Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Will Not Be Dismissed!

I had a conversation with a gentleman on Twitter the other day and asked him what was his group's stand on the Uniting American Families Act.  First of all, he said that it was not on his agenda.  A dear friend of mine chimed in that he should indeed support it.  So he asked, "What is it again?"  I told him the Uniting American Families Act.  I gave him this blog address.  He came back quite quickly with the reply, "Don't support it".  I wanted to know why...what is it about the bill that they don't support.  Perhaps if I could understand their issues, they could be addressed and fears relieved.  This is his answer, and I quote, "does it matter - keep fighting for things you believe in. I have no problem with your beliefs."  If he has no problem with my beliefs, why does he not support the Uniting American Families Act?  Try as I might, I got no more answers from him.

It is like they have no clue that they are dealing with actual people and their lives.  Homosexuality is an issue and easily pushed away with an "I don't support it".  Bi-National Same Sex Couples are people...real people with hearts that are breaking because they cannot be with the love of their life.

Findhorn Press Torn Apart - 256 pages paperbackWith a Foreword by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed) 36,000+ same-sex binational couples (half of them raising children) face separation, exile, deportation or breakup because of U.S. immigration law.

I was actually told to me by a Congressman to go ahead and leave my country and live in my sweethearts country and when the time was right, we could move back here.  And I quote,

"Serious about this person? Unite in his country don't try to change our laws. Later he can immigrate as everybody else." 

 Really???  I have the right to live in my country.  I should have the right to live in my country with the spouse of my choosing.  This is such a basic thing.  I don't understand how people can brush us aside and say that they are against homosexuality.  Are you against the Mom who lives in England who wants nothing better than to be here in the United States with her wife and their daughter?
This couple struggles to keep together when the longest time that they have ever had together (allowed by USA Immigration Law) is 89 days.  To quote Inger Knudson,
"In the mean time, we waffle between celebrating and forgetting that we are missing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, milestones and every precious minute we are apart. Vowing never to waste a moment when we can finally stop the clock that is slicing our days together into moments left. To silence that ticking that underscores everything. Just to be. Together. Whole. Always." 

There are thousands of these stories at the very least, 36,000 stories of couples.  Couples who have been exiled from the United States of America.  Couples who have left their country to live in a more accepting country.  Couples who live illegally because the choices that are given them are slim and unacceptable.  Couples who live apart because it is the only thing they can do.

My own story is one I have shared.  I am in love with a woman who is from the Netherlands.  Life is difficult as our life together is one of coming and going.  One of looking over our shoulder.  One of crossing at different borders so we could be together.  Finding the busiest crossing site so they will not ask too many questions.  Our future is unsure.  Where will we be able to live in safety?  Where will we be able to live without time running out on a visa waiver?  Should I pick her up in Canada.... or can she fly into Chicago?   I remember being in the Netherlands, having just been told that they would not approve her visa and she could not return to the USA with me.  My entire being ached with the pain of the separation.  I wept. 

We are currently at the mercy of people who would rather dismiss us with the wave of a hand as if brushing away a small gnat.  Please be put on notice:  The real person that you think you are dismissing with the wave of your hand is holding on for the lives of their family; the right to have a life with the one we love.   We will never give up on equal rights for all Americans!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Today I Took Someone Off of Life Support

I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist, and have been for close to twenty years now.  As a Respiratory Therapist, I manage the ventilators; the Life Support Machines.  Our job is to keep people breathing and their hearts beating.  A lot of the time, I remove the Endotrachal tube because the person is now able to breathe on their own, they are doing well, and it is a good thing.  Sometimes, I must remove the tube because the patient is worse and will never get better.  I am removing the tube so that the patient can die.  For the last three days, I have been taking care of a patient.  I have been speaking with her children and teaching them about the ventilator.  Today, we discovered through tests that she would never get better.  The family asked us to remove the ventilator.  Her children are in their 50’s and maybe even early 60’s.  The daughter told me to take out the tube, since her Mom was not going to get better, she did not want her to suffer any more.  I got the Doctor’s order, I went to the room.  The patient’s son stopped me, grabbed me, and I hugged him and he sobbed on my shoulder for what must have been about a minute.  He said this in my ear, “We want you to know that we appreciate everything you have done for my Mom.  We are so glad that you are the one that will be doing this. …etc”  I was so moved by that I began to cry. I went into the room and prepared everything.  I spoke to the patient although she was not awake.  I told her that she must be a good mother to have all of her children surrounding her and loving on her.   I took out the tube and the RN adjusted the patient’s medications so that she would be comfortable.  I looked at the family surrounding their Mom as she slipped into eternity.  I felt how blessed they must feel to have all of their loved ones right there at her bedside at this moment.  They held hands, they hugged each other, and they were all able to be there for their Mom and for each other.

Where will I be if my loved one slips into eternity?  Will I be able to be at her bedside?  If I die before her, will my children and my sweetheart be able to be at my bedside?  Will they be able to offer and receive support, hugs and love from family…or will they be forced to be far away in another country because the United States does not recognize same sex couples in Immigration Laws? 

It is a well known and documented fact that the three days following Christmas Day, hospitals are amazingly busy.  It seems that we consider being with our families more important than our own health.  During the holidays, people travel all round the country, and yes internationally to be with family.  

I want to be with my family also.  I want my friends to be able to be with their families.  It is not right that Federal Law prohibits us from this basic, visceral and primitive instinct …. To be with our loved ones; to be with our love; just to be is all that we want

Tonight, when you tuck your children into bed, kiss their foreheads, and thank God that your children are happy and healthy, know that there are Moms that are unable to hold their children and kiss them good night.  Know that there are spouses who have not held each other for months.  These people have done nothing evil, sinful, or even a crime.  They have fallen in love with someone who is not born in the United States of America.  It is only because we are homosexual and we are not recognized as human beings with basic human rights.

The time is now; we must get the Uniting American Families Act passed.  We can no longer tolerate this horrific punishment, these cruel laws that separate us from our families. 

To Quote a Barry Manilow song:
          And Tell me
          When will our eyes meet
          When can I touch you
          When will this strong yearning end…
and when will I hold you again

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Love Story...

I was so moved by this story.  It touched my heart and I am forever changed.  I am so honored to be able to share this story.  Thank you Inger.

At the end of a visit, Philippa hugs their ten-year old
daughter who knows her as Mum
Here we are, with the holidays quickly approaching. My daughter and I are trying to prepare and take pleasure in the season. Sounds happy enough, except for the fact that my wife, the woman my daughter calls “Mum,” is 5,000 miles and 7 hours away from us in the UK. The emptiness that is a prevailing theme as we pick out gifts and drag out decorations is almost palatable. Even the littlest things, like having to think again about sending packages overseas and wondering if they’ll arrive in time reminds us of what is missing. The knowledge that it will be another Christmas on web cam takes much of the joy out of the situation.

My name is Inger. I am a US citizen and my partner, Philippa, is British. Together we have a 10 year old daughter who knows Philippa as her Mum.

We have been struggling to find solutions to the inequalities in the US Immigration system for about 2 ½ years. In that time, Philippa has been here 6 times and my daughter and I have been to the UK twice. The longest we have managed to spend together in one sitting is 89 days. That’s just under 3 months. When you think about it, that’s no time at all, especially when this person you haven’t seen for more than 89 days is your spouse. It’s hard to create a home and raise your family and be part of “normal” everyday life when that life depends on telephones, computers and the occasional visit lasting, usually, between 8 to 23 days. When we had a commitment ceremony, and our daughter gave me away, it was a beautiful thing and one of the proudest days of my life… less than 2 weeks later she was gone.

The United States of America is very big on the idea of family; however, it seems hypocritical to tell me that my family isn’t “the right kind.” Those who express bigotry against lesbian and gay Americans seek to deny us our basic human rights. As an American in a binational relationship I am encouraged to leave my own country as a solution to our immigration woes. The purveyors of the Family Values propaganda are not the ones who have to hold their young child at night when she wants her mum; to try to explain and to rationalize why her mother has to leave after 3 weeks when it’s been 6 ½ months since we’ve seen her last; to keep her feeling safe when she knows that we don't know when we’ll be reunited next; and, above all else, to keep her faith and trust in us that we are doing everything we possibly can to fix this.

Family Values rhetoric has been enshrined in our laws, and those laws deny us the right to live together as a family. You might say we are lucky to have the option to move to the UK, where same-sex binational couples have had immigration rights since 1997. However, we cannot move to the UK because my daughter's father lives here in Colorado. It would be wrong to deprive my daughter of her relationship with her father. That is a choice we should not have to make, because Philippa should be able to move here and live with us. But the U.S. government does not see it that way. The Defense of Marriage Act denies access to the protections of U.S. law including the family unification policy of immigration law through which all other Americans in my position would simply sponsor their spouse for a green card. The Defense of Marriage Act wages a war of cruel consequences against us. It was passed in the name of family values. Whose family? The proponents never said. This law must be repealed in the name of fairness and justice. And in the name of valuing family.

When I describe our situation to others they are appalled. Philippa is willing to give up her whole life, leave everything she knows and has in the UK so that she can be with us and yet she is made to feel unwanted by the country of The Great Melting Pot and The Land of Opportunity. She is educated, industrious, moral and kind and would be an asset to our community. With her by my side, we would live happier and more productive lives. What child wouldn’t thrive in a home with loving caring and supportive parents? Philippa has to view our daughter’s triumphs and hard times through email, or video instead of being able to cheer her on in person or hug her fears away. When our girl asks a seemingly simple question of “When is Mum coming home?” Would you want to be the one answering those questions, looking into that confused and trusting face, seeing it crumble and fall? No one would want to fall in love, only to feel that they have caused pain to the rest of their family. But we could no more give up on each other, than breathe water or sprout wings. And so, we carry on. Facing each new day as it comes, knowing that still in our trying situation, we are luckier than so many others.

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I in Philippa I have found my life mate, my forever one, the only person with whom I could ever truly raise my life’s work, our daughter. I will wait and fight and petition and call and volunteer and cry and shake my fists at the heavens until my beautiful and most precious wife is safely home and we are all united. Permanently. A simple thing really. No fireworks, no fanfare…just to be together…just to be. What I wouldn’t give.

In the mean time, we waffle between celebrating and forgetting that we are missing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, milestones and every precious minute we are apart. Vowing never to waste a moment when we can finally stop the clock that is slicing our days together into moments left. To silence that ticking that underscores everything. Just to be. Together. Whole. Always.

Christmas Day 2010 - Not a third world country??

Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a Son and you shall call his name Jesus..."

The greatest gift in the history of the world is when God sent his Son Jesus to the Earth.  Jesus lived for 33 years here.  Then fulfilling all prophecy,  he was hung on the cross where He shed His blood and died.  Three days later, He defeated Satan and Death and rose from the dead.  We can believe on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and live forever in Heaven.

Did you know that there is a country that does not allow it's citizens a basic right.  It does not allow it's adult citizens to be with the spouse that they choose.  They do not care about the rights of these citizens, they would sooner see their citizens leave their borders and go to a different country than to allow them to be together with the person with whom they have fallen in love.  It doesn't matter if these citizens have served their country in the military.  It doesn't matter if this citizen serves it's country in the Police department, fire department or any other sort of civil servant.  This country does not give the right of these citizens to marry whom they wish to marry.  I do not speak of some third world country.  I do not speak of a country that is known to abuse civil rights.  I am not speaking of a country that executed people for speaking ill of a man.  I am speaking of the freedom loving United States of America.  In the country where all are created equal.  In a country that is the melting pot of nations, the land of the free and the home of the brave, we cannot choose to marry the one that we love if that person is of the same sex.  If the one you love is of the same sex and from a different country, you are really out of luck.  You must choose to leave the country that you love to live with the person  you love.  What if that person is from Afghanistan or Palestine where war rages? 

The Uniting American Families Act is the bill that needs to be passed.  Do we not allow this basic right to homosexual people?  No currently we do not.  I have asked myself why do we not have the same rights and here is what I think are the reasons.

1.  It is against the Bible and is considered by some to be an abomination.  My answer to this reasoning is the following:  We give equal rights to those who take the Lord's name in vain and that is one of the 10 commandments.  We give equal rights to those who covet.  I do not believe that this is an educated argument.  I believe that it is more of a fear of people who are different.

2.  It is immoral.  I would put my morals up against anyone's morals.  Sure there are homosexuals that are immoral.  There are heterosexual people who are immoral also.  I believe that it is more of a fear of people who are different.

3.  Some people consider it to be disgusting.  So is picking ones nose, but we don't discriminate against those people.  I believe it is more of a fear of people who are different.

It all boils down to we are different and people are afraid.  Please don't let this fear keep our families apart any longer. 

This is not a third world country it is my country, my beautiful America.

The Uniting American Families Act has been in Congress for 10 years in one form or another.  It always gets stuck in some committee somewhere.  The time has come for this injustice to end.  If we are indeed the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, it is time to end this archaic injustice.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Evening 2010 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Here I sit in my living room reading my emails, tweets, facebook page, and texts, I realize that the world is smaller than what it used to be.  I am watching a show about Christmas lights and know that the greatest gift that we have been given is the gift that God gave us, His Son.  I am thankful to have been able to become a Christian at the young tender age of nine years old.  

I sit here and I reflect on the things for which I am grateful.  Like I stated I am thankful for my salvation.  I am thankful to live here in the United States, I am thankful for my family, I am thankful for my job, and I am thankful for all of my dear friends.  

Somethings, however, give me pause and confuse me.  I am trying to figure out why it has been so difficult to get pro Gay and Lesbian bills through Congress.  I have actually gone to their websites and read up on why they so disapprove of Gay people.  Here is what I have come up with so far... someone help me further:

1.  They don't want pro homosexual teaching in our schools.  They say that it is being taught as young as kindergarten with books like Heather Has Two Mommies.  I looked it up on Wikipedia and here is what they have to say about this book.  

Heather Has Two Mommies is a children's book written by Lesléa Newman with Diana Souza's illustrations, first published in 1989. It is about a child, Heather, raised by lesbian women: her biological mother, Jane, who gave birth to her after artificial insemination, and her biological mother's same-sex partner, Kate. At Heather's playgroup, her family situation is discussed simply and positively, as are those of other children in non-traditional family units.[1]

To teach children that there are different kinds of family units is being done by cartoon characters every day.  You have cartoon kids that live with grandparents, aunts and uncles, with just their mom, we don't have a second thought about that coming into our homes, but let a homosexual say something, and suddenly we are pushing out beliefs on them.  

2.  We are evil according to their beliefs in God....after all didn't God destroy a whole city because they were homosexual?  Well, actually, NO, He did not.  Sodom was not destroyed for homosexual behavior.  Please educate yourself instead of just saying what other people have told you.  I find it hard to believe that EVERY man in Sodom was gay and that Lot would offer his daughters to a bunch of Gay men.  

 Let me know if I can clear up other verses like the ones in Romans chapter one which deals with idol worship which involved homosexual relations with many different partners.  The condemnation was on idol worship and the practices that went along with the idol worship.

I don't know why they think I am trying to push homosexuality on them.  I just want to live in my own world with the same rights as they have.  I don't care that they are homosexual, I don't care that they are heterosexual all I want is to be able to live together with the one I love and our children legally with no fear. 

I plan on working hard to get the Uniting American Families Act brought forward and hopefully voted upon.  I am going to try to get a fax, tweet, email, and letter campaign going so that the last thing that our Congress people think of before they lay their head on their pillows is the Uniting American Families Act.  I want us to be the first thing that they think of when they wake up in the morning.  I want their staff that works in their mail rooms to know that we are alive and well.

I cannot legally sponsor my sweetheart because of immigration law.  I want to understand why people do not feel the urgency of the situation.  It is then I realize that they go home to their families.  They don't have to worry about missing their loved ones because they are with them.  We have been trying to get the Uniting American Families Act in one form or another for approximately ten years. That is long enough to wait.

I want to know what people have against the Uniting American Families Act and I want to be able to have a chance for an expert to address those issues.  I want to dispel their fears.   Barney Frank had a wonderful conversation with a newsman about having the military straight people shower with military gay people, he said that it has always been going on, they just didn't know who was who.   These are irrational fears.

We need to get the Uniting American Families passed this year.  We need to address the fears of those who think that we are evil, strange or just plain trouble makers.  Let us have the freedoms to be with those we love.  We have been separated long enough.  It is cruel and unusual punishment for those of us who are innocent to continue to have to be apart.   

With that I wish you a Merry Christmas!! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Abuse and Bully? Why not Respect and Discussion?

I was in a discussion on Twitter with someone who stated that gays are going to hell.  When I tried to carry on a discussion with the fellow  he chose to use vulgar and offensive language.  I repeatedly asked him to refrain from that kind of language, he continued to be abusive and did his best to offend me.  All he did was let me know how unintelligent he was by not being able to change his type of language.  I am so unimpressed with people who use abuse, hurt, bullying, and demeaning language to try and intimidate me.  I am also so not intimidated.  My knowledge of the Bible and what it says far exceeds their bad, rude and mean remarks.

I would be more than happy to have an intelligent and respectful discussion or debate with anyone about what God has to say about Homosexuality in the Bible, but I will not allow anyone to teat me badly or speak with disrespect to me about my beliefs or my life style.  I deserve better than that as does any human being.

Please remember that I have 16 years of formal Bible education, so, please do not come at me with arguments that are weak or that you have no foundation for in God's word.  I am a Conservative Christian, I believe in the Word of God, I am a Republican, and I am GAY.  I am for the Uniting American Families Act.

Please feel free to speak, debate or leave supportive comments.  Respect is the key word.  I will give you respect and I expect nothing less from you.

The Uniting American Families Act -- Why Pass the Bill?

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Uniting American Families Act
Legislation history
Bill citation
Bill published on
February 12, 2009
Introduced by
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 1024, S. 424) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships.[1][2] Section 18 of the bill would be amended to include permanent partnerships as an illegal way to evade any provision of the immigration law and allow for the individual to be imprisoned for no more than five years, fined for up to $250,000 or both.[3] Also, if the partnership ends within two years the sponsored partner’s legal immigrant status would come under review.[4]

  It seems that the bill is stagnant in Congress. They talk DREAM Act constantly, however, what of our DREAMS?  What of the dreams of all of those in the same shoes as we.  Am I not an American with certain rights?  Do I not have the right for the pursuit of happiness along with my heterosexual friends?  Am I less of an American because of my sexual preference?  I am an upright citizen.  I love my country, I pay my taxes and I vote.  I am a Christian and live my life as such.  I am a woman who is in love with a woman.  Does that make me inferior?  Does that make me a horrible person with no rights to love and to be loved?  Why has this been an issue for over ten years?  Why has this bill failed time and time again?  I do not know what else to do but to reach out to Congress, the President, the News people and whoever else will listen.

While Congress breaks for Christmas and goes home to their families, I will not be with my family on Christmas Day.  While Americans sit down with their loved ones for Christmas Dinner, I will be far from my loved ones.  

I am not alone in this.  They estimate that there are 36,000 couples that are in the same shoes as I.  I believe that to be a conservative estimate as I am sure that many, many people did not say that they are with someone who is illegal in the Census ten years ago.

The President says that he must change his own thinking to allow for same sex marriage, this bill is not asking anyone to allow same sex marriage.  It says that if I can prove that this person is my Permanent partner, I can sponsor her.  I believe that I personally have that proof.  

Are we less than human?  Are we nothing in the eyes of the law?  Are we less important than animals?  Currently, we have no rights.  Currently, we are nothing.  Currently, we cannot be with our loved ones.  

So tonight when you snuggle against the one that you love, know that it is illegal for me to do the same.  When you go to your Christmas Parties and kiss under the mistletoe, know that my love is far away from me.  When your children are opening their Christmas presents on Christmas Day, please understand that I will not be with my children on Christmas morning.  Now tell me how is that right?  How is it OK that this American Citizen does not have the right to be with my loved ones? 

I am asking that Congress pass the Uniting American Families Act as soon as possible so that I and those like me, will be able to be with our love ones.  It is what is right.   I would love to quote Representative John Lewis (who is quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.), “The time is always right to do the right thing…”

Do what is right.  Allow us to be with the ones that we love.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Have Family Values ... oh...and I'm Gay!

Why do people think that folks who are gay have no family values?  Truth be told, I have tons of family values.  We have a very close family beginning with the matriarch of our family, my Mother.  We do not allow drinking, swearing or smoking in our household.  We pray before each meal, and go to church every Sunday.  We volunteer at the local Food Pantry and for various activities around town.  We teach our two sons (which we had together by sperm donor ... who is involved in the boys life as an "uncle") to respect authority, to not talk back, to respect God and love their country.  Our boys are in boy scouts and they go to AWANA every week.

My Sweetheart and I have been together for 12 years now and not once have I ever cheated on her.  This is something not many hetro folks can say.  I believe that we should never disagree in front of the children and that if there is a disagreement, we talk about it and present a united front to the children.  They know that if one of us says "no" the other will also.  We teach our children to obey.  We teach them the dangerous stranger may not be a stranger.  We teach them good touch and bad touch and that their body is their own and no one is allowed to touch them.  We teach them to memorize the Holy Scriptures as David says, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee."

We teach our boys Creation and not evolution.  We tell them to respect their teachers at school and if they get in trouble at school, they are in trouble at home.  We teach them to do their best at whatever they do because what they put into life, they will get back, each man pays the price someday. 

We teach them that it is not the color of their skin that is important but what is in the heart.  We teach them that the greatest power is love. 

Now then, if any Conservative can actually tell me that I do not have family values, I would like to speak with them personally.  I am Conservative,I am a Mother of two boys, I have high values, oh....and did I mention, ..... I'm a lesbian!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Favorite Sin of the Conservatives

Let me start by saying I do not believe that a monogamous same sex relationship is a sin.  I need to go to those who think that it is a sin...I need to go on their mental level to speak to their hearts and minds.  Let me also state that there are few people that are more conservative than I am.  I just happen to believe that God is a just God and does not condemn us for this.

I have gone to Bible school and my knowledge of the Bible is immense.  From fifth grade to third year of college, I studied the Word of God.  I know what the Bible says, and I know that the Bible never condemns a monogamous same sex relationship.   I have a question for those who say that homosexuality is a sin and therefore homosexuals should not have equal rights.  Why is this "sin" so special?  Why don't you say those who commit adultery also cannot sponsor their spouse.  Here's a great one:  Those who take the name of the Lord in vain must be deported.  It is the second commandment and the Bible states, "the Lord will not hold him guiltless..." for those that take the Lord's name in vain.  Most of the people making the claims that it is an "abomination" have no clue as to where the Bible says that.  When anyone mentions Sodom and Gomorrah I immediatly dismiss them as someone who really has no clue as to what the Holy Scriptures have to say about homosexuality.  Someone who just parrots what someone else has told them is really not a knowledgeable on the subject.  So why this "sin"?  Why is this the one that they have chosen? 

Am I allowed to quote myself on my own blog?

They say that they have family values and that is why they are against the Uniting American Families Act. 
When they speak of family values, what do they mean?  We go to church every Sunday.  Our children are in boy scouts, they make good grades, they go to AWANA,   We volunteer at the local food pantry.  I work in health care and have received recognition for the work that I do.  I have taught in schools about lung health and I love the work I do.  Our children are taught to be good citizens and to respect authority.  We teach them love of God and country.  If these are not family values, what are they?  Because my sweetheart and I are of the same sex does that mean I cannot have family values?  I think not. 

If anyone can tell me why they have chosen homosexuality as the "sin" to be against and not other sins, please let me know.  Please make it concise, polite and an educated response. 

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, it looks like we will be waiting until the "NEW" session to get any sort of Immigration reform passed.  It has been quite a frustrating ten years for those of us who have been waiting for some sort of immigration change so that we can sponsor our partners.  I realize that some folks don't think that we deserve the same rights as those who are hetrosexual, but I am an American citizen and I believe that I should be able to have this simple right, to be able to live with the love of my life. 

People seem to think that all homosexuals are hyper sexed.  Gays will sexually attack anyone of the same sex because Gays are sexual deviants.  The truth of the matter is this:  I have never cheated on my sweetheart for these 12 years that we have been together.  We have two sons together.  We have built a life together.  Quite frankly, my relationship with my sweetheart is a lot more stable than a lot of my hetro friends.  My co-workers are going through all kinds of issues (I work at a hospital.  These are doctors, RN's, Respiratory Therapists that I am talking about).  They are having spouses who are cheaters or they are cheaters.  They have domestic abuse issues, divorce, and huge disagreements that lead to separations.  I know several gay people and only one of them is a real player.  The others have been in stable relationships for at least eight years.  The longest relationship of my gay friends is over 30 years.  There really are not a lot of hetro people who are in the same boat.

 When they speak of family values, what do they mean?  We go to church every Sunday.  Our children are in boy scouts, they make good grades, they go to AWANA,   We volunteer at the local food pantry.  I work in health care and have received recognition for the work that I do.  I have taught in schools about lung health and I love the work I do.  Our children are taught to be good citizens and to respect authority.  We teach them love of God and country.  If these are not family values, what are they?  Because my sweetheart and I are of the same sex does that mean I cannot have family values?  I think not. 

I believe that where we go from here is that we email, we tweet, we call and write our Congress people until the first thing they think of every morning is the Uniting American Families Act, and the last thing they think of every night is Uniting American Families Act.  This year is our year!  We will not retreat, we will not surrender.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday....It Seems Like A Let Down

The last few days have brought mixed emotions.  First the DREAM Act failed to pass.  This is very disappointing.  It is unfortunate that most people in the United States have no clue as to what it takes to actually immigrate to the United States.  They will mouth off and say that people should come in the front door.  I ask everyone to research immigration law before you spout off about illegal immigration.

The Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal I found to be particularly hopeful for those of us who are separated by  laws who tend to treat same sex couples as less than citizens.  I am hoping that with everything the people in our Congress said about it being a prejudice to not allow folks to live out loud who they are, they will understand that separating people because of immigration laws not recognizing the relationship is a grave injustice.

I am hoping that people realize that they cannot stand in judgment of people who are doing nothing wrong.  Just as it was wrong to own slaves, it is wrong to discriminate against homosexuals; just as it was wrong to persecute someone who is of a different faith, it is wrong to persecute homosexuals; just as it was wrong to kill black people (not all black people are African American); for being in love with white people, it is wrong to kill homosexuals because they are homosexual; just as it is wrong to not let women vote, it is wrong not to give equal rights to homosexuals; just as it is wrong to give God credit for hate and killings, it is wrong to stand in judgment of someone who is different.

What will we do?  Will we stand by and let this grave injustice being done to same sex bi-national couples who are being separated by law?  Please write your Congress person and let them know that you are for the Uniting American Families Act.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gays See Repeal As A Civil Rights Milestone

December 19, 2010
Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is a step toward equality, advocates say, but a fight for other social changes such as gay marriage still lies ahead.
The Senate voted Saturday to end the 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops, overturning the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."
"It's one step in a very long process of becoming an equal rights citizen," said Warren Arbury of Savannah, Ga., who served in the Army for seven years, including three combat tours, before being kicked out two years ago under the policy. He said he planned to re-enlist once the policy is abolished.
"Even though this is really huge, I look at it as a chink in a very, very long chain," he added.
The ruling drew quick rebuke from foes of lifting the ban who argued that the military shouldn't be used to expand the rights of gays and that allowing them to serve openly would hurt troop morale and a unit's ability to fight.
Supporters declared the vote a civil rights milestone.
Aaron Belkin, director of the California-based Palm Center — a think tank on the issue — said the vote "ushers in a new era in which the largest employer in the United States treats gays and lesbians like human beings."
For thousands of years, he said, one of the key markers for first-class citizenship in any nation is the right to serve in the military, and Saturday's vote "is a historic step toward that."
At least 25 nations already allow gays to serve openly in the military, including Britain, Canada and Israel, according to the Palm Center.
Repeal means that for the first time in U.S. history, gays will be openly accepted by the military and can acknowledge their sexual orientation without fear of being discharged. More than 13,500 service members have been dismissed under the 1993 law that forced gay men and women in the military to hide their sexual identity. Before that, they had been explicitly barred from military service since World War I.
The change won't take immediate effect, however. The legislation says the president and his top military advisers must certify that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' fighting ability. After that, there's a 60-day waiting period for the military.
Some supporters of the repeal traveled to Washington to witness the vote, including Sue Fulton, a former Army captain and company commander who is spokeswoman for Knights Out, a group of 92 gay and lesbian West Point graduates who are open about their sexual orientation and no longer serving.
Driving home to North Plainfield, N.J., the 51-year-old Fortune 500 executive said she thinks the repeal will have an effect on the civil rights of gays in America.
"As more people realize that gay and lesbian citizens are risking their lives to defend this country, perhaps they'll be more willing to acknowledge gays and lesbians as full citizens in other ways," she said.
Conservative organizations said the vote didn't reflect the sentiments of rank-and-file military members and should not have taken place so close to the end of the current session of Congress. The repeal likely would not have been passed by the new Congress that convenes in January with Republicans regaining control of the House of Representatives and cutting into the Democrats' Senate majority.
"The issue that really disturbs me more than anything else is that legislation that's controversial tends to be done in lame-duck sessions when a number of the elected representatives are no longer accountable to the people," said Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council.
The Massachusetts Family Institute blasted Senate Republicans, including Sen. Scott Brown, who broke ranks with their party on the vote.
"[They] made a vow not to vote on 'don't ask, don't tell' until the budget was resolved, and they broke trust with the people," said the group's president, Kris Mineau. "In doing so, they not only have put special interests above fiscal interests but also have put our troops at risk during wartime."
In New York, home to one of the nation's largest gay communities and a gay pride parade whose grand marshal this year was an openly gay, discharged serviceman, 28-year-old Cassandra Melnikow glanced at a news ticker in Times Square announcing the repeal and said: "Excellent! It's about time."
"I don't see what difference [sexual orientation] makes in the fighting military," said Melnikow, a public health researcher. "What's the big deal?"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repealed At Last

December 18, 2010 the day the Don't Ask Don't Tell Law repealed.  A lot of opposition was put forth, mostly by Republicans.  Their big issue was that it would cause "distraction" among the troops.  Interesting.  The person next to them has not changed.  They have just been able to make a statement about who they are.  I am hoping that this stand against discrimination becomes a trend.

Throughout the history of the world, people have stood in judgment of people who are different than they are.  The following are just a few examples:

  The Spanish Inquisition where Catholics tortured those who did not follow the teaching of the Catholic Church.  They were able to torture and kill thousands...why, because those people were different.
The Crusades,  where the Protestants went to war to fight those who did not cling to their teachings.  Why?...Because those people were different.

Adolf Hitler killed thousands of Jewish people and disabled people.   He was able to do this..Why?  Because those people were different.

The American people stood in judgment of those who owned slaves, so much so that it triggered the Civil War...they were able to stand in judgment....why because the Slave owners are sinners, those people were different.

The White man hated and persecuted the African Americans.  The KKK flourished with hate.  They were able to kill and lynch hundreds of people of color.  Why??  Because the African Americans were different.

There has been a horrible amount of injustice done in the name of God Almighty.  When the Pharisees brought the "women taken in adultery" to Jesus what did He say, "he who is without sin let him cast the first stone..."  He did not condemn the woman.

People stand in judgment today of the Homosexual.  Why?  Because they are different.  People say that it is an abomination before God.  So is lying, so is murder, so is hate, so is taking the Lord's name in vain.  I don't see anyone trying to keep those kind of people out of the United States so why the homosexuals?  Because they are different.

For clarity's sake let me just state, I do not believe that living in a monogamous relationship is a sin whether that be a hetero or homosexual relationship. 

Instead of standing in judgment, get to know these people.  Instead of hating them and throwing out phrases like I have heard, "All homosexuals are going to hell...", Be the good Samaritan neighbor and love them and show them God's love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Frustration on Getting the Uniting American Families Act to be Mentioned in Congress

I have been working on Twitter.  I tweeted so many times that I got a message that I had to wait an hour before tweeting again.  I have been emailing the US Senators and the US House of Representatives.  I have been mentioning  to those for whom I have voted, that I did indeed vote for them.  I have gotten a total of zero replies as to when anyone will bring up the Uniting American Families Act.  I am frustrated and becoming saddened by the lack of interest in this bill.  Some form of the bill has been introduced into Congress for the last 10 years.  It has yet to come to a vote.  It usually gets tabled or stuck in some Committee.

Does not Congress realize that this is not something like congratulating a football team member, people's lives are on hold.  People are separated from their loved ones.  People are being forced to choose between their country and their loved one.  Why is this OK with some people?  Just because a person does not agree with my lifestyle or my choices, do they have the right to tell me who or who not I can love? 

In the last couple of weeks, I have been told that same sex relationships are the following:

an abomination, a sin, un-natural, and just plain sick

When I ask them what they base it on I get different replies.  That God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of it.  The Bible teaches against it.  Society condemns it.  I would like to address each of these replies one by one.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:  For this I wish to borrow a quote from the book, The Children are Free by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley: 

          Since the Middle Ages, many Christian theologians have view this story as a blanket condemnation of homosexuality.  ...

          The text of the story tells us that 'the men of Sodom, both young and old, all of the people to the last man" gathered at Lot's door and demanded that his guests be brought out to them.  This language is important because it makes clear that the group at Lot's door was comprised of either all of the people of the city (men and women) or, at a minimum, all the males of the city, both boys and men.  This is a telling fact.
          Today, San Francisco has the reputation for being the "gayest" city in the world.  Yet even in San Francisco, gay men constitute far less than half the the total male population.  If the Scripture text had told us that "certain men of Sodom" or even "many men of Sodom" gathered at the door, we might then surmise that the men at the door could have been motivated by homosexual desire.  But the text says "both young and old, all the people to the last man" gathered at the door.  To suggest that every man and boy in Sodom was homosexual is simply not credible.  Any reasonable interpretation of the story must account for the fact that all the males of Sodom (both homosexual and heterosexual), and perhaps even the women, participated in this attack.  Something other than homosexual desire seems to have been at work here.

          This point is reinforced by another fact recounted in the story.  We are told that Lot, in a last-ditch effort to save his guests, offered his virgin daughters to the men at the door.  Although Lot's offer is reprehensible, it does yield another important clue... Would it make any sense to offer them a beautiful woman?  Of course not!  If the men were motivated by homosexual desire, offering them heterosexual sex instead would be nonsensical.  Lot knew the mew of Sodom much better than any of today's fundamentalist preachers do and it is obvious he believed the crowd outside was predominantly heterosexual.  Why else would he offer his daughters?
          From archeological records, we know it was also a common practice in the Near East during ancient times for soldiers to use homosexual rape as humiliating their enemies....The practice was not driven by sexual desire, but by brutality and hatred toward the enemy.

          There are about twenty references to the story of Sodom in the Bible, and none of them says homosexuality was the sin of Sodom.  One of the most extensive references to Sodom is found in Ezekiel, which says, "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughters had pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did abominable thing before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it,"   Ezekiel 16:49-50

[To purchase this book please go to the following link:]

A lot of people have told me that having a homosexual relationship is a sin.  Is that why we can get the Uniting American Families Act passed?  It is a sin???!!!??   Let's just go with that.  For arguments sake, we will say that.  I do not believe that, but for right now, we will pretend that they are a sin.  Why is this sin so special?  Why don't we forbid entry into our country those who have broken the 10 commandments?  Why don't we throw out those who have lied.  That is one of the 10 commandments.  Oh now here is a big one.. coveting.  If you have ever said that you wanted someone else stuff, that is a sin.  It breaks the law of Moses and the prophets.  Why do we allow them to sponsor their opposite sex partners when they are lying people who take the name of the Lord in vain?  If we are going to make it an issue for one "sin" we must make it a law for each and every sin.

As for the arguments that it is unnatural and just plain sick, well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  I think that smoking is just plain sick, but I do not tell people that they cannot enter the country because of my opinion.  I think that WWF wrestling is unnatural, but that doesn't change the mind of the millions of fans that they have and I do not try to change their minds.

Keeping couples apart just because we can, is cruel.  Keeping couples apart because they have a belief system that we think is wrong, is cruel.  Keeping couples apart because the same people who picketed Elizabeth Edwards' funeral, think that it is an abomination, well that is just plain not nice.
We are people who are in love with someone who lives in another country.  Because of an old society belief, we are forbidden to be with that loved one.  Because of prejudice, hate, fears, and false beliefs, I cannot have Christmas with the one I love.  How is that Christian?  How is that protecting my rights as an American citizen?

Pass the Uniting American Families Act.  Do it now.  Since 2010 the bill has been before Congress, it is time to pass it.  Write, call, email and tweet your Representatives and Senators.  Tell them we can wait no longer for this bill to pass.

On Gay Marriage and Immigration, Is UAFA the Red-Headed Stepchild?

ANALYSIS | As California's controversial anti-gay marriage measure winds its way through the court systems, Capitol Hill is poised to take on comprehensive immigration reform. Is anyone considering gay marriage, immigration rights and the current -- or a future -- disparity?

Spain recognizes gay marriage, as do some areas in the United States. Other locales accept same-sex civil unions that seek to equalize opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Immigration officials, however, accept neither a valid gay marriage nor a civil union registration in their determination of who may file for an adjustment in immigration status based on marriage.

Thus far, the United States has been able to deny gay marriage immigration benefits based on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The number of annually affected bi-national couples is estimated to "only" be right around 36,000. Even so, each one represents a unique challenge to the U.S. Constitution, Barack Obama's 2008 campaign platform, the hinting at comprehensive immigration reform and vociferous illegal alien advocates that remain mum on the topic.
Americans who are chafing at the notion of gay marriage and perhaps also comprehensive immigration reform may have to reach for their collective doses of blood pressure medication soon. Then-candidate Obama was clear in his 2008 support for the LGBT community and spoke out in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.
In addition, Obama stated that he promised to "enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions." Is this where the Uniting American Families Act comes in?
Ever since 2000, a variety of versions of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) have been placed before Congress and eventually shelved. Its latest incarnation is H.R.1024. Passage of the bill is problematic in that it touches on a contentious political football within the hot-button topic of immigration: gay marriage. While Catholic bishops have thrown their unmitigated support behind illegal aliens from border countries, they refuse to stand up and be counted when it comes to same-sex marriage relationships.

With the support from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops missing due to the same-sex inclusion, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference's leader, Reverend Samuel Rodriguez likens the gay marriage language in the bill as a "slap in the face to those of us who have fought for years for immigration reform." After all, immigration reform advocates do not want their hard-won public support to wane because of another controversial and dividing social issue.

When debating comprehensive immigration reform, how far is Congress willing to go? Is President Obama willing to stick out his neck -- especially in anticipation of the 2012 election -- and tackle a controversial topic that nevertheless represented an appreciable part of his 2008 campaign platform? Will the LGBT community come to recognize that (for them) the terms "comprehensive" and "immigration reform" were "just words?"

Sylvia Cochran offers an insider's perspective of the American immigration system. Having gone through the steps of becoming a citizen -- and currently living in a border state -- she brings hands-on familiarity with hot-button issues to the table.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles cde3

Immigration Raids Lawsuit Upheld

Immigration Raids Lawsuit Upheld

by Thomas MacMillan | Dec 17, 2010 7:29 am

In their quest to hold immigration agents accountable for alleged constitutional violations during June 2007 raids in Fair Haven, 11 New Haven immigrants can take their case all the way to the top.
Federal Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Thursday that 11 plaintiffs in a civil rights suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can hold the agency’s national director liable for the behavior of agents that entered apartments in Fair Haven. The judge denied a motion by the U.S. government that argued that ICE supervisors and higher-ups could not be held responsible for ground-level action.
Judge Underhill’s decision was part of a larger ruling (read it here) in response to several motions by the government, which sought to have the immigrants’ case derailed on a variety of grounds. While some of the government’s arguments were successful, the majority failed, according to Muneer Ahmad (pictured below), a Yale law professor representing the plaintiff immigrants.

Thomas MacMillan File Photo
Thomas MacMillan File Photo
The case stems from controversial ICE raids in the summer of 2007. The plaintiffs in the case, represented by lawyers and students from Yale Law School, claim that ICE agents entered their homes without permission and arrested them illegally, violating their 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights. The 11 immigrant plaintiffs are suing the government as well as individual ICE agents. They also claim that the raids were a sort of punishment for New Haven issuance of the Elm City Resident ID Card, which is available to all New Haveners regardless of their immigration status.
ICE has declined to comment on the case in the past. A spokesperson was not available by press time.
Muneer Ahmad, a Yale law professor on the case, declared the judge’s ruling a victory. He said Judge Underhill upheld the majority of the case, while the government’s “aggressive” effort to dismiss the case was successful “only at the margins.”
“It’s a pretty sweeping decision on the part of the plaintiffs,” Ahmad said.
Ahmad said the government had argued that immigrant law precludes the case from being heard. The court rejected that claim, he said.
It’s true that certain parts of immigration law limit the powers of courts to try ICE agents, Ahmad said. “But the court found that the argument the government made was overbroad.”
“That’s a really major decision by the court,” Ahmad said. It’s a very significant ruling on behalf of the rights of immigrants to make civil rights claims, he said.
“I think that other courts will pay attention to it, and I think that ICE will pay attention to it,” Ahmad said. “ICE has long maintained that it should have a kind of immunity from suit that other law enforcement officials don’t have.”
“Our hope is that this is the start of an accountability process for ICE and for the group of residents in Fair Haven,” Ahmad said.
The government has the option of appealing Underhill’s decision.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

DREAM Come True

I was just enjoying this wonderful blog by  Pablo Andreu of the Huffington Post.  He makes a wonderful analogy and correlations between the Civil Rights Struggle of African Americans and the DREAM Act and Gay Marriage.  Thank you Mr. Andreu for your most enlightened comments.

Pablo Andreu

Pablo Andreu

Posted: December 16, 2010 02:26 PM
I can guarantee one thing: The DREAM Act will pass. It may not pass this week, and it may not be called the DREAM Act when it does pass, but some palliative immigration legislation will eventually pass. While I have your attention, let me also say that gay marriage will be sanctioned, not just in liberal strongholds on the coasts or left-leaning pockets in the belly of the country. I'm talking about widespread acceptance of gay marriage. To all those who oppose the DREAM Act and who voted yes to Proposition 8, you've already lost. You just don't know it yet.
On July 2nd, 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination based on "race, color, religion, or national origin" as it pertained to employment and public accommodation. This watershed legislation was met with ample opposition. President Kennedy proposed civil rights legislation during his office, but the bill was stymied by threats of filibuster from southern senators. When Johnson resurrected the bill, his office endured 54 days of filibuster in the Senate before the bill was eventually passed. Of course, there was also the century of systematic discrimination and disenfranchisement of African Americans and the decade of concerted civil rights efforts leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Why the staunch opposition? Well, they didn't want Black America. Fortunately for us, that's exactly what happened. Everything that southern senators and their constituencies feared in the 50s and 60s has come to pass. African Americans have taken "white jobs." Interracial couples and families have become more and more common, blurring the lines of race and making those superficial distinctions less relevant. African Americans, no longer fettered by the constrains of oppressive laws (although still dealing with the reality of residual racism) have also had a profound impact on American culture in the last 50 years, in music, art, business, science, and, of course, politics. If you don't think America is better for it, then you probably oppose the DREAM Act.
Make no mistake of it: opposing the DREAM Act is bigotry. It is bigotry on the part of the American people and political maneuvering on the part of Republican senators intent on keeping acculturated Latinos disenfranchised lest they become voting Democrats. The difference is that this brand of bigotry is cloaked with policy positions -- excuses for forestalling a future in which America is overrun with Latinos. Whether or not the DREAM Act passes now, that future is coming. Latinos form the fastest-growing segment in the United States. As the Latino population continues to grow, we will become increasingly represented in Congress, which, in turn, will affect America's laws and how we Americans view immigrants and children of immigrants.
It's the latter group that the DREAM Act addresses -- people like my sister. My sister was born in Spain but raised in the United States. She is a published writer, an author, and a fiercely proud American. But she wasn't always American. The daughter of immigrants trying to make a better life for themselves, my sister lived under the pall of deportation until she was in high school. She was a fully assimilated American living under the threat of being deported to a country that would have been foreign to her. In fact, under the current legislation, it is possible for a person to be deported to a country whose language he or she does not speak. We can argue all day long about immigration policy. It's a multi-faceted issue that can be debated on many fronts, but if you support expelling de facto Americans on a technicality, you are sorely lacking compassion and, I'm sorry to say it, humanity.
No matter what you do, no matter which laws are passed (or aren't passed), fifty years from now acculturated Latinos, happily married gay couples and most other Americans will look back to this day and age and wonder how we could have been so prejudiced.

Uniting American Families Act

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 1024, S. 424) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration law.

Earlier this year it was put into the Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2010 along with the DREAM Act.  Later the DREAM Act was pulled out to be a stand alone bill.
Although the UAFA now has more co-sponsors than any immigration bill in the House of Representatives, we have yet to have it brought to the floor for a vote or even mentioned in Congress.

For more information regarding the Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2010, please go to the following:

The only way for us to get this bill passed is to make sure that both the Senate and the House hear about it every day.  Twitter, Email, Call, and then Twitter again.  Together we can get this bill changed into a law.  Haven't we waited long enough?