Thursday, May 26, 2011

Condoning and Promoting Bullying of the LGBT Youth



Condoning the Bullying

Promoting the Deaths



Is the US Government one of the causes of the increase in deaths of the LBGT Youth?  Well, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

While we are doing our best to let our LBGT youth know that “It Gets Better”,  The State of Tennessee is passing the “Don’t say Gay” Law.  The law that states that in the Tennessee schools a person cannot mention that the words lesbian or homosexual or gay or any other word that has to do with non-heterosexual orientation.  This promotes shame, hurt, and insecurities.  It also is a way for teens to harass other teens.  What in the world are they thinking?

The United States Congress has had several bills placed before them that would give the Lesbians and Gays some rights. The Uniting American Families Act, the Respect for Marriage Act, and the Reuniting Families Act have all been introduced. They have been refereed to the Judiciary Committee where they have not been brought for a vote. To the General Public this is a sign that Homosexuals do not deserve the consideration of the Government. Shameful that Congress has not gotten the chance to vote on these bills. I believe that this is a sign our children that Lesbian and Gay Youth do not deserve to be protected. They are different and deserve judgement, ridicule and even death.

To the Lesbian and Gay Youth it is a sign that they are nothing in the eyes of our government. They are nothing and their death is a favor to society. I am not exaggerating. I was a bullied youth and I know these feelings.


In the State of Texas, a person can refuse to wait on, to serve homosexuals.  Apparently, that is just one of several states who allow that type of discrimination.  I am appalled and shocked that in these United States would allow such hatred, but then I remember not that long ago, that the “conservative Christians” were and some still are against interracial marriage.  That the person of color could be arrested for kissing a white person was not an unusual occurrence.  As a matter of fact, that person could be put to death without the Authorities even wanting to step in.  The movie “Holes” starring Shia LaBeouf has a story woven within it about this prejudice. 

It is apparent that we have learned nothing from our past.  The conservative Christians (something I considered myself to be until not that long ago) (I am still Christian just not all that conservative) refuse to allow for differences.  God Almighty has never condemned a loving same sex relationship, but because of a few verses taken out of context, we have put people to death. 

How can so many people be so wrong about their interpretation of what the Bible really says about Homosexuality?  I asked a missionary friend of mine to understand the history, the language, the context of the verses used to condemn homosexuals and here is what he said:  “I do not need know all of that, the Bible says straight forward etc… etc… etc…”  That is the problem.  As an example I would like to use the Ford Truck commercial with Mike Rowe.  The man who tests drives the truck makes the statement, “this truck is sick”.  Do we really think that Ford would air a commercial where someone says that their truck is horrible? No, we have to take the context of the statement and the language of the day.  He means that the truck is fabulous.  So to those Christians who refuse to do as I suggested by looking at the context, history, and language of the day, they have misinformed several generations of people.  Please feel free to read and challenge my personal research on what the Bible really says about homosexuality before you come to judgment.


The Bible Says -- Homosexuality

Ruth and Naomi




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DENIED: US Citizens Denied the Right to Sponsor Spouses for Immigration

One would think that a person who is legally married to a person who is foreign born would be able to sponsor them for immigration. This is not the case of same sex couples in the United States. Five states and the District of Columbia allow same sex couples to marry. It is absolutely a horrible nightmare that even though same sex couples have married in these states, it is not recognized by the Federal Government under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).It is because of this, these marriages, these families can be ripped apart legally by the US Federal Government. (ICE)

We really need to get the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) passed and the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) (which repeals DOMA) passed.

What is the opposition? I am not sure. All of the people that are against repealing DOMA and are against the UAFA say that it is immoral. I would like to point out that the Bible says that ALL have sinned. If you discriminate against same sex couples, you must also discriminate against those who take the name of the Lord in vain. To just say that homosexuality is an abomination is simply not Biblical. The Bible lists seven sins that are an abomination. Why isn't Congress up in arms against these abominations? Probably because they are guilty of committing them. Number one being a proud look. The next one is a lying tongue. Let's deport everyone who is guilty of being proud or has ever told a lie. Ridiculous you say. I agree. To hold anyone to the perfect standards of the Bible is ridiculous...whether it be lying, adultery, murder, or being too proud of oneself, it is all an abomination in the eyes of God.

As a student of the Bible, I would also like to point out that whenever same sex relationships are mentioned in the Bible the context is Always idol worship. The Almighty God never condemns a monogamous same sex relationship in the Bible....

As a reference to this argument, please see the previous blog entries:

The Bible Says - Homosexuality

Can You Justify Discrimination Because of Sin

I hope that you will read all of this information with an open mind and heart and know that it is the right thing to repeal DOMA and to pass the Uniting American Families Act

It seems that there is no urgency to get these Bills out of their Judiciary Committees and to the floor to be brought for a vote. Lamar Smith in the House has not returned any of my correspondences regarding bringing the United American Families Act up for a vote. I would like to say that if Congress were separated from their families; their spouses with no permanent solution, there would be more urgency. As a matter of fact, I don't believe we would have to wait at all for these bills to be made law if it were them. We are a minority of a minority, but we are American Citizens and we should have the right to live with our spouses and sponsor them for immigration.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Bypass Hospital Homophobia/Discrimination

DISCLAIMER: The following is not meant to be legal advice. It is only some friendly suggestions for those of us who live in the United States.

I am a lesbian. I also am a health care professional. I have been reading horrible stories of people not being able to be at their loved one's bedside while they are in the hospital. Even more horrific than that, not being notified of the death of their partner, not being able to hold their hand as they were lying there dying. I would like to offer the following advice for those of you who are in same sex relationships and fear this kind of prejudice at a hospital.

1. Become your partner's "Medical Power of Attorney". All that it says is that if your partner becomes too ill to make their own decisions, you have the right to make their decisions for them. Go through an attorney to get this done professionally and legally and make plenty of copies. Each and every time one of you gets put in the hospital, make sure that you give them a copy. Make sure each and every RN knows that you are indeed the "POA".

They will be legally obligated to allow you at your partner's bedside.

2. Do not make your relationship a secret. Kindly and respectfully ask your primary Doctor and the RN who is taking care of you or your loved one if they have a problem with your relationship. If they say yes, ask if you can get a different health care professional to take care of you. This is your right.

3. It is important that the two of you be included in any major decisions. I don't mean blood draws or a CT scan. I do mean surgery or surgical procedures. Make sure that the patient makes that absolutely clear to the Doctor and the Nursing Staff...especially the Nursing Staff.

4. If it is an emergent medical procedure, ex: a procedure to help the patient breathe easier like a thorencentesis. Let the RN know that you want your partner notified immediately that this procedure is going to take place. They will follow your lead. If you want your partner included, they will tend to include them.

5. If you have any sort of issue whatsoever, ask to speak to the House Supervisor. If you do not get satisfaction, ask to speak to the Patient Advocate. You are the patient and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Your wishes need to be respected.

6. Do not approach the health care professionals with a "chip" on your shoulder. Don't be on the defensive, we are doing nothing wrong.

EX: I was taking care of a patient. I walked in and she and her wife were holding hands. She immediately let go of her hand and said, "We don't want to freak you out, everyone at this Catholic hospital is homophobic..." I replied with a smile, "Uh nope not everyone...." I later suggested that they not let go of holding hands and told them that I, too, am a lesbian. She apologized for being rather gruff with me. She said, "I just feel that I have to hid my relationship..." I cannot stress enough, let your relationship be known.

To summarize: Become your partner's Medical Power of Attorney. Don't make your relationship a secret. Show respect for the medical staff and don't be on the defensive. If you have any problems, report it to the Nursing Supervisor or the Patient Advocate. You deserve to be treated with respect also.

Feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

DOMA Immigration Cases Create Balancing Act For Administration

by Carlos Maza

Controversy is brewing yet again over the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) impact on bi-national same-sex couples. Debate over the deportation of gay foreign nationals was reignited last week after Attorney General Eric Holder issued a decision vacating an earlier decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to apply Section 3 of DOMA to the case of a gay foreign national who had entered into a civil union with an American citizen:

The brief, two-paragraph decision directs that the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to revisit the case involving Paul Wilson Dorman to determine whether, “absent the requirements of DOMA,” Dorman’s same-sex partnership or civil union would qualify him to be considered a “spouse” under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The announcement prompted a U.S. immigration judge on Friday to halt the deportation proceedings of Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan national whose green card petition was denied earlier this year despite his legal marriage to his husband, Josh Vandiver, who is an American citizen.

Holder’s decision has been heralded by some as a sign that the administration is looking for ways to avoid continuing to deport gay and lesbian foreign nationals who are legally married to (or have entered into civil unions with) American citizens. Lavi Soloway, co-founder of Immigration Equality, told Metro Weekly:

This development could be a sign that the Obama administration is looking for a way to protect gay and lesbian bi-national couples who are currently barred from the regular marriage-based immigration process by the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Justice Department’s handling of bi-national immigration cases has generated significant criticism from right-wingers who have accused the administration of refusing to enforce the law since late February. The Justice Department, however, has been quick to clarify that it will continue to enforce DOMA, despite Holder’s decision. As The New York Times reported:

Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Mr. Holder, said he had interceded in Mr. Dorman’s case only because he wanted the immigration appeals court to decide issues he felt had been overlooked. “As we have made clear, we will continue to enforce DOMA,” Ms. Schmaler said.

As Soloway has pointed out, however, it’s possible for the president to exert his executive discretion to halt deportation proceedings without abandoning DOMA’s enforcement:

While DOMA is still the law of the land and must be enforced, it cannot be an excuse for failing to institute administrative remedies such as ''abeyance'' to put a halt to deportations, separations and exile of lesbian and gay bi-national couples. This administration has a duty to ensure that our families are not torn apart because of an unconstitutional law that it refuses to defend.

The Obama administration has the power to make this happen and must act now.

If the Obama administration really is afraid of looking like it isn’t enforcing DOMA, maybe it’s time for a major priority shift. It’s a waste of time to worry about the concerns of anti-gay activists who are looking for any excuse to bash the administration’s handling of DOMA, as evidenced by those who are already accusing Holder of lying about the law’s continued enforcement.

At some point, the administration should come to accept that preserving the marriages of committed, loving gay and lesbian bi-national couples is more important than trying to appease an increasingly unreasonable and shrinking group of anti-gay conservatives.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Living Our Lives Three Months At A Time

Please read the first part of Claire and Carrie's Story Here

Married, In Love, Yet Strangers by US Law

At the time of our last post, November 2010, Claire was unemployed and in the UK, searching for any work with no success.  In December 2010, she ran across a position that looked and sounded perfect.  She did all she could to prepare and was shortlisted down to 5 to be interviewed.  With the economy still being so bad, there had been no offers for interview, so this was encouraging.

Claire did beautifully in the interview and felt really good about her chances.  Sadly, the position was offered to someone else.  Claire was feeling defeated before this, she was gutted by not getting the job and felt completely alone with me on the other side of the world.  She called to tell me about the job and broke down (not something my wife does).  We had no idea when we would be together again, Christmas was close and we felt every mile of the distance between us.  Claire asked me to consider traveling to the UK to be there for her.  The decision was easy to make, but the many details to make it happen weren’t so easy.

We agreed that I would go for nearly 3 months to give me time to recover from the long trip (my health is not particularly good) and actually have real time together.  I had less than 2 weeks to pull it off.  Got my flight sorted quickly—that was the easy part.  I had to contact my healthcare provider for 3 months worth of prescriptions, not so easy.  I got my meds 2 days before my flight.  I arranged for our daughter, Ariana, to stay at our apartment and look after our cats while I was away and had my sister poking her head in each week to be sure everything was going all right.  I had to make sure everything was up to date on our cars (Ariana’s car was in my name), all bills were paid, temporary holds placed on some accounts, bank was aware I would be out of the country, and so many little details.  My step-dad's health was rapidly diminishing; I was grateful I’d spent time with him the year before and we’d said our goodbyes.

It was a long trip.  I was completely exhausted when I arrived at Heathrow.  Security was tough.  I was asked the reason for my trip and I told the officer I was there to see Claire.  I was asked how much money I had with me and at my disposal and told I didn’t bring enough cash.  The officer then asked what type of employment I had and wrote “unemployed” when I told her I was retired on disability.  She then wanted to know where Claire worked.  When I said Claire was actively pursuing getting work, I got a “look” and the officer informed me that she shouldn’t allow me to enter the country since we were both unemployed.  I tried to explain that I have stable income and that I would not be looking for any public assistance.  I was terrified that I was going on the next flight out without being able to even let Claire know.  My passport was finally stamped and I was allowed into the UK, being reminded that I could only have a total of 6 months out of 12 (starting with the day I first enter the country) in the UK.

Finally, I was in the UK.  I did not receive the wheelchair assistance I had requested and had to walk the length of Heathrow Airport on my own, no small task.  I got my bags and found Claire frantically waiting.  I was the last person through the gates, unassisted, 30 minutes after all the other passengers from my flight had gone through.  We took the taxi trip home to a place I’d never been—even exhausted, I loved the snow-covered countryside and, especially, my wife by my side.  My darling decorated for our first Christmas together.  I spent the first week sleeping as best I could to overcome my jet-lag, but we were finally together, if only temporarily.

Claire continued to job-hunt and finally found a position.  She was working by the end of January.  We were elated that she landed a position with a company owned by an American firm—we don’t know if it will ever help in getting her over here as she’s been with them a short time and is learning the ropes, but the really good thing is that it is run more like an American company than a British one and so Claire has the opportunity to learn how differently things are done here without the culture-shock that she will have when she is able to finally come home to me and work here.

It proved to be good timing for me to be in the UK when I was.   Our boiler quit putting out any hot water.  We had heat, but no way to bathe other than in the sink.  Claire was out of the house on training for 12-16 hours every day.  I needed to be the housewife and deal with the workmen replacing the boiler and installing a shower.  It was utter chaos for over 2 weeks.  I walked to a beauty salon about a block from our house a few times to have my hair washed as I cannot bend over a sink.  There would not have been any way for all the work to be done so “quickly” had I not been there, not with Claire’s only weekday off being Mondays.

While I was in the UK, my step-father passed away.  It hurt not to be with my daughter, as he was her grandfather and she loved him dearly.  I called family members regularly, but it’s not the same as being there.  I felt homesick for our cats, for my sister, and, especially, my daughter.  But, I was at home with my wife, and that was wonderful! 

Because I am allowed 6 months out of 12 in the UK on a visa waiver, Claire and I decided that I would come to her for 3 months then be in California 3 months until she can come to me permanently.  Prior to this trip, Claire had worked for a company that gave her wonderful holiday benefits and she was always able to come to me.  Once her job was eliminated and she had to find other employment, she lost the benefits and we knew that we would have to wait a long time for her to be in a position to be able to come to me at all. 

From the beginning, Claire’s concern for my health would not permit her to even entertain the thought of my making the long trip and staying in England’s changeable and bitter weather.  With nothing changing regarding immigration laws, we did not even know when we would see each other again.  I am grateful that we were forced to reconsider.  It wasn’t easy, but I needed to be with my wife.  I far better understand what it might be like to be among those living in exile—how painful! 

 I returned to California in March 2011.  It broke our hearts as I got in the taxi and Claire went off to work the morning I left.  I was thrilled to be with my daughter and kitties again, but it hurt so badly being away from Claire.  The same week I returned, the engine blew out on my daughter’s car (which was still in my name) and I had so much to do to bring it back to town and get it salvaged—nothing about it was straight-forward.  It took about 3 weeks to get it all worked out.  In the meantime, I’ve not had time to recover from my uneventful (thankfully) return flight.  I was exhausted and stressed and missing my wife and got a miserable sinus infection and ended up with a horrible bout of bronchitis—and I still had to figure out how to file my income taxes.  In California, we are married.  However, Claire is a “non-resident alien.”  Under federal law (DOMA), we are strangers.  Even though I worked in taxes for 20 years prior to my disability retirement, I was completely flummoxed as to how to file.  I, finally, one week before they were due, contacted a preparer to help me.  DOMA is costly and blatantly discriminatory.  I pay my taxes, even when the laws don’t make sense and hurt me.  We finally got my returns mailed by the deadline, but I was made even more keenly aware how “second-class” committed gay couples are treated, yet the government is able to take more in taxes from us than from married straight couples.  We are funding our own discrimination!

I am returning to the UK for another 3 months starting in June.  I need to be there to celebrate Claire’s 50th birthday and to meet my in-laws for the very first time, although we’ve been talking on the telephone over the past 5 years.  During my December 2010 to March 2011 stay, I ventured out no more than 6 times.  The weather and my health kept me housebound.

Until the laws of our land accept us with equal treatment, this is our life.  3 months in California, 3 months in the UK.  It’s hard.  It’s challenging.  But it’s more than we’ve ever had before.






Monday, May 2, 2011

A Very Personal Post

This story has nothing to do about the Uniting American Families Act. It has nothing to do with being a lesbian. It has a more personal note to it. Please forgive and please indulge.

I was moved to the core by the amazing courage of this lady to tell her story of such a personal and visceral attack. Her courage and strength are amazing and inspiring. She speaks of the marks on her body.... and I remember.

Thank you for listening and I encourage all who who can "remember" to please know there is healing in telling and talking. Lots of healing, safe and honest hugs to those who know, remember and understand.


Thank you for all of the responses with concerns and sweet support I have gotten in my personal email regarding the statement that I, too, remember the marks in and on my body.

I will tell this: I was but a little girl when my abuse started. My first memory was at the age of seven...this went on until I was able to leave at the age of 18. I am doing well now. Although I have been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and sometimes the nightmares and flashbacks come, for the most part, life is wonderful. Again, your sweet words of support have touched my heart. Thank you.