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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preach it Tod!


My man posted this on his Facebook page and it has been shared all over the place.
I thought I would post it here for all those that are not on Facebook or didn't see it. It’s worth sharing.

Okay, I get that some of you believe homosexuality is wrong because the Bible tells you so.
What I don't understand is why you feel the need to legislate your religious beliefs on this issue?
Do you honestly in your heart, mind, and soul believe that by legislating your religious beliefs that homosexuals will suddenly say, "Oh, gee, I guess I shouldn't be homosexual any more"?
Why is this your key issue? Jesus and Paul both made it really clear in the Bible that if you get a divorce and then marry someone else you are an adulterer, why don't you legislate only one marriage certificate per lifetime?
Why do your religious laws have to apply to someone that doesn't practice your religion?
One final question, why are you one of my contacts, if you honestly believe that your belief in the Bible gives you the right to ban my marriage or Tom McMillen-Oakley from adopting our children, PLEASE DELETE ME NOW!"

There’s a reason I married this guy, he’s not afraid to speak his mind.
Preach Tod, preach!



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wedding bells, ringing in the past and today


Us in California in 2008
Tod and I took a chance back in 2008 when we got married in California. To many of our friends and family, our commitment ceremony done in our backyard in 2001 was the best we could hope for in this backwards state of Michigan. In 2004, the “will of the people” prevailed and gay marriage was banned in MI. There have been several cases brought forward regarding this, but the most recent case DeBoer vs. Snyder was the one that ultimately toppled this unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional law.
When we flew to California in August of 2008, we told very few people, because we knew that once we returned home it would mean nothing. We didn't want the naysayers to try and talk us out of this rather expensive, and what appeared at the time to be futile undertaking.  But we wanted to be married, and California was one of the first states to allow residents from other states to marry without a residency requirement. Plus, we had rock-star DJ (and great friend) Jeb Edwards marry us. Flash forward to fall and Prop 8 put a temporary hold on our marriage for over a year, once again, the will of the people. The will of some heavily funded outsiders and religious groups (Catholics and Mormons… lookin’ at you) who really had no business meddling in my personal life and the personal lives of so many others.

But once again, we prevailed. Prop 8 was struck down; it went through many challenges, but in the end our vows, spoken in San Francisco’s City Hall near the bust of Harvey Milk remained intact.
Today, gay couples are lining up on this grey and cold Michigan morning to get married all over the state. Tod and I already are, and we can stay home and celebrate what took place six years ago in San Fran knowing that it is finally legal here in Michigan. Yes, this is about us dammit. It’s about us as a couple, it’s about us as a family, and it’s about us and our kids and what we can offer them as parents. Call us Groomzillas, but yeah, it’s all about us. While we won’t be donning our crazy pink vests today, we will look at our rings and marriage certificate and know that we made the right choice back in 2008. Our thanks to everyone involved and finally made this happen.

Us with the plaintiffs last night in Ann Arbor. 

You can read Judge Friedman’s scathing ruling, and judicial bitch slap to Snyder and Schuette over their defense of this archaic law here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1094703-friedman-ruling.html


Thursday, March 20, 2014

A note on the death of Fred Phelps


This was originally written over 10 years ago. I found it in my hard drive and thought it would be worth sharing with the recent news of Phelp’s death. I don’t really remember what the genesis was for this, or who it was written for… but I do know that at the time, my thoughts on him and his work were quite different than they were today. As an artist, I support free speech, even if it’s hateful. This doesn't sit well with some of my friends and colleagues but I support it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with it, but I support his right to share his thoughts, even if they are hateful and ill-timed. And my views on religion have changed as well. Back then, we were going to church and I had an active prayer life. Now, we focus on our family and instead of sitting around talking to God in our heads. I am just happy I was able to outlive him and his hatred. Our rainbow flag is flying a little brighter today. 
Here is the letter:

Dear Reverend Phelps,

I was praying to God the other night, and asked Him to help me understand all the evils that are currently plaguing our world.  I couldn’t understand why such a benevolent creator would put such hateful and ungodly folks on this planet, and have them do work in His good name. Then it dawned on me…

I immediately thanked God for this revelation, and ended my prayer to write this letter to you. I did some searching on the Internet, and found that in all the places that you and your congregation gather to protest, there is a great deal of love and outpouring of support for LGBT people and issues.  Often times, there had been no support before, but with the advent of your protests, people rally and come together, united in their intolerance for hatred and narrow minds. 

You are doing God’s work, bringing people together to support LGBT concerns.  Look at all the money the folks in Ann Arbor raised when you were there!(see link) They couldn’t have done that without your help.  Other communities are beginning to use this method as well… making your protest pay off for other causes.  It’s a win/win situation for all the groups.  You get your protest, and they get the money.  The longer you protest, the more they make.  What a great plan!

And look at Ferndale, MI where you recently did your thing. The city really didn’t have a focus or any kind of support for LGBT supporters.  But once you announced you were coming, groups formed, support networks cropped up, and the whole city united against you and your message of hatred. And just in time for the holidays.  Without you in Ferndale, this new community wouldn’t have happened.  You really should have worn a bow that day, as this was a great present to this community!

Thank you Reverend Phelps and thanks you to your congregation as well.  You are doing God’s work, spreading His love and understanding, whether you realize it or not.  I now understand why you were put on this planet.  You are the galvanizer of communities and causes.  Where you wish to disband and protest, you instead create support and understanding.  Your little message of hatred spawns a greater message of love and Christian understanding.

Now when I pray, I thank my God each night for you and your congregation, and ask that He support you in your unintentional cause. You have much work to do Fred, you aren’t getting any younger.  Go out there and spread God’s word!

God Bless you Fred!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's us! ON THE NEWS!



Meant to post this link last week, but in the rush up to Spring Break, I forgot.
We were interviewed Monday night and the segment aired that evening and Tuesday morning.
The trial continues, and should be wrapped up by Friday. It appears that the judge will NOT rule on Friday, so who knows how much longer this will take.
Here is the link to our story on WILX

http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/Michigans-Gay-Marriage-Ban-Heads-to-Trial-Tuesday-246993881.html