Tag Archives: gay marriage

Let’s Get Married!

5 Jan

gay rights more

If you are familiar with the works of Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and numerous other works about creativity and how to get in touch with your inner artist, you may also be familiar with one of the primary tools she recommends: Morning Pages. I borrowed this idea from Ms. Cameron (and I actually met her once, so perhaps I am not out of line if I just call her Julia) although my method is not exactly what Julia prescribes.

Julia recommends writing by hand in a journal you do not share with anyone else, nor should you even bother to go back and reread.

I, instead, am typing a blog for publication.

Actually, the only thing my blogging version of Morning Pages has in common with Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages is that the end product is stream of consciousness and it is unedited.

That’s right–I am blogging by the seat of my pants! (And loving it!)

Writing Morning Pages blogs used to be a regular part of my daily ritual. Rather than provide a mountain of excuses for why that may have changed, I will say, instead, I am glad to be returning to this practice.

Happy 2015.

It is the Monday following New Year’s Day, This is the day that students return to school, vacationers return to work and traffic resumes its normal congested pattern. It will be harder to find a parking place at work, AND, everyone will be back at the office and work will resume apace.

For me, this is represents the BIG let down after “The Holidays.” I may not recover until the Spring thaw.

Besides today, this dreaded day of days, this week promises to be very interesting.

Florida’s ban on same sex marriage has danced its way through the courts. Our valiant Attorney General Pam Bondi has argued and fought for the sanctity of marriage in every courtroom that would have her.

Ms. Bondi should know a little something about the sanctity of marriage–she has had at least 2 of them–and maybe even a third one. (She may or may not have wed her current live-in boyfriend, ophthalmologist Greg Henderson__Google it if you are interested.)

Not that I am judging–it is just that Pam’s main bone of contention about letting “the gays” marry in Florida will “cause significant public harm.” To whom? WTF does that mean?

How come Pam Bondi gets to be the arbiter of which marriages are good for the state and which are not?

She might respond, “Well, I have been married twice–maybe 3 times—you don’t know! YOU DON’T KNOW ME!!!”

All I can say to that is, accruing frequent flier miles does not make you a pilot. Just sayin’…

Leave the navigation to the folks with their eyes (and their hearts) wide open.

And so, to the surprise of no one, Pam Bondi has been rebuffed by every judge she blathered her blather before and now, legally, she has shot her wad.

So to speak.

Ahem…

At long last, the courts have run out of silly excuses for why two tax paying consenting adults cannot enter into a marriage contract that affords them the same protections as other consenting adults who happen to be of the opposite sex.

In other words, in the state of Florida, as of this week, gay marriage is “a thing.”

I have to admit, I am still blinking over the news.

Back in the day, when I came out, a lot of heterosexuals were eschewing marriage and “living in sin” seemed like a perfectly valid option. For the LGBT community, marriage was not even in the cards. Or on the radar. Or, whatever. We wanted job protection. We wanted to be able to find a decent place to live. We wanted people to stop beating us up just because we were gay.

You know, the fundamentals.

Now, as I enter the twilight of my life (No, I am not pretending to be a vampire–different twilight, OK?) it is finally legal for me to get married to another gay person of the same gender.

Even though I didn’t see this coming back when, I did see it coming more recently and yet, I am still amazed.

Which is really a lot of pressure! My significant other and I have only known each other for 36 years–we don’t want to rush into anything! Marriage–that’s a big step!

We don’t want to marry just because we can. It isn’t like one of those punch cards you get in some sandwich shop–after so many purchases you get to get married. Not just married–gay married.

So we are still kicking the idea around.

In the meantime, this weekend there will be a mass wedding in Hemming Park here in Jacksonville.

Hemming Park/Plaza (it has been called both and has been reconfigured many times over the years) is in the center of downtown.

My earliest memory of Hemming Park is from the early 1960s. My mother and I were in the park and I wanted a drink of water. Before I could get a drink, my mother hastily grabbed me and steered me toward another water fountain–the one that had a sign reading “Whites Only”–and away from the “Colored Only” drinking fountain I for which I had originally reached.

In my mother’s defense (may God rest her soul) she was terrified of ALL public drinking fountains. I am pretty sure she wasn’t any more enchanted by the idea of me drinking after white people. I just think she wanted to avoid a public spectacle.

More recently–I guess it was 2008, there was a demonstration in Hemming Plaza demanding marriage equality for gays and lesbians. It was heartening to see so many people step out and step up to say, gays and lesbians are loving and caring partners and parents–they deserve the same rights as any other citizens of this city and state.

And now it is going to happen.

No–I will not be getting married this weekend, but I am volunteering to help with the logistics of the event.

Although I am not quite ready to commit to a wedding of my own–I am ecstatically happy for the people who are not only ready to marry, but are finally allowed to marry.

Not a “separate but equal” domestic partnership, but a same as all of the other consenting adults in Florida, for real, legal marriage.

The “Heteros Only” sign has been taken down. God bless.

I am definitely looking forward to this Saturday.

But until then….for now, I have to get on my bike and ride to work.

The first Monday of 2015 looms…

Until tomorrow–have a great day!
.

Happy Monday!

Bad religion makes for bad parenting

2 May

 

I kind of love that we live in an era where anyone who says anything in any kind of public forum has a good chance of having his or her words disseminated all over the place thanks to our friend, the world wide web. Or the cloud. Or whatever we’re calling the internet these days.

In North Carolina, the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment will appear on the statewide ballot on May 8. This amendment to the state constitution would define marriage in NC as between one man and one woman. The amendment would also ban any other types of  “domestic legal union” such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.

So, it is fair to say, there is a lot of discussion about this amendment going on in the “public square”–not an actual square, just a metaphor–in the state of NC and beyond.

Sean Harris, senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayettesville,  gave a strong pro-amendment 1, anti-gay marriage sermon this past Sunday. That isn’t all the surprising coming from a conservative preacher. What is getting more than a little bit of attention, however, is the good reverend’s advice to parents who might notice their children exhibiting any behavior that could be construed as gay.

I’ll let Pastor Harris speak for himself:

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.”

I have to interject here–“go outside and dig a ditch because that’s what boys do?” Really?

As a child, I never dressed up in girl’s clothes. I somehow missed the “drag gene,” but if someone had given me the option of getting all dolled up or digging a ditch, I’d have surely broken out the gowns and the make-up.  Digging a ditch. Is that what little boys are supposed to do for fun in North Carolina?

Pastor Harris goes on:

“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”

“Crack that wrist”? Is the good reverend on crack? I have no medical evidence to prove this, but I am nearly certain that a father who purposely breaks his child’s wrist and then punches him has no guarantee that he is making  his son into a heterosexual, but he will surely succeed in making his son hate his father’s guts.

The reverend also has advice for dealing with budding young lesbians:

“And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in. And you say, ‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'”

I can’t help notice that when it comes to potentially gay boys, Pastor Harris has parents smacking and cracking bones. But when it comes to young lesbians, he is recommending a good talking to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–these people are scared to mess with the lesbians.  And they should be.

I jest, because I’m angry.

But really, I am just weary.

And angry.

Not so much for myself, but for all the little Berean Baptist children who are going to be smacked, yelled at and humiliated in the name of Jesus.  What if your son would rather read a book than play football? What if your daughter isn’t interested in dolls, but loves science? Are those kids going to be gay? Maybe they’re going to be brilliant scholars who will make their parents proud one day. Brilliant scholars who may or may not be gay, but who cares–they’re your brilliant children!

“Son, put down that book and go dig a ditch! You, girl–enough with the science experiments! Now go upstairs and be attractive!”

What is it about this man’s religious faith that tells him he is doing God’s work when he recommends hurting and harming your own children?

As the young people say in their “text messages”:  SMH.

I will now be heading out to work. I will be riding my bicycle, as I often do. I know a lot of gay men who ride bikes.

It is fair to say, the gays like bikes.

Please don’t tell Pastor Harris. He’ll be taking all the little boy’s bikes away. Then they’ll all have to dig ditches, which is hard to do when you dad has cracked your wrist.

Someone needs to give the good reverend a smack upside the head. We should send the lesbians after him. That will scare the hell out of him.

Happy Wednesday.

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