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!