Love Wins!

It’s been almost a year to the day since I posted my last entry.   Life has a way of getting away with me and I don’t feel my muse very often anymore.   It’s been a year of ups and downs but today was exceptional.

love-winsYesterday I saw a blog that said that the Supreme Court decision would probably come out today on marriage equality so this morning at around 8:30 I started watching the SCOTUS web page, refreshing it every few minutes hoping to see an update.   I ended up getting involved with the stacks of work on my desk and around 11am when I refreshed it was there, the decision that so many have been waiting forever to happen.

I opened the decision and had to read the first page about three times before it finally sank in.  Yes, freedom to marry the person you love, irregardless of gender has become the law of the land.

I kept wanting to cry.   Tears welled up and receded over and over.  I wanted to jump up and shout and do a dance.  I read the entire ruling by Justice Kennedy and in the end, reading the closing paragraph I finally cried.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

Tonight I’m watching all of my friends shade their Facebook avatars with celebrate pride colors.  Tonight I’m watching celebrations and professions of love and happiness.  Tonight I think of Cricket and all his friends, of all the beautiful people I know and love dearly and I’m happy in their joyous exclamations.

Tonight I’m seeing some who are angry with the dissenters.  Tonight I’m asking all of my loved ones to love those who express themselves with fear and hatred.   Love those that can’t or won’t understand.  It makes no difference now.   Let’s truly make LOVE WIN, by loving those that just don’t get it.



Where’s the love?

Proverbs 15:17    Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.

It’s the day after the election and the net is blowing up, especially my facebook feed.   I’ve tried to stay out of it, but the vomitus of hatred, misquotes and outright lies coming from friends and family finds me emotionally drained tonight (and a long trial with an un-enthusiastic prosecutor didn’t help- but that’s another rant).

It’s not the end of the world people.  The economy is not going to crash tomorrow.  Stocks may have fallen, but you know what?  It’s the rich people selling off to make a profit and claim their capital gains and pocket their money before the poor and starving can get a hold of it.

Gay marriage is not going to devalue straight marriage, it’s already devalued- just look at the divorce rate.  Straight people don’t take marriage seriously, even christian people don’t take marriage seriously anymore.

The republicans lost this election because they have gone so far to the right that it’s scaring people.   Instead of eco terrorists we have bible terrorists who preach hate, bigotry, racism and a theocracy scarier than an Islamic jihad.   I sat in the office this morning and had a cup of coffee with my co-workers, the anger, hatred and just pure meanness forced me to leave the room.   It scared me too.  I was bombarded with words like “niggers” “fags” “lazy” “moochers” and “idiots”.  I left that room stunned, too shocked and afraid to say a word.

I just don’t get it, I really don’t

1 Corinthians 16:14   Do everything in love


Is this Parenting?

I remember when Cricket came out of the closet.  It was shortly after graduating high school, he was 17.   He told his sister first and then the two of them came to the house and said they needed to talk to us.   We went into our bedroom and sat in a circle on the floor.   I’ll never forget the relief of everyone in the room.  What he told us was no great surprise and we told him we would always love him, support him and accept him just as he is.

That wasn’t his first coming out though.  When he was 15 he left information on my computer that he knew would make me question him.   At that time I was in the middle of a religious fervor and not sure how to react.   I confronted him and he confessed his feelings and I suggested we pray.   I do remember him crying and telling me that he didn’t want to be attracted to men, I think that played a part in how I responded.   My reaction was not solely based on religious beliefs, it was also based on fear, fear for his happiness, fear that his life would be harder and fear of a disease that could kill him, and finally fear of how the extended family would react.

Recently a friend posted a link to his Facebook about a letter from a father to son after the son came out.  The father basically told him to go away and never come back:

Don’t expect any further conversations With me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house.

That statement made me so sad, and brought back memories of Cricket’s friends.   After coming out, we celebrated our son.   We went with him to the local gay club, welcomed his friends in our home.  I remember the stories they told, of how their family and friends had rejected them, how thrilled they were to meet us.   I remember hugging many beautiful young men, all the while my heart was breaking over their stories of rejection.

How can parents do something so obscene to their children?   The idea just baffles me.  This child that came from my womb, my blood, my heart?  How could I possibly throw away the most important part of my life, this most precious gift of life?   How can a parent reject a child because of something they have no control over, something they were born with, a part of them, put on them without choice?

I see parents support and defend their drug addicted, thieving, even murderous children.   I see them support them, stand by them through all their trials and prison sentences, even though they are the ones that chose their path.  They choose to lie and steal and harm others.

Our gay and lesbian children have no choice, parents need to understand this.   Put away your religious zeal, your status quo, your insecurities, bigotry and hatred.  Love your precious babies for the wonderful, intelligent, creative, enlightened people they are.



Chick-fil-a Debacle…

I’ve been asked to give my two cents on chick-fil-a.  So here it goes.

The argument should start off by talking about freedom of speech, our 1st amendment right.  Key word here is “right”.  Yes, we have the “right” to express our individual view points and because of that “right” Mr. Cathy didn’t do anything wrong.  I don’t particularly agree with his statements, but that is my opinion.  But here is the problem I have with this whole debacle.  Mr. Cathy doesn’t just express his opinion.  He uses earnings from his company to pursue an agenda that would limit a particular group’s individual “rights”.  The very “right” I agree with him on, our freedom of speech and expression.

See I believe you can take any one of our “rights” and trace its origins back to the first one, Freedom of Speech.  My “right” to marry my partner is not only my freedom of speech and expression, but also my 14th amendment right to equal protection under the law.  I should be able to enter into a contract the same as anyone else and as most have forgotten, marriage is simply a contract.  (I’m not ignorant enough not to know that religious marriage means something different, but what I am talking about is marriage as it pertains to our government, you know separation of church and state)   And I believe that two people regardless of sex should be able to enter into a marriage contract.  People like to bring “Love” into the marriage debate by saying that same sex couples should have the right to love and have that “love” recognized under a marriage contract.  I am a little bit more cynical because I don’t give a shit about that argument.  A marriage contract at its roots is simply a way to take responsibility of another individual and receive tax and other benefits for doing so.  Love has nothing to do with it, look at the divorce rate if you don’t believe me.

Now back to Chick-fil-a.  Every time we support a business that in return supports limiting individual’s rights, I believe, is wrong.  Not only do they support limiting rights, they give money to hate groups as defined by Southern Poverty Law center a non- profit civil rights organization. Besides, isn’t a business’ main objective to give back to its shareholders?  And if you are going to donate money to social causes, why not give to those suffering like the poor and hungry?  Why waste shareholder money on your (Mr. Cathy) moral convictions that are your own beliefs. Beliefs, by the way, that have no effect on your (Mr. Cathy) own individual life.  I hear a lot about religious freedoms, but how is limiting my rights invading your religious freedoms? (oh, because you don’t think gay’s should get married because it’s against a book that was written thousands of years ago by men seeking a way to create “laws” to govern people and has been retranslated a million times said it is wrong… oh yes, that makes sense)  People with religious beliefs choose their religion.  I didn’t choose to be gay.  Believe whatever you want, but don’t push your beliefs on me, especially in the “land of the free”.  The land of the free where I have chosen not to support those who don’t support me… I believe religion defines this as the “golden rule”.  Due on to those as you would have them due to you… or something like that. (I for one don’t believe in limiting another’s ability to live freely and take advantage of monetary opportunities given out by the government as a tax break while they share their life with another individual)

As for Mayor’s coming out against Chick-fil-a from opening up in their cities, I believe they are right to try to keep those who discriminate out of their cities.  It is the governments job to protect us against those who would do us harm.  So good luck Mayor’s, though I don’t think you’ll be successful, even the Supreme Court has acknowledge that people can say and discriminate however they want as long as they do it to everyone equally.  Westborough Baptist Church comes to mind.

SO there you go…I don’t support Chick-fil-a right now, not while they actively support hate organizations.  Oh and this is not a new revelation… Chick-fil-a has been giving money to hate organizations for years; it’s only relevant now because same sex marriage has become a hot social issue.  Get and eat your chicken from where ever you want. It just happens to be that I like mine Kentucky fried anyways.


Gay Voice

So for my first entry, I thought I start it off with a little humor.  Can’t always be so serious right?  I mentioned in the “About Cricket” section the gay voice.  I don’t bring up this topic often and I have had some “heated” conversations about it.  Mainly is the “gay voice” done on purpose or is it natural and unchangeable.  My partner seems to think that most gay men intentionally have a high pitched voice or add on the lisp.  He thinks it is away for people to know the person with the voice is gay without the guy saying anything.  Or maybe a mating call of some sort.  Well, I have said gay voice.  It’s not lispy, just gay.  I don’t know how to explain it other than the gay voice.  But if you have spent any time in the gay community, you know exactly what I am talking about.  So my partner and I go back and forth about it being intentional or something you’re born with. I stand firmly that you are born with it.  I’m sure some people may intensify it, but for me it’s just how I speak.  However, I know where my partner is coming from.  For example my brother can do a great impression of the gay voice.  And it’s pretty dead on even though he is not gay.  And no, I don’t find offense when he does it.  I think it’s quite comical.


Okay, so why bring up the gay voice again… because people need to know the difference between the gay voice and a woman’s voice.  I say that jokingly because I am often confused as being a woman on the phone.  It doesn’t bother me and I could really care less.  And when it happened this past week I thought it’d be fun to share.  My job is done mostly over the phone.  You could say I help people manage certain aspects of their lives.  Well, the other day I was speaking to a 95 year old male customer who on the phone called me “honey”.  I was a little taken aback, I mean had it been a gay friend of mine I won’t of thought twice, but this old man calling me “honey”… Hilarious!  It wasn’t before long I found out why.  He asked for my name again and when I told him (by the way I have a very common male name) he then proceeds to tell me “well that’s a peculiar name for a woman”.  I’m thinking, “oh no here we go again”.  He then proceeds to call me Janice.  I then try again to explain to him that I am a man and my name is not Janice.  I obviously failed because when we got off the phone he told me, “Thank you ma’am for all your help”.  Ah well… he’s 95, I’ll let him have this one.  So there you go,  beware when speaking on the phone.


Domestic Violence and the LGBT Community

For the second time within a week I’ve dealt with a gay male domestic violence case.   Over the past few years there have only been a handful that I can remember of both gay and lesbian partners involved with the court system.

In all of the male partner incidences there was alcohol involved.   In all the cases the victims, (according to the police reports), took the blame for the incident and told me that it was their fault, they were drunk, they hit first, they instigated the violence.   In all of the cases the files were closed except for one where both, who had been arrested were sent to anger management and then dismissed.

I have a hard time believing that, like the victims told me, it was only a case of drunken stupidity.  Domestic violence is alive and well in the GLBT community and even a brief search of the web will show a lot of resources and information.

Today I found myself in a quandary.  Some of the prosecutors I work with rely on me to make a recommendation and I’ve found it really hard to decide who is telling the truth, or if the victim is minimizing, or even who the victim really is.   I try to explain the cycle of violence, the fact that DV is about power and control, the indicators of domestic violence.  I’m also reminded that I live in the deep south where the GLBT community is not out in the open, not accepted and still discriminated against.  The couples I deal with are trying to protect themselves and my fear is that someone in the relationship really is a victim, and is not getting the help they need.   I am the victims advocate and I have to weigh carefully their wishes against the possibility of adding to their victimization.

I found an interesting article called “Introduction to Gay Male Domestic Violence” which perfectly described the situation I find myself in when dealing with gay male cases in the court:

A further example of the risks of being out occur when a victim has resorted to some violence to defend themselves. Merrill (1998) reported that 58% of gay males who had been victimized fought back. The police and courts are less likely to take the time to figure out who is the abuser and who is the victim, and more likely to simply assume the violence is “mutual combat” rather than abuse. Thus, the batterer may actually threaten to call the police himself, claim the victim is the abuser, and press charges against the victim. The victim could then be listed as an abuser with the county or city hall, and be further victimized.

I don’t know if I did the right thing today, I can only hope that I will never see those young men again in the courtroom and that it truly was just an isolated, alcohol induced incident.   I hope that if there is any kind of violence in the relationship the victim seeks help.  No one deserves to be abused.

Extreme Hate

Sometimes I see stuff that just blows my mind.   Take this pastor of a little independent Baptist church in Catawba County North Carolina.  It seems that Pastor Worley of Providence Baptist church thinks that if all gays and lesbians are rounded up and put into electrified compounds (concentration camps?) and air dropped food, they will eventually die off (cause they can’t reproduce), therefore ridding the world of  queers and homosexuals.

The first thing that came to my mind was what an idiot he is….  where does he think those queers and homosexuals come from?   Well, hello buddy…. they come from STRAIGHT people.   Yep, it’s true..  straight couples have gay and lesbian children.    Seems the good pastor forgot about that part, so his solution for the queer and homosexual population is absurd.  Makes me shake my head and wonder about all those folks in the audience shouting “amen” too.

I also want to shout out big kudos to the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate for standing up and forming a protest against misanthrope’s of his ilk.  They’re going to be picketing the church on Sunday May 27th, 2012.