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: