Monday, July 30, 2012

Lost in Love?

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 06:20 AM PDT
ASI2ebd9cbc3f3c1dc9cf2ca08c0f426ef60_full_resizeRelationships are a dance in which sometimes one person leads and sometimes the other does.The dance can be awkward – especially if you are first learning the steps or when you have a new dance partner.  Perhaps your partner crowds you and steps on your toes, or maybe he bobs and weaves and makes you dizzy. Often, however, we feel pulled in different directions at the same time. One pull is towards growing closer to the beloved.

Western religious marriage rites celebrate the idea of “the two becoming one flesh.”  The other pull is towards safety and independence, and it can be just as powerful as this urge to merge. We fear being engulfed by the other, becoming lost in love. Both of these urges are normal and understandable. If you had no desire to mesh with your partner, you might as well be roommates. But healthy relationships allow each partner to maintain his identity, distinct from the shared identity as a couple.

There is a dynamic balance that allows both connection and detachment. We’ve all grown up with the myths about relationships that are pervasive in our culture and in the media. Models of healthy relationships are rare.

One model most of us have tucked away somewhere inside us – for better or for worse – is the model presented by our parents. Did your parents model a healthy blending of connection and closeness, while also permitting individuality and distinctness?

Balance means sometimes putting your partners’ needs before your own – but not always doing so. Your partner may need more support around some challenge in his own life, for instance, or around a particular problem or challenge.

Being supportive of each other and feeling that support back is part of the joy of being in a relationship.  But if you are always doing the supporting and rarely feel that backing in return, it’s time to change course. Another clue: if you find that after entering into the relationship you find that you no longer have time for your old friends or old hobbies and activities that had great meaning for you.

Or you are constantly rearranging your schedule to accommodate the needs, or potential needs, or your boyfriend. Do you know your own needs and desires, or do you find yourself just going along with your partner in everything from what to eat for dinner to what you want out of life?

Knowing yourself can be difficult, but it is not your partner’s job to give you the answers – even if you hope that he will. This taking responsibility for yourself is for you to do.

Make some time for yourself. Find pursuits that are yours alone, as well as ones to share with your boyfriend. Exercise, read a book, visit friends. Spending every moment with your partner isn’t necessarily a sign of your deep love and commitment, and it can become boring! Better to find a balance – there’s that word again – between things you do together and things you do by yourself.

Losing your identity and your sense of yourself is not a testimony to your great love for your partner. It’s a problem, and one that can undermine a relationship. Only when you have a sense of yourself can you truly connect with another in a healthy way.

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

G'day JustinO,
I watched Australian Story last night on telly about an Aussie country singer who went to Iraq some years ago to entertain troops, both Aussies and Americans. Later, she received a letter from a fan who was anti war. He said he'd ripped her poster from his bedroom wall because of her visit to Iraq. She was so upset - angry and saddened at the same time - she used that energy to write a song. It became a hit both in Oz and the US. She still gets mail from vets in the States thanking her for writing that song... and even from widows of US soldiers who died serving their country. Even the Pentagon wrote an official letter to thank her.
About a dozen years ago, she married a man and bore his child. But there was something missing from the marriage. She couldn't figure out what it was. Her husband was a great guy and they got along really well. But just after the baby was born, they divorced. Shortly thereafter, she realized she was gay. At first, she was reluctant to come out to her fans. She thought they might reject her. But eventually she relented, and now she's accepted for who she is.
Her name is Beccy Cole, and this is the song she wrote for the man who took her poster from his wall.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A second post from COOPs. . . .Conservatives for Equality

This article is from the New ENgland GLBT newspaper, Boston based, BAY WINDOWS . . . . .

Introducing our new ‘Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry’ campaign

In Washington, D.C. today, Freedom to Marry is launching Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a new campaign to spotlight and increase support for conservatives in the United States who are speaking out on why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families. Freedom to Marry will also be hosting a brunch at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in late August in order to further bring together the key demographic in this new campaign. 
The launch event today will feature a number of prominent conservative voices who support the freedom to marry. Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, who signed on as the first Republican co-sponsor for the Respect for Marriage Act, the law that would repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, is one of the event's speakers. She said:
As Republicans we believe in equality ofopportunity rather than outcome. Most importantly, we believe that the individual and the family are the central engines in our society. The right for individuals to lead their lives without government intrusion is a bedrock conservative principle and it is much more than just about sexual orientation. It is about the fundamental rights we all share as Americans. It is about equality for all with no exceptions.
Public opinion polls demonstrate that young Republicans, Libertarians, and others who identify as conservatives are increasingly favoring the freedom to marry for all couples. In May, a poll from The Washington Post and ABC News indicated that 46% of self-identified Republicans ages 18-44 support the freedom to marry, and the rate of increase accelerates every year. 
Last year's Public Religion Research Institute Survey found that nearly half (49%) of Republican Millenials favor the freedom to marry, while 19% of Republican seniors and 31% of all Republican said the same. Clearly, the next generation of conservatives is driving these tectonic shifts in their party, and their thoughtful voices and willingness to depart from the perspectives shared by their older party members should be applauded and supported. 
Our National Campaign Director, Marc Solomon, discussed the importance of the campaign. He said:
The center of political gravity has shifted for good. The freedom to marry is fast becoming a bipartisan value embraced by all Americans who believe that love and commitment deserve support and protection. Freedom to Marry applauds this group of young conservatives for standing up to make the case. 
The Young Conservatives campaign is headed by a dynamic leadership committee. The team members include CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover, Comcast government affairs manager Madeline Koch, New Hampshire Republican for Freedom and Equality Executive Director Tyler Deaton, Berman and Company VP Sarah Longwell, Denzenhall Resources VP Nicole Neily, International Center for Law & Economics Director of Operation Will Rinehart, government relations professional Torrey Shearer, and Marine Corps veteran Craig Stowell. Read all about the leadership committee HERE.

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    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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    Thanks, Gary. . ..This is a fun great series of countries/people dancing.  Join 'em.

    AUSSIE Views on a USA Problem

    An article about the gun lobby in the US...
    By Tom Ehrich
    Killings in Aurora, CO, immediately stirred unresolved issues about gun control in America. Just as quickly, the gun lobby shouted down those concerns. One Congressman said the answer was more guns, not fewer.
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    Monday, July 23, 2012

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    Sunday, July 22, 2012


                          -    peter -


                                   -   justin -                                                                                                            


    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    G'day JustinO,
    Since LOL is used quite often on da Dunes, I thought you might be interested in something I wrote about LOL a few years ago.
    J might appreciate this also cos it's kinda lawyer-ish.

    Wedding on Military Base

    Ed. Note:   "Ministers of Religion"  are hired by the Military Branches to provide for the spiritual/religious needs of co-religionists.  There are terms and specs to their work contracts.   Ministers of Religion as military chaplains  work for a specific religious group; they are not free-range agents.  Because of their affiliation and specifics of their employment they work for and according to the regulations of the group by whom they are employed.  They are licensed by the church with which they are affiliated 
    "The Priest wouldn't marry them" because he couldn't.  His church does not do same-gender marriages.  Same for the Baptists and other religionists.  "The Lutheran Minister would" because she could. . . because the Lutheran Synod by whom she is licensed permits such marriage she was working within the conditions and terms of her employment.              Justin

    I may have sent this to you last month, I don't recall.  Priest, wouldn't marry them and forget the
    Baptist.   Nice that the Lutheran Minister would.  She is very understanding and we are all grateful
    that she made this event come about. 
    Joe Galant
    First Military Base Same-Sex Wedding …
    Two men became the first same-sex couple to marry on a military base when they held their wedding ceremony last month at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
    Tech Sgt. Erwynn Umali and his partner, Will Behrens, married June 23 on the base where Umali, an active member of the Air Force, had been stationed. It was a decision that would have been unthinkable just nine months ago, before the law requiring them to keep their relationship a secret was repealed.
    "We asked [about holding the ceremony on the base], and they were very open about it, but [said], 'No one has ever asked us this question before,'" Umali said in a Facebook chat hosted by Slate. "We did not get any push back from the base or leadership. All they asked was that we be patient because this was the very first one."
    Both men say this positive reaction is the same sort of response they have gotten since going public with their relationship to Umali's peers in the military. After Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed last September, Umali decided to open up about his relationship withBehrens.
    At a farewell luncheon hosted for him on his military base before he left for a special assignment, Umali came out in a very public way. In a speech in front of 40 fellow airmen, he thanked his partner and fiancĂ©. His fellow airmen responded with a standing ovation, according to Slate.
    About 150 friends and family attended the ceremony, which was officiated by Evangelical Lutheran Church Navy Chaplain Kay Reeb.
    Not everybody has been so accepting of their relationship, however. Both men grew up in strict religious families. Behrens' parents don't approve of his homosexuality, and Umali's parents in the Philippines are still struggling with his homosexuality.
    Both Behrens and Umali were previously married to women, and both have two children, all of whom were at the wedding.
    "One thing that we know and want to show our kids is to be true to yourself and love everyone no matter what," Umali said. "This is a victory for us because our kids still love us and we love each other and that is what they see."
    The family of six all went to Disneyland after the ceremony.
    Despite their civil union, the federal Defense of Marriage Act means they don't have the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples, something they say they would like to see changed.
    "It is our goal to see equality, but we also know that our country is not quite there yet," Behrens said. DOMA prevents Umali from extending his military heath care to Behrens' children, and when Behrens' visits Umali on base, he still needs a guest pass.
    For now though, the newlyweds are just happy to be able to live their lives in the open, beginning with sharing a first kiss and a first dance in front of their family and friends at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Behrens in a tuxedo, and Umali in his Air Force uniform.
    "I never thought I'd be able dance with a man like this on a military installation," Umali said.
    "We fully understand we are going to have more battles, however, they only make us stronger," Behrens said. "We have gone through a whole lot already and we are ready for the future and to push forward."