Thursday, October 23, 2014

Random Musings

We don’t take a lot of long vacations here at Casa Bob y Casa. We might take a day trip to Charleston, or an overnight to Asheville or Savannah, but long trips? Not so much. Maybe once a year, if that.

So, to leave the house for well over a week to head out to Washington to get married — did I mention I got married, because I did — was quite the problem for the furry kids. We had a friend, and her kids, come in to care for the kids, feed them, play with them, let Ozzo go outside for his business, but our pets, while they liked the idea of being fed and watered and having clean litter boxes, were not keen on strangers … strangers … in their house.

The report was that for most of the week, Ozzo was depressed; MaxGoldberg wouldn’t come out from under the bed, and Miss Consuelo Roca-Jones was never seen at all. In fact, when we learned during our trip that Consuelo never appeared, I worried that she’d somehow gotten out of the house because that bitch er cat never misses the chance to be first in line at meal time.

Only Tuxedo showed up, and we heard that he showed up to supervise. He followed out pet-sitters around the house, checking everything they did, everywhere they went; he watched the dog go outside, and made sure the dishes had the right food; he ordered the treats to be served at the right time, and always used the litter-box after cleaning to make sure it had been done properly.

Of course, after we got home, Ozzo went insane, racing like a bullet around the house; MaxGoldberg and Miss Roca-Jones ran and hid, in a display of temperament, or anger that we dared leave them alone.

And only Tuxedo allowed himself to be greeted and hugged and kissed … by at least one of his Dads.

Ah, pets. They really let you know what’s going on.
Big news from across the pond is that people who live at Buckingham palace — though not the Queen, I think — are bringing their online hook-ups home for the night.

Uh huh. Buckingham Palace staffers have sparked internal security fears by bringing bootie calls, met on dating apps like, oh, say, Grindr, back to their living quarters, ands police guarding the royals are said to be ‘deeply concerned’ at the number of unvetted overnight guests.

Like it’s a freakin’ Motel Sex, er, Six.

According to well-placed sources — Hey Camilla! — many of the Queen’s 800-plus staff use online dating tools, and while most live-in servants — including butlers, maids and kitchen staff — are not allowed to bring guests into Buckingham palace, they can, and do, sign in visitors to their living quarters at St James’s Palace and the Royal Mews.

Still, if it happens there, it’s happening at Fuckingham, too, if you get my drift.
Okay, so marriage equality South Carolina update:

Our Will of the People Fund case, Bradacs v Haley et al, was required by Judge Michelle Childs to submit briefs by today; Childs can either rule without reading the briefs, or after reading.

From what I understand, though, she is bound by the ruling of the Fourth circuit Courts, and should therefore rule, either today, or by the November 13 deadline she set, to allow marriage equality in the state.

That said, let me take a moment to thank Nel, from Rhode Island, and Mark, from Delaware, for their donations to the cause as a wedding gift for Carlos and me. There would be no better gift than to have our marriage recognized in our state.


Lord, this Ebola thing is getting g out of hand.

Not the disease itself, but the reposting of who has it, how they got it, whose fault that was, where are they, where they’d go, did they sneeze, or fart, or vomit or crap their pants.

Keep it in perspective people. As I heard on NPR, more people have been married to Larry King — and to Kim Kardastrophe, for that matter — than have contracted Ebola in the country.

Every sneeze isn’t Ebola.

Stop it.
We love Scandal and we love How To Get Away With Murder. There used to be this thing called “Must See TV” and now that’s become, for us, “WTF Just Happened TV.”

I also love that both shows, created by Shonda Rhimes, feature all kinds of people, black and white, and every color in between, gay and straight, men and women, and don’t feed into the stereotypes of any of those folks.

Recently, though, there was a second, very hot, scene between two men on HTGAWM and some folks got their panties in a snit about it; like this woman who Tweeted:

And then Shonda Rhimes Tweeted back:

Good on Shonda!
Speaking of TV, here’s the Hot Man Alert for the New Season:

Brit Dominic West, baring butt, in Showtime's The Affair; Brian Hallisay, the cop with the big beautiful guns on Revenge; Michael Socha, the newest fairy-tale character, Will Scarlett, on Once Upon a Time; and Michael James Shaw, burning up the screen on the upcoming Constantine.

You’re Welcome.
So Renee Zellweger showed up at an even this week looking like, well, not Renee Zellweger, and social media went into snark overdrive.

It really was mean-spirited, and, as happens on these anonymous sites, a free-for-all. But then Zellweger herself weighed into the fray, saying this:

"I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows. My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy. For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself."

Let me say that if Zellweger had any kind of procedure, that’s her business and her right, and we shouldn’t denigrate her, or any man or woman for doing whatever they want to make themselves happier and more at peace with themselves.

That said, Renee, really? That is not the face of happy and fulfilled; that is a very different face altogether, and we should be able to bring it up in conversation, polite conversation, otherwise it becomes the lifted and tucked and Botoxed elephant in the room, Just sayin’.
Monica Lewinsky’s back, y’all. And am I the only one who finds it curious that she always resurfaces when Hillary Clinton is expected to run for office?

Yeah, Monica, right. But now, Lewinsky has taken on the crusade of online bullying because she says she is the first person to be “destroyed” by the Internet.

Bitch, please. You were attacked and reduced because you f**ked a married man, presidential or not, and then kept the DNA-stained clothing as some kind of trophy.

You really need to stop talking, permanently.
A group of conservative moms in Florida seem to have forced Toys R Us to pull four collectible dolls based on characters from AMC's "Breaking Bad."

Now, this one I don’t have a problem with, because I don’t think a meth-making doll is the kind of ‘toy’ kids should be playing with, though, if an adult, an adult, wants this kind of memento, go right ahead.

Toys R Us says the figures were sold in limited quantities in the adult-action-figure area of its stores but the fact is they were sold in a ‘toy’ store.

I’m kinda with the moms on this one. What do you think?
When former Playboy bunny Jenny McCarthy joined The View I knew she’d become the dumb one — which is saying a lot since Sherri “I’m not sure the Earth is Round” Shepard s still on — but now McCarthy is talking more, and sounder even more stupid.

If that’s possible. See, now she says she’s always felt “transgendered” on the inside:

"I feel like that inside. I always felt like one of the guys wearing, like, a Playboy bunny outfit. I was David Spade’s buddy to begin with, so I was a natural fit [to play a transgender character on Spade’s 90s show Just Shoot Me] and I always felt like his brother. To play kind of the dude, was almost too scary natural."

Seriously? So, you played transgender and that made you think you’re kinda transgender?

Siddown. But that wasn’t the dumbest think this bimbo said. She also went on to say she’d be over the moon if her son was gay:

"Oh my god, I would be so excited. We can shop! Do my hair!"

Right, because that's what every gay boy likes to do!

This gay boy hates shopping, hates the idea of touching Jenny McCarthy’s fried weave, and hates the idea that anyone is asking to interview this moron.

When All You Have To Prove Your Point Is Lies, You Need To Sit Down

For years, decades, centuries, we’ve heard the lies that the so-called “religious” folk tell the world about The Gays; that we’re pedophiles, we f**k dogs, we’re mentally ill, diseases, immoral, amoral. We don’t count; we’re bad for families, we undermine traditional marriage. God hates us.

And yet one-by-one those lies have been shot down and disproved, so what does the religious right do next, as marriage equality begins to spread throughout the country? Well, they say that churches will be forced to perform and condone same-sex marriages, until we watched as every state that has embraced equality, through voters, legislatures, judges and courts, has said that no church will ever have to perform a same-sex wedding if they choose not to do so.

So now what does the religious right do? Well, yeah, they lie some more.

In Idaho there are two ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who own the Hitching Post, a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene; for-profit means it’s a business and not a church, remember that. But the Knapps say they cannot marry same-sex couples at their “business” because it goes against their faith; they’ll take straight folks money but no cash from The Gays because, they say, God. And with marriage equality legal out there to Idaho, the good, er, not so good, Donald Knapp said he would close his business — in this economy — rather than let The Gays marry in his little business chapel.

Good. Bye.

But, at the center of this issue is Coeur d'Alene’s anti-discrimination ordinance and, depending on how the Knapp’s have licensed their business, they would  likely would be exempt from the ordinance, meaning they could not, would not, have to perform a same-sex wedding. And yet, while the Knapps will not now have to perform a same-sex wedding, the religious right, have hitched their wagons to the Hitching Post and are using it to make money for their special brand of crazy.

The Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] is a right-wing Christian law firm created by other hate groups like the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Coral Ridge Ministries.

The ADF has a habit of lying, which we’ll get to in a moment, but let’s take a look at their biggest lie; they claim to have an 80 percent winning record in fighting against marriage equality, but have lost a ton of high-profile cases on this issue, including Bostic v. Rainey, which brought marriage equality to Virginia, and, fingers crossed, South Carolina very soon; they lost in Bishop v. Oklahoma, which legalized same-sex marriages in that state; they lost the Elane Photography case, which found that photographers cannot refuse to do business with same-sex couples; and they lost the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which ultimately brought same-sex marriage to California.

So, they may win some, but when they lose, they lose big.

Now, the ADF has filed suit in Idaho, claiming the Knapps have licensed their Hitching Post as a religious business and therefore should be exempt from Coeur d'Alene’s anti-discrimination ordinance. But, as we’ve seen from these religious groups that hate — and let’s be queer, it is hate — The Gays, the lawsuit filed by the ADF contains several incorrect statements or lies.

The ADF claims the Knapps recently "respectfully declined" to perform a same-sex wedding "and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony."

But a cursory glance at the City of Coeur d'Alene's anti-discrimination law suggests that the fine, if the city chooses to impose a fine, is more like $100 per instance, not per day, meaning even if the Knapps were fines, they’d pay a hundred bucks.

And as for the arrest of the so-called pastors? Yeah, that’s a lie, too. There are articles in all sorts of religious papers and sites claiming that the Knapps were forced to shut down their business; that’s a lie. They chose to shut down their business rather than follow the law; they chose to shut their doors rather than hear a gay couple say ‘I do.’

Their choice.

The religious right has also claimed that The Gays — specifically some unnamed gays in Idaho who wanted to marry at the Hitching Post and were declined — have filed a complaint with the city.

That’s a lie. As of right now, as you’re reading this, there has not been one single complaint filed against the Hitching Post. Even the ADF seems to be spreading the lies claiming on their site that the Knapps face fines and jail time; now, that could be true, if the Knapps had been “ordered” to perform a same-sex wedding and refused to do so, but that hasn’t happened.

Let’s be queer: no gay couple has asked the Knapps to perform their wedding; no complaint has been filed. The Knapps, and the ADF, though, aren’t telling that story.
It should also be noted that the Hitching Post has recently changed the wording on their website from this:
We also perform wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings.
To this:
The Hitching Post specializes in small, short, intimate, and private weddings for couples who desire a traditional Christian wedding ceremony.
See what they did there? They took out the words civil wedding because, you know, then they might be forced to perform a same-sex wedding. In other words, they lied.

And it gets stickier problem because, when contacted by The Coeur d'Alene Press for comment, Don Knapp said the Hitching Post is not operating as a not-for-profit religious corporation; and he also said that he doesn’t even know the ADF attorney who seems to be presenting himself as their attorney.

Lies.Not a lie, however, is the statement from Coeur d'Alene city spokesman, Keith Erickson, who made the city’s point very clear:
"We have never threatened to jail them, or take legal action of any kind."
Oops. What happened to all those stories of fines and jail for those poor ministers who run a business of marrying people in all kinds of ceremonies, religious and civil?

Lies. That’s all the religious right has left to fight marriage equality. Lies.
source NCRM

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Architecture Wednesday: Toro Canyon House

I always wanted a getaway house and this just might be it … though to “get away” it might require a seven-hour flight followed by a bit of a drive, but still …

Toro Canyon House is located on a large plot of land near Montecito at the top of a mountain and adjacent to national park land so it’s all about the beauty and the nature and the quiet.

The road, which had to be built for access, brings the visitor to a point below the house, where a set of stairs leads up to the entry space and the front door, which, when open, reveals views of the Santa Barbara coastline through the courtyard.

With so much open space, the house feels almost like a pavilion, with the house organized around three courtyards; the primary one being the heart of the house and serving as the entrance and the outdoor living room. The courtyards bring in ample natural light and ventilation but also protect the home, and the rooms, from the strong winds that can race across the mountain.

The thick, rough concrete walls were custom color-mixed to match the dark red and brown tones of the earth at the site — would you have it any other way? The walls form a rugged shell that punctuated by large openings and Alaskan cedar wood siding.
It’s the house of house where one can get away, right out in the open.

The Battle of the Amendments

I’ve said it before on this bloggy thing, but it bears repeating: I am not a gun person. I don’t own a gun and have no desire to own a gun, but that’s just me. I have fired a gun, though; as a kid I went skeet shooting with some friends and I liked it when I hit the target, but when I didn’t … not so much.

That said, I don’t want to take away people’s guns even if I want to see people register their guns, license their guns, be responsible for their guns. That’s all. But gun owners in this country — at least some gun owners — seem to think that if you’re pro-gun control, you want all the guns banned, taken away, destroyed. It’s that fear-mongering thing again; it’s gun folks versus non-gun folks and, at least in Rochester, Minnesota, it’s gotten crazy.

Kimberly Edson recently planted a sign in her own front yard that features a picture of Matthew Halleck, a man who lives in the area, and the words:
"This man carries a loaded gun around your children every day."
Naturally, Matthew Halleck isn’t happy with it and he wants the sign removed. See, he doesn’t think Edson has a right to say what she wants to say — possibly because it’s about him and his gun-toting ways — and wants to shut her up; he wants to limit her speech because she’s worried about his carrying a gun. In fact, he’s thinking of suing her for libel, though he needs to get to a dictionary and look up the word and then realize he hasn’t got a case.

What he does have, however, is a state-issued permit to carry the gun and, in the state of Minnesota, residents don’t need a permit to purchase, use or carry rifles and shotguns, though they do need a license to purchase and carry a handgun; open carry is prohibited in all public areas unless one possesses a recognized permit.

And Matthew Halleck insists he needs to carry the gun for protection because, well, walking down the street in Rochester is, I’m guessing, dangerous. And Kimberly Edson may not disagree with that, but she does feel that people have a right to know who’s coming down the street with a firearm:
"Since we don't have a way to stop him, we felt it was important to notify the neighborhood and the parents that there is an armed man in their presence. The first couple days of school he had it very visible, we saw it and were quite concerned. I have a responsibility to help create the kind of community I want to see, and I don't want to see a community where there are guns around schools.”
So, when Edson saw Halleck carrying his gun — she saw him meaning it was out and on display — she called the police who told her Halleck has a legal right to carry off school property. Then after Edson posted her sign — with Halleck’s picture on it — he promptly called police to tell them about it. The sign was taken down, briefly, but then Halleck was told that Edson was not breaking any laws either, so it went back up and that’s where it stands.

Here’s how it breaks down, though: Matthew Halleck has a Second Amendment right to carry the gun, and Kimberly Edson has a First Amendment right to say she doesn’t like it, so who’s right and who’s wrong?

Well, for me, Matthew Halleck can own a gun, but does he have to open carry it while walking down the street? I don’t think so; he might be one of those responsible gun-owners, but what about the not-so-responsible people on the sidewalks? What if one of them decides to take his gun from him and start shooting? Who’s to blame then?

For me, I’d wanna know who’s got a gun, and where they are so I can avoid them, and I should have the right to say that, and to tell people that. I’m not saying he can’t carry his gun, but he can’t say that I don’t have the right to spread the word about it.

If he wants us all to honor his Second Amendment right to carry a gun, then he has to honor Edson’s First Amendment right to Free Speech.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mama Grizzly Bore™: Perennial ISBL Asshat

Can you believe it’s been six years since we dodged that bullet, that Double-Barreled Shotgun Blast that could have sent the McCain/Palin ticket to the White House? I mean, bad enough that we’d have Grumpy Grampa McCain perched on the front porch of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue telling the world to get off his lawn, but we could have had the Mama grizzly Bore™ just a heartbeat away from not knowing a single thing she reads as it comes across her desk in the Oval Office.

Whoosh. I got chills just thinking of that American Horror Story!

And then we had the MGB™ hightail it back to Alaska, only to quit because people were asking questions and pointing fingers and, well, it’s too hard, dontcha know. And so I figured she’d go away, and we’d hear nary a peep out of her again, except the minions that follow her, that think she is the Second Coming of … Something, and she came back, tellin’ us that she was gonna work towards making sure Obama was a one-term President.

How’d that work out, Grizzly Bore? Uh huh.

So, then she “wrote” a book and let her single unwed mother of a daughter dance for her life on television, and she kept telling us that she would help every single Republican she could get elected; how’d that work out for you, Christine O’Donnell? Uh huh.

But still, the MGB™ formed a PAC — a Political Action Committee — to raise money for good God-fearing, America-loving, lame-stream media hatin’ Republicans all over the US of A, and, well, how’d that work out?

Well, I’m here to tell you it worked out really good, if your last name is Palin, but it worked out really bad if you’re a Republican running for office.

While the MGB™’s SarahPAC has performed sadly, badly — putting it mildly — as a fundraising machine for the GOP, it has lined the coffers at the Bank of Bore. A report filed with the Federal Election Committee [FEC] showed that, out of $1.4 million the PAC had available in the third quarter — $978,000 in the bank, with another $433,000 raised during that time — SarahPAC donated just $45,000 to fellow Republicans running in the midterms.

That’s 3% for y’all that are math challenged. Three percent. And that’s nothing new; for the two-year 2014 cycle, the former Alaska Quitter’s PAC raised $2.5 million on top of more than $1.1 million that was in the bank at the start of the cycle, and yet it spent some $2.7 million, with about $150,000 — or 5.5 percent — going to candidates.

What happened to all that other money, though, you may wonder.

Well, she paid consultants to advise her on whether she should run for president and possibly all of them told her No; she paid someone to consult on “coalitions” whatever that means. And she paid for travel, her own travel, because how else can she spread the crazy all over the country when she has to pay her own way, pay her own hotel bills, cover the mini-bar peanuts and whatnot.

And the PAC sent $10,885 to HarperCollins — publisher of all three MGB™ books — for “books for donor fulfillment”, though that wasn’t the only book purchase by the committee: $13,000 was listed as being spent for “lodging, SUV rental, books for donors.”

And by donors, we all know she means that brood, and that husband of hers, because why should any of them work when Mama’s got donors handing over cash right and left?

Now, it’s not illegal to create a PAC to raise money for Republicans and elections and then give pennies on the dollar to those causes; there are few rules when it comes to what PACs can spend money on.

It’s just like welfare, you know, for rich, needy, clingy, ex-governors who crash and burn on the political landscape and have no redeeming qualities that anyone needs or wants. It’s a way of living off America and not really working.

It’s everything the Mama Grizzly Bore™ is opposed to, unless it works to her advantage,
And I guess it’s a paltry sum knowing that she will never, ever, be in a political office again because even her minions are growing tired of her squeezing them for coins and giving them nothing back.

Mama Grizzly Bore™, the ISBL Asshat for All Time.

I'll Hold Off On My Parade For The Catholic Church

Last week we got word from the Vatican that maybe, maybe, the Church was changing their stance on The Gays and before you could say, Ooh Pope Franky, where did you get the red Pradas, The Gays and The Gay Friendlies had broken out the Rainbow Flags and the Glitter Balls and the Mardi Gras Beads and were outside marching and cheering the Catholics.

All because we learned that the Church was thinking of including The Gays because, ahem, I paraphrase, we have gifts to offer the Church even though we are, ahem, I quote, “morally problematic.”

Morally problematic is a reason for a parade, Gays? Really? Morally problematic?

Luckily, we’ll never find out what that means because, right after that select group of Catholics thought about being nicer to The Gays, another group of Catholic bishops decided to say F**k it — or the religious equivalent thereof — and scrap their whole welcome to The Gays Plan.

In fact, they even skipped over a watered down version of The Welcome to The Gays and, rather than consider us — well, some of you, I guess, if you’re Catholic because I’m not — as someone who has gifts, or as my father called it, money, to offer the church, the newly revised non-welcome now refers to The Gays as one of the “problems” that Catholic families have to confront. Mind you, though, the Bishops said nothing about that other problem of priests who rape children because, well, I guess that’s not really a problem …

And we're stopping ...

Let me put that this way: say there was a very elite, rather expensive, worldwide boarding school. And say that the story broke that some of the teachers in that boarding school, in schools all over the globe, were raping children. No, what if you then found out that the headmaster, and all past and future headmasters, knew about the sexual abuse and did nothing. And in addition to doing nothing, they allowed those teachers who rape the opportunity to avoid prosecution by moving to another school, you know, where there are fresher choices to rape. Or, maybe they asked those pedophile teachers to quit their jobs but still receive a nice big pension. Would you sit idly by and let that happen?

And we’re back …

In addition to calling The Gays morally problematic, and deciding that they should still welcome us because we have money to toss in the collection plate — money to replace the tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars the Church has paid to rape victims worldwide — the Bishops have also decided not to be nice to divorced Catholics, even the straight one, and to civilly remarried divorced Catholics, though they were not dubbed morally problematic, in saying that they cannot receive Communion.

Yes, the Church has no problem with rapist and pedophiles; it has no problem with bigwigs in the company — and let’s face it, the Church is a business — from aiding and abetting those rapist, but God forbid, literally, you are a man-loving man or woman-loving woman, or have been divorced because, yeah, you’re not their kind of people.

So, the next time you hear Pope Franky mention one single word about The Gays and how times have changed, celebrate the fact that, at least, he’s talking about us in a somewhat positive way, and not in the framework of straight to hell or a blight on humanity or a moral problem, but let’s hold off on the parades and the celebrations until the Church actually does something.

And then does something about their rape problem.

Ow! I haven't ranted for over a week, and I should'a stretched first!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mr. and Mr.

I remember as a kid — a not-yet-out-but-knowing-I-was-different kid — telling my mother that I would never get married, but I would have a maid to take care of my kids.

How things change; as I remember that story, I think it was my first shot at coming out — as a six-year-old, I think — because, even then, I never thought I could get married, would be allowed to get married, but I always thought I could have children, if that’s what I wanted.

Years later, years later, after meeting Carlos, falling in love with Carlos, and moving three-thousand miles to be with Carlos, I still never thought I could get married, and,  while I like children — deep-fried with a side of ranch dressing … I kid — I knew I didn’t really want children.

And now, fourteen year s after that, I realized I could get married — perhaps not in South Carolina, yet — and that I would get married. We both wanted to do it, and we planned it a couple of times, but it never seemed to work out; things happen, life happens.

I wanted to get married on our anniversary, October 17, because, and he’ll hate me for saying it and then he’ll quickly forget I said it at all, Carlos is bad with dates; I figured the last thing he needed was another “us” date to recall.

So this year, this past summer actually, we decided to go for it. We’d planned a trip to New York City — one of our favorite spots where equality has landed — and planned a week of sights and shows and drinks and just plain fun. I called my father and told him the good news; he said he was so happy for us but that he wouldn’t, couldn’t come, because he doesn’t 'do' big cities. I thought, Oh that’s okay, Dad and let it go, but every time we talked about it, he’d always say that same thing.

And then it hit me: I’m an idiot.

My father was saying how much he wanted to see Carlos and I marry; he’d seen my brother get married, he walked my sister down the aisle, and he wanted to see Carlos and I marry as well.

New York was out, and Bellingham, Washington was in.

The only difference was that in Washington we’d have a three-day waiting period from getting the license to the actual I do’s rather than the twenty-four-hour waiting period in New York. But, it meant that much to my Dad, and it meant that much to me to have him there for this big life event, so it was worth it.

So, Washington there we went; up to Sumas, in fact, a literal hop and skip — no jump because it’s that close — to the Canadian border. Dad’s house is about thirty minutes from Bellingham — a smallish beautiful city along Bellingham Bay — and that’s where we went last Monday to fill out the marriage license.

One hiccup? I’d forgotten Monday was Columbus Day and, as I tend to do, I was freaking out that, if the government buildings were closed, we might miss our three day window to get married on the 17th and since we were leaving on the 18th to come home, we might completely miss this chance. 

Damn that Columbus and his bad sense of direction; had he made it to India, we wouldn’t be taking a day off in America!

Luckily, though, for whatever reason, all government buildings were open, and off we went for the license; the first step and it was a snap. Sign here, show an ID, and hand over some cash; bing bang boom, done.

Then it was off to lunch with my Dad and while driving we wondered about the three-day waiting period. I told Carlos it gave people a chance to make sure this was what they wanted to do and he replied,

Yeah, three days! Because fourteen years isn’t long enough.

I almost drove off the road.

But the wait was on; we spent time with my Dad; we spent time touring the area; we spent time making sure we had the rings, the jackets, the kilt, the shoes, the address, the judge’s name. I guess we did need to three days.

By Friday we were ready and anxious to get this thing done. Since the only person we know in Washington is my Dad, and we needed two witnesses, my father asked a friend of his to join us. I’d met Casey before, and liked her, and, well, witness this already! Casey brought along her boyfriend Tyler, so we ended up with a spare, you know just in case.

At four-thirty we ran into the Bellingham Courthouse — through security … do I really need to take my belt off — and upstairs to where Judge Henley was waiting for us. Then it was short trek down the hall to an open courtroom, followed by a few instructions, a quick chat …

Judge Henley said the ceremony calls for the use of the words ‘spouse’ or the use of the words ‘husband’ and asked what we wanted to do. Carlos and I said, in unison, Husbands!

Anyone can have a spouse, we wanted a husband.

I don’t remember too much about the actual ceremony, really. I remember giggling a little and giving Carlos a side-eye during the richer-poorer part because I thought he’d say, Hmm, poorer? Maybe not so much.

And I remember getting teary-eyed listening to him repeat his vows because Carlos can be very serious and he rarely gets weepy; but he stumbled over some words, and his voice cracked, and my eyes watered, but we made it through.

A quick exchange of rings — again, that’s them up there on top — and it was kiss the groom.

Kiss.The.Groom. Who knew? Bing bang boom, married.

Afterwards, my father took the wedding gang out for dinner at a great restaurant along the bay, where we could watch the sunset over the marina, and drink a little and laugh a lot, and just let it all sink in. My father, some new friends, and my new husband.

It was all so simple, really, and yet such a long time coming; from the days when that little kid never thought he could get married to last week when a  much older kid realized he could, and would, and did.

Fourteen years down, the rest of our lives to go.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wedding Week Repost: An Open Letter To Those Folks Against Marriage Equality

Dear Anti-Marriage Equality People,

So, you're against gay marriage? Um.........why? I mean, if you believe that marriage should not be changed to allow same sex couples that right, then how do you explain how marriage has constantly changed over the course of these centuries? Sure, it used to be only for men to marry women, but sometimes, a lot of times, men were allowed to marry as many women as they wanted.

But then it changed to one man and one woman.

Men then married women and used them as chattel, property. They owned their wives and the wives did exactly what the husband wanted or the punishments came swift and severe. But then that changed and now women and men share equally in the marriage. No one owns the other, and women have this thing called free will.

Fathers sometimes gave their daughters up to be married so that the two families, when united, would become more powerful, either with money or land-holding, or via political power. But that's changed now, too. Women aren't "given" in marriage in exchange for anything.

We had one man and one woman of the same faith marrying. You did not ever marry outside your own faith into some other, heathen religion. Now, that doesn't hold true any longer.

And for many centuries you didn't marry outside your own race. A white man with an Asian bride was shocking. A black woman and a white man, married, was illegal in many places as recently as the 1960s.

Now, men and women of any race and religion and socio-economic, political, educational background are free to marry anyone they choose of any race and religion and socio-economic, political, educational background. Unless it's two men or two women.

Please, anti-marriage equality people, explain?

You say that some religions would be forced to perform same-sex weddings. Not so; that little thing called Separation of Church and State works both ways; it protects our government from being influenced by religions [sometimes] and also allows religions to remain unaffected by US law. The government cannot make a church change its core tenets and beliefs, no matter how wrong anyone thinks they might be, to force them into performing same-sex weddings.

So, what's your argument, then? Seriously, I'd like to know.

You are heard saying that marriage is created to produce children and create the future, but then how can you allow people to marry who don't want, or can't have, children? They aren't creating the future, they're just pledging their love to one another.

You oftentimes say that gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage, but you never seem to say how. It seems enough just to use the word destroy to strike fear into people. So, again I ask, how would my marrying my partner "destroy" a heterosexual marriage?

You are often quoted as saying you must protect the sanctity of marriage, and yet I don't see any outcry over divorce in this country. If marriage is so sacred, then how can you allow people to enter it, and then leave it, so cavalierly? How are you protecting the sanctity of marriage?

So, anti-marriage equality readers, and I know you're out there, please explain how gay marriage is bad. For anyone. I'm seriously curious.


Newly Same-Sex Married Bob