Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Obama, Warren and Lowry

What are we to think or believe about Obama's action around inviting Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback church in Southern California to speak at his inauguration? Some feel slighted, some are confused, some are downright pissed. There's a lot of hurt already from prop 8 and now one of the major funders and champions gets a worldwide stage next to our next president. We thought we voted discriminatory and arrogant conciousness out of the White House in November. But this is victim-speak.

I get why he did it, and it still wasn't the best move. With a country packed with pastors of influence, why choose one who openly chooses to go against the unconditional love and respect for all God's creation Jesus teaches?

Feels like a big ouch...and not just from people in the gay community. There are many stunned straight people as well. It was an unneccessary move, with so many other better choices.

He did get it right with choosing Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowry, who ran with MLK and is very open in supporting the gay community, to also speak at the inauguration. I wish Lowry got all the attention, he's the one that deserves it. I praise Obama for choosing him, he has the right message of oneness, reconciliation and peace. Anything outside of that doesn't deserve a pulpit, it's not worth our time.

Rick Warren has made oodles of money from his churches and book sales. I've had friends from Soulforce scheduled for months to have a lunch with him only to arrive to an awkward hug and his rapid disappearance.

I encourage you to not fall for the Warren hype, focus on Lowry, his message ought to get our attention and celebration. The Rick Warrens of the world only survive when there's an audience that'll listen. The more we don't listen to the rhetoric, the faster it'll go away and the more space is made for the Lowry's of our one world.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marriage is a Basic Human Right

With the election around the corner and people buzzing about mailing in their ballots to make sure they vote (and the extra postage it takes), it's been a fascinating ride watching people for me. Outside my door near the parking lot is a sign telling people to vote for a proposition that would take away my right to be married to the person I love. It's here, in my face. When I see it, my stomach is quesy because it's a child crying for help, it reminds me of the pervasive fear in our society. Prop 8 is a projection of desperate control by actually changing the constitution to make discrimination legal. What year is it? What state is this? California and America is better than that.

Rev. Deborah has a video breaking down what Prop 8 is about, check it out:

Although on the surface Prop 8 in California is saying to vote for it to "save marriage". Just like any other marketing term, you say it often enough and people will start repeating it and believe it actually means something. With just a brief amount of thought, one would recognize the proposition and its stance has nothing to do with marriage, saving it or not. There's already studies saying the divorce rate will drop with same-gender couples marrying...because people will actually marry who they genuinely love rather than who they think they are supposed to marry.

We see No on 8 signs around town too, many of them vandalized. I think to sum up the tension that exists on this topic around marriage equality is with the no on 8 sign torn right where it says "equality for all". The tear separates "equality" from "for all".

Anger manifested. Even McCain's current campaign strategy is built on deflection and anger..."it's the other guy's fault", "look what he's doing and not doing". It's all distraction, no ownership or integrity behind it. That same mindset of fear trickles down to the little No on 8 sign with torn equality.

How did we get here? When did our hearts get so suffocated as to be so desperate to make discrimination against a segment of society legal? When did it become okay to vote on someone else's relationship? What if your relationship was up for a popular vote right now...every day someone is marking their ballot and deciding the validity of your relationship...they don't know you, and they don't care to.

No, really...take a second and feel what that would be like for you. Even when Prop 8 is defeated, I drive out of this state and I'm no longer married. Can you just imagine what that feels like? On my federal taxes I have to lie under penalty of perjury and state I'm single...and sign my name to it. What would that feel like to you?

Below the drama and victimization, this proposition is about changing the state constitution. The California Supreme Court (which is a Republican majority) recognized that it was unlawful to not allow committed same-gender couples to marry, they did not "give" us the right, it was there all along. Equality is built into the constitution. It's been a given since the beginning. The pilgrims left England so they could create equality and not suffer persecution. So we're now being asked to reverse the very premise the country has been built on? For what? People loving each other?

An axe murderer on death row retains the right to be regardless of what you feel about people's behavior, marriage is a basic human right. It's incredibly dangerous to allow a group of people motivated by fear to start picking and choosing which segment of society gets to be equal and who doesn't. Who's next? Muslims? Immigrants? Whoever the threat du jour is.

California has been here before with interracial marriage in the late 1940s. The same argument was used, the same fear tactics and here we are again. The world didn't explode when an African-American fell in love with a Latino-American person. The world still won't explode when same-gender people fall in love. Plus, it's always been a part of the human race, it's not like being gay started a few years ago.

Please understand what trying to control other people's behavior creates. The division, not only as a society but also with people feeling the division internally. Whenever we feel confusion, we must just seek peace. Our inner guidance will step up if we allow it to.

I don't tend to touch anything that is criteria are love-based: are people treating other people equally, is this proposition fair, is it expanding rights allowing people to become more of who they are, is it freeing. If it feels like control, fear, anger...I want nothing to do with it.

And my inner Anne Frank believes people will do the right thing. I can't imagine how and why I'd be qualified to vote on someone else's life and especially their love. It's absurd that this is even happening, it's desperate to take control when it would nothing of the sort. Committed same-gender people will still be married and they will continue to marry, nothing would change...except greater alienation, which is exactly the opposite of what we need as a society right now. We have to be there for each other at a time like this. We have to stand up for each other. We have to protect the constiution as it was written to treat all people equally. Please vote no on prop 8.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God and Gays DVD Release November 11th

We're thrilled to announce that God and Gays: Bridging the Gap is being re-released on DVD Tuesday, November 11th! So, pre-order it from Amazon, Save it in your Netflix queue, tell a friend...think of the holidays and who could use a movie to remind them of just how loved they are, just as they are...thank you for supporting us all this time. Enjoy the movie!

God and Gays Shows in Los Angeles Oct 23-26

We've heard from our film distributor that God and Gays: Bridging the Gap will show for one week at the Los Angeles Laemle Grand. Spread the news, invite friends and enjoy the movie!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ray Boltz Headlines Our Family Matters

This year's conference is really shaping up...I can't believe the enormous support we're getting from people who want to volunteer, attend and participate. People have been waiting for someone to do something like this and now that someone has, all kinds of energy is around it.

And the timing couldn't be better. Recently, Ray Boltz, the widely-successful contemporary Christian music artist, 3-time Dove Award winner with his biggest hit, "Thank You"...came out. He's gone public and has a whole new CD he's working on.

Our Family Matters is a perfect match for Ray Boltz and he'll be headlining our celebration concert on Saturday night, Oct 25th. With Valerie Joi Fiddmont and Holy Trinity Community Church also performing...let's just say you have to be there to see the grand finale we have planned.

Join us in Nashville Oct 22-25 for Our Family Matters. Come and see Ray Boltz, Dr. Jack Rogers and Rev. Deobrah Johnson in person. There's nothing else like it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Luane and I Got Married

For our 4-year wedding anniversary, we decided to get married again! This time, legally. We did just the opposite of our first wedding and had a very intimate ceremony officiated by Rev. Deborah L. Johnson of Inner Light Ministries. We held a sunrise ceremony on a beautiful park-like setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by trees.

I cried, no surprise there. I really lost it when Rev. Deborah was standing very close to me and said "lawfully". My mom said she didn't even think of the importance of that word until she heard it and saw my reaction. My mom even said she thought of other parents who've shunned their kids for "being gay" and how much they would miss experiencing with their kids. She teared up thinking all she would have missed. She's my best friend and I'm glad she's always chosen love when it comes to hard stuff.

The key thing was this felt different. Not different in my love or my promise to Luane and our partnership, but...different. It meant no one could say to me, "your relationship isn't the same as mine" even though I've never believed it anyway. With straight people surrounding us, going into the county building and getting our felt very real. I don't expect you to understand, but if you've ever just believed in yourself and who you are when no one else did, you can relate. Just by sticking to your commitment and clarity of who you are, you just waited for the others to catch up. When they did, it felt...different...and maybe even surreal. That's what it's like.

I'm behind on getting the photos up because of all the planning work around the conference, but I will get them up eventually. Thank you for all your emails of well-wishing for our special day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hallmark Unveils Gay Wedding Cards

I got this forwarded from RetailWire today....

Article Preview:

Two months after California sanctioned same-sex marriages, Hallmark announced plans to introduce same-sex wedding cards. Making no direct mention of same-sex unions, the cards feature two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with neutral best wishes inside. One says: "Two hearts. One promise." What do you think of the market opportunity for same-sex wedding cards? How big a backlash, if any, do you expect Hallmark will receive for introducing the cards?


One topic that is often talked about in the gay community is the challenge of walking into a Longs to get your partner a birthday or anniversary card and none are really accurate. For Luane, I've been settling for the To My Wife cards, but we're among the camp who aren't into the wife title. Sometimes I'll scratch out the Wife part and put Partner. Many of our straight friends aren't into 'wife or husband' as well, so it's not just the gay community looking for cards to reflect current relationships. Partner is much more widely used, gay or straight, in relationships. Partner feels more equal, more deliberate, more committed for the right reason.

Yes, there's been independent artists and stores creating same-gender (same-sex is also not an accurate statement) cards for years. And, there's been occasions when I don't have the time to order cards on line or go to San Francisco to find a store that might have the tone and words I want to say in a beautifully decorated card to express my love, so I run to the local Walgreens. Or, I make my own and bypass the whole inaccurate card purchase.

It's been a joke, it's been a frustration, now it seems it'll finally be a thing of the past. We'll say, "remember when there was only husband and wife cards? As if those titles were the only choices to box in what we called our partners...and ourselves?"

Thankfully, Hallmark is joining the long list of companies who get that gay relationships are still relationships, and we too deserve an appropriately loving and sentimental wedding card for our partner. It's all the same. Love is love. I'm looking forward to the day I can get Luane a Valentine's card and not have to scratch off the Wife.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vow to Vote No on 8 in November

There's a large coalition of churches, resource centers, politicians, companies, universities and community members unified to defeat prop 8 in November. To learn more, support the defeat which will allow Luane and I to be legally married, go to: for more information. You can donate no matter where you live.

For Luane and my (second) wedding at the end of September, we're asking people to give gifts not to us, but to the campaign. We do this not just for ourselves, but for the rest of the country. We see people coming from all over the country to marry here in California, regardless of their state recognizing the marriage or not. It's important to the couple, to make that public step, no different than what it means to a straight couple in making the commitment.

Thanks for your support, we're continuing to do what we can to help people realize that along the same lines of freedom of religion, freedom of race, there's freedom of orientation. It's a basic freedom.

I've been told by countless moms who at first had the "ick" factor in their heads. Then they recognized how they've been teaching their children to appreciate the differently skinned kid in their class, the different religion practiced by their family friends, the different body sizes kids come in...and yet to be inconsistent in appreciating the diversity of who people love.

So, the "aha" moments are happening...people are getting we're all the same on the inside and just expressing ourselves uniquely on the outside. Part of God's tapestry, that's all it is.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The first federally recognized same-sex marriage will happen on the Coquille reservation

This is fascinating to me...Native American reservations are "federal" land and a committed lesbian couple will soon be married on their reservation, thus the marriage federally recognized? As horrific as the Native Americans have been treated since, well, forever, by governments, wouldn't it be nice to have this moment in history for them?

I'm also excited about this for two other reasons...I have Muskogee blood in me, from Oklahoma. My ancestry is a part of the Creek tribe and the Turtle clan. We were on the Trail of Tears from the Carolinas and Florida area. We still have heirlooms carried along the Trail within our family. It's a history that is very real to me. When I saw the 30 Days episode this summer where Morgan Spurlock lived on a reservation for a month, I was so took me back to my childhood and what family was like on the Native American side.

My grandma, at a family reunion, gave us all Native American names. Her name was Owl. She called me Gazelle. Which, at first I was concerned...did she see me as someone who ran away as a defense? I'm clearly not doing that lately if so....then, I learned it was due to my very long legs and my athleticism. So I keep exercise up in my life, gotta keep that girlish Gazelle figure.

The other relevance is I grew up in Oregon. Most of my life has been in California, however I still consider my roots as an Oregonian. For those Oregonians out there, your first question is if my family is Duck or Beaver, and we're Duck even though I never attended Univ. of Oregon.

For this monumental event in LGBT history to collide with my ancestral makeup, makes me feel even more proud. The Natives are first in something again. And good for Oregon to be the state to have it happen.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Art of Words - No on 8 Description Upheld

In California, same gender committed couples are getting legally married. We hear of hundreds of couples coming from out of state, as far as from Tennessee and beyond to have the dignifying experience of respect for their relationship even if their own state won't recognize its legitimacy. It's an amazing time and I'm proud to be in the front row watching the authentic happiness and tears of joy on these couples' and families' faces.

Recently, the Secretary of State released the description for the ballot measure that's made its way to the CA November ballot which would actually amend the state constitution to disallow gays and lesbians to marry legally. This is the wording:

Proposition 8

Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments.

The folks being paid from mostly out of state organizations who got the signatures for the measure freaked and sued (again) to get the wording softened. They wanted it to be more like defining marriage as one man and one woman. This is the art of words...making something distasteful taste good.

The announcement was made this morning on the suit:

According to Mike Swift at the Mercury News:
" A Superior Court judge this morning rejected a suit filed by Prop. 8 proponents against the ballot title proposed by Attorney General Jerry Brown. Judge Timothy M. Frawley said Brown's language was neither false nor misleading, handing a victory to gay rights supporters who want a clear statement of what a constitutional ban would mean for gay couples who have married in California this year."

So, it's inevitable for the people of California, who don't want to really treat people differently, who are raising their families to accept those of different faiths, cultures, backgrounds and color of skin will simply add orientation to the list of basic fairness.

Luane and I are making our wedding plans...we're getting married (again) in September. I'll marry her as many times as it takes to stick. I hope you'll join the millions of others across the country to get educated on this proposition.

Have you seen Swing Vote yet? It's about knowing what you stand for and putting that education into play at the polls. You can help others get educated as well. You're invited to support the No on 8 Equality for All folks at:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Shooting in Knoxville, TN

By now, you may have heard of the sad and traumatic shooting that happened during a Sunday service at a church in Knoxville, TN which resulted in 2 deaths and 4 people in critical care. The church was Unitarian Universalist and targeted by the gunman because he believed he could find "liberals and gays" there to blame for his current state of life's misfortune.

Yes, the church was well known in the area as being open and affirming, which means it is public in its welcome for any who want to come with deliberate outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks. It's well documented that churches who become open and affirming, actually grow in general, as many straight folks return to attend a church who genuinely welcomes everybody.

Learn more about the shooting:

For the Knoxville tragedy, my and Luane's heart go out to the church attendees, their families and the leadership of the church. It also goes out to the man who felt the best way to handle his anger and frustration with his life was to externalize his pain and force others to feel the wounds he feels. The whole situation is sad...projecting blame on strangers for one's unhappiness...whether through the violent use of a gun or of the tongue. They are linked and do tremendous damage and even death...physically, spiritually and emotionally.

With Our Family Matters coming to Nashville, TN in October, we intend to help the state of Tennessee heal from this tragedy by offering a safe place for people to come and get their questions answered, to provide support for those who seek solace, to provide community for those who otherwise feel isolation.

Come together, help Tennessee heal and join us, no matter where you live. For more information and registration:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ellen DeGeneres Gets Engaged...and So Do We.

There's been nationwide hoopla over the California Supreme Court favoring the decision to not allow discrimination of sexual orientation to be used in legal marriages. In my world, everyone is talking about it. The celebration, the tears of joy, more heads held up high, more kids finally feeling their same-sex parents are getting the credit for their relationship they so very much deserve. It's been incredible.

I was told of a minister I know who at an early age really believed that with this culture, there'd never be an African-American president nor marriage equality in her lifetime. So you can imagine what this year has been like for her...

I truly believe in people, it's my inner Anne Frank. I do have faith that people do want to do the right things, be loving and understanding as they seek that for themselves as well. I'm proud of California.

Many people have asked if Luane and I are going to get (officially) married now that we actually can legally. So, just to let you know, yes, of course we are. We already are married anyway, all the hard work of the relationship, the huge commitment ceremony we had in 2004...all that's done. Getting a marriage license is the easy part. We'll probably do it in a private setting since that's Luane's preference (mine was the big party...we complement each other well).

The trippy part of all this is marriages will begin to be legal on June 16th which is one day after Luane's birthday and the anniversary of my middle sister's death. That date means a lot to me and now it means even more.

The Human Rights Campaign is circulating a petition for Million for Marriage. If you'd like to sign it and be a part of the growing number of people coming out of the woodwork to support those of us in long-term, committed relationships towards marriage, please go to: There will be a reserved place for you at the banquet table in heaven. Thank you for standing for equality of all people, just as Jesus did.

Some of you may have heard or seen Ellen DeGeneres make the big announcement on her show last Friday. My favorite part of this is the audience reaction which causes Ellen to get choked up and Portia dizzy with laughter. It's a beautiful scene...enjoy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So, honey, how does it feel to be equal?

Today the California Supreme Court voted in favor of allowing gay and lesbian people to marry; the mostly Republican court voted for marriage equality. Even the Governor is supportive of the ruling and says he will not support a state constitutional amendment if it comes to that in November.

I've lived to see it and feel it.

When my email was barraged by well wishers, congratulations, news bulletins and impromptu party invites to celebrate tonight when the announcement was made, I just smiled and said thank you. I then turned to Luane and said, "so honey, how does it feel to be equal?" It was actually kind of a joke because we've always felt equal. No one can "make" us feel unequal anyway. It's just an awesome feeling that others are finally getting it too.

What's so wonderful about this announcement is that our government, at least in California, is finally catching up. It's finally recognizing people as people. It's finally opening its heart and teaching those who have yet to catch up to what equality looks like legally and how the world will in fact not come to an end.

There will be no world destruction, nothing negative will happen except hopefully it'll encourage people who've been internally homophobic towards themselves or lying to themselves and those around them to be open, honest and authentic. And still, I feel that's hugely positive, even if painful in the short term. I've been through it, I know the peace that comes with reconciliation of sexuality and spirituality.

The courts setting this example can only protect kids like Lawrence King, can only increase the number of marriages between people who do actually love each other - thereby reducing the number of marriages between people where one or both are doing it out of duty and self-oppression, denying their same sex attraction and then dragging their partner and eventual kids into their baggage. As Jason Stuart says at the end of our movie, "C'mon straight people, if you let us marry each other, we'll stop marrying you."

Over the years I've been quasi keeping score of who will be last institutionally to be open and affirming and it's been neck and neck with churches and governments. With the United Methodists at the end of April still not living up to their own slogan as a denomination, "Open Hearts, Open Minds" and the California Supreme Court filled mostly of Republicans decision, gotta give major points to government in this round. Churches are falling behind, but they always have a chance to gain footage again, especially with two Democratic candidates both deflecting and saying "it's up to the states" and a Republican candidate just flat out against marriage equality.

Even with the UMC ruling, there are many many UMC churches making their own statements to their local community. In Hoquaim, WA last Saturday night, Darlene Bogle, Roby Sapp and Dotti Berry showed our movie and led a fantastic discussion afterwards to a filled room. The host of the screening was the local UMC. People, when given the chance, will authentically open their hearts and open their minds.

In the words of Rev. Deborah Johnson, "you can't stop an idea, who's time has come."

Thank you, California. Maybe I'll not have to lie on my tax forms anymore and check the box saying Single...thank you for the opportunity to be more of myself.

More info: Yahoo News

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day: Today's National Day of Prayer

It's May Day, for several reasons.

1) It's May 1st,'s also the first Thursday of the month which means we have our free, live teleconference call tonight with all of you who have signed up on our email list.
2) It's National Day of Prayer and
3) The United Methodist General Conference just voted to keep in language excluding GLBT members and leaders as they are deemed "incompatible with Christian teachings" least for another four years until they vote again. They'll one day be embarrassed by that decision like churches have been in using the Bible to support slavery and other oppressions through history. There where a host of contradictory votes, see this press release for more info.

Like you, I get sent all kinds of e-newsletters, email blasts, article links and I'm grateful people help us keep in the loop on the temperature of our United States...I'm very grateful actually. I then get to experience what's most important to people.

As much as the articles, links to videos, etc we receive to be a bummer to read like #3 above, it's no longer in my nature to really give it a lot of attention and energy. I do occasionally find myself impatient however.

I know in my soul the UMC Conference and others who are like-minded are on a losing side. It's just a matter of time. There's no winning here in excluding people. It never works. No discrimination, no exclusion, no us vs. them, no paradigm of "you must change or go away so I'm comfortable" has ever lasted, it's always been defeated once people start choosing love rather than fear. And this will too. This is what I pray for on this National Day of Prayer. For all of us to be enlightened and empowered to become more of who we are and meant to be on how God made us to be.

And for patience.

With California and other states possibly again having to deal with annoying ballot measures on banning gay marriage - an argument and use of tax dollars that even Republican Governor Schwarzenegger calls "a waste of time", the race is neck and neck of which behemoth will come in last: the government or the church in the obvious "letting its citizens be themselves without the intervention of a mis-interpreted Bible". Separation of church and state, right?

So, all this to say I invite you to join us on our call tonight with Ann Craig from GLAAD as we talk about the media representation of the gay community and how it affects public opinion. I spent 8 years as a media management, theorist and production instructor at a college in California so I'm extra thrilled to have this conversation.

Remember, it's the first Thursday of the month so that means it's God, Gays & You Live Interview Series time. Hope you can join us and if not live, then check out the recording tomorrow at:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rep. Sally Kern Meets with PFLAG in Oklahoma

Thank you to each of you who were on our live call last Thursday night for our most recent God, Gays & You Live Interview Series call. Our guests included Dotti Berry and Roby Sapp from who are the authors of the upcoming book, When Homophobia Hits Home…A Compassionate Couple’s Journey to Transcending Backyard Bigotry.

We also had the great fortune to speak with Steve Davis, an Oklahoman who's been active in the different actions at the state capitol and a local United Methodist congregant.

We talked about the recent results of people's thoughts and words with the teen murders of Lawrence in California and Simmie of Florida. Then we traced back and discussed the comments leaked on YouTube from Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern (see blog postings below for info).

We wrapped the call with Mary Lou Wallner and Dotti attending the upcoming Soulforce action in Ft. Worth, TX at the general conference of United Methodists.

It was a fascinating discussion for all involved. We offered ways we can help, no matter where we are now, to prevent further thoughts, beliefs, and words leading to devastating actions. We had several spiritually-minded responses and gave perspective to how it feels to being on the receiving end of such talk around gay people being "the greatest threat" and a "death knell" to this country. Makes ya feel warm and fuzzy inside, huh.

In addition to a pro-Sally and anti-Sally remarks rally in Oklahoma City recently, Kern met with local PFLAG members including credible local ministers. They came out of the meeting pleased with how the meeting went, feeling hopeful and saying Kern didn't believe people ought to be fired for being gay, something that is allowed by law in Oklahoma and many other states like Ohio to this day.

Then, there was an article in The Oklahoman saying Kern's words were spun by PFLAG. I don't know why she'd take offense to something so humane for a public official to say as protecting people at work, but she least according to the media.

We all know the media is known to make mistakes, God knows how many typos, misquotes and really weird "facts" have been added to interviews done with Luane and I around the movie. We just chuckle at some of the creativity some journalists have when reporting a story based on a live interview.

Whether or not the media was 100% accurate on Kern's thoughts on meeting with PFLAG, there's now a recording available of the meeting available for you to listen for yourself. It's 40 minutes long, enjoy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr - (Jan 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)

This year feels different as MLK's birthday and death anniversary rolls around. At Rev. Deborah Johnson's Inner Light Ministries in CA, Luane and I had the honor to work with Dr. Vincent Harding at her conference titled Time To Break the Silence....Again. Dr. Harding was the speech writer for King's "Vietnam Speech" and recently released a book called, Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero. I got to meet and talk with Dr. Harding, who is one of the best listeners I've come across.

There's such a strong peace and groundedness about him. When you introduce yourself to him, he wants to know your full name, your mama mama's name and where you came from. He looks you in the eyes, listens and asks questions. He made me still and present. What an excellent teacher...he taught without teaching, he was just being.

As if that wasn't enough, he requested a copy of the movie and is very supportive. He signed my copy of his book, "For my sister, Kim Clark, With appreciation for your work in the spirit of King. Go Right On."

Then, I asked to give him a hug. He said, "You must!" When I hugged Dr. Vincent Harding, he not only wrapped his arms around me tightly as if saying a prayer for me and giving me strength, I realized I was in the same supportive arms as Martin Luther King once was. I was with a man who was right there in the middle of it all in the Civil Rights Movement. As he held me tight, I felt the transfer of memories, of pain, of peace, of patience from his experience. I flashed the emotional roller coaster ride he has lived...and survives as a clear man of spirit and peace.

It reminds me of a daily affirmation email I got this morning:

What if the one person who you believed liked you the least, Kim, loved you the most?

Yeah, "Hate when that happens...."

It sometimes happens like that, Kim.

On this day, I ask us to reflect on where we've been and where we're going. What kind of consciousness are you spreading each time you get in your car, around your kids, in the grocery story line, how you speak to your partner and alone and quiet in your head.

To piggy back on an earlier blog in taking care of each other, I ask today that you take care of yourself. You are always the beginning.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Latest on Sally Kern Backlash

Check out the last paragraph and see what you's worth the time to really look at and see where you land on feeling the level of reaction...and why. There's so much I could say on this, and it's really important to me that you drive the bus on what you believe...and again...why.

Anti-gay Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern retains legal counsel

by Nick Langewis

In an escalating public battle over anti-gay comments made at a secretly taped speech, the conservative Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to represent Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern in any legal cases arising from the controversy.

"Representative Kern expressed her concern that the homosexual agenda was destroying our nation, and that young school children were being indoctrinated into believing that the homosexual 'life style' is normal," said a Thomas More Law Center news release on Wednesday. "Her comments caused some of the nation’s largest homosexual groups to target her for political annihilation."

"Representative Kern will not back down, regardless of the attempted hate-mongering intimidation by these national homosexual advocacy groups," added the firm's President and Chief Counsel Richard Thompson of the "courageous Christian woman." "Their actions are right out of a play-book developed by radical homosexual activists in the 1980s to manipulate and intimidate the majority of Americans into accepting the normalcy of the homosexual life style. (sic)"

An IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization, Thomas More runs on individual, corporate and foundation donations and does not charge for its services. Its aim is to "[defend and promote] the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities."

On Tuesday, about 300 people rallied outside Oklahoma's state capitol to protest Kern's statements and demand an apology. The crowd included LGBT advocates seeking to meet with the lawmaker, who was personally invited to the rally by Oklahoma City resident and retired United Methodist minister Rev. Jim Shields, joined by Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards of the United Church of Christ, also president of Oklahoma City's PFLAG chapter.

"I'd have no problem meeting with ['two or three' representatives of the gay community] next week when I have my lawyer," Kern told Tulsa World on Tuesday.

Kern's comparisons of gays to cancer, charges of "indoctrination" and opining that gays posed a worse threat to the United States than international terrorism have garnered both praise and ire in the public square after the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund's "We're Listening" campaign brought it to light.

Portions of the speech follow below:

Kern has defended her free speech rights and refused to apologize, saying that she was not engaging in "hate speech." Rather, she says, she was holding true to values that helped her be elected to public office.

"Most Oklahomans are socially conservative and believe marriage is a sacred institution, the union of one man and one woman, and that the traditional family is worth protecting and preserving," said Kern in her March 10th public statement. "When I campaigned for office, I promised my constituents to stand up for those values, and I do not apologize for keeping my word."

"In recent days," said Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe on Tuesday, "Rep. Kern and her supporters have defended her freedom of speech, as though that's what millions of people, gay and straight alike, are objecting to. We are not. Rep. Kern has every right to her opinion and to express it.

"But she is also a public servant and an elected community leader whose public speeches have an impact beyond her own small sphere. If she had offered similar hateful views about African Americans, Native Americans or Jewish people, the calls for her resignation would have been swift and deafening, and from both sides of aisle in the State House. We wouldn't even be debating her speech. We'd be saying goodbye."

Originally published on Thursday March 20, 2008.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Intersections for A Girl Like Me

I just returned from Purdue University in Indiana where we made history together on Tuesday night. As part of their student diversity conference called Intersections, they broke ground and opened the dialogue on faith and sexuality reconciliation for the first time in the University's history...which dates back to the late 1800s.

There's an air of the topic being taboo if you support and accept homosexuality on campus. If someone is struggling, there's a small support group that one hears of through the grapevine on campus held in the counseling center. There's a queer student alliance which meets for mostly social reasons with apparently one member interested in advocacy. Can't blame them...even though the school is second in the nation for sheer numbers of international students, acceptance of diversity is still a challenge in the traditionally white, conservative, agricultural, Christian student body, especially when it comes to gay, lesbian and transgender students. The board of trustees doesn't support or fund a resource center where students struggling with homosexuality can safely come to for help. It's loose knit, faculty isn't involved, there's a huge hole and need for student support.

Although around the campus there's a belief that being gay isn't okay, and in our screening event, it was just the opposite. There were honest questions, honest struggles, celebrations, affirmations, support, love and call to action for people to not just watch and nod their heads...there's a real need to not only DO something, there's also the real need to BE something. Be who you are and not assume everyone is against something. We have to live FOR something, nothing survives for long when it's only against something. It's not sustainable.

I was proud, impressed and also heart broken during my visit. I heard stories of family members being rejected, the pain reverberated the room. I heard of kids staying in the closet and scared, of hating feeling they have to lie about who they are. I also met straight ally Christian men stepping up, standing with and supporting gay students. They are the heroes who are creating the climate change. It reminds me of Caucasian men and women marching with African Americans in the 1960s. It's exactly what is needed, and once again, just like the '60s, the youth are teaching the rest of us what kind of world is possible when unified.

One question I was asked was which faiths are most accepting of homosexuality. I mentioned Buddhism and then specifically mentioned Christianity at its purest form as lived out by Jesus in the New Testament (even though Jesus wasn't a Christian obviously). When Christianity is lived by the Christ Consciousness demonstrated by Jesus, seeing him role-model unconditional love and recognize every human being as a child of God, then I can say that it's a faith that is accepting. I mentioned the faith, not the followers...the followers have free will to misinterpret, play God and judge what they don't understand and miss the point to Christ's lessons. This happens often, however it's not every Christian.

I see authentic processing going with many Christians, young and older. I get emails seeking support, asking real questions, wanting to truly live with God's heart. It's tough to reconcile at first, I know, I was there. I just don't want people to do it alone. I really believe people want to do the right thing, there's a spirit of Anne Frank in me believing all people are good. I believe it's our natural state, and along the way of life, it got muddled, sometimes really really muddled. The movie and our screening events and conversations are an invitation to return to the natural state. To return to the basics. To return to love.

It's been suggested to have a message board on our website for viewers of the film to talk about how it touched them...and in some cases, saved them or a family member. I'll look into it. Until then, you have the comments option on any of our posts, you can also email our office at to share your story.

One of the other events they held as part of the conference showed this award-winning short done by a high school student called A Girl Like Me. I highly encourage you to watch it and do something...or something after seeing it. As a media lecturer for 8 years before doing my own media projects, I find it powerful and am glad to share it with you. It's a reminder that we're all in this together...the solution is in the quality communication we share with each other.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ellen DeGeneres Reports on Teen Killed for Being Gay

I just wanted to thank those of you who watch Ellen, the talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Because of the success of the show, she's able to help get the very serious word out about something as tragic as this:

What I hoped this clip would show is what happened before they went to commercial. The cameras started swinging and panning across the audience as they not only clapped in support for what Ellen says, they also stand.

This is huge....this is the kind of support we see at our movie events over and over again, and some people don't believe us because they don't see it in the media. There is SO much support for equality, acceptance and inclusion for the gay community across the country, but the mainstream doesn't see it.

There is more support than not and it takes moments like these where power is used for good, for social change, for human enlightenment, for the benefit of society as what Ellen did that'll bring more of that already present support more into the light. Thank you to that audience for standing up and applauding.

You don't know what that means to us.

We hope you'll find small ways every day to show that same kind of effort...helping people stop saying "that's so gay", not fuel jokes made about gay people. Let the ripple of ignorance and fear stop with you.


Monday, March 10, 2008

What is "Backyard Bigotry"? Ask Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern

A couple of friends of mine, Dotti and Roby are writing a book called When Homophobia Hits Home...A Compassionate Couple's Journey to Transcend Backyard Bigotry (out in 2009). They bring up a great question we all ought to take a more deliberate look are we actually still a part of the problem of inequality and not the solution when it comes to demonstrating through our behavior, words, money and votes?

One of the big obstacles could be our socializing during childhood...we weren't encouraged to talk about things, and when we did, we could be met with conflict and opposition from the very ones we loved the most. To cope with not losing those we love, we either say what we think we're supposed to or not say anything at all.

This seemingly small decision has such a huge ripple effect when it becomes the norm. We've adopted this way of handling (by not handling) our differences. As if individuality in God's creation is somehow threatening if we can't put it in a box.

One of HRC's mottos is Talk About It and for some reason it's the hardest thing to get people to do. There's such a fear of acceptance and no longer "belonging" that many choose to not, as Dotti says, "stand up and speak out." It's so harmful not only to those who need the support, but to those who don't speak. It's all stuck energy which gets released in really unhealthy what Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern showed us recently.

Her husband is a pastor. She continues to be elected. She thinks she's only talking to people in the room and would only say what she said if she believed the people would agree. No one in the room stops her. She's allowed to say what she says and it's not challenged.

I have my ancestor roots in Oklahoma. My Native American grandmother was forced to go to to an "Indian" school and to convert to Christianity. She spent most of her life very quiet. A well-read, profound woman of wisdom...with very few words. She was ashamed of being Native American and couldn't understand why my generation was so proud. Within one and two generations, we took back our pride as a people and make no apologies for who we are.

The same has happened in so many other communities, including the gay community. And why women can now vote, why interracial marriages are legal and so many other "advances" in social equality is because people started talking about it. Talking from a place of health, love and curiosity versus fear is next on the list.

People are angry with Sally Kern, the blogs and media postings say so, the fact that the link has gone all over the country and world, the overwhelming email her office has received....I actually thank her. She did us a favor in allowing the backyard bigotry to be a topic of conversation, she brought it out into the light so we can really dialog and learn from each other. Many of us in this work knows this goes on all the time, but the majority of America doesn't.

This reminds me of a friend who said to me, "you mean, people still care that you're gay? I thought that was finally over forever ago." Nope. Sally reminded us there's still a few out there who don't get it. So, let's support her in her journey of expanding her expression of love, in forgiving herself for becoming someone she doesn't want to be. Be the change we want to see and treat her with the respect and love we'd like to see from her. Let her know, and the others like her, what unconditional love feels like. If not us, then who?

Once you see the video above, Email her if you'd like at:

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Met a Woman Who Should be Dead by Now

Luane and I were invited to a gathering at Darlene Bogle's request to meet a fascinating woman named Naomi Harvey. Darlene's latest book is Naomi's life story and it amazing.

Before I move on telling of the evening, here's the description of the book, A Miracle Woman: The Naomi Harvey Story:

An exciting story of a woman who at the age of 16, devoted her life and musical talents to Christian ministries and orphan children. Who by every reasonable account should have been derailed and cursed her God when she was attacked by drug lords which left her body broken; her home burned to the ground and 2 of her 10 adopted children murdered. She was then sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for second degree murder. She was ostracized by church and family when she acknowledged her true sexual orientation. How she held on to her faith and God's love is part of the miracle you will find in these pages. Learn what has kept her faith alive and is the driving force today as she travels across country with her partner, ministering to the whole person and "Sharing Father's Heart."

When I first walked in and shook hands with Naomi, knowing some of her past, I just shook my head and said, "I can't believe you're alive and not screwed up." She laughed contagiously and so the evening had begun. Story after story she shared while we ate and laughed and awed.

Later, she broke out her pink guitar...I'd never seen a pink guitar like that in person before...and sung us a song. You can hear it on her site.

There's nothing like an in-person, private concert. Her partner did a flag routine to the song and with each of them sharing their gifts for us after being on the road touring for 7 weeks...I don't know where they got the energy.

We did a blessing dedication on the book, ate more and had a teary goodbye. To meet Naomi in person is truly remarkable. Hearing what she's been through and see with my own eyes how the only wrinkles on her face were from smiling so much...impacted me deeply. It was an honor to meet her, and I told her that. I thanked her for being such a pioneer in paving the way for our movie and for us being out more freely than she was able to be at our age.

This is truly a remarkable story and woman and I hope you'll look at her book as an inspiration and rededication that God's got your back or as Rev. Deborah says, God is good...all of the time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gay Teen in Ft. Lauderdale Killed Too...

February is a month of love, right? Valentine's Day, my birthday (in 2 days, yay!) and President's Day where retailers show their love by having big sales over a weekend.

Alas, not much love has been shown to the gay community this month.

On Feb 23rd, a gay teen was shot and killed 4 miles from his home in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Read about the story here.

This, on the heels of Lawrence King in California, a blue state. On the other coast, some Floridians continue jumping on the fear band wagon of pushing a ballot measure (again) banning gay marriage, the death of Simmie Williams Jr, 17 is certainly worth real thought and our time.

Seriously, how different are these murders of these teens from the KKK killings of African Americans? People who are so angry, feel so much hate, they feel need and the right to take a life just because they are uncomfortable with how someone else is.

It's absurd.

Guns aren't the only methods of killing someone either. Words and emotions are also serious weapons, used to kill spirits and dreams. At our screening events, I often talk of the two types of suicides: the physical form which we're all unfortunately aware of, then there's the emotional or spiritual suicide. This is where people are so hurt by words and rejection, they let other people's opinion of them supersede their opinion of themselves and numb out, eventually walking around like zombies just existing through life.

Please please please be careful of what is said in your presence: Thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions, actions lead to results. Anything that happens, starts with a simple thought.

Let's take care of each other.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Call for Ex Ex Gay Artists - Express Yourself & Make a Difference

My dear colleagues, Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke from are seeking to show two more new artists for their upcoming art show in Memphis, TN at the end of this month.

Peterson and Christine are both phenomenally talented in their respective mediums and are passionate about creating space for other ex-ex gays to show their art as it relates to their eminate traumatic experience while in ex gay ministries and programs. They seek new artists who are ex-gay survivors or those whose lives have been *negatively* affected by the ex-gay movement (parents, friends, of those emotionally and spiritually damaged by ex gay programs.)

The deadline is quickly approaching, go to:
for more information.

Submissions of all types of visual art are welcome including drawings, painting, collage, mixed media, photography, or multimedia. Please send photos of your work, along with dimensions, a brief statement about the work, and any other information by February 15th, 2008 to bxg (at)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Free Interview with God & Gays Director Feb. 7th

Our next guest for the God, Gays & You Live Interview series is Luane Beck, director of the film, God & Gays: Bridging the Gap ( Listen to how the film was made, how she found the people in the movie who were so vulnerable and honest in telling their stories of struggle and reconciliation. Ask questions live on the call. To sign up for phone access and the special code, go to the website and get the e-blast. This is a free teleconference, from the comfort of your own home...every first Thursday of each month.