Don’t ask me if you can marry my daughter.

purityballMy husband never asked my father’s permission to marry me. We also didn’t ask for his blessing. Not only that, I have a feeling if Kent would have asked him he would have said it wasn’t his decision to make.

Because it wasn’t.

It was mine. My life was mine to join to someone else’s. My future was in my hands. My heart was mine to give.

Once Kent and I decided that we were going to get married we told both my parents together. Simple.

My parents, wise as they are, knew that even though they had given me life, raised me and protected me, they did not have ownership of my heart and could not give the naming rights to whomever they chose as if I were a sports arena. They knew that even though they had dreams for me, and thoughts about how my life would turn out, those were not necessarily my dreams for myself. They knew that they had raised me to be independent, wise and trustworthy and they knew that they had given me more and more freedom to make choices, to try and fail and to try and succeed. They knew that if at some point I found the one person I wanted to give my heart to, that they had already done what they could to help me make the best choice. They knew that if I wanted advice I would ask them for it. And I did. Plenty. But they also knew, lovelies, that it was my decision to make. My heart. My future. My life. My choice.

Recently the topic of so called “Purity Balls” (hee hee) has been back in the news. (I think maybe because it is spring? Not really sure. Is that when these things traditionally take place? Or possibly on Father’s Day (um, ewww)? Thank God I don’t know from first hand experience.) The first ball was put on by the Wilson family in Colorado Springs in 1998. Randy Wilson is a field director for the Family Research Council, which was originally part of Focus on the Family until 1992. The recent Nightline feature which ran March 22nd, featured Randy Wilson, Ron Johnson, the Pastor of Living Stones Church in Indiana and their daughters. Johnson, is quoted in the program as saying to the young women (who typically range in age from 9-14),  “You keep this [ring] on your finger and as this point you are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” Seriously? Seriously? Does this creep anyone else the eff out?

The Balls, according to Wilson’s Generations of Light web page, now take place in 48 states. The ceremonies themselves resemble wedding receptions. The fathers give the daughters a ring (often they wear a ring themselves that they later gift to the future husband at the wedding), there is a father daughter dance, the girls wear white dresses and the father and daughter exchange pledges. The amazing thing to me is that these balls are considered “godly” events by their participants.

On Saturday night I shared this story with my Dad. He was disgusted and appalled and I thank God every day that I was raised by a father (and mother) who respected me as an individual, and never believed it was his job to be my “boyfriend” and who never taught me that I, individually, was to be married to Jesus. Ewwwwwww.

I am proud to say, my husband and I are carrying on the proud tradition my parents started. We are our daughter’s parents, we are raising her to be strong, brave, independent, discerning and trustworthy. When the time comes I hope we don’t know about her proposal before she does. If her future spouse does come to us first, I know exactly what I will say, “She is not mine to give. Her heart is her own. You will need to ask her. It is her choice.”

 

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Mike Huckabee: A Lesson in Missing the Point

Dear Mr. Huckabee,

Yesterday you gave a speech in which you said,

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” Huckabee said at the RNC winter meeting. “Let’s take that discussion all across America.”

May I respectfully submit that you are thoroughly and completely missing the point of the conversation. Let’s start with the subject at hand: the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage. There are many points being made by the Democrats about this coverage, none of which is that “women are helpless” and “cannot control their libido or reproductive system” without the help of the government. Personally I resent the statement that women who want their private insurance companies to be required to cover birth control are akin to having a sugar daddy. Mr. Huckabee, if your goal with this speech was to dispel the myth that there is a war on women, you are doing it wrong.

Up until recently, I have been a life-long Republican. It amazes me that there isn’t a meeting where someone from Party HQ sits every candidate and elected official down and says, listen, “STOP TALKING ABOUT WOMEN AND SEX AND BODY PARTS. It never goes well for us.” Honestly, what is amazing to me is that when you sat down to write this speech with your speech writers and advisors, you all thought this sounded like something that would play well with American women. Heck, my guess is that this line of bs doesn’t even go over well with most Republican women.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up in a middle class American home. As I said before, I have been a life-long Republican until recently. I am 44 and have been married since I was 18 years old (26 years – thought I’d save you the math). I come from a military family and my father is a decorated retired Air Force Colonel. My husband and I waited 13 years to get pregnant with our first child. I have 2 beautiful children and 1 lost to miscarriage. I have never had an abortion (not that it is any of your business). My husband was the first in his family to graduate from college and now holds a JD from Pepperdine University. I have a BFA in Graphic Design from The University of Texas at Arlington. We did not always live as comfortably as we do now. When we were young, my husband and I had to rely on Planned Parenthood for free/low cost birth control pills. Thank God for them. At the time we had no health insurance and the cost of going to an Ob/Gyn and the prescription was just more than we had. I want you to know a few things, Mr. Huckabee,

  1. I did not need “Uncle Sugar” to help me control my libido.  I was married.
  2. I was, by going to Planned Parenthood, controlling my reproductive system.
  3. I was not helpless, but I would have been without the services provided to me by Planned Parenthood.
  4. My husband and I knew we were not ready to be parents, but we would have been forced to practice less effective methods of birth control were it not for PP.

Sir, I understand you do not personally think I needed the government to control my libido, etc., but you think that the Democrats do. YOU ARE AGAIN MISSING THE POINT. The point is…

Providing women with free/low cost Ob/Gyn care and birth control empowers them to be able to follow through on exercising wise and informed family planning. Also, studies show that providing free birth control actually REDUCES ABORTIONS. And isn’t that something we can agree on?

I personally am done having babies and using birth control. However, I am happy to pay my ACA health plan premiums so that other women and families can be provided the services I was, but at their doctor’s office instead of Planned Parenthood. Why, when women just want to be responsible with their choices, do you not want to help them do so? As far as I can tell, you want to do away with the ACA and Planned Parenthood. What then, sir, are we as women supposed to do when we cannot afford a health plan that covers Ob/Gyn care as well as birth control? Have an abortion? I don’t think any of us want that. Have a baby when we cannot afford one or take care of one? Doesn’t that just cause more family and societal issues? What about adoption? What if every woman who has used birth control to prevent a pregnancy since the advent of modern contraception had just had all those babies and given them up for adoption? That would be MILLIONS of babies. Do you honestly think we would have homes for them all? We would have to go back to having orphanages. Not everyone would be able to afford to take care of those children, especially since younger people are most likely to be on birth control. Some of us would not have been able to finish college. And that would add even more people to the welfare system. Perhaps you think women should only have sex when they are prepared to have a baby and that couples should have as many children as God gives them. That is up to you and your wife; you get to make that choice. When and how others choose to plan their families is not up to you. With all due respect, butt out.

A Christmas Love Story

love-winsThis year, Kent and I decided not to do Christmas gifts for each other since we had just spent a bunch of money doing several projects around the house. Instead, we each wrote something for the other. And now lovelies, I would like to share our words for each other with you.

From me to Kent – You make me want to:

You make me want to
Sit in the dark and stare at the stars
Go dancing late into the night
Or Drive up the coast in a rented convertible
See the scenes from far off lands
Eat fine dinners from trucks or linens
And feel the sand between my toes
One look at you and I’m off to Paris
Or stuck in a London fog
You are like the most arresting lyrics, the most beautiful picture,
the most thought provoking article.

Somehow I don’t know how to describe you but I must try

You are like a rainforest downpour
or the sprinkles in the desert on a sunny day…
You are rare and you make me want to dance
Or stop and lay in the grass and stare at the clouds

You are

That thing I can’t describe from that violinist whose music stole my breath.
The experience of a new kind of delicious taste or sound or feeling  that I have never experienced before.
You are exhilarating like a walk in San Francisco or New York City
You are calming like dinner on the beach at sunset

You are

Like a dream I wish I could fall back into even though I can’t remember exactly what happened
when I can still remember the feeling and I want that same lightning to flash again;
Like the first time you kissed me
Like the way that you need me
Like the sound of your voice when you say my name

I like

The way my food is better and my laugh is longer and my faith is stronger because you exist
The way Nate Ruess sings even better when you stand beside me.
Songs and singers ring truer because they sing about you and I even though they don’t know our names.
The way you are exactly the same yet nothing like the man I married.
You are somehow more, much more than the sum of your parts and your years and my memories and the present moment.
I like that together we are much more than all of me + all of you

You are

My happiest place on earth
My Disney World and my swim up in Puerto Vallarta.
My Vegas and my rural Ohio
My Newport Beach and my Washington DC
My trip to Europe and my Hawaiian vacation
My hometown and my favorite getaway
You are the part of me that is good at basketball and hates coconut
You are the part of me that does the things I never could
That part that makes me more than I knew I could be
I love that because of you I have become more me and because of me you have become more you.

I like

How when I look at you, I see it all
Everything we have ever done and all that makes us who we are, heartbreaking, ecstatic, melancholy, joyful, mundane, content,
boring and spectacular…
It is somehow all more real,
This life, my life because I found you.
I love how even at the end of all this I still struggle to find the right words that will say it all but I can’t find them.
You cannot be contained in mere words; you who are made of stardust.

You are simply too majestic for that.

From Kent to me –  How long have I known you?

How long have I known you?
How long have you stayed?
How long have I annoyed you?
How much have you paid?

For my heartache, my selfishness, my pain and my pride?

No matter the words, no matter the deeds
No matter the hurts, no matter the pleas
You stayed by my side

What makes you love so?
What makes you see?
What makes you so sure?
That there’s beauty beneath?

All of the layers
All of this junk
All of this pain
Everything, so .. fucked .. up

About me
About my mind
About my words
About my heart

This glimmer of beauty
That you see beneath
I hear it too
Screaming to be released

I am in here
I really am
Is there anyone who hears me?
Anyone to understand?

And then
In that moment when all seems lost
When no one answers
And no one is willing to pay the cost

When all any one sees
Is the ugliness and pride
You look down deep in my heart
I mean way, way down inside

And you see
You see
You see all the guts and intestines and muscles and blood

You see cancerous cells obstructing the path
But you see past it all
You see way down inside
And you pull out the best of me

As I writhe in pain
As I fight you because it hurts; it hurts; it hurts so deeply
You stand
You stay
You love

Sometimes it’s impossible to believe
That someone could love me so, deeply; so completely
As they see the infected flesh
As they smell the rancid guts
As they endure the waging war
And yet you do

You reach right in
You pull the goodness out into the light
You don’t ignore my pain; you feel it with me
You endure the sting of my decaying flesh, with me
You don’t ignore the putridness, you smell it, too
But you persist

You pull
You never shrink back
You never give up
You stand, and love
You wage a war
And then, my beauty arises
Even love unfolds

And there I stand

Here, I stand
Who am I?
How did I get here?
I am now a man
Perfect? Oh no.
Better? Oh yes.

Only you know the real me
Only you have endured
Only you have really believed
Only you are a part of me
Only you have truly loved me

Just as I am
I am yours
All of me
Just as I am
You have loved me

You saved me
You made me believe
You are saving me
I will always be yours

And now my new year’s wish for all of you…

I hope your holidays were beautiful and that your new year brings you joy unspeakable.
I hope you find someone who learns the words to your sad and your happy songs and then sings with you.
I pray you will know the all surpassing love of Jesus.
I trust that you will learn new things, spread joy and practice deliberate acts of kindness.
And in the end I pray that 2014 leaves you a better version of yourself…
Happier, healthier, more generous, more satisfied, more humble, more thankful, more joyful than ever before.

Thank you for sticking with me through another year. I am honored.

A 20/20 view of the Manosphere

puerarchy

So, the Manosphere: It’s a thing and they would like you to swallow the “Red Pill”. Yes, like in The Matrix except not like in The Matrix. The bros of the manosphere have appropriated this phrase from the popular film franchise and use it to refer to waking up to the “truth” that it is men who have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history. The manosphere is an online community of loosely affiliated blogs and websites that guide you through life after swallowing the “Red Pill”. Most of these sites encourage men to become dominant “Alpha” males and develop “game” by which men will be able to have the most sex possible and/or that through dominating, shaming and gaming women you can get what you want, the world will be saved, women will actually be happier and families will stay together.

To hear them tell it the “Red Pill” is the new cure all wonder drug for men.

Until recently I didn’t realize that this corner of the internet existed and because of it I am experiencing a new appreciation for the phrase “ignorance is bliss”. However, remaining ignorant will never bring change. If we do not know we have walls full of vermin we will not call an exterminator. (No I am not advocating exterminating anyone. I am advocating extinguishing a damaging dogma and replacing it with love and respect.)

Tonight at 10 EST on ABC’s 20/20 they will be running a piece on the manosphere. My DVR is set. Perhaps after that I will do a follow up post. We shall see. In the mean time, if you would like to educate yourself on the inner workings of the manosphere you can check out the links below. I will try to divide them into their different focuses. You may want to have a puke bucket for when you feel nauseous, a stress ball for when you feel frustrated, a tissue box for when your heart breaks.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

PUA (pick up artist)
claim that by responding to natural cues women give off signaling what they as women actually do want, men can gain great power to seduce women

Return of Kings

Matt Forney (His tag line is ironically, “The man who shouted love at the heart of the world”). I don’t think he knows what the word love means.

Alpha Game

The Red Pill Room

Men’s Rights Activists
emphasize the injustice against men in areas like: anti-male bias in family law, and draconian domestic violence legislation that women demonstrably use as a strategic tool to attack innocent men, and how the misguided assumption that males are privileged contributes to men’s significant legal disadvantage

The Spearhead

A Voice for Men

Red Pill Traditionalist Christian
focus on using Red Pill concepts to empower women to protect themselves from feminist propaganda that will lead to unhappiness

Dalrock

A Voice for Men

Patriactionary

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW)
claim that the anti-male injustice is endemic to society and can only be addressed by its collapse, or simply that the emasculation of relationships with women in a feminist society, and the risks of marrying, having children, or even in some cases engaging relationships with women in a society with feminist laws are not worth the rewards

fedrz blog

MGTOWS forums

No Ma’am

Manosphere Economics and Political Philosophy
point to the inherent economic instability of feminism and the eventual social and economic collapse it will engender.[2]

Captain Capitalism

Vitas Brennus

The Rational Male

Female Manosphere Bloggers (yes, this is a thing too)

Sunshine Mary and the Dragon

On the Rock

Unmasking Feminism

Red Pill Wifery

Red Pill Marriage
run by men who provide instruction on using the techniques of Game/Seduction to build and maintain attraction within a marriage

Married Man Sex Life

Average Married Dad

Other

Viva la Manosphere

The Puerarchy

Boycott American Women

There is a blog called The False Rape Society. The Southern Poverty Law Center offers this description, “The False Rape Society is an Internet news aggregator, subtitled “Community of the Falsely Accused,” that features stories about allegedly false rape accusations and “feminist”-crafted “anti-male” legislation. While the site focuses heavily on news stories about false rape allegations, it frequently veers into such posts as the New Year’s Day item attacking a female supporter of then-presidential aspirant Michelle Bachmann for telling a reporter, “It takes a woman to get things done.”

Alcuin in Wonderland is a site that has gone private but you can read about them here.

RooshV

The Red Pill Society Pinterest page

The Red Pill Reddit

Marky Mark’s Thoughts which is also private but here is a screen shot from the google search:

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 5.11.29 PM

What Others Are saying

Business Insider: Inside Red Pill, The Weird New Cult For Men Who Don’t Understand Women

Southern Poverty Law Center

Manboobz

*credit to Wikipedia for my category descriptions

Coming Out As An NALT Christian

nalt-logo-mediumSo there is this new thing called the NALT Christians Project. According to their web site, the purpose of The NALT Christians Project is,  “To give any and all LGBT-affirming Christians a means of sharing their belief that there is nothing anti-biblical or sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The project is a joint venture of Truth Wins Out Two and John Shore. It is inspired by Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project.

So far there only have been 105 videos uploaded. I felt like it was important to add my voice to theirs.

I did this for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • I care deeply about this issue because I care deeply about humans.
  • I believe Jesus meant it when he said to love my neighbor as myself, therefore when I see people being mistreated, hated, bullied and denied equal rights I must do something.
  • Publicly stating my beliefs on this issue both here, in my video and anywhere else I have influence may by some chance influence another to be more loving and accepting. Without others who have gone before me making such public declarations and being willing to have open respectful conversations I may never have come to this place in my personal evolution.
  • Someone from the LGBT community may see it and feel more loved, less alone and like God loves them.
  • By creating a welcoming and affirming atmosphere in the church, LGBT persons may feel more comfortable sharing their stories
  • The good news is for everyone. Jesus is for everyone. Love is for everyone. No if, no until and no unless.

Some people believe that making a video like this is taking “the easy way out” in terms of being an LGBT ally. They worry that some will simply make a video and think that is enough. I agree with them on this point, making a video alone is not enough. We must also show our love and support to our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community with our actions. We must (among many other things):

  • Speak up when we hear others being bullied
  • Speak up when people make insensitive or bigoted comments or jokes
  • Use our votes and our voices to advocate for equality
  • Listen to the stories of the LGBT people in your life. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself how you can love them like you would like to be loved.

Other folks believe that we don’t need to make videos to show people that we are “Not All Like That”. They believe we just need to live out what we believe with the people in our lives. I disagree. As I said above, I need to do both. I need to use whatever voice I can be it online or face to face. Others still believe that the LGBT community doesn’t need to hear this message, that it implies they somehow need validation from CIS Christians. I couldn’t disagree more. This project isn’t about giving LGBT folks our blessing or validation as if they needed our stamp of approval. It is about counterbalancing the voices in Christianity that proclaim hate and inequity as God’s own truth. When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a mind-blowing 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. This statistic, along with the rhetoric from people like Pat Robertson and organizations like the American Family Association, make the choice for me to participate in this project a no brainer. I hope you will consider joining me…and Jesus in becoming NALT Christians.

* Wait…WHAT? Did I just say Jesus was a NALT Christian? (More like and NALT Christ if we are getting nitpicky) Consider if you will something I say in my video for the project (which you can see here: NALT Christians Project: Michelle from Texas)…

When Jesus told the accusers to cast the first stone; when he allowed the woman to wash his feet with her tears, when he forgave even those who were killing him, what he was really saying was, hey I’m not like that. And when he taught Peter not to call people he loved unclean…What he was really saying was that we are not to be like that either. I think the way the church has deemed some people unworthy of his love is anti-christ. I think the lines have been redrawn around Jesus and fortified with walls and barbed wire and moats and I think Jesus wants us to tear them down.

Separate is not Equal & Together is Awesome

1010073_10151428607366735_362495096_nThis is a concept you have heard over and over if you were raised in church; you may have even heard it in some other marriage book or seminar. It is a distinction without a difference (a type of logical fallacy where an author or speaker attempts to describe a distinction between two things even though there is, in fact, no actual difference) and that as my wise husband said upon seeing this meme, “I don’t know whether this is accurate or not. But it seems to me that if men do derive more self-esteem by being respected instead of loved, this is likely due to men’s psyche evolving in a patriarchal society. And it also seems to me that many Christians have taken one small comment made by Paul and blown it up into an entire doctrine. I think everyone should be loved and respected and everyone wants to be loved and respected. Mutuality is the way of Christ.”

Because of this doctrine we as Christians (and others) often divide up like junior high kids at the roller rink or a school dance, boys on one wall and girls on another. So without further ado, here are my top reasons why all this division stinks and why togetherness is effing awesome.

1. Separating the genders fosters misunderstanding and fear and also contributes to the “battle of the sexes”. Togetherness shows us that we need not be afraid of each other and that men and women should not be in competition. Moreover it shows us that we should be in cooperation and community with one other. ONE BODY. Not two bodies, one male and one female.

2. Separation of the sexes during bible study fosters the idea that men and women are not equal in God’s eyes and that women cannot teach men about the Bible. For TONS of amazing FREE material on this check out CBE’s Biblical Equality 101 page. Penis≠Power.

3. Separation also confirms the fallacy that we have nothing to learn from hearing how others feel and encourages us to “tune out” when we are together and someone from the opposite sex is speaking. We can all benefit from another person’s point of view no matter what equipment they have.

4. Keeping boys and girls apart (or single men and women apart) will not stop them from having sex. Take a gander at these bullet points lifted from a Christianity Today article…

  • Three surveys of single Christian adults conducted in the 1990s determined that approximately one third were virgins—meaning, of course, that two thirds were not.
  • In 2003, researchers at Northern Kentucky University showed that 61 percent of students who signed sexual-abstinence commitment cards broke their pledges.
  • Of the remaining 49 percent who kept their pledges, 55 percent said they’d had oral sex, and did not consider oral sex to be sex.
And this is with keeping the genders separated most of the time. If we put the genders together in almost every context what we would find is less fear, more respect and more understanding. When we have that, we may not have lower rates of premarital sex, but we probably won’t have higher rates either. At the very least we will have people who are able to communicate, love and respect one another, which will make (at the minimum) casual sex rates decline.
5. But what about separating when it comes to talking about the deed itself? Surely then Michelle you think we should divide up based on parts, vaginas to the left and penises to the right. But seriously…my answer is no, not even then. When we discuss sexuality separately it encourages secrecy and says that sex and sexuality is something to be ashamed of. We train our kids and ourselves to be ashamed/afraid to discuss intimacy with even our spouse. I know for me (and most of my friends) the way we were raised to keep such issues quiet and certainly not to discuss them in mixed company. It took me YEARS to undo the effects of this training with my husband and I am STILL working on it. When we stigmatize sexuality the way we have we do serious harm to our marriages. All we teach our girls right up until they are engaged is only how to say no. Oh wait, we also teach them how they are like a chewed piece of gum or a glass of water every boy in the room has spit in and no one is willing to drink if they fail to do so. And then we condemn these same women when they are sexually clueless and have nothing but negative thoughts about sex. Also, separating the sexes by parts has another issue. NOT EVERYONE IS HETEROSEXUAL. Sooo, yeah. There’s that.
6. Lastly, for now, it plays into the myth that women cannot be understood by men and/or men cannot be understood by women. Perhaps the reason we can’t understand each other is because we have been separated since the day we were born. Ironically, especially at the times it matters the most. Do you want to know a secret? The way to get to know someone is to SPEND TIME WITH THEM! Shocking, I know. We learn about each other when we stop dividing ourselves into us and them, boys and girls, mars and venus. We learn about each other when we listen and speak even when we are uncomfortable or afraid or even mad. We must overcome the awkwardness that we feel because of how we have been taught and allow our children to know a better way. The way of togetherness.

So yeah, today happened and it was good.

179745_10151545572514582_1652368408_nDOMA is dead and marriage is coming back to California. And while we could move on to what comes next, which states still do not have marriage equality (on a state level) and the numerous haters out there, instead I would like to give voice and blog space to those I know who have shared their feelings today and several heartwarming or poignant or just factual things I have seen around the interwebs. This is my own personal celebration.

Let’s start with the statement of the Department of Defense:

 The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act.  The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies.  The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible.  That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.

Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment.  All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so.  Today’s ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.

My friend Eric Herring was on the steps of the US Supreme Court today where he shot this video:

Eric’s video from the SCOTUS steps

From Sheryl LeSage (a friend of a friend) via Facebook:

I had managed to convince myself that it really didn’t matter that much, because my relationship with Jocy Denton is real no matter what a bunch of old people in black dresses say about it. And I told myself I would just check in to see what they said, but again, it wouldn’t change my life. And I am not the sort of person to get over-emotional about things.

But I’m not kidding here: I actually shouted out and burst into tears when they handed that decision down. I STILL have tears in my eyes. DOMA has been a thorn under the saddle for two decades, declaring me a less-than-equal citizen in this country. To have that lie officially removed from the books is like having the sun come from behind the clouds, at last.

So yes, it’s personal. And it’s a good thing.

From my friend Elliot Fladen via Rhett Millsaps II (http://wakingupnow.com/blog/the-happy-stories-begin):

“This is what excites me most about this partial equality victory: “At 10:30 a.m. EDT this morning in a New York Immigration Court, attorneys from [Masliah Soloway] requested and were granted a continuance in removal (deportation) proceedings for a Colombian gay man married to an American citizen for whom [they] had filed a marriage-based green card petition last year. A copy of the 77-page Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor was delivered to the court by [their] summer intern, Gabe, who ran five blocks and made it in time for the decision to be submitted to the Immigration Judge and to serve a copy on the Immigration & Customs Enforcement Assistant Chief Counsel. DOMA is DEAD and it had its first impact on a binational couple within 30 minutes of the Supreme Court ruling.”

Post by my amazing husband Kent Krabill:

Powerful language from the Court today: DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state – sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency. Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person. And DOMA contrives to deprive some couples married under the laws of their State, but not other couples, of both rights and responsibilities. By creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State, DOMA forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal law, thus diminishing the stability and predictability of basic personal relations the State has found it proper to acknowledge and protect. By this dynamic DOMA under¬mines both the public and private significance of state ¬sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, see Lawrence, 539 U. S. 558, and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.

Rights and stuff:  After DOMA: What it Means to You

Edith Windsor’s reaction and the 40+ year love story that inspired it:

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From my friend Liz Dyer via Facebook:

Thanks to the friends and family who have continued to show their loving support of my efforts to make the world a better place for lgbt people (you know who you are).

My passion about this started out because of my wonderful son who is gay but over the last several years I have gained so many friends that have been affected by the injustice and oppression of lgbt people and so these days in addition to this being about my son I am also driven by the faces and stories and hearts of so many more that hope and work for equality.

Today is an important day because today many people have been able to take back some of the human dignity that has been stolen from them and therefore their hope and courage and strength is being renewed so we can all go on to continue fighting for equality (there’s still work to be done).

As my son likes to say (it’s a movie quote of course LOL) “One day can make your life; one day can ruin your life. All life is, is four or five big days that change everything” and today is one of those days that can change everything.

President Obama:

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well….The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

My friend Emily Allen:

Never have I been so personally affected by decisions of the Supreme Court. I’m glad that my boys won’t remember these first four months of their lives when their government — the government I serve every day — didn’t think their moms had a relationship deserving of respect and of dignity. We still have a long way to go, but today…today was a good day. I love you Laura, Ben, and Will.

My friend Melissa Sligh:

5 years ago I got engaged, bought my dress and started planning my first wedding (I eloped before), then Prop 8 came along too fast, before we could get married it became illegal again in a blink of an eye. I saved my dress and outgrew it in a fat n happy life. MAYBE the true reason I got sick and lost all this weight was so I could fit my dress again! Sooo we missed the chance last time, if marriage becomes legal in California again I EXPECT her to propose and marry me. 5 years is a long friggin engagement!

My friend Mytaege Anderson:

There is so much anger & judgement going around today with the recent political news. Seriously it just makes me sad. Love is Love!!! People are people & it’s not my place to judge anyone. My sins are no better than yours they are just different. But make no mistake sin is sin. The day I can honestly say I’ve gone even this very one day & not sinned ever just once, then maybe I will fell worthy enough to judge another……. But that day will never happen. Why? Because I’m human. God doesn’t love me because I’m straight because I’m Italian because my eyes are brown, I live in America or even because I am pretty damn awesome. He loves me because I am his child!!! There is NOTHING I can do that will ever change that or ever change his love for me or anyone else on the face of this earth. People say God’s heart is breaking because of politics. Wrong! It’s breaking because of the hate that surrounds politics. People are people & Love is Love. Stop judging & spreading hate! If you want people to know God share his hope, his peace, the amazing gift he gave each of us, his LOVE!

My friends Tracey Hughes & Liz Johnson when describing their wedding ceremony. They are also a bi-racial couple. After today’s decisions they are planning to renew their vows in California soon!

Liz Johnson Mary – we jumped the broom. Tracey will no doubt write more eloquently than I will, but slaves were not able to legally marry, so their ceremony included jumping a broom – from the past into the future, so, since we also could not legally marry, we decided to jump the broom too.

And This. Just this.

I love gay people and I love Christians. I choose all.

David & Jason can finally be together FOR GOOD.

Missing Husband Video

Today was a victory for all of us because here in America we have a Pledge, a Declaration and a Constitution. It says in our pledge, “Liberty and justice for all.” It says in our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And as it says in our Constitution, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Today the Supreme Court’s decision aligned us more with who our documents say we are. Today I am proud.