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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Losing my religion

A year ago next week, April 4th, Easter Sunday to be exact, was the last time I stepped foot in a church for a worship service and Martha Stewart as my witness, I shall never again. I had begun to have my doubts about organized religion earlier that spring, but as the Lenten season progressed and headed towards Easter; I became more and more detached. The reasons for my decision to leave have been discussed here in previous posts, so I don’t think they need rehashing at this time. There is a handy archive on the bottom right of this page for your convenience if you want to know more.


So what has happened during this time? Not much. As mentioned previously, I feel nothing spiritually. I felt like a total hypocrite that Sunday as the glorious organ in the church blasted out Wesley’s amazing hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” Helen Keller probably would have felt (and heard) more than I did that day. I would now call myself spiritually numb. The prayers that once brought me comfort now mean nothing. I drive by the mega churches here in Jackson and the bile rises in my stomach. I read about ministers using their pulpits to hurl their vile and spiritually corrupt sermons against my LGBT brethren and my heart sinks lower and lower. You can only hope and pray so much before you start to hit a spiritual brick wall, and you can only commit yourself to a church and then get rebuked so many times before you say “ENOUGH!” and move on.

And that’s what we (Tod and I) did. However, there is a still a member of our family who goes to Sunday School each week and who reminds us at our meals that we need to say a prayer. Anna still goes to the church next to us each week for Sunday school. While I think her motives are more for dress up and snacks than spiritual fulfillment, I can’t blame the girl for wanting to get fancy once a week. However, we remain detached and not involved with her spiritual growth. Eli knows nothing of church and at this point, I don’t really care if he ever does. I am glad we had him baptized, but now, I am wondering if it was really worth it for all the vows and promises we made that Sunday in the church that ultimately pushed me away from my faith.

Our year used to be marked by the liturgical calendar as it plodded through the various seasons of the church year. We would celebrate Advent and Lent, and look forward to the holidays that they brought. Now, we mark time a little differently. This year, we made a big fuss about Mardi gras and St. Patrick’s Day, and not for their religious meanings. We decked out the house in green, purple, and yellow and laissez les bons temps rouler throwing beads and makin’ whoopee to some New Orleans Jazz while eating shrimp gumbo and wolfing down some beignets.

So what about Easter this year? It’s hard to say at this point. For the first time since Anna was born, we will be somewhere besides our home for the holiday so it will definitely be different. For Eli, we’ll focus on the eggs and Peeps and the fun of finding what we hid at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. For Anna, I am certain she will go to church, but beyond that, who knows. My Celtic ancestors had strong ties to the seasonal changes, something the early Christian church understood and readily co-opted to their benefit. Maybe it’s time to get back to my inner-Pagan and look back in time instead of forward for how we mark time and celebrate the year. As spring slowly rears its lovely head here in Michigan, my faith in the world comes back, but my faith in organized religion has not. It will take more than a garden full of daffodils coming up to change my mind on that.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FML: Jackson style

Good lord almighty. People wonder why I make such a big stink about how tough it is to be Gay in this suckfest of a town, and sometimes I had to remind myself that Jackson isn't that bad to maintain my sanity. However, today word came out in the paper that the city and county are going to share a new HR Director and my heart sank. A woman from Toledo who was fired by the University of Toledo (my alma mater) for her bigoted anti-Gay remarks in a local newspaper. UT did the right thing, but now she is here in Jackson to unleash her own special brand of crazy on our town.

FML

I read this in the story and had to laugh:

Interim county Administrator Adam Brown said Dixon’s level of experience and professionalism put her “head and shoulders” above other candidates.

Professional?
Read this: as a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo’s Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are "civil rights victims." Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended.

Bitch, I didn’t choose to be Gay just like you didn’t choose to be Black. It bothers me that this woman will be in a position of power in the city, a position where she may come in contact with LGBT employees and their needs. I wonder how fair she will be when working with them if she feels deep down in her heart that they can change. What about non-Christians? Will she treat them the same way? After all, Christianity is a choice as well. No one is born Christian.

I will be keeping a close eye on this as the story unfolds.

The story from our paper:

http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/03/jackson_county_city_hire_joint.html

Her letter to the Toledo paper that got her fired from U T:

http://www.toledofreepress.com/2008/04/18/gay-rights-and-wrongs-another-perspective/

Monday, March 28, 2011

SHUT UP Bob!

As you may know, Bob (low_fat_muffin on LiveJournal) is participating in a bike ride/marathon to raise monies for AIDS research. As you may know from my posts, I have been busy with the local Red Cross’ RED Art fundraiser here in Jackson. I was thrilled to have my work on display, as well as honored to have some of it sell. However, there are two large pieces left, as well as some 8 x 10’s that I would like to offer up to you all in hopes of raising money for Bob.


The larger pieces (about 20” x 30”) are here:



They were $150 at the RED event; I will sell them here, unframed for $75 each or $125 for the set.

I have four 8 x 10’s of the firemen kissing (From Market Days in Chicago) and I will ask $40 for those.

I also have some naughtiness left from the Dirty Show. Message me and I can discuss what those are in private. Yes, they are dick shots. Not mine.

If you are interested in purchasing a print, let me know and we will bill you from our PayPal account and ship the pieces out ASAP.

Thank you for your support, and a hearty thanks to Bob for doing this to raise money. The fight is far from over.

This is Bob. Ride Bob, Ride! To see why I said "SHUT UP Bob, go here:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Climbin' the walls

Usually it’s me that’s climbing the walls with the kids. Tonight, it was the opposite, and Miss Anna donned her harness and hit the rock wall at the local Y. She got about ¾ of the way up and decided to come down. I was very proud of her.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Loss and memories.

My parents are both in their seventies and over the past year or so, both Tod’s parents and my parents have lost friends from high school and from their professional/work life. A recent phone call from my folks had my Dad lamenting that his friends are “dropping like flies” as he has lost several high school friends and his long time business partner within the past six months. Recently my Mom lost her best friend from church in a sudden (but not unexpected) death. While I am not denying the fact that this is a hard thing, it is, as my Mom’s friend was a great friend of our family and a big supporter of MY family.


But what makes me sad is the fact that many of my friends from high school and my early college years never made it to the nineties. That big disease with a little name took out my rather large part of my graduating class’ sizeable Lesbian and Gay population. When Tod and I went to see the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt in DC a while ago, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I looked down on a block of panels from the Toledo area. I recognized 6 out of the 8 names stitched together and fell to my knees in grief.

I wish my friends from high school would have lived to see their seventies. My friend Christopher, a lovely and tortured soul, was the first of my friends to die of AIDS. My fellow trumpeter (from my early high school marching band years) Ed was the first person I ever went to see in the hospital. The regular hospitals in Toledo didn’t know what to do with him, so they sent him to the Medical College of Ohio. I had to visit him in a quarantined room, it was horrifying. But there were others. Others who in the drug and alcohol fueled frenzy of club life in the mid 80s and early 90s never made it to see the turn of the century. While we may have shaken our asses to Prince’s “1999” on the dance floor, a lot of them didn’t live long enough to write that year on a check.

I must confess that I miss my buddy Steve the most. He was my big Bubba BFF from Texas. I loved Steve and his genteel southern drawl and when he got sick; my family helped me through it. He was one of the first people that my parents knew who passed from this horrible disease. He worked for a tour company and he worked with my Mom to arrange a trip to Nashville for her and her Nursing School buddies. A copy of his quilt square hangs in our attic family room, a silent witness to all the craziness our family exhibits each week. I have to wonder if he is somehow watching all this and shaking his head. I get a card every year from his Mom, I treasure it.

I miss Tam and his partner Tom, forever stitched together on the quilt. I remember gasping for air when they showed up to work on my parent’s lawn (they owned a B and B in town and a landscape service) one summer (Shirtless, natch) and as I busily checked my hair and made iced tea for these two hot (umm, literally and physically) guys. I knew we would be friends, and after I brought out my cool offerings, our friendship began.

And then there are those who just disappeared, for whatever reason. We didn’t have a high school that connected us, and many of the bars that we hung out together in are history. Yes, Facebook has provided me with some great reunions, including my very first boyfriend, but searches for many of my friends have turned up nothing. It’s saddens me that they are just gone. I have some pics, but for the most part, they are just hazy memories floating around in my head.

So yes, I mourn with my folks and their losses, but I hold a candle that has been burning for almost 30 years in my heart, a candle that burns for the lives that ended much too soon.

I offer this post in loving memory of: Christopher, Ed, Tam, Tom, Reed, John, Ed, Terry, Todd, Steve, and so many others. I miss you all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What have you done for me lately?

After high school, I worked at a variety of jobs, including being the Social Director at a posh nursing home in Perrysburg, Ohio. It was a private pay facility, but we had a Veteran’s contract, so a small percentage of our residents were Veterans. During this time, I was still living with my folks and attending church with them each week. A rather loud and obnoxious member of our church (who is probably a member of the Tea Party now) would verbally harass us young adults each week, cajoling us for being in college and not “doing anything” in his stunted vision of life as an adult. Due to his family’s status in the church, we usually just blew him off and laughed while he called us worthless one hundred different ways each week.


Was this bullying? Probably, but we were young and no one seemed to care that this guy could verbally abuse us every Sunday and get away with it, everyone, including my parents seemed to think it was okay. I think they actually sent me to ex-Gay Camp at his house when I was a kid to knock out some wood working projects and tinker on cars (which I hated) since I didn’t embrace any of that as a kid. This guy grew up with the Toledo mentality of post high school plans, which, even in the 80’s seemed rooted in a post WWII Boomer mindset. If you were a girl, you had three options:

1. Get a job in a factory and hope your future husband makes more money than you do.

2. Go in to the military.

3. Get the Mrs. Degree (read= get married and have kids and don’t do anything).

4. Go to college? Only if you were going to be a teacher.

For guys, your options were:

1. Get a job in a factory and hope your future wife didn’t want to go to college or have too many kids.

2. Go in to the military.

3. Go to college if you were going to do something useful like engineering.

And that was it. So this big guy (and I do mean big… he was physically large and intimidating and wore a flag pin before you HAD to wear one post 9/11) would pony up to us youngsters in the narthex of the church and smack our shoulders and ask us what we learned in “college” as he wiggled his hips and made funny faces. If he didn’t do that, he’d ask us what we had done for our country lately, insinuating that since none of us were actually in the military, the answer would be nothing (he was a veteran, natch).

After I got my job at the nursing home, I finally had a response for him to that annoying question. I worked with a group of veterans each week. We’d do puzzles, smoke cigars (yes, they could smoke in the facility, and drink too!), or we would just watch old war videos that I rented from the library. The VA made sure that these guys had my full attention for a couple of hours each week. For those that couldn’t get out of bed, or were too far gone, I’d sit with them and read them a story from a Reader’s Digest (which, seems to be the ONLY reading material you can find in nursing homes) or I would read their mail to them. For the ones that were unresponsive, I didn’t know if what I was doing was getting through to them at all. I could have read the phone book (again, probably more interesting than the Reader’s Digests) to them and they wouldn’t have known or cared.

So one Sunday, I had finally had enough. When the guy came up and started talking to us, the question came up, as it had so many Sundays before: “What have you done for your country this week?” I turned to him and started listing all the things I had done with the various Veterans in the facility, calling each of them by name and mentioning what I did with them and how much time I spent with them. I then looked him straight in the eye and said, “how about you?” He didn’t have an answer, and from that time on, the bullying subsided.
Anna meeting Senator Stabenow

Today, Anna had a chance to meet Senator Debbie Stabenow with her Daisy Troop at a local coffee house downtown. The troop donated come cookies to the Senator and her staff for them to distribute to the troops or any other deserving group. The Senator is a former Girl Scout (trivia: all of the 13 female US Senators were Girl Scouts!) so she was more than happy to come and share a moment with these young girls. It’s about service, it’s about what you give, and today, I am happy to say that Anna was able to give to her country, even if it was a small gesture. But as we know, small gestures often times turn into big deals.

Thank you Senator Stabenow for your service to our country.

Thank you to Cindy, Erica, and all the other parents who helped make this event, and the biweekly troop meetings happen.

Who knows, you may have a future President or Senator in your midst.





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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Evolution?

Tell me again about how you you don't believe in evolution.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something to chew on

The night Michael Jackson died, I had finally had enough. I had worked with my amazing dentist to save a tooth in my mouth, but the time had come for it to come out. Since earlier in that year, the pain from this abscessed tooth made it hard to wash my face on the left side. Due to the forking of the roots, and the deterioration of my gum line around the infection, it was a perfect storm for pain and dental nastiness that only great dental training could fix. Thankfully, my dentist happened to be on Facebook that fateful night, and he ordered an extraction as soon as it was possible.


The tooth came out, and even though the extraction caused a great deal of pain, once it was out, I could tell as the pain subsided and the healing began. I knew that I would have to have an implant eventually, so when the initial oral surgeon pulled it, he put some ground cadaver bones in the wound to help build up my jaw line for the implant before sealing up the wound.

Okay, first off, where does one score a bottle of ground up cadaver bones?

Witches ‘R Us?

Voodoo Hut?

No, really, I want to know. And, where do they get them to sell? Yes, I will donate my organs, but bones? Really? To be ground up into a powder? Where do you check that option on your driver’s license? But, as of now, the mélange of the dead in my mouth probably numbers legion, so I have instructed Tod and my students to sever my head in case of the dead coming back. Take no chances with these dead fuckers in my mouth. I have seen waaaaaaaaay too many Zombie flicks to take any chances.

The old tooth (left) with the new one, on the model. The color is "Coffee and Nicotine."

But the initial planting of the dead in my mouth wasn’t enough for the implant to take according to my other dentists, so I ended up getting more packed in and having to wait until:

1. My flex save account was able to be recharged with some money. This shit isn’t cheap.

2. The bone could calcify and grow stronger to take the actual hardware of the implant.


And yes, that meant opening the hole again, cleaning out what didn’t take, and sealing it back up. Fun? Hells no.

So fast forward a year or so later and I am in the new oral surgeon’s office getting the screw hole for the implant put in. At this time, the bone has calcified enough that they can drill, baby drill, and put the hardware in to take the post for the prosthetic tooth down the road. I was knocked out for this one and apparently told the surgeon and her assistant that Tod’s back was covered with ink, which it is. I think prompted him in my chemical haze to show them. Fun. I then spent the rest of the morning propped up on the couch, watching Nick Jr. That’s what was on when the tv turned on, I never changed the channel. Yea drugs!

After this, more healing and then the implant went in after a few months with a healing abutment. The gift of having insurance allowed me to do this and make my jaw line whole again, but the insane cost of dental work had me putting thousands away for the past two years in my flex save to cover what insurance didn’t. I am happy to have this done, as I am no fan of the dentist. What can we learn from all this?

Brush your teeth kids, and take care of your gums!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Answers to your questions

A few questions came in from the readers, here they are!


Anonymous asked: How is your newest child fitting in with the rest of the family? Any problems so far?

Eli moved in almost two years ago and things are okay. It was an adjustment for all of us, for sure, especially the little Princess who lost her throne. She is getting better, but each day brings improvement and new craziness. He is no longer needing the gigantic diaper bag and is moving into independence with walking at the store, etc.

From Ken, a bevy of questions:

1. How/where did you and Tod meet? Ken, it’s a long and drug-fueled story, read it all here: http://jesushas2daddies.blogspot.com/2009/02/special-day-indeed.html

2. Why does he spell Tod with only one [d], rather than two? It’s the Scottish spelling. It means “fox” and I think he is. His parents knew another family with a kid with that spelling, so they borrowed it. And yes, it means dead in German.

3. What led to your decision to adopt kids? This gives you some insight into the genesis of the decision: http://jesushas2daddies.blogspot.com/2009/02/one-wedding-i-will-always-remember.html

4. What's the best thing you like about being a dad? There are many things to love, there are many things that make me crazy on a daily basis. I would say that the gleeful yells of “Papa! Papa!” when they come to wake me up in the morning makes my day.

Now about you:

I've noticed you're very tattooed on your arms, but your chest and back are not. Are you planning a magnum opus for those areas? As for the chest, I am too furry, and from watching Tod get his ink done on his chest, I don’t want that pain! I do have one small tattoo on my back, up by my neck. It’s Anna’s handprint with “Ancora Imparo” underneath it. Those are Michelangelo’s alleged last words, “still, I learn.” I plan on adding Eli’s hand soon coming down from beneath it.

Judy asked:

I know you hate organized religion for various reasons. It sounds like you may have had some bad experiences with some Christians that I (a Christian) wouldn't want to be associated with. Since this change, have you found it difficult to be in relationship with any Christians or has your experience left you bitter towards anybody in the faith? How do you look at them today?

I hold no animus towards Christians in general. However, there are a few groups that I hold in great contempt for their actions towards LGBT people and our lives. They are, in no particular order:

a. Westboro Baptist Church, the God Hates Fags people.

b. Mormons. Prop 8, you ALL have the stink of bigotry and discrimination on your hearts and souls.

c. The Catholic Church, Prop 8 as well as the many cases of abuse that the church has overlooked.

d. I remain friends with many of the folks at the United Methodist Church next to us, but until the church rescinds its stance on LGBT members, we won’t attend or support the church.

Erica wonders…

I would like to know if you have any intention of adopting any more children?

Hell to the no. We are the McMillen-Oakleys, not the Jolie-Pitts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March: Ask a question month

Over in Live Journal-land, March is "Ask me anything month." So in the spirt of that meme, what burning questions do you have for the McMillen-Oakley household dear readers?
Ask us anything. Just like Frasier Crane, we're listening.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teach your LGBT children well: the Glee post

The theme from last night's Glee was sex ed. While most of the episode was forgettable, the exchange between Glee’s main Gay Kurt and his Dad was amazing. Kurt’s love interest talked to his (Kurt’s) Dad and asked him to have “the talk” with him after discovering that Kurt was hopelessly lost and confused regarding matters of sex. I logged on to Towleroad.com this afternoon and the snippet before the posted this quote was: “On last night's Glee, Burt Hummel had a talk with Kurt about the birds and the bees. It'd be great if all gay teens (or teens in general) had a parent who cared this much.”
Burt, Kurt’s Dad said: "When you're intimate with someone in that way, you gotta know that you're exposing yourself. You're never gonna be more vulnerable, and that scares the hell out of a lot of guys...With two guys you've got two people who think that sex is just sex. It's gonna be easier to come by and once you start, you aren't gonna want to stop. You gotta know that it means something. It's doing something to you, to your heart, to your self-esteem, even though it feels like you're just having fun...When you're ready, I want you to be able to do everything. But when you're ready, I want you to use it as a way to connect to another person. Don't throw yourself around like you don't matter, because you matter."

I have to agree with what they said on Towleroad, and in my opinion, most of my Gay friends from high school would still be alive today if we would have had talks like this when we were Kurt’s age. AIDS was just a baby when I graduated from high school, but in its infancy, it took out a great number of my friends, something that leaves a very black and empty hole in my soul to this day, some thirty years later. Had we had this kind of talk and this kind of unconditional support from even a school counselor, the decimation that took place in the mid-eighties may have never happened. We came out in an era of new found freedom and awakening sexuality. This freedom and sexuality, while exciting and new at the time, had a price, the price of a panel full of friends that graduated with me in the 80’s on the Names Project AIDS quilt.

Kudos to the writers and producers of Glee for giving the LGBT youth of today something to remind them that there is more out there than sex and that they matter and that they are worth it. I can’t help but think about how my life would be today were my friends Ed and Christopher still alive to talk to me and to be with me as I matured into an adult. Unfortunately, this big disease with a little name took them away way too soon and I miss then dearly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A pissy observation on Prop 8

My new friend Heather asked me to chime in on her great blog http://apithyobservation.blogspot.com/?spref=fb regarding the impact of Proposition 8 on our lives. Heather and her family lived in Logan, Utah while this was going on and she keeps in contact with many of her Mormon friends. There have been some lively discussions on her Facebook page about religion and the Gays and I appreciate her allowing me the opportunity to share how this horrible thing changed our lives on her blog. Stop on by and say hello.

In August of 2008, we flew our small family to California to get legally hitched in San Francisco. We knew that our marriage would not mean much for us back here in Michigan, due to Prop 2’s passage a few years earlier. However, we decided it was important to us to make this happen for us and for our growing family. The trip out was shrouded in secrecy since we didn’t want our family to know what we were up to and try and talk us out of it. For our parents, and for many of our friends, our commitment ceremony in 2001, done in our humble backyard, was good enough for them.


However, it wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to be legally married somewhere.

We both grew up in two-parent households, and to this day, our parents are still together and are both approaching their 50th anniversaries. So no one can blame us, as we had great role models for our decision to do this. It wasn’t until I was in junior high that I knew a kid that actually came from a divorced household, the thought terrified me as a kid. We were able to secure a time in San Francisco’s Beaux Arts City Hall on the same day we had our commitment ceremony in 2001, seven years earlier on August 4th. But this time, instead of 200 plus guests, we had a small gathering of friends, some family, a former student and Jeb, the man who married us. His partner Thomas wrangled the two kids in attendance and took pictures for us as Jeb preformed the ceremony on the balcony of the 4th floor of City Hall. Anna was our ring bearer and flower girl and stole the show from Jeb, who is also an international DJ as well as minister. A tough task, but Anna was up for it.

So we got married and that night we called our parents to let them in on our secret. Needless to say, they were thrilled and a bit confused (to their defense, it was late and they’re old). There were many questions to be asked, but we had a night of celebrating in front of us as Tod’s cousin took Anna for us so we could have the night to ourselves in the amazing city of San Francisco. Thomas and Jeb took us out for dinner and we celebrated over tapas and sangria.

When we returned there was life as usual waiting for us in Michigan as a recently married couple. We were busy getting back to school for the year and doing our best to help Obama get elected. We jumped into the campaign and did what we could to help. While all this was taking place, there was much campaigning going on in California for Proposition 8, reversing the ability for Lesbians and Gays to marry in California. We knew that this was happening when we made the decision to go out there, and that was one of the reasons why we didn’t tell our parents. We knew that there was a chance that Prop 8 would pass, but all the polls said we were safe, or so we thought.

We were overjoyed when Obama won, but then the news started coming in the Prop 8 might pass. As it became clear that it did indeed pass, a roar of opposition came from around the county. It was unheard of that we could elect our first Black President in 2008, but we were still in the Dark Ages when it came to LGBT rights. As we got used to the fact that it did indeed pass, our hearts sank. Suddenly, our status as a legally married couple was in jeopardy. It was infuriating for sure, and a bit sad. It didn’t help matters when the donor lists became available and it became clear that there were several religious groups behind the massive amount of funding needed to make it pass. One of the chief groups was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.

More on their shenanigans here: http://crooksandliars.com/julia-rosen/mormons-and-prop-8-lies-and-blackmail and a more detailed list of donors here: http://mormonsfor8.com/

Suddenly we were thrown into a state of confusion and internal conflict because as soon as the votes were counted, the appeals started. We took part in many different protests around the area and lent our voice to the chorus of disapproval to those who funded this contentious bill.

As Obama was inaugurated, and the distinctly anti-Gay pastor Rick Warren led the prayer, I began to wonder if my efforts were worth it. I felt betrayed and out of sorts. I retreated inward and became emotionally and socially isolated. It didn’t help matters that I was also on sabbatical during a rather vicious Michigan winter and spent most of the time indoors alone. I checked dozens of LGBT focused blogs religiously each day in hopes that there might be a tidbit of information on the appeal. Then in March it began…

From across the country I watched a tiny video feed on my computer screen as the court case began in the same building where we were married. There were many impassioned voices from both sides, but the voice of reason seemed to be with our side. How is it ever right to allow a majority to vote on minorities’ rights? How can you repeal this when over 18,000 couples have already gotten married under the law? The questions kept coming to Judge Walker and he listened to each side, never once hinting at his stance. There were bloggers who chose to out him as a Gay Man, and the right demanded that he step down as his own sexuality might somehow affect his ability to rule justly and fairly.

But then there was a whole lot of nothing after the initial case in March. From March until August not much happened. We were still waiting in this morbid limbo of uncertainty as Judge Walker mulled his decision. Meanwhile, we were busy as ever welcoming Elijah into our house. We found out about him in May and by the end of July, he was living with us full time. This change brought up a whole host of questions for us regarding our marriage and our kids, questions that heterosexual couples NEVER have to ask or worry over.

1. We’re both legal parents to Anna (due to second parent adoption) and we’re married. Shouldn’t Eli be considered both our child as well? Unfortunately, no.

2. What if something were to happen to Tod, who is the legal parent to Eli? If we were a heterosexual couple, this wouldn’t even be a question. Eli would remain with the surviving spouse, no questions asked. With us, this isn’t as certain.

As the summer wrapped up and we began to settle into life with a new 1 and a half year old, the news that Judge Walker had ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional came on our anniversary. More on that here:

http://jesushas2daddies.blogspot.com/2010/08/best-anniversary-gift-ever.html

So what now? We’re still legally married, the passing of Prop 8 didn’t’ change that as they allowed the marriages to stay, but there are many couples who, for whatever reason, didn’t get married in time and are now wanting to do so in California, and until all this is cleared up, they can’t. And across the USA, small amounts of Gay and Lesbian couples are legally marrying in states that allow it and returning home to their state that may or may not allow for full legal rights under marriage.

Is this fair? Is this equal? No and no.

How are states going to deal with this? Do you have to remarry as a heterosexual couple when you move to a new state? NO. I for one am a little nervous and a little happy that there are pockets of us out there in the US demanding that we have full and equal access to the legal rights of marriage. Obama, once the apparent enemy of LGBT rights is coming around and is doing some great things for us. Time will tell, as will countless more trials and appeals are certainly on the docket. Both sides of this argument are well-funded and apparently doing nothing else but messing with my rights as an American citizen. But our family is now part of this fight for equality and we take the notion of marriage and family seriously.

It’s a fight I wish we didn’t have to do, but it’s one I am ready for.