marry Week

My wife, Leah, has a blog and follows some other blogs. I saw this on one of those, Tales of A Female Husband. So here is my blog about Marriage Equality.

As you can see, I married the girl of my dreams. We were married in California on 10/25, a couple of weeks before Prop 8 passed. I have posted on my sadness and outrage on this in a previous post so I won't go into that here. I just want to talk about marriage equality and what it means to me.

When Leah and I got married, we wrote our own ceremony. We put in a part about what marriage means to each of us. This was my piece:

Marriage is a way to let the world know, I love this person. It is an awesome feeling and a great responsibility. It is not something to be taken lightly. It means giving of yourself to someone else, trusting in that person and knowing that she is giving of herself and trusting in you, as well. You have to be strong when she can’t and she needs to be strong when you can’t. But, even though it is a great responsibility, it is also about happiness and fun. It is saying to someone else I love being with you and I plan on spending the rest of my life enjoying us. Marriage is an amazing institution and I am so happy to be a part of it. I want that responsibility. I want to be able to say, “this is my wife.” I want to be able to laugh, cry, get mad and know that someone else loves me. And with that, I am marrying the one person who has added to my life a sense of completeness.

See, while we are all fighting for our right to marriage and all the rights that go with it (believe me, I know, over 1,300 in NY alone,) when it comes down to it, marriage is about love. It is about the dream we all have as children, to one day marry the person we love. To walk down that aisle, or be greeted at the end of it. To look into your beloved's eyes with tears of joy. To hold her/his hand and pronounce "I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you." And to hear those words, "I now pronounce you....(beloved wives, in our case.)

The rights that come with being married are extra bonuses. Don't get me wrong, I am fighting for those rights as well. I just recently spoke with my state senator's chief of staff all about this and I will post on that next time. But, what I am talking about here is just the real, in our core, reason we all get married. Because we love someone and can't imagine our life without her/him. Marriage is the way we can show that. Marriage is the way everyone in the world knows that. I married my wife because I love her and can't imagine myself without her. Pure and simple. I love you, Leah!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thinking about the President and the pedestal we put him on

I am writing this in response to a fellow poster and friend, Michelle's, recent post. Please read her post first. It will help you understand this one.

You are not alone with this feeling. I have been thinking about this too. I put a lot of faith in Clinton when he was elected b/c he promised to help the GLBT community. We all saw what happened there. I, too, feel that we have put Obama up on this pedestal, that if he doesn't come through, the country will kick him off so fast. I feel our country has come to expect things to be fixed quickly. Instant gratification and if we are not happy with something then let's give up on it and pick something new. I, too, am jaded. I guess I have been ever since California allowed Prop 8 to be put up for a popular vote. I hope that Obama can do what he says. What I truly hope, though, is that the American people do their part as well. One person cannot do it all. It takes the entire country. We as the gay community know this more than anything right now. We may not have done enough for Prop 8. If you want your rights, your ideas, your needs met, you need to get up off the couch, get away from the computer, the TV and do something. Give your time, write your government officials, make a donation, march in the streets and give back. Good luck to you and good luck to our new President.

Thanks Michelle for the fodder for my post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Hope Part 2

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Okay, he didn't say gay or LGBT but, he did say equal and he did say all and he did say all deserve. It's a start. I have a little bit more hope than a few hours ago. I watched the inauguration at my work with some fellow co-workers. It was interesting to me that I didn't have that awe feeling that everyone seems to be having. One person cannot make things better for us. We have to do our part. He said this as well.

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."

I plan on working hard to get my voice heard and get equality for all. I remember when I spoke with State Senator Roy McDonald and he accused me of being a one item voter. He said other people need help too, like the disabled. I responded to him that "the disabled can marry." Now, when I talk with him again, I am going to say, "when I, and my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters, are equal citizens and have equal rights, then I will work toward helping others." It is that important to me.

I also did something today that will not be remembered by anyone but me and probably didn't matter in the big scheme of things but, I did it anyway. I turned my back to the television when Rick Warren spoke. I know, he didn't see me but, it felt like the right thing to do. I am not sure if people in DC did this. I think they were going to as a protest to Rick speaking.

So, that's it for now on the update. Click to read and view President Obama's Inauguration speech.

I Hope.

At exactly noon today, Bush will no longer be our president and Obama will. Yeah, our time has come, hopefully. I hate to sound cynical, but haven't we been here before. Promises, catering to our demands to garnish our votes (damn, now I am hungry), only to be let down (Clinton, Don't ask, don't tell and DOMA.) I want to be optimistic, I want to feel like we now have a chance but, I can't. The passage of Prop 8 kind of took away a lot of my optimism. My parents deciding, like those who voted yes on 8, to not support my marriage, took away a lot of my optimism. I will wait and see if he makes good on his promise to get rid of don't ask, don't tell and DOMA. I will also wait and see if the state senators that the LGBT constituents helped get elected stand good on their promises as well. Although, I am trying to make a difference there by lobbying my State Senator, Roy McDonald on Marriage Equality Day (sign up to participate.) I know that I sound like a one issue person, and maybe I am. I am sorry, but this one issue is important to me. It is my life. Things other people take for granted we have to fight for. I know it is worse for others in other places. I know that is much braver for someone in Iraq, for instance, to be out. But, we are the United States of America. We are supposed to be the land of equality, the land of the free. We are supposed to be ahead of the curve. So I want to hope, I want to dream, I want to ride this new positive wave that everyone is on, but, it is a difficult one for me. I am going to watch the inauguration and maybe I can get inspired. I hope so.

Here is a list of my hopes for the next four years:
I hope that my marriage holds up in California.
I hope the CA Supreme Court invalidates Prop 8.
I hope the CA legislatures then pass marriage equality once and for all.
I hope NYS follows suit and passes a marriage equality bill, as well.
I hope that President Obama gets rid of don't ask and DOMA
I hope that President Obama starts talks about equalizing rights for gay americans.
I hope that I get all 1,324 NYS rights afforded to married couples.
I hope that I get all 1,138 federal rights afforded to married couples.
I hope my parents finally see me as a whole person and support my marriage.

Feel free to comment and leave your messages of hope. Here's to Obama and goodbye Bush.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Random Thoughts

Leah said my blog was at the bottom of her side blog list so I decided to write and get back up to the top. Let's see, what has been going on. Well, Christmas is over, New Year's has come and gone and tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day. Oh yeah, Obama gets inaugurated on Tuesday. Yeah, Bush is done. Now let's hope that Obama stands by his promises and passes some much needed LGBT legislation.

On Tues, Febuary 3rd I will be heading to our state capital to talk with legislators regarding Marriage Equality. Yup, you heard right. I have decided that I cannot sit back and let others do the work for me. If I want my marriage to remain legal and for my friends to be able to stay married I need to do something. I am joining MENY in Albany to lobby our state Senators. Unfortunately, my State Senator is Roy McDonald. Extremely conservative and someone I have talked with before. Wish me luck.

I will leave you with some wedding pics because Leah and I just got our disc with all our wedding photos on it. Enjoy.

Leah loved this pic but it got vetoed out of the wedding book. We were only able to get 50 pics. It was real tough picking out only 50. Our photograper, Ryan Jones, was amazing.

I love the colors in this picture. The blue background, the brown grass, Leah's white dress and my green shirt. Love it!

I love this picture. It looks like it could be a photo for an ad for the red dress. I loved all the colors from our wedding.

That's it for now. Shout out to Irongirl if you happen to read this.