Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Errors in Judgment

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 02:41 PM PDT
Gay Relationships: When You’ve Screwed Up We all make mistakes, but some are more harmful than others. What do you do when you’ve made a big one, and your partner is now hurt and angry? Maybe you’ve had an affair or done something that has caused a major upset in your life and the life of the man you love.

Situations like this are a test. It’s a test of your relationship and whether or not it is solid enough to repair the damage done to it. The situation is also a test of your character. It’s important to do the right thing.

The first step is to be accountable. This is hard; do it anyway. No excuses. Offering an explanation (“Our sex life has been rotten for months”) is only going to add fuel to your partner’s anger. If you lied or broke an agreement between the two of you, it’s important that you acknowledge what you did. Doing so can begin the long road towards repairing your credibility.

If you’ve had an affair, answer your partner’s questions without giving him more information than is helpful. Own up to what you did. Keep in mind that this is about helping your partner work through his pain; it’s not about unburdening yourself. Avoid saying things that may make you feel better for getting them off your chest if your lover is going to feel hurt even more by the information.

Apologize and mean it. If you want the relationship to continue, say so. Understand that your partner may not be as clear as you are about what he wants. What does your partner need from you now? Understand that hiding information your partner has requested is likely to make things worse. Understand that your partner may find it difficult to trust you and may want to know where you are going and whom you’ll be with, for instance.

Be willing to listen to your partner’s feelings. This is not likely to be easy, but it’s what needs to happen. Expecting forgiveness before your partner is able to extend it is not going to help you. Be willing to hear what your partner has to say. If you can do this without being argumentative or defensive you’ll have gone a long way towards helping the wound heal
.
Time heals many wounds. Make time for healing by being available for your partner if that’s what he wants; if what he wants is some space away from you right now, let him know that you will be around if he wants you.

Understand that forgiving is different from forgetting. You can ask for your partner’s forgiveness, but it is up to him to determine whether he can pardon your offense. If he’s able to do that, see if you can also forgive yourself.

Relationship or individual counseling may be needed to help you both move forward. One of the great things about being human is that we can learn and grow from even the most painful and difficult of situations.
Sometimes we become stronger in the broken places.


John R. Ballew, M.S. author & contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. - www.bodymindsoul.org. or at (404) 874-8536.

thanks MICHAEL @gaytwogether.com
 

GAY MAN in Texas appointed US Attorney, etc

The COOPSTA wants us to see this. . . . ;-)



http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2011/06/texas-republican-senators-recommend-president-nominates-openly-gay-man-as-u-s-attorney/
Let me e-mail this while I remember it: An openly Gay man recommended by Texas republicans who haven't supported equal rights. Very interesting indeed... 

Gay couples to sue NJ, seeking same-sex marriage

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Seven gay and lesbian New Jersey couples, along with many of their children, are going to court to try to force the state to recognize gay marriage.
The families say in their legal complaint that the state's civil union law designed to give gay couples the same legal protections as married couples has not fulfilled that promise.
One man says he was denied being able to make urgent medical decisions for his partner. Another saw his partner and children's health insurance canceled by a skeptical auditor. One woman had to jump through legal hoops to adopt the baby of her civil union.
Along with the gay advocacy groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal, the couples planned to announce details of the lawsuit on Wednesday. The advocacy groups provided a copy to The Associated Press on the condition that no details be published before Wednesday morning.
The lawsuit, to be filed in state court, comes less than a week after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law allowing gay marriage in that neighboring state. But it's the latest step in a nine-year legal battle in New Jersey.
States afford gay couples a hodgepodge of rights. New Jersey is one of seven states that offer the same legal protections of marriage, but call it either civil unions or domestic partnerships. Once New York's new law takes effect next month, six states and Washington D.C. will make full marriage available to gays. Another state recognizes gay marriages entered into elsewhere and three offer some legal protections for gay couples. But 41 have laws or constitutional amendments barring gay marriage.
New Jersey's civil union law is cast as the villain in the suit.
"The separate and inherently unequal statutory scheme singles out lesbians and gay men for inferior treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation and sex and also has a profoundly stigmatizing effect on them, their children and other lesbian and gay New Jerseyans," the claim says.
The legal filing tells the stories of seven couples — two of whom previously sued for the right to marry — and the problems they say they've faced since the state began offering civil unions in 2007.
Their lawyer, Lambda Legal's Hayley Gorenberg, said most people in places like medical offices don't want to discriminate against them, but don't understand the rights conferred through civil unions.
"People are not badly inclined toward them," she said in an interview Tuesday. "They are just flummoxed" by the civil union requirements.
Tom Davidson and Keith Heimann, of Shrewsbury, have been a couple for 24 years and have two adopted daughters. Heimann has health insurance for the family through his teaching job at Brookdale Communuity College, but says it was canceled for Davidson and the girls for months when a state-hired auditor questioned whether their civil union was legal.
Elena Quinones says she and her partner, Liz, spent about $10,000 for Liz to adopt their son Ian when Elena gave birth to him two years ago. And the Phillipsburg couple always travels with a binder that includes his birth certificate, their civil union certificate and other documents so that they can prove their relationship in places like doctors' offices. "We're still forced to justify ourselves," she said in an interview.
If they were married, she said, those problems would be gone. "When you say you're married, it's universal," she said. "You say 'civil union,' it's like you're speaking another language."
Last year, John Grant of Asbury Park was nearly killed when he was hit by a car. His partner, Danny Weiss, said hospital staff did not understand what a civil union meant and summoned Grant's sister from Delaware to make care decisions that Weiss should have been able to make.
Speaking on the radio station New Jersey 101.5 Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie said the state would defend the civil union law. He also said he is willing to improve it if it needs more protections.
"I don't want same-sex couples to be deprived of legal rights," he said, adding, "Marriage is an institution that has centuries-old implications in both religious and cultural institutions. I believe it should remain between one man and one woman."
Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said he does not believe that judges will agree that gay couples face discrimination. He says only 12 of formal civil rights complaints have been filed by the more than 5,400 couples who have been joined in civil unions.
"Every person in the state of New Jersey has a right to marry a person of the opposite sex," he said. "The Legislature has decided that if you reject that and want to have a relationship with a person of the same sex — we are going to call two men or two women civil unions."
The civil unions law was enacted a few months after New Jersey's top court in late 2006 ordered the state to extend to gay couples the legal rights and protections that married couples receive. Lawmakers stopped short of recognizing same-sex marriages, which at that point were legal only in Massachusetts.
Gay rights groups pledged to push for full marriage rights and constantly pointed out the shortcomings of the law and the way it was carried out.
They mounted a major push to get a same-sex marriage law passed by the beginning of 2010, before Christie, a Republican who opposes gay marriage, replaced Democrat Jon Corzine as governor. But the advocates, opposed by social conservative groups and the state's Roman Catholic bishops, could not quite muster the votes to pass it.
Gay rights groups tried to get the state Supreme Court to take up the original case again last year, but the court said no, setting up the latest new lawsuit.
This month, Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney apologized for abstaining on the gay-marriage vote. He said he was doing what was politically expedient rather than what was right.
___
Reach Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Posted: 28 Jun 2011 06:08 AM PDT
Gay Relationships: Are You Too Perfect? A lot of us have a streak of perfectionism. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. What’s sometimes called “normal” perfectionism means taking pride in what you do, especially when doing something challenging.

Serious perfectionism can become really troublesome, eating away at our self-worth and leaving us disappointed and unhappy. It becomes a problem when our thoughts and conversations are full of words like “should” and “have to.”

Little wonder that guilt and shame often shadow the perfectionist’s life. As children, they may have brought home a report card with lots of A’s…only to have Mom or Dad interrogate them about the lone B on the report and ask why they didn’t try harder. Nothing was ever quite good enough.

That’s a rough way to live. It takes a toll on self-esteem and happiness and often means we’re never truly satisfied with our accomplishments, even if we’ve done something very well. The fear of failure can turn perfectionists into procrastinators who are afraid to start a project they may not finish flawlessly.

It would be one thing if perfectionists only judged themselves harshly, but they often feel the same sense of judgment towards others. That can make them rigid and opinionated about the smallest things. And that makes life with them difficult. At their worst, perfectionists may ruin relationships by trying to prove they are right all the time.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is an alien thought for these folks. As a result, they sometimes drive others crazy.


Perfectionism often sabotages progress in life. There is a saying that the perfect is the enemy of the good – that is, that in striving to be flawless, we can overlook opportunities to take a step forward that moves us towards our goal.

In exercise and diet, missing one day at the gym can lead to feeling “What’s the use? I’ve blown it.” Giving in to the urge for a donut results in giving up completely. 

Some gay men are particularly susceptible to this way of thinking. Call it the “Best Little Boy in The World” syndrome, an urge to magically overcome imaginary shortcomings as boys by excelling at everything else. We become very competitive. This is great training for becoming a critical, unhappy person later in life.

Perfectionism is something we learn, not something we’re born with. Here are some suggestions for unlearning perfectionism: 

Learn to relax. Life is not a series of tests. Make time to enjoy yourself – maybe even doing something imperfectly if you enjoy doing it.

Set achievable goals. If your expectations are unrealistic, you’re much more likely to fail. Focus on what you do well, not on your imperfections. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments.

Accept yourself. No one’s perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Stop self-criticism by focusing on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Learn from mistakes. Failure can be a powerful teacher. Too often, needing to do things perfectly the first time means fearing trying anything new because we’re not likely to master it on the first attempt. Give yourself credit for trying if you fail at something new, and give yourself permission to make mistakes.

Listen to others. What could it hurt? Having mutually satisfying relationships is often much more important than always being right.
 
John R. Ballew, M.S. author & contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. - www.bodymindsoul.org. or at (404) 874-8536.



-------Thanks to Michael @gaytwogether.com

Friends and Boy Friends

Posted: 27 Jun 2011 05:06 AM PDT
Gay couple 401 What happens to your friends when your dating gets serious?

When we’re single, our friends are like family. Friends are our confidants, the people we share our innermost thoughts with, the guys we get together with for a beer on Wednesdays and brunch on Sundays. In the age of cell phones, it’s not unusual for some friends to be in touch several times a day. Friendships enrich our lives and keep loneliness at bay.

You might think that friends would also be delighted when your new boyfriend turns into someone very special. Funny how that’s not always the case. If you and your best friend have been the go-everywhere-together guys, it can be disorienting when what you want to do and who you want to do it with shifts significantly. Going out and dancing all night may be less of a priority. And if you’ve been busy all day with work or out of town on business, chances are you’re going to dial up your boyfriend first, not your old buddy.

This is, of course, entirely natural. Healthy individuals with healthy friendships accommodate to these new realities without permanent damage to the friendship. You and your chum may need to talk it through if he’s feeling hurt about having less of your time and attention.

But some losses are necessary in life, opening space up for more of what we really want. And even if you’ve got a boyfriend now, you’re still going to need friends. No one person is going to meet all your needs, no matter how wonderful the relationship. But sometimes things don’t go well. When you’re in love, your perspective changes. It’s a little like being obsessed, and it’s easy to be thoughtless around old friends, who may not want to hear endless details of the cute thing your studmuffin did last night, or what a hottie he is in the sack, or… you get the idea. A little consideration goes a long way, guy. Friendships are give and take, not an endless recitation of the joys (or dramas) or your love life. 

Some men react badly when a friend falls head over heels in love. They get jealous. They nitpick your new guy, finding faults with everything from his table manners to his place of birth. If it gets really nasty, you may get the sense that your relationship is being undermined or sabotaged. What do you do if you find that’s the case? It may be hard, but you’re going to have to set some limits. It’s not OK for people to insult the man you’re choosing to date.

What if all your friends dislike your new sweetie? First, consider the source. Criticism from guys who have a history of awful relationships – or no relationships at all – don’t get quite the weight that concerns from men who know more about what makes love last. But if your friends are people who have given you reliable advice when you’ve needed it and if you’ve found they are usually on target when they offer an opinion, it may be time to step back a bit and listen. Maybe what you’re getting isn’t jealousy. Maybe it’s a word of caution that is worthy of your attention.


John R. Ballew, M.S. author & contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. - www.bodymindsoul.org. or at (404) 874-8536.


~~~~~ thanks MICHAEL at gaytwogether.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

TULSA BEACON



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Kern’s book relates a political battle



Rep. Sally Kern, who created a firestorm by describing the impact of the homosexual agenda in America, has chronicled her battle for decency in an about-to-be-released book.
The name of the book is The Stoning of Sally Kern.
“I didn’t choose that title,” Kern said. “The publishers came up with that title. It just relates my story of what happened to me and the things I found out and what I went through.”
This situation started a few years ago after Kern attended a Pro-Family Legislators’ Conference by David Barton (www.wallbuilders.com).
“At that conference, we learned about a group of wealthy homosexual individuals who had a very detailed plan to change the political climate of the entire United States by focusing on local and state races to help get homosexual or pro-homosexual candidates in office,” Kern said. “And that was the year when the race for Oklahoma Corporation commissioner had Dana Murphy running against an openly homosexual individual (Democrat Jim Roth).”
Kern returned from the conference and found that the wealthy homosexuals had contributed to the candidate in Oklahoma.
“They were supporting him and I mentioned this to a few folks,” Kern said. “And someone asked me to speak to a Republican club about this group and I accepted. I spoke in several places.”
During one of the meetings, she shared the news of this homosexual movement and their plans for the nation.
Someone secretly taped the session and the file was sent to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and several months later, it was posted on www.youtube.com and at the same time, a conference on homosexual issues was underway in Oklahoma City.
“It has had close to two million hits since that time,” Kern said. “And overnight, I became infamous. That’s what led to this whole situation.”
Kern was vilified in the national media for presenting the biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres, an avowed lesbian, attacked Kern on her show.
“The average American doesn’t understand the threat that homosexuality and the total acceptance of it into our society is to our nation,” Kern said. “We need to wake up to this threat.
“I am always being accused of hating homosexuals. I don’t hate anyone. This isn’t a matter of hating someone or trying to deny them their equal rights. All American citizens have equal rights under our Constitution. This is trying to get acceptance for a behavior that is specifically mentioned in God’s Word that is wrong.”
If the homosexuals get special status for same-sex marriage, what would stop them from seeking approval for group marriage or marriage to animals or children, Kern said.
“It just opens Pandora’s Box,” Kern said.
The book looks at the AIDS epidemic and points out that infection is much higher among homosexual men than any other group – even illegal drug addicts.
“I took a lot of heat when this all started because I said this is a lifestyle they choose,” said Kern. “And when I say choose, they don’t choose it in the sense of like going through a cafeteria line and looking at all the different types of lifestyles and saying, I’ll take that one because it looks exciting.
“No. Everybody knows it is not exciting. It has many harmful effects. They choose it in the sense that they succumb to the temptation to give into it. They are not born that way. God would not call something an abomination and make someone where they had no choice. They have the opportunity, they have the power to say no to that lifestyle.”
“None of us gets to choose the temptations we deal with. We are all tempted. We are all sinners. We can all say no to destructive temptations.”
Not only is there a battle against the homosexual movement but the so-called mainstream media is generally a partner against defense of biblical and traditional values.
The Tulsa World ran a sympathetic two-part front page story about a Bixby teenage boy who wants a sex-change. Its website showed a video of the boy kissing and embracing his “boyfriend.” The message in the newspaper was clear – God made a mistake by creating this boy as a boy rather than a girl.
“The media, Hollywood – all of them are in bed, trying to promote this ungodly, humanistic philosophy,” Kern said. “It’s really sad because if you are a Christian and you believe God’s Word, you have to believe in the sovereignty of God. You have to believe in the goodness of God. God makes no mistakes.
“What we have done is thrown out the concept of sin. And we are trying to make anything and everything legitimate. This book addresses that.”
Kern said Christians who defend biblical and traditional values are unfairly labeled as judgmental.
“I really talk about that in my book,” Kern said. “I address these attacks that say I am being mean spirited.
“We are all sinners. But we are to stand up for God’s principles. And doing that, in love, is not being judgmental. When we do that, we are actually saying to people, they can change and there is a better way.
“And if Christians cower down because we don’t want to be called homophobic or bigoted, then we are not being the salt and light that God wants us to be.
“We are letting the media and the popular culture fit us into their mold.”
The book will be available in bookstores (including Mardels) on July 5.
An interview on Tulsa Beacon Weekend on KDFO AM970 was used as the basis for this story.

GAY MARRIAGE


ALAN. . . THANK you.  This is a great sharing.  Good for you two. . and good for Somerset. . . Surprises like yours from the town-folk are always heart-felt.  A sweet tale.  ;-)
                                                        Justin


Monday, June 27, 2011 5:52 AM

Message body

I am I suppose to old in the tooth to put marriage and gay together. I like civil partnership. It answers all I had hopped for and gives me all the legal coverage I want. C and I have now lived together since 1993 and until 2005 no one bothered. However something changes when you do become official, it’s a security I think I am not sure. C is 16+ years older than I am and now at 85 is begging to feel his age so the thought that we are a pair has given him some comfort. What was so surprising is that C and I were the very first to contract a Civil Partnership in Somerset and were amongst the first in the UK. We did it at 11am on the 21st of December 2005. As I was Chairman of the County Council (your Lt. Governor) at the time it made all the local paper headlines and TV. C was a bit shocked at the number of people who came and said well done. So it was alls well that ends well. Loll Alan

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". . .. . . . hehe

This NYTimes article reveals the unlikely coalition of "powers that be" working behind the scenes to bring about passage of the Marriage Equality Bill.  It didn't "just happen".  

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/nyregion/the-road-to-gay-marriage-in-new-york.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PRIDE. . . . .4OTH ANNIVERSARY OF STONEWALL. . . . .PRIDE


WITH THIS LINK YOU WILL BE AT U-TUBE.  CHECK A LOT OF PRIDE HISTORY IN THE SIDEBAR THERE.  GOOD FOR THOSE OF US NOT OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN AT STONEWALL # 1. . .;-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011 4:01 PM

Message body

Justin,
 
In celebration of the NY victory and the fact that June 26 will be the day for several major Pride marches in America, you might want to post this fine video.
 
Some of us are old enough to remember each and every one of these photos in the video and are grinning ear to ear as we reflect on where Stonewall has led us.
 
Richard
 
 
View Slideshow
NEW YORK ALLOWS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, BECOMING LARGEST STATE TO PASS LAW
New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a same-sex marriage bill into law late Friday in his office at the State Capitol. More Photos »
ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.
Multimedia
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Senator Stephen M. Saland explained his vote to support legalizing same sex marriage on the floor of the New York State Senate on Friday night. More Photos »

The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.


With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which was approved last week by the Assembly. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the measure at 11:55 p.m., and the law will go into effect in 30 days, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by late July.


Passage of same-sex marriage here followed a daunting run of defeats in other states where voters barred same-sex marriage by legislative action, constitutional amendment or referendum. Just five states currently permit same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.

At around 10:30 p.m., moments after the vote was announced, Mr. Cuomo strode onto the Senate floor to wave at cheering supporters who had crowded into the galleries to watch. Trailed by two of his daughters, the governor greeted lawmakers, and paused to single out those Republicans who had defied the majority of their party to support the marriage bill.

“How do you feel?” he asked Senator James S. Alesi, a suburban Rochester Republican who voted against the measure in 2009 and was the first to break party ranks this year. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”

The approval of same-sex marriage represented a reversal of fortune for gay-rights advocates, who just two years ago suffered a humiliating defeat when a same-sex marriage bill was easily rejected by the Senate, which was then controlled by Democrats. This year, with the Senate controlled by Republicans, the odds against passage of same-sex marriage appeared long.


But the unexpected victory had a clear champion: Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who pledged last year to support same-sex marriage but whose early months in office were dominated by intense battles with lawmakers and some labor unions over spending cuts.

Mr. Cuomo made same-sex marriage one of his top priorities for the year and deployed his top aide to coordinate the efforts of a half-dozen local gay-rights organizations whose feuding and disorganization had in part been blamed for the defeat two years ago.

The new coalition of same-sex marriage supporters brought in one of Mr. Cuomo’s trusted campaign operatives to supervise a $3 million television and radio campaign aimed at persuading several Republican and Democratic senators to drop their opposition.

For Senate Republicans, even bringing the measure to the floor was a freighted decision. Most of the Republicans firmly oppose same-sex marriage on moral grounds, and many of them also had political concerns, fearing that allowing same-sex marriage to pass on their watch would embitter conservative voters and cost the Republicans their one-seat majority in the Senate.

Leaders of the state’s Conservative Party, whose support many Republican lawmakers depend on to win election, warned that they would oppose in legislative elections next year any Republican senator who voted for same-sex marriage.

But after days of contentious discussion capped by a marathon nine-hour closed-door debate on Friday, Republicans came to a fateful decision: The full Senate would be allowed to vote on the bill, the majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, said Friday afternoon, and each member would be left to vote according to his or her conscience.
Danny Hakim and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Albany, and Adriane Quinlan from New York.


NY Times June 23, 2011
Marriage Is a Mixed Blessing
By KATHERINE M. FRANKE
WILL the New York State Legislature ultimately put itself on the right side of history by allowing same-sex couples to marry? Many of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, amazed at how quickly public opinion has evolved on this issue, are eager for this historic civil rights victory.
My hope comes with some worry, however. 

While many in our community have worked hard to secure the right of same-sex couples to marry, others of us have been working equally hard to develop alternatives to marriage. For us, domestic partnerships and civil unions aren’t a consolation prize made available to lesbian and gay couples because we are barred from legally marrying. Rather, they have offered us an opportunity to order our lives in ways that have given us greater freedom than can be found in the one-size-fits-all rules of marriage.

It’s not that we’re antimarriage; rather, we think marriage ought to be one choice in a menu of options by which relationships can be recognized and gain security. Like New York City’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, who has been in a relationship for over 10 years without marrying, one can be an ardent supporter of marriage rights for same-sex couples while also recognizing that serious, committed relationships can be formed outside of marriage.

Here’s why I’m worried: Winning the right to marry is one thing; being forced to marry is quite another. How’s that? If the rollout of marriage equality in other states, like Massachusetts, is any guide, lesbian and gay people who have obtained health and other benefits for their domestic partners will be required by both public and private employers to marry their partners in order to keep those rights. In other words, “winning” the right to marry may mean “losing” the rights we have now as domestic partners, as we’ll be folded into the all-or-nothing world of marriage
.
Of course, this means we’ll be treated just as straight people are now. But this moment provides an opportunity to reconsider whether we ought to force people to marry — whether they be gay or straight — to have their committed relationships recognized and valued.

At Columbia University, where I work, the benefits office tells heterosexual employees that they must marry to get their partners on the health plan. A male graduate student I know, informed that he’d have to marry his longtime girlfriend for her to get benefits, was told, “Too bad your girlfriend isn’t a man — it would be so much easier!” 

They ended up marrying, though they were politically and personally uninterested in doing so. I, by contrast, only had to fill out a form saying that my partner and I lived in the same household, to add her to my policy. An institution like Columbia (which is secular, I might add) should not be in the marriage-promotion business for either straight or gay employees, particularly when domestic partnerships can do the gate-keeping job just as effectively as marriage does. 

In fact, New York City has a domestic partnership law that allows both same-sex and different-sex couples to register as domestic partners, and many private and public employers treat employees who are in such partnerships as entitled to the same rights as married employees. But they have done this to rectify the injustice created by same-sex couples’ inability to legally marry. Once the marriage ban in New York State is lifted, domestic-partner couples, both gay and straight, will risk losing access to health care and other benefits if their employers treat marriage as the only ticket for entitlement to these benefits, which are increasingly expensive. 

Our phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from well-meaning relatives and friends who want to “save the date” for our wedding once it’s legal. It’s been hard to break it to them that we don’t plan on marrying, though we are glad that many of our friends can and will. 

What’s difficult to explain is that for some lesbians and gay men, having our relationships sanctioned and regulated by the state is hardly something to celebrate. It was only a few years ago that we were criminals in the eyes of the law simply because of whom we loved. As strangers to marriage for so long, we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage. Many of us are not ready to abandon those nonmarital ways of loving once we can legally marry. 

Of course, lots of same-sex couples will want to marry as soon as they are allowed to, and we will congratulate them when they do even if we ourselves choose not to. But we shouldn’t be forced to marry to keep the benefits we now have, to earn and keep the respect of our friends and family, and to be seen as good citizens.

Katherine M. Franke is a professor of law and the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.

 








Friday, June 24, 2011

GAY MARRIAGE. . . .still pending in NY // I T P A S S E D !!!

Gay marriage bill gets an extended run in NY
previous next
Gay marriage supporter Daniel Bracciale of New York wears... Mike Groll / AP

Gay marriage supporter Daniel Bracciale of New York wears tape over his mouth during a rally in a hallway outside a Senate Republican conference room at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Dozens of gay couples are planning to converge on Albany Thursday to witness what would be a historic vote to legalize gay marriage in New York. Supporter wear the tape to signify that they are at the Capitol to talk to senators, and not opponents, about marriage equality.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama Looking for SUPPORT.

Obama says gay couples deserve same rights as all

NEW YORK (AP) — Treading carefully, President Barack Obama praised New York state lawmakers who were debating landmark legislation Thursday to legalize gay marriage. But as expected, the president stopped short of embracing same-sex marriage himself, instead asking gay and lesbian donors for patience.
The president's views on same-sex marriage are a sore point with gay supporters who've otherwise warmed to Obama. The president has said his views are "evolving," but for now he supports civil unions, not same-sex marriage.
As Obama spoke at a Manhattan fundraiser, his first geared specifically to the gay community, a handful of pro-gay marriage protesters shouted out "marriage!" And Obama said, "I heard you guys." He never directly mentioned gay marriage. Coincidentally, the long-planned event occurred just as lawmakers in Albany were debating legislation that would make New York the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize gay marriage.
"I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country," the president said.
Obama said progress will be slower than some people want, but he added that he was confident that there will be a day "when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, is free to live and love as they see fit.
"Traditionally marriage has been decided by the states and right now I understand there's a little debate going on here in New York," he said to laughter. New York's lawmakers, he said, are "doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do."
Debate on the measure continued into the night at the statehouse, and the outcome was uncertain.
Obama said there were those who shouted at him at events about other causes of the gay community, such as the need for anti-hate crimes legislation and for the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on openly gay military service, and both of those have since been achieved.
Obama also has won favor by instructing the Justice Department to stop defending in court a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Obama told of receiving a letter last year from a teenager in a small town. He said the boy was a senior in high school who was gay and was afraid to come out. The boy wondered to the president why gays shouldn't be equal like everyone else.
"So, yes, we have more work to do," Obama said. "Yes, we have more progress to make. Yes, I expect continued impatience with me on occasion."
Overall the reaction Obama got was warm from the crowd of nearly 600 who paid up to $35,800 each to hear him speak at a midtown hotel. And only a small group of protesters showed up to demonstrate outside for marriage equality. It was a measure of how much the gay community has warmed to Obama since earlier in his administration when donors threatened to boycott Democratic fundraisers to pressure Obama on "don't ask, don't tell."
If Obama were to endorse gay marriage, it would give a jolt of enthusiasm to his liberal base and perhaps unlock additional fundraising dollars from the well-heeled gay community. It's not clear it would get him too many additional votes in 2012 though, because the Republican field's general opposition to gay rights gives activists no alternative to Obama.
At the same time, supporting gay marriage could alienate some religious voters that the politically cautious White House might still hope to win over for Obama's re-election campaign.
Obama has indicated support in the past for states allowing gay people to marry. As a presidential candidate, he went so far as to congratulate gay couples in California who married during the short period when gay marriage was legal in that state before voters shut it down.
The president also signed a questionnaire in 1996 as a candidate for Illinois state Senate saying he supported gay marriage, something the White House hasn't fully explained.
Even as the president deliberates, public sentiment is marching decisively in the direction of supporting gay marriage. Depending on the poll, people are now about evenly split or narrowly in favor.
"There's been a noticeable shift the last couple of years," said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. In March, the center found that 45 percent of those surveyed favored gay marriage and 46 percent opposed it. That was the first time that the survey found an essentially even split instead of majority opposition.
It's something the president has noted, telling liberal bloggers in October that "it's pretty clear where the trend lines are going."
___
Werner reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Karen Zraick contributed to this report.

" The Way We Were. . . ."



  OK, RadJoe, here you go. . . . . ;-)

Mem'ries,
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures,
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Mem'ries, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember...
The way we were...
Posted: 23 Jun 2011 06:03 AM PDT
You're on the first date with him, you've finished the meal,
you're talking, having a great time,
yet you're compelled to open that famous cookie.
Ugc061711a-g2g
Unfortunate Gay Cookies are original humor clips
written by the editors of GAYTWOGETHER.
Have an Unfortunate Gay Cookie idea?
EMAIL

Michael et al. do such a great job, help them out with your clever ideas???

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Song for Today. . . ;-)

AMAZING GRACE IN THE ROMAN  COLISEUM, JUST WAIT TILL YOU HEAR THE MIDDLE:

A Thought for Today. . . .


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

LOOK what I borrowed. . ..

. . . ..from GAYtwogether.com. . .. Btw Interstate 87 goes from NEW YORK CITY to   the CANADIAN  BORDER. . and all that trashy jazzzzz. . . . 

Now, a word from a sponsor. . . . . ;-))


Google adds rainbow to search bar for gay pride month

(Credit: Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET)
There's a rainbow at the end of some Google searches.
To mark June as Gay and Lesbian Pride month, the search giant is adding a rainbow to the right side of the search bar when users search for "gay," "lesbian," "transgender," or related terms.
The six-color rainbow, a symbol of gay pride, is a new addition this year. In the past, Google added a thin bar below the search window with the six colors placed end to end.
While the company normally avoids taking a public stand on social issues, the company has taken a high-profile stance in support of gay rights.
In 2008, the company announced its opposition to Proposition 8, an anti-gay marriage measure that California voters ultimately approved.
The company also launched a national TV commercial last month about gay suicides during an airing of "Glee." The 90-second ad was in support of the "It Gets Better Project," a campaign that grew out of last fall's wave of gay teen suicides and encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens not to let bullies victimize them. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and Pixar have also contributed to the project.
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers. E-mail Steven.