freedom to marry

Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance; Freedom to Marry



Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance

I’m only posting a reminder that tomorrow, August 30th, is the release date for the anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. I’ll post more tomorrow about it in detail, with a few excerpts, too. (Contributing authors, I will be in touch with you very soon with copies.)

And when I say that tomorrow is the release date, please take into consideration that I don’t know a specific time when it will go live on Amazon. The book will be distributed in many places, but I like to put it on Amazon first because that’s where I usually get most of my feedback. And I’m never exactly certain when it will go live after it’s uploaded to Kindle. As soon as I have links, I’ll put them up on tomorrow’s post.

Freedom to Marry

I’ve been posting about the Freedom to Marry organization for a long time now. You can read those posts here. In many ways Freedom to Marry has been my own personal catharsis because I’m living in PA where gay marriage is still not legal and my twenty year relationship with Tony has not been recognized like those in other states since the SCOTUS ruling. And not even in my own home town where I always thought the LGBT community set examples for others.

It’s been a disillusioning week for all gay couples in New Hope, and what surprises me even more is that there are some gay people who are supporting the mayor’s decision not to buck an immoral law and not to fight for equality to be on the right side of history. That kind of mind set just blows me away because it’s political and not emotional. This is the main reason why I decided not to go to law school after I graduated from college and took my LSATs. When it comes to things like this I don’t support or respect every single law, and I believe there are certain laws that need to be changed.

This is the latest from Freedom to Marry

This week has seen a flurry of activity supporting the freedom to marry in New Mexico. Three counties in New Mexico have been ordered by district court judges to end marriage discrimination and begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. County clerks in three additional counties have followed the lead of these rulings by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in their own counties. These huge steps forward in New Mexico this week bring renewed urgency to why we need the freedom to marry uniformly across the state – and, ultimately, why we need the freedom to marry nationwide.

You can read more here.

Freedom to Marry: Military Spouse Appreciation Day

I’m a day or two late to the forum with this, but I wanted to post something I received from Freedom to Marry about Military Spouse Appreciation Day. I think it’s important to share anything like this nowadays, with the impending decision SCOTUS will make this June on same sex marriage.

From my inbox:

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Ryan.

On this day, we thank all the husbands and wives around the world for the sacrifices they’ve made, for their undying support that allows their spouse to serve our country so bravely.

While we celebrate, we should also remember that not all military spouses are treated equally. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the federal government from respecting the marriages of same-sex couples and prevents the military from treating those families equally. Major Shannon McLaughlin, her wife Casey and their twins Grace and Grant, are just one military family that has been harmed by DOMA.

Watch Shannon and Casey’s story to see how DOMA is harming their family:

http://freedomtomarry.org/page/m/4d893bb4/27163916/4e11a7e7/2e17d5bd/2170821320/VEsF/

As the wife of a service member, Casey should be treated the same way other military spouses are treated. As Shannon puts it:

“A military spouse is someone who holds the family together, holds together that military family and allows the military member to go out to be able to do their mission or training that is necessary.”

What Casey and Shannon want for their family is simple: to be recognized and treated as equal to every other military family. They want their children to know that their marriage and their family is no different than any other military family.

To end this federal discrimination against military families, we need your help.

Show your support of all military spouses — including Casey — this Military Spouse Appreciation Day by watching their story and sharing it with family and friends:

http://freedomtomarry.org/Shannon-and-Casey

Thank you,

Michael Crawford
Director of Online Programs, Freedom to Marry

Freedom To Marry Supreme Court Photos and More

I thought I’d share this from Freedom to Marry.

From my inbox:

Ryan –

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the freedom to marry and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. They aren’t expected to announce their decisions until June. Just as lawyers made the case for marriage in the courtroom, we can make the case for marriage in the court of public opinion.

That’s why we’re launching our new Right Side of History Tumblr. It’s filled with striking, emotional, awe-inspiring graphics and images that you can share with your friends and family across social media.Honestly – you have to check out our new Tumblr:

America Ready for Gay Marriage; Free Excerpt; The Virgin Billionaire’s Littlest Angel

Here’s another post about Freedom to Marry, an organization I’ve talked about before. I’m on their mailing list, and I pass on the info from my inbox as I get it for those who aren’t familiar with them. This time they get into whether or not America seems ready for Gay marriage.

Even before the SCOTUS hearings this week, I’ve been seeing studies and articles about how things are changing in America and how even some of the most unlikely are now thinking differently about gay marriage. I think it’s partly because so many now have gay friends, relatives, employees, etc… And they are seeing first hand that gay marriage isn’t going to hurt marriage as we’ve always known it.

 While the world watched, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on Prop 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and the country talked non-stop about marriage, freedom, and gay couples. While no one yet knows what the Court will rule, this week made it clear: America is ready for the freedom to marry.

The Court is likely to announce its decisions in June, and no matter what exactly the rulings are this time, all of us at Freedom to Marry feel great confidence, pride, hope, and determination. We know we have the momentum and the winning strategy. We know we have our goal of marriage nationwide within reach and will get there — in June or in the next round. And we also know it will only happen if, together, we keep doing the work.
Continuing the momentum we built by winning marriage in nine states and Washington, DC — with more underway — and growing public support to 58% is how we create the climate needed to embolden the Supreme Court to stand on the right side of history.

The biggest thing we can do to maximize our chances of good rulings in June is to keep winning more states. There are four states we could win while the justices are still writing their opinions, and Freedom to Marry is playing key roles in the campaigns to pass marriage bills in Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island.

Will you help make a difference when and where it counts? Make a donation to Freedom to Marry today and we’ll put your money to work right now.
http://freedomtomarry.org/SCOTUS-Donate

Free Excerpt: The Virgin Billionaire’s Littlest Angel

This is an excerpt that has never been pubbed for free before. It’s from the final book in the VB series, and it gets into a topic I’ve always felt strongly about: infant abandonment. The big argument between Jase and Luis is that Jase wants to adopt or do surrogacy. Because Luis is still so heavily involved in charity work for infant abandonment, he’s waiting to find an abandoned baby. Is it realistic? No. But this is what he believes. And he believes it so thoroughly he’s willing to risk his marriage with Jase.

What I find amusing is that I talk about a new coffee maker in this chapter. It’s really K-cups. At the time not many were using them. And this is only a few years ago. Keep in mind this is from the raw version, before it went to copy edits, as I submitted it to the publisher. I think it’s also a good example of how a book should be submitted to a publisher. I rarely have many copy edits come back to me.

After the shower, they dressed fast and went down to the kitchen. While Jase brewed two cups of coffee in the new coffee brewer Jase’s grandmother, Isabelle, had brought for them this time, Luis bent down slowly and picked up his little dog, Camp. The dog had been sleeping beside the huge stone walk-in fireplace in the kitchen. The old sprawling stone house dated back to the 1700’s and Luis and Jase had remodeled it from top to bottom few years back. The large fireplaces and wide pumpkin pine floors were just a few of the features Luis loved about the house.

But he wasn’t smiling that morning when he picked Camp up from the pillow on which he’d been sleeping all night. His body seemed listless, and he groaned a little when Luis cradled him in his arms. The only reason Camp was now sleeping by the fireplace instead in Hunter’s bedroom was because he couldn’t climb the stairs anymore. Luis wasn’t certain exactly when this had happened. It seemed to happen overnight. One day Luis’s little angel was running up and down the stairs with Hunter, and the next day he couldn’t make the first few steps. Since then, Luis carried him outside every morning, until his legs started working on their own.

            Camp was a bald Chinese crested Luis had found in an alley in Manhattan before he’d even met Jase. The little dog had followed him home one night and he’d never left Luis’s side. He’d been with Luis during his single days, during the days when Luis and Jase started to get to know each other, and he’d been at their wedding in Alaska. Camp had welcomed their son, Hunter, into the family as if he’d grown up with him. But Luis was never quite sure hold old Camp was. Luis could have found out but he didn’t really want to know. Luis couldn’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without Camp. He was just as much a member of their family as any of the humans and Luis imagined Camp in his life for the next fifty years.

           Jase popped a small plastic container of coffee into the machine and pushed a button. He turned to Luis and said, “How is he?” His tone went down; his expression turned somber.

            Luis opened the back door and kissed the top of Camp’s head. Though he was bald all over, he’d always had a long, shaggy mop of hair on top of his head. “I think he’s okay.” The vet had recently told Luis that Camp had leg problems due to his age. He wanted to do more tests in the future. Luis didn’t want to hear this; he didn’t want any testing done. He ignored the vet and the details about Camp’s problems and pretended Camp was still the quick, spry dog he’d always known.

            “Maybe you should give him a baby aspirin before we leave,” Jase said. “He looks like he’s having a rough time of it this morning.”

            Luis clenched his jaw. He didn’t want to deal with this. He held Camp closer to his chest and said, “He’ll be fine. He just needs to get his legs moving, is all. I have mornings like this myself sometimes.” He knew, intellectually, he didn’t sound rational. He also knew, in his heart, he couldn’t begin to think about Camp being sick.

            When Luis was outside, he didn’t tell Jase about the way Camp stumbled and fell sideways when he put him down on the grass. When this happened, Luis went down on his hands and knees and righted the dog to a standing position. “Please walk for me,” Luis said. He didn’t even realize he was begging. “You have to be okay. You’re going to be okay and that’s that. Please walk.”

            Camp licked Luis’s wrist and slowly stretched his hind legs, almost as if he understood. He groaned a few times; he almost tipped over again. But he managed to start walking on his own and he relieved himself. It made Luis frown to watch him. He’d stopped lifting his leg a month ago and now he was squatting like a female.

            By the time Luis went back into the house, Camp followed him through the back door and went to his water bowl for a drink. Jase set a mug of coffee on the counter for Luis and said, “How was he out there?”

            Luis smiled and lifted his chin. “He was great. He only needed a little help at first, and then he starting walking around as usual. He’s just getting a little older. There’s nothing wrong with him.”

            Jase sent Luis a blank gaze. But Luis didn’t acknowledge it. He knew what Jase was thinking. Jase had grown up in Alaskaand he’d been surrounded by animals all his life. He didn’t believe in seeing animals in pain. He believed that humans had to be smart enough and wise enough to know when they were in pain, so they could make the right, humane decisions. Luis didn’t want to deal with it that morning. So he turned and said, “I’ll go out and get the truck started. Hunter, Justin, and your grandmother will be down here at any minute and we’ll never get to the airport on time if they see us still here. You leave a note on the counter.”

            Luis and Jase were not religious. But in the same respect they wanted Hunter to grow up knowing some kind of religion. So whenever Isabelle visited from Alaska she took Hunter to church on Sunday mornings. She went with a dear friend of theirs, who lived in, and rented, the small cottage at the end of their long driveway. He was a retired minister, and his name was Thomas von Klingensmith…with the accent on the first syllable in THO-mas. He was over eighty years old, had written hundreds of books on spirituality that weren’t very popular, and was openly gay. When Isabelle was in Alaska, Thomas von Klingensmith took Hunter to church on Sundays in his big Cadillac.

NFL Players Support Amway Boycott; KDP Newsletter; Freedom to Marry; Republicans for Gay Marriage

Two NFL players, Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo recently joined others in signing a boycott that’s been growing slowly in popularity against Amway. They did this at the GLAAD awards last Saturday night with the founder of the righstequalrights.com campaign for equality, Fred Karger. For those who don’t know, the DeVos family, and Doug DeVos who owns Amway, are allegedly the largest contributors to the National Organization for Marriage and they’ve given a half million dollars to NOM. NOM is that large group of conservatives that believe marriage is between one man and one woman and they’ve been fighting equality and same sex marriage since the issue began.

From my inbox:

Both professional football players have been strong and vocal supporters of full marriage equality, fighting against NOM which ran and funded the unsuccessful anti-gay marriage campaigns that were on the Minnesota and Maryland ballots last November. These two outspoken heroes played huge roles in their respective state victories along with marriage equality victories in Washington State and Maine.

I think this is highly significant because anything LGBT related to any professional sport has always been so painfully ignored, pushed aside, diminished, and in some cases even laughed at. For these two guys to come out in support shows there are two sides to every story, and the quest for equality keeps moving forward all the time.

And, more important, even though Doug DeVos and his family, along with every other member of NOM, have the right to their own beliefs, we don’t have to support them financially or buy their products. I have no idea about how the Amway Boycott is going, or if boycotts in general even work, but if enough people who are LGBT, and enough people who have loved ones and friends who are LGBT, stop buying Amway products completely it’s going to have to make a huge difference. And that’s because people who are LGBT are everywhere now.

KDP Newsletter

I’m not posting the entire Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter because a good deal gets into KDP select and I talk about that all the time anyway, but I like to point out interesting things from each newsletter that some might not know.

Your KDP account preferences can be set to receive royalty payments electronically across all marketplaces in US dollars, British pounds or Euros. In order to be paid by Direct Deposit, your bank account will need to be located in the US, UK, or in Europe.

It’s always been an issue for Canadian publishers and European publishers to send checks to me, and I have a PayPal account but don’t like using it to get paid, for various reasons. I also just signed a contract with Riverdaleave.com books for a new series called “Fangsters” and I noticed in their contract they now have a section where authors can sign up for direct deposit, too. It’s a nice feature and it saves paper. I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the future.

KDP will also be at booth V555 at the London Book Fair, for those who are lucky enough to go there this year, on April 15-17. And they’ll be at BEA and uPublishU, May 30-June 1.

Freedom to Marry

In the most recent e-mail from Freedom to Marry, they talk about upcoming events with the Supreme Court. I know a lot of people are not on this e-mail list and it’s one of the things I think is important to pass along to everyone. I know my European readers find these things as interesting as I find their LGBT news. And I look forward to what they share with me.

We all can feel the momentum for marriage – and that’s exactly what Freedom to Marry intended. Even before the Supreme Court announced it would hear two marriage cases this year, we mapped out a plan and got to work to do everything we could to maximize our chances of winning. We want to be sure to continue making the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion as our advocates will be making in the court of law.

Now, in just 7 days, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges to Prop 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. On March 26-27, we ask the Court to reject marriage discrimination at both the state and federal levels.

The Court is expected to announce its decisions in June, and we need to keep using every precious day maximizing our chances of winning by creating the climate around the Court – that momentum we all are feeling. The drumbeat of stories and voices speaking up for the freedom to marry isn’t just coming out of nowhere; it’s the work Freedom to Marry is spearheading.

Can you chip in to support Freedom to Marry’s work to end marriage discrimination?

http://freedomtomarry.org/Donate2013

Perhaps the biggest single thing we can do to maximize our chances of prevailing in the Supreme Court is to keep winning more states. Freedom to Marry staff is on the ground embedded in campaigns in Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, the states we hope to win by June. And we are fueling those campaigns, ensuring they have the resources needed to make the case to the state lawmakers who will vote and send a message to the Supreme Court.

Freedom to Marry’s ability to give these campaigns what they need depends on your support.

Please make a donation today: http://freedomtomarry.org/Donate2013

We have the momentum. We built it. Help us keep it going now, when we need it felt the most.

Evan Wolfson
President, Freedom to Marry


Last week I posted about a busload of faithful Catholics from right here in Bucks County, PA who will be traveling to Washington for ten bucks a pop later this month, with the intention of blocking same sex marriage. The event is being sponsored by the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the same diocese that covered up all the child abuse sex scandals we’re still hearing about (I’m part of that diocese and I hear it all the time). This makes it even more important to support organizations like Freedom to Marry. What always interests me with things like this is they expect me to feel shame for being gay, and yet they show now signs of shame at all when it comes to what they did to all those innocent kids who were abused.

Sen. Rob Portman Supports Gay Marriage After Son Comes Out

I received this e-mail earlier this week from a friend and wanted to post about it because of the impact I think it has with regard to politics in general. Rob Portman is a Republican from Ohio, and now he’s supporting gay marriage, too. I’ve posted about how so many Republicans are now coming out, so to speak, in support of gay marriage and it’s making a lot of people think twice about their own political beliefs. I don’t like to get into anything political, but I do like to balance my posts for the many, many LGBT readers who are more conservative fiscally and still believe in equal rights and same sex marriage.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has reversed his stance on same-sex marriage two years after learning that his son is gay, several Ohio news outlets, including the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reported Friday.

In an interview with Ohio reporters in his Senate office, Portman said that his son, Will, came out to the senator and his wife in February 2011.

“It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Portman said.

A Unique Wedding Registry from Freedom to Marry…

In the latest news from equality organization, Freedom to Marry, there’s a wedding registry for those who are planning to marry or those who are going to weddings this season. But it’s not like the typical straight wedding registry, where you ask people to give you loot just for getting married. I like the concept, I’m going to do it with the next wedding I get invited to, and I’m hoping it catches on.

I have spent more money than I care to count in the past twenty years between friends’ weddings and family weddings. I’ve been in them, I’ve been to them. I’ve been in them the second time around and I’ve paid through the nose the second time around. And none of these weddings I’ve been to have ever so much as offered a dish towel to Tony and me. I know that’s a small material thing, and it might not be the best attitude. But it does get tired.

In fact, the next time I get invited to a straight wedding, I’m going to make a donation to Freedom to Marry in the happy straight couple’s name instead of buying a gift.

From my inbox…

 Before you know it, wedding season will be upon us.

Whether you’re getting married or attending a friend’s wedding this year, registries will be the go-to spot to find the perfect gift. But we already know a great gift to give or receive this wedding season, Ryan: the gift of marriage.

There’s no better way to celebrate your marriage, or a friend’s, than by helping make sure others have the opportunity to share in the life-long commitment of marriage by setting up a wedding registry supporting Freedom to Marry.
If you’re getting married this year, start a Freedom to Marry registry now.

Not tying the knot this year? You can still help — make a donation in someone’s honor!

If you’re tying the knot, you have the chance to set up your own Freedom to Marry wedding registry. You can customize your page and set a fundraising goal asking your friends to make a gift to Freedom to Marry in lieu of, or in addition to, those towels you want.

If you’re not getting married this season, you can give the gift of marriage to other committed couples by donating to Freedom to Marry on behalf of your friends who are getting married.

Photo attribution here.

Facebook Bug Shuts Web Down; Freedom to Marry

The article to which I’m linking explains more about the issues Facebook had last week, which seemed to be about Facebook’s connect API that resulted in shutting down more than a few web sites. This article from Technorati explains it fairly well.

The said Facebook glitch apparently stemmed from the company’s Connect software, a system that lets outside websites sync with Facebook, so people can do things such as post “Likes” or comments back to friends, or log in using their Facebook identities.

The Facebook Connect problem had also apparently caused people logged in at Facebook who tried to visit websites synced to the Connect feature to be redirected to a Facebook error page.

I didn’t actually experience any issues myself, but I do use Facebook to connect with several web sites, like goodreads and some livejournal blogs. I think I use it to connect with Huff Po, too. But for me it’s not a huge issue because I spend as little time at goodreads as possible, and the only blog I’ve frequented regularly on livejournal was Elisa Rolle’s blog. But since Elisa moved, I rarely ever to to livejournal anymore. I’ve had a blog there for a long time and I probably should just delete it. The most traffic I ever get is spam. I just always figure it can’t hurt to keep the address with my name. So I leave it alone.

In any event, here’s more about the facebook issue here, at Business Insider.

It appears users who went to a site that used a Facebook button to let users log in redirected to a Facebook error page. The glitch went away if users logged out of Facebook.com.
We experienced the glitch with several major sites including Gawker, New York Times, CNN, and even Business Insider.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-connect-glitch-2013-2#ixzz2KWmn7tXO

Facebook issued a statement later, which you can read more about at the link above. They basically just blew it off as something insignificant. For all we know, it may have been nothing important. But I have seen a few bloggers shouting to the heavens about how dangerous something like this could be. Of course I wouldn’t take any of them very seriously because their rants sound a little too high strung. But it is interesting that Facebook does have the power to shut the web down in such large numbers, with such large web sites, even for a short amount of time. And I will start to rethink how I sign in to other web sites next time I’m offered the option of just signing in with Facebook. I always did it to save time. But nowadays I don’t think it hurts to be too safe.

And if you don’t know this by now, listen carefully. Never click a link on facebook unless you are 100% certain it’s safe. Links to blog posts, and links to reputable web sites seem safe, and most of the time they are. But I have heard of people clicking links to things like “Win a Free iPad,” and they’ve had to pay hundreds of dollars to fix their computers. Tech help is not cheap.

Freedom To Marry

For those who are not on the Freedom to Marry e-mail list, I try to post about these things just to pass the information on. It’s an important organization with regard to same sex marriage, and they are working hard to change the world.

From my inbox:

2013 is shaping up to be another groundbreaking year for the freedom to marry. Marriage bills are being considered in multiple states, and next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two marriage cases.

That’s why Freedom to Marry is working to raise and invest at least $2 million dollars through our Win More States Fund in battleground states – including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

No matter where you live, we all have a stake in winning these battles to set the stage for winning marriage nationwide. Winning in as many of these states as possible will clearly show the rapidly growing momentum for ending marriage discrimination once and for all.

Ryan, will you join us in helping to win these critical marriage battles by making a donation to Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund today?

http://freedomtomarry.org/winmorestates

Every dollar raised through the Win More States Fund will be channeled strategically into these critical campaigns where and when they are needed the most, supporting grassroots organizing, television and radio spots, new media programs, lobbying, and more.

Freedom to Marry is embedded in each of the campaigns, putting staff and resources on the front lines to do the critical work necessary to win. As we reach out to you now, Freedom to Marry has already raised $800,000 toward our initial $2 million goal.