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And Time did tell! Evidently a twenty-five year study shows kids of lesbian couples are the recipients of a great parenting environment in which to be nurtured and reared.

There are many struggles that gay and lesbian families cope with on a regular basis. Such as: not being acknowledged in their communities as “real” families, constant barrage of persecution from ex’s or other family and friends who come to the table with their own acrimony, compounded by the lack of family and relationship protections (“rights”) in our country for non-traditional families — these are just some of the challenges. Granted, all families have challenges! Whether they are comprised of “nuclear” or blended, or LGBT members… safely guiding children to adulthood is not for the faint of heart!

It is nice to get a little good news like this from the “mainstream media” in times like these — in the midst of the tornado that is life lately. No matter how many longitudinal studies there are, there will always be detractors. But for today, it’s nice to have some sort of good news along the long, weary, bumpy journey.

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I once saw a bumper sticker
“we all live downstream.”
I really liked that concept. It is so true on so many levels! Dumping in the stream one place pollutes the water for us all. Flicking a cigarette out the window along one mile on the road burns a whole lot of forest down that many people (and animals) used to enjoy.
Does this kind of idea apply to other areas of life? I was just thinking about this the other day. There is daily coverage about the most recent oil spill in the gulf. The damage and effects seem so wide spread, and yet so far away… it can be easy to change the TV station and think “it doesn’t affect me”… but then again, we all live downstream!
The main thing I notice in the coverage of this environmental disaster is that 99% of the energy is devoted to assigning blame. Does that help? Does it work toward the clean up and healing of the land, plant, ocean and animal life? No. Does it make people feel better? It seems to. Seems to be a part of human nature–to be compelled to lay blame in the wake of any sort of disaster (global or individual).
Whatever we put out there–good energy, or pollution… it eventually trickles down stream–for better or worse. It may feel like it is freeing up our hands (or mind) at that given moment to dump trash in the river, or throw a cigarette out the window, or even put poisonous words out there to lash out at someone else when we are in pain… seeking even a precious few moments of relief by laying the blame. But in the end, the result is often the same… pollution, destruction, pain. It can all so very easy to let happen. I would go out on a limb and say that at one point or another we have all done some “polluting”… in one form or another. What can we do? Can a person go back and recover the refuse they may have dumped in a river, lake, stream or ocean? No. Can a person go back and reforest the state park that has burned down? No. Can a person go back and undo the damage their words have caused? Maybe. Words have meaning. And sometimes the heart is open to a “do-over,” and sometimes too much polluted water has flowed downstream, or too many trees have been leveled to ash… or too many tears have been shed.
I supposed in any of those instances all any of us can do is try to move from that point forward. To begin the long and often arduous work of the clean up. The tenacity and tedium of clean up is not what makes the evening news though, the blame game is. But even though there is no spotlight or pretension in the behind-the-scenes clean up work, there are many more dividends available in the long run vs. investing one’s energy in the blame game and ultimately coming up empty.

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As the Prop. 8 trial continues in California it brings same-sex marriage to the forefront of the news in America once again. It makes one ponder the question I know that I have thought of so many times since 2004 when gay marriage started becoming a big political spotlight issue: what are people so afraid of? What it is about same-sex marriage that brings people together on so many levels? What is it about this issue that often times brings individuals together solely for the purpose of striking down any possibility of any relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

If marriage is so special, if it provides a glue and a stability for families and culture… then why not spread it around a little more liberally? You can read/listen to more here about the conservative case for gay marriage.

Time magazine on the conservative case for same-sex marriage:

“Conservatives have long rightly argued for the vital importance of the institution of marriage for fostering responsibility, commitment and the domestication of unruly men. Bringing gay men and women into this institution will surely change the gay subculture in subtle but profoundly conservative ways.”

Here is a Day 4 summary of the Prop 8 Trial.

Update from Day 5 of the Prop 8 Trial.

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repeal_domaIt’s official — the Respect for Marriage Act has been introduced and now it’s time to repeal the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act.”  Go to www.RepealDOMAnow.org and tell your member of Congress to join on as a co-sponsor.

Suggested letter to our Congress members by the Courage Campaign:

On Tuesday morning, September 15, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Respect Marriage Act in Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I applaud this as a step forward and as a constituent I request that you co-sponsor the bill, but I continue to demand full equality.

Like all other Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are guaranteed equal protection by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. But Congress chose to ignore that provision and passed DOMA anyway. Free and equal people do not settle for fractions of equality.

Equal rights are not a “gay” issue. They are about our shared human rights: safety in our schools and jobs, equitable health-care and housing, and protection for our families, to name a few.

DOMA unfairly singles out legally married same-sex couples for inequitable treatment, denying those couples the federal protections and responsibilities that otherwise apply to married couples.

It is time we ended this injustice and began the process of providing full federal equality to all Americans. I urge you to add your name as a sponsor to the Respect Marriage Act today.

Per HRC:

Through DOMA, which was signed into law 13 years ago, on 9/21/96, the federal protect_famsgovernment singles out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law, selectively denying them more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities – including Social Security and immigration benefits – that otherwise apply to married couples.  This policy is discriminatory and harmful to families, preventing the government from honoring its legal commitments and the needs of families, even though these couples have assumed the obligations of civil marriage under state law and contribute as citizens and taxpayers.

Per Fox News:

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia: “Over a decade later, traditional marriage – a principle tenant in our Judeo-Christian values – is under assault more than ever before,” he continued. “This is why I was extremely disappointed to see my liberal colleagues introduce legislation today to repeal the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act.”

dumpdomaThe Respect for Marriage Act, unveiled by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Jared Polis, D-Colo, has the support of more than 90 lawmakers.

The legislation would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton.

This is the “first step to overturning DOMA,” Nadler said, who called the law (DOMA) “irrational and hateful.”

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Update:

September 18, 2009The Department of Justice filed a motion today to dismiss GLAD’s case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.
Their motion can be read here: DOJ Motion To Dismiss. Read more about the case.
In essence, although the D.O.J. understand that the administration does not support DOMA, what they are basing their motion to dismiss on is whether repealing DOMA will be “constitutional” or not. Hopefully, this is a small hiccup that will not derail the Respect for Marriage Act.

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