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Saying hello and talking equality: Welcoming Rob Tisinai to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker

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Last week, we asked Prop 8 Trial Trackers to nominate participants in this community as potential guest writers on the P8TT front page. Rob Tisinai was one of the most popular choices in that comment thread. As a result of your support for Rob, as well as our enthusiastic appreciation for his thought-provoking blogging and videos at, we are welcoming him as a guest blogger at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, writing at least a few times per week, along with all of our other front-page writers. (If you are one of the writers who applied to post on the front page as well, we are still reviewing applications and will select at least one more guest writer within the next week.)

You may be familiar with Rob from watching some of the videos he has produced. Here’s one that we haven’t featured on the front page as of yet. It’s called “Talking Equality” and it’s a great way to get to know Rob and his approach to the fundamental arguments made by those opposing marriage equality. I think you’ll really enjoy it. Please take a moment to watch now and then share your thoughts in the comments:


Rob has written his first post below for P8TT — a personal piece about what brought him to blogging. After you read it, please give Rob a warm welcome in the comments and, if you feel comfortable doing so, consider sharing your own story with the P8TT community about the personal experiences that may have motivated you to become an active advocate for marriage equality.

Eden James
Managing Director, Courage Campaign Institute

Saying Hello

By Rob Tisinai

Hey, everybody.  My name is Rob Tisinai, I’m a 48-year-old happily-partnered gay man in Los Angeles. I’ll be contributing to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker a couple times a week.

I’ve been writing (and will continue to write) an equality blog,, for the past couple years, but I wasn’t politically active before Prop 8 passed.  I gave some money during the campaign, and a friend dragged me out to work the polls on election day, but that was about it.  Its passage, though, shook my whole world view.

To explain this, I have to go back to when I was a kid: I was a great student and lousy at sports. That double-whammy will get you picked on even by the kids who get picked on. I was tall and scrawny with a great big head, a mouthful of braces, orthopedic shoes (pigeon-toed flat feet), a stutter, and hard contact lenses that constantly slipped out of place.

But I got older, the stutter faded, and I stopped looking so much like a greasy lollipop on a stick. Plus, I reached an age where people saw smarts as maybe a good thing. Now suddenly folks were nice to me right off the bat. Instead of mocking everything I said, no matter how smart, they nodded and smiled, no matter how awkward or odd.

That was…good? I would figure out what people wanted me to be, be that thing, and they’d like me. I’d already done it to manage my parents (they were conservative Catholics born in 1919 and 1920; I was a closeted gay teen), so why not try it with my peer group? No one got to know me, really, but it was better than being picked on, right?

It worked on the job, too. Be the go-to guy everyone enjoys working with. Be nice to everyone and everyone will be nice to you. You smother a lot of yourself in the process, but it’s safer, isn’t it?

Eventually I did begin to see safety-plus-misery as a dead end. Fast forward through lots of therapy and I’m making slow but steady progress. Slow. But steady.

On November 4, 2008, though, something broke. I was nice, but the voters weren’t. I didn’t make trouble, but they kicked my ass. And why? Because they were terrified their kids would learn about gays in school. Forget about whether Prop 8 actually mandated that – they believed it, and the idea that their kids would learn about people like me was so awful they stripped away my rights to keep it from happening.

I started looking more closely at what our opponents say about us.  It was so ridiculous, dishonest, and dangerous that I had to say NO!, dismantle their claims, and rake them over the coals for violating their own claims as moral pillars.  And boy, I like that.  It’s been the focus of my blog.

Lately, though, I’ve been jolted by research showing that facts don’t change people’s minds.  In fact, when most people are confronted with a fact that contradicts their worldview, not only do they find a way of reconciling the contradiction (however erroneously), but they actually feel better about those erroneous their beliefs afterward.  The only way to reach people – regardless of their intelligence or education – is to provide an emotional appeal that make them want to change their minds, and then follow that up with a rational reason for doing so. (For more on this, check out The Political Brain by Drew Westen).

I think that’s the strategy our movement needs to pursue.  Only after we open people’s hearts by showing ourselves as actual human beings will they listen to our facts and research.  All without losing our intellectual integrity.  That’s an avenue I’d like to explore.

Of course, part of me thinks, Who am I kidding?  I’ll always love ripping the other side’s arguments to shreds, even if I’m just preaching to the choir (as I do in the video from last year below).  But you know, preaching to the choir is important;  it gives them something to sing about.  And we need to raise as many voices as we can.


  • 1. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Welcome to the family, Rob. Hope we can help you enjoy your time here.

  • 2. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Welcome as a writer, Rob. I look forward to reading your contributions.

  • 3. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Welcome, Rob. Really glad we'll be hearing from you.

    P8TT, excellent choice!

  • 4. IT  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Congratulations, Rob. I've loved your stuff for a long time and you are a great addition to the site.

  • 5. John D  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:56 am

    You are completely right about people holding beliefs that contradict their worldview. One of my neighbors had a Yes on 8 sign in her yard. We spoke to her about it and she said that she was for equal rights for gay people, she just didn't want her children to learn about it in school.

  • 6. Phil L  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

    The most ironic part of it all is that by voting "Yes" on Proposition 8 it further brightened the spotlight on the issue. This probably means that kids are learning MORE about gay rights in school because of the attention this has been getting.

  • 7. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Welcome Rob! Your work is just awesome, and I'm really looking forward to more.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 8. Sagesse  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Welcome, Rob. I always enjoy your work.

  • 9. Charles  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Welcome! I read your blog regularly, and I'm sure you'll be just as good here!

  • 10. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Welcome indeed!!! Your videos are always inspiring and to the point, and your writing the same! It will be terrific to have you here, thanks for signing up, and I look forward to reading your commentaries.


  • 11. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Rob, how do you pronounce your last name?

  • 12. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Hey Kathleen — check you e-mail for a video idea.

  • 13. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Kathleen, it's pronounced "Tish-in-eye."

  • 14. Matt Baume  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Yay, I'm so glad Rob is joining the site! I'm a big fan of his videos.

  • 15. Bolt  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Hi Rob. Thanks for sharing your story. It's very interesting, but I don't thing I can do what you're suggesting. "to provide an emotional appeal that make them want to change their minds[…]" The legal challenge to 8 is beyond the reach of everyone, but I'm feeling optimistic that we'll win. After a win, the law is the law, so why should I give a damn if someone doesn't like it? Nobody seems to give a damn about voting away our right to get married.

    Conversely, my mind is open, and I'll seriously consider your positive outlook. Have a nice day.

  • 16. Bolt  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Hello again, after stepping away, and re-reading my post, the word damn seems harsh. Sorry. I would re-write it as "why should I mind?"


  • 17. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Welcome, Rob! You are a great addition.

    Kathleen, do P&P know that NOM continued playing their song after the cease-and-desist letter?

    Fiona: I've been reveling again in their music, too, today concentrating on the rare individual albums they put out in 1971 and 1972. (Titled "Peter," "Paul and" and "Mary.")

  • 18. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Kathleen again: Hey….. maybe you could get them to tweak the lyrics to There is Love for "us" since they put it into the public domain?

  • 19. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Sorry — the official title is The Wedding Song, but I've never called it that for obvious reasons…

  • 20. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:42 am

    This is Peter Yarrow's response to the vicious anti-Obama parody of Puff the Magic Dragon sent as a Christmas greeting by Chip Saltsman to the members of the Republican National Committee.

  • 21. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Welcome aboard Rob! If I was only permitted to ask you one thing it would be this. Can you please kindly use the word DISCRIMINTION more? Yes I know equlity is easier and shorter to type. But it does not have the kick to the stomach punch that the word DICRIMINATION has.

    We now have a ruling by a Federal Judge, this is DISCRIMINATION people, Judge Walker used the word DICRIMINATION 59 times in a 138 page verdict. We now have a valid reason, a ruled on verdict that the GLBT community is being DISCRIMINATED against, the Judge said so. Look at this 3 word sentence, how powerful it is.

    It is discrimination.

    Thank you and I'll be watching,
    Straight Grandmother.

  • 22. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:59 am

    She will be, too, Rob. I think we ought to make a t-shirt for SG that says DISCRIMINATION!!!!! because she is so correct.

  • 23. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

    And discrimination is IMMORAL. Don't forget that word! 🙂

  • 24. draNgNon  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Nice writeup Rob. I too am dismayed at the recent research, but it does make sort of a sense. nobody wants to be wrong; the first reaction to contravening facts is of course going to be a search for reconciling those with closely held world views.

    anyhow, Gay Marriage Watch has a post today that might help change people's minds by keeping the facts simple and benevolent. the graphic made me laugh.

  • 25. Bolt  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:20 am

    That is a cute pie chart. LOL!

  • 26. JC (1 of the 18,000  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Nice graphic! That's the kind of math I can handle….

  • 27. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Can't argue with that logic 🙂

  • 28. Rich Robinson  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Thanks Rob for the talking points. I teach in a small, public high school and we do have a gay-straight alliance. I believe your message re: that an emotional appeal can be effective is very true. I and the GSA have made great strides with our students and staff by being visible, open to dialogue, friendly and welcoming to everyone. We don't shut up and hide; we engage, laugh, smile and have fun. We are a comfortable group to have around and our numbers are growing.

  • 29. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I hope I am not being to prying, but since you are the teacher to the gay straight alliance are you gay? I don't think it would be a requirement and thus my question, which you can feel perfectly free not to answer. Maybe I shouldn't even ask the question.

  • 30. truthspew  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Rip away Rob. They do say the best way to deal with ludicrous acts and statements is to ridicule.

    And keep on with the videos. I think you do a very good job of dismantling the arguments of the anti-gay side.

    Basically their entire argument boils down to Biblical prohibition.

  • 31. Ray in MA  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Welcome Rob!

    Great intro post and great video. (I've very much like all your past video work).

    I'm usually a very optimistic person, but I always fetl that the big problem here is that there are more ignorant people in the US than there are intelligent ones.

    In your post:

    "The only way to reach people – regardless of their intelligence or education – is to provide an emotional appeal that make them want to change their minds, and then follow that up with a rational reason for doing so."

    You finally made it click in my head… the only answer to solving the ignorant/intelligent ratio is face to face, one by one. We've got a HELLUVA LONG way to go!!!!

    Yes, this place is unique… I've never followed a blog and and issue (focused on Prop 8) like I have here at PP8TT.

    My view here is from MA, being married for 6 years and together with my partner for almost 30.

    I've been trying to wean myself off of this place after a 9 month+ addiction. You're not going to help things!!!

  • 32. Bob  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Hey Rob, welcome, you make this a very happy day for me, I am one of those who love your videos, the sound of your voice, and I must add you're very easy to look at, considering your story of having been a teen age geek, you really have blossomed.
    "Only after we have opened peoples hearts by showing that we are actual human beings will they listen to our facts and research"

    I really appreciate that statement, showing ourselves as actual human beings, rather than saying we are just like them, or normal, or any of those other comparisons, just seemed like trying to protray ourselves in some way that would be acceptable, I prefer just being human, and think that goes the furthest.

    looking forward to your posts cheers Bob

  • 33. Ray in MA  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:01 am

    OK Rob, now down to issues…and into the frying pan.

    To be blunt:

    How does our PP8TT Community (here) reconcile this?


  • 34. Owen  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I'd like to know the same thing.

  • 35. Phil L  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm


    Well, he was two-faced before; working for Bush and not doing anything to stop anti-gay legislation while hiding the fact that he himself is gay. It looks like all that has changed is that now his two faces will have better kept skin.

  • 36. Dave in CA  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Welcome, Rob – great to see you here. Been following your blog for a few weeks now, so it's great to see you here now. Looking forward to more!

  • 37. Alan E.  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I sometimes feel dirty when I have to switch off the "facts" argument and use the "feelings" arguments. I wish there was an intellectually honest way to convince people without losing so much of the facts. Welcome Rob! Maybe you can show us how (but I'm fine with preaching to the choir).

  • 38. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Adding my two cents, here. Glad to have you officially onboard, Rob!

    It is true that we have to contually 'out' ourselves, isn't it? My personal challenge is to 'out' myself as shamelessly and unapologetically as possible–not with an 'in your face' attitude; but more of an inconsequential attitude–giving it the same weight as, say, the facts that I wear contact lenses and am left-handed. For me, if I share this part of myself in hushed tones, but speak freely about other aspects of myself, then I am giving those around me permission to treat this aspect of me differently. After all, aren't I doing exactly that?

    As one who is relatively fresh out of the closet, so to speak, I am having to teach myself how *not* to hide. Metaphorically speaking, I am having to learn to purposely take one of the front seats on the bus, when there are plenty of back seats available. I am finding myself constantly shedding the cloak of shame and secrecy that we all learned to wear so very well.

    I can understand how those who oppose us are reluctant to let go of their stereo-typed views of us. It forces them to voluntarily leave their comfort zone. Once they allow that we are just regular people, no different from them, then everything else in their world view shifts; and suddenly all of their anchors are gone. It's much easier, much safer, for them to just ignore facts and hold on to their way of thinking. It's much less traumatic for them. I agree with Rob that the only thing that will convince them to be willing to disrupt all of that is a strong emotional conviction. It must become far more tumultuous for them to hold on to their prejudices than to go through that period of self-questioning and reformation they will have to experience when dealing with facts they can no longer ignore.

  • 39. Eden James  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Linda, I loved your "two cents." It was so much more than that.

    Can you send me an email at prop8trial AT couragecampaign DOT ORG ?


  • 40. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm


    Now why do I feel like I've just been called to the principal's office??? 🙂 🙂

  • 41. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Linda, I think this is your notification of having made the Dean's List, or possibly even the President's List! Bravo!

  • 42. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Yep, Linda; Dean's List for sure!

  • 43. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    <cite>As one who is relatively fresh out of the closet, so to speak, I am having to teach myself how *not* to hide. </cite>

    I've been out of the closet for about 10 years, and I still have problems *not* hiding.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 44. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    We are well-trained, aren't we?

  • 45. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I am finding myself constantly shedding the cloak of shame and secrecy that we all learned to wear so very well.

    Huh, yeah. I'm still learning to do that myself. Hugs 🙂


  • 46. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Welcome Rob, I enjoy your writing style and your video style, I look forward to your contributions here!

    Since the other topic here is stories of equality advocacy, I thought I would share my story. I am a straight ally, I suppose I always have been, even before I knew it. I've never felt any different to anyone who has come out to me or around me, I just could never "get" what all the fuss was about "Teh Gayz".

    I'm currently living in progressive hell, a Central California city living in the last century. There were many more Yes on H8 lawn signs than No on 8's.

    Where I work, I found out there is a legally married lesbian couple, I've observed them enough to know its probably true, and have been trying to subtly make friends with them, but they seem to ignore me when I say hi passing in the hallway.

    They seem to interact well with their friends, so I'm left with the impression that they have been ignored so much themselves, they just don't notice when someone is trying actually be nice to them.

    I'm not usually very social myself, so its a stretch for me to befriend someone new, much less try to break through someone else's own barriers.I just want to let them know they aren't alone, I guess I'll have to be more overt.

    I really appreciate this forum, I have gained a lot of insight into a world I can only imagine living in.

  • 47. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Your comment had to make me chuckle. As a lesbian I can tell you I have absolutely no radar when reading hetero men. None. As a result I never know how to respond to their overtures. I can't tell if they're just being friendly (which is probably the case) or if they're hitting on me. I have no clue. Consequently, I tend to withdraw and avoid them.

    So, my advice would be rather than try to approach those women, why not 'out' yourself as a supporter of marriage equality? Just a thought. 🙂

  • 48. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I've thought about that as well. I tend to rehearse conversations in my head, and I can't come up with a way to say it that doesn't sound silly in my head. "Hi, I support gay marraige", "Hi, I'm a straight ally!". I'm still working on it, but I know I tend to over think things!

    I have had enough conversations with others at work to know there isn't much of a following there on equality, so I do tend to censure myself in conversations. I have brought it up a few times to mixed response, so I'm still working on that too.

    Thanks for your response, its very encouraging!

  • 49. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:28 am


    Wear a Marriage Equality pin; that should do it. 🙂

  • 50. Dpeck  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm


    Ask them if they have visited this site. And if not, tell them about some of the great stuff that goes on here and encourage them to check it out.

  • 51. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Tony, you should start with the standard hetero male come-on line "What's your sign?" and then add before they have time to respond, "Mine's 'NO ON 8!"

    Just remember to get to the second part REALLY FAST or you'll be in big trouble.

  • 52. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:26 am

    As Linda suggests, "why not ‘out’ yourself as a supporter of marriage equality?"
    Maybe get a No on H8 button or an HRC Equality coffee cup… something that those 'in the know' would recognize but your conservative coworkers wouldn't figure out.
    Your lesbian coworkers may see it and feel more comfortable saying 'hi'.

    Good luck and thank you for being here for us!!!!

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 53. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Thanks AndrewPDX, I'll look for something!

  • 54. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:57 am

    an HRC bumper sticker is a good way to be low key about it but also not in the Equality closet.

  • 55. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Order an Equality Team t-shirt from Courage Campaign. Which California county are you in? You might even be able to get a county-specific one.

  • 56. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    @Tony: '…but they seem to ignore me when I say hi passing in the hallway.'

    Hell dude, I'm gay and I get that from other gay people that live in my apartment building. I live in downtown Denver, the capitol hill region – the mecca of gay in Colorado. 🙂

    I think some people grow up just assuming you hate them, that they've learned to just ignore you (or me in my case), because that's what they got used to.

    It sucks, but I do understand it. I just continue to persevere. Be nice – be friendly. Don't take it personally.


  • 57. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:49 am

    As much as I love the welcome I'm getting, it would be great to hear more personal stories of how people arrived here and why they stayed.

  • 58. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Gosh… I must be getting old… I can't remember exactly why I came to the P8TT site originally… I think it was an email from HRC mentioning the site. I started following on day one of the trial, and it was sooo engrossing, I couldn't get any work done. And I know I'm not the only one, right guys? 🙂

    I think I'm still here because here, I'm allowed to be me. When I try to talk about Equality, my friends just tend to smile and nod, like I'm crazy or something.
    Here, I'm allowed to express my angst and frustration about how we are marginalized by NOM and FotF and such hate groups… and I see others struggling too, and I realize I'm not alone.
    Here, I see the wonderful stories of our straight allies who have nothing personal to gain but who still fight the fight with us, side by side as it should be.
    Here, I have access to wonderful people: I get to laugh at Anonygrl's stories, cheer at Ronnie'ss unabashed vigor for the fight, learn from Richard how the Old Testament does and does not apply, finally get a grasp on some legal terms from Kathleen and Trish and Pam, get an international insight into the fight from StraightGranmother and Franck, and a dose of wise perspective from Fiona's very full life of experiences. Heroes, every single one of them.
    Here, I get to see Trolls come in to try to crush us . I see us all rally to fight them, in our own ways. True, fighting Trolls is an impossible job: they're already blinded to anything but their own interpretation that they'll never ever hear a word we say. But it gives me ammunition and experience and knowledge so that I can fight the lies that the Trolls do spread to the open-minded.

    How can I possibly go away when this site is my lifeline to sanity and reality?

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 59. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Andrew, thank you so much for your kind words.

    As for why I came? I've been working for marriage equality since 2000, when I voted against Prop 22 — and far more actively since 2004, when Dubya proposed his Federal Marriage Amendment.

    I cried tears of joy when Pres. Obama was elected, only to have them followed by tears of disbelief when Prop 8 passed. I could not imagine that any thinking person would vote to take away rights from law-abiding citizens, yet it did indeed happen. I had long talks with my parents about their church's involvement in the issue — they live in Oregon, and so did not see things like the Special Comment after General Conference and had no idea. My dad was appalled, because the Church of LDS makes a big point of saying they are apolitical.

    Anyway, I was posting on a couple of Facebook boards and started following Courage Campaign as a result. I subsequently also learned about, and its very brave leader. Laura knows that her ecclesiastical standing is at risk for what she does.

    So, it was with much interest that I came to P8TT. I never dreamed that I would find an amazing family in which I could adopt a big brother (I love you, Richard!) and a son (I love you, Ronnie!). The level of discourse, even when we get upset with one another (we're all human) remains, for the most part, intelligent and civil. And how we band together to help one another when attacks come! This is what a real family should be: love, appreciation, trusting relationships and shared responsibility (which, BTW, is the cited culture of my MCC family … I would never have walked back into a Christian church again had it not been for the MCC pastor I met at a marriage equality rally, and he helped set me on the road to healing the injuries I suffered because of fundamentalist Christianity).

    Plus, over here on the dark side we have cookies (and challah, and free range triple-yolk eggs)!


  • 60. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:30 am

    And thank you, Fiona. Because of you and the others here, I have rediscovered books that I am reading anew, with an even more enlightened perspective, and I am also trying to find the colored sugar sprinkles in orange, yellow, blue and purple to go with the red and green we have in the cupboard, to go on top of challahs. No, I won't risk making the colored sprinkles myself, because I will probably end up with a clumped, caked-up mess if I do. And I love all of you here. Like you said, Fiona, it is really fabulous the way we all have each others backs when someone attacks any of us, and that is what makes a family. Even when we disagree (sometimes vehemently), we are able to come to a reasonable, rational resolution. And then there is all the laughter here. I really could go on and on about the reasons I keep coming back, but I think most of you know the reasons. And it is actually summed up in the fact that you have all become family to me.
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • 61. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Don't forget the olive oil, Fiona!!

  • 62. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:55 am

    And olive oil! Thanks for the reminder!


  • 63. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Rob, I will tell my story if you can assure me that you have not heard it before. I have posted it so many times that it is getting kind of embarassing. However almost every time I post it someone pops up and replies having heard it for the first time.

    My interest being here is not about me so much as it is about my grandchildren. If you never heard it before I'll post it otherwise I yield the floor 🙂

  • 64. Eden James  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Please share it if you can again, Straight Grandmother, even if you have to copy and paste it from another comment thread. I'm sure there are many people who haven't heard your story before, as we have new people coming to the site all the time.


    Eden w/ Courage

  • 65. draNgNon  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

    a coworker broadcast the link to the site. I've had a pretty big interest in the prop8 trial…

    the site has wandered pretty far afield since then in the main page postings. but Kathleen just keeps updating with the new filings, so I keep coming back to pick that info up.

  • 66. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:03 am


    Yes, we are admittedly (and delightfully, imo) off-topic frequently. That's what sets this site apart, I think. 🙂 Fortunately, there's usually a little something for everyone.

  • 67. draNgNon  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

    sometimes I think it should be threaded message board instead of a blog. but those are often more easily destroyed by trolls.

  • 68. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Okay, Rob, here is my story from here in Hope Mills, North Carolina:

    I came to this site at the beginning, because of the trial itself. While we are not yet legally married, my husband and I are very much interested in marriage equality and an end to all forms of state-sanctioned discrimination. I was raised Protestant, converted to Catholicism in 2001 because of issues related to s childhood of systematic emotional terrorism at the hands of my adoptive father and being on the receiving end of the blame when I tried to report that abuse. The Catholics were the first ones who told me that it was not my fault. I even joined the Knights of Columbus, but left because of a combination of factors–the Knights' involvement with President Momson's cabal in the passage of Porp H8 and the growing pedophilia scandal, along with the Pope's Nazi past.
    I am now Jewish and undergoing the final stages of the preparations to have that conversion recognized within the community of Judaism. And along the way, finding out that my biological grandmother was also Jewish. And my husband is a Lubavitcher rabbi, and as a Jew he feels also that discrimination is wrong, and should not be sanctioned by the state.
    We do have adult children from his previous marriage, which was an arranged marriage, and we also have grandchildren.
    This leads to another part of the reasons I have stayed here. You see, if any of our grandchildren should come up and say that he or she is gay, we want them to have the rights that we are currently being denied. Those rights are not only the 1138 rights that currently go to heterosexual couples, but also the right to choose where they want their marriage to take place. At present, we are trying to make all the necessary arrangements to have someone here to take care of the house, our dogs, and my mother-in-law's transportation and other needs for a four-day period so that we can leave town long enough to get married where we can do so legally. No straight couple has to face this hassle and all of the associated extra costs, so why should we have to? Why should our children or grandchildren have to undergo all of this extra hassle? Why should anyone?
    I have even started a blog, which I don't always get to post on, to counter some of the misconceptions about "the gay lifestyle." With this blog, I post about our everyday life, whenever life gives me enough down time to do so, and when I can think coherently enough to compose a post that will actually show what our lifestyle is all about.
    I have stayed because the others on this site have become family to me. I keep coming back because I learn so much about different areas that I have not been exposed to in such depth before. I have learned so much about our legal system thanks to Kathleen, Ann S., Trish, Carpool Cookie and others who have posted from their training, experience and understanding. I have gained an even deeper understanding of women's issues and also health issues on this site. I have learned things about myself that I never knew before. I have grown as a man on this site. I have learned how to rebut the logical fallacies presented by the opponents of marriage equality, and I have been able to also use what I have learned in my time of being immersed in a Jewish family about other redactions in the ancient texts and the mistranslations, misinterpretations, and general perverting of the ancient texts here on this site.
    I have stayed because I have seen so many of our young people who are coming out now, and who are still encountering many of the same issues I encountered. I have been able to actually participate in various political actions in my community because of this site, and will participate in even more.
    I stay because this family I have found here, of which you are a part, has become so important to me, and has made me better than I ever thought I could be. This family has nurtured me, and has made me feel that I DO have a place in this world, I DO belong here, I DO deserve the same rights, obligations, protections, and responsibilities of any other married man in this country.
    I stay because this is home. I have enjoyed your videos, and I look forward to even more posts from you in the future. Thank you for being here, Rob!

  • 69. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    No, you don't get that outfit until you take your 4th degree and become part of the honor guard or color guard. I was a 3rd degree. But I still volunteer with Special Olympics, even though I am no longer a Knight.

  • 70. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    So the "important" guys were the ones who passed out the candy bars???

  • 71. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Richard, even as a Catholic kid I never understood the connection between a Catholic mens' group and Columbus. Shouldn't they have been the Knights of Joseph or something like that?

  • 72. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I think it had to do with the early beginnings of the organization. It was founded by a priest named Father McGivney in New haven CT, during a time when there was widespread discrimination against Catholics, especially the Irish Catholics, and was a way to provide assistance to widows and children of men who died at work, since they often did not have any insurance coverage at work. Even now, one of the benefits of Knights of Columbus membership is insurance at reduced rates.
    And Columbus was chosen as the mascot (for lack of a better term) because he supposedly experienced discrimination on his voyages to the New World.
    As far as 4th degrees being the "important" ones, while some may think they are more important than those who cannot afford the expenses of the ceremonials for 4th degree, including the tuxedo and regalia, they are just the more affluent. And they are also not the most prevalent in number. Just the most visible because of parades, funerals, and any other occasion where they are wearing the regalia and/or tuxedos. There are even three different companies who are authorized vendors for the KofC WRT the tuxedos and other council needs. And you are strongly encouraged to get everything you need from them.

  • 73. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Richard, did you have that swoopy KofC black outfit with the purple plumes and tri-corner hat? I remember them coming around to my Catholic school on Columbus Day and passing out candy bars ……

  • 74. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Shalom Dear Richard!

    I'm still sorting through stories on this post..what a wealth of perspective and sincerity!

    This is my first occasion to read details about your world. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I have deep respect for Jewish tradition and peoples. I've done Catering for Jewish Bar Mistvahs and other special occasions. The special Kosher food preparation, the boisterous, loud, outspokenness and confidence demonstrated at the Jewish events I assisted with was wonderful 🙂 My Daughter and ex-wife visited Auschwitz and forever were changed.

    Your comments summed up much of how I feel by participating on this site. I wish you well on your life's journey…(apologies if inappropriate outside of synagogue) but Yasher koach to you!


  • 75. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:43 am

    @ Gregory in Salt Lake City: Your remarks are quite appropriate, inside or outside of synagogue. To be quite honest, I have been experiencing the ultimate in immersion education with regard to Judaism, since I am married to a rabbi. And earlier this year, I made him promise me that if anyone comes up to us for a chasunah near Pesach time, that there will be no chasunahs for the time period from two weeks prior to Pesach until two weeks after Pesach. Oy! Trying to get the house and everything in it cleaned, and getting everything together for the seder, while getting the two of us ready for him to perform a wedding! That is the Jewish definition of insanity. Thank you for your kind words, and once again, I want to express the hope that we get to meet face to face.

  • 76. Gregory in SLC  |  August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

    LOL! (re: Jewish insanity!)

  • 77. Gregory in SLC  |  August 31, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Richard – btw, have you seen "Trembling Before G-d?

    I loved that movie 🙂

  • 78. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    We actually have it on DVD. I have to admit that I still learn more every time I watch it.

  • 79. Gregory in SLC  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I found it interesting when a gay man was explaining an "urge" to the Rabbi…I love the attitude of the Rabbi who seems willing and interested to learn and consider. So different than most Christian Pastors/Bishops.

    I felt bad for the Woman felt bad because her parents would not accept her, though It was sweet watching her and her partner baking together 🙂

    The world is full of beauty and diversity, this movie is a great example. It gave me a peek into your lovely world 🙂

    I hope to raise my children to love and accept people without the need to compare or compete. So far so good I think 🙂

  • 80. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm


    It started when I listened to the full 8 or so hours of the New Jersey Senate Judiciary committee hearing on a proposal to legalize SSM (which ultimately failed). I was unemployed, so that gave me lots of free time to explore these issues in more detail.

    What surprised me about those hearings, is that prior to them, I had always assumed religion was the enemy. How wrong I was.

    There were several priests,pastors, and rabbis that testified before the committee on how SSM should be permitted. The common theme being "Get the government out of my Sanctuary".

    I must admit, I was really surprised by this. And from then on, I no longer believed religion was the enemy, only the corruption of these religions by certain organizations or their own ends.

    I *think* I came to this site originally via a post by Joe.My.God, about a week or so before the prop8 trial started last January. I've been addicted ever since.

    Why am I here? Because I love the people here. I love the community here.

    So many lessons, so many stories, and so many other points of view. So many lively discussions!

    It's truly a beautiful thing.

    I am not alone. And neither are any of you 🙂

    But… that's just me 🙂

  • 81. GRod  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    @JonT: Your observations re: religion/denomination surprise/trouble me. While I came here to continue to follow Prop 8, and developments elsewhere (i.e. Maine,); commentators, who I read daily, have swayed me to view religion/denominations and their money as generally negative if not harmful forces in achievement of equality. Yet I continue to regularly attend the same faith/church, ignoring /rationalizing/reconciling the contradictions as Rob suggests. This site keeps that dynamic in play.
    Awaited are the names of donors to the referendum in Maine. . If faiths, such as mine, want to be players in the public discourse, cut off their tax-free status! I do not disagree that religion has the potential to be a positive force but I’m a separation of state and church guy.

  • 82. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    @ GRod: It is not so much the religions and the denominations themselves that have the potential for harm as much as it is those within those religions/denominations who are power-hungry and misuse the scriptures to feed fear, superstition, bigotry, and other harmful ideas and actions. That is why those of us whose faith calls us to dispel those fears and negatives are so important. Each of us has the potential for breaking down barriers and erecting bridges of understanding, love, and acceptance. And often, we can best do so by being who we are and blooming where we are planted.
    Yes, in my house, we are very faithful, and because of that faith, we are also separation of church and state people. We can talk to others and explain what Judaism is about, but we cannot proselytize anyone, nor can we advocate for our religious views to be codified into the laws of America. We can, however, use the principles of our faith, and our understanding of the Torah, to go out and commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. And when one truly gets into the scriptures and studies them, they will find that we are all called to do the same. And that is part of the beauty of this site. Everyone here has taught me additional ways to commit those random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. And that includes you! Thank you, everybody!

  • 83. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:56 am


    Your story of watching the committee hearings in NJ. I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee from last year in Minnesota.

    What I noticed (and yes, there were supportive clergy as witnesses there as well) was that the committee members 'got it'; they were rolling their eyes at the NOM-style, scaremongering witnesses. So the committee votes to approve the SSM bill…. when it gets to the full senate, the full senate don't have the benefit of having seen and thought about the presentation, and they vote what they think won't tick off their constituents.

    And this plays out again and again, in states all over the country.

  • 84. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:08 am


    I always distinguish between 'organized religion' and it hierarchy, that commits its wealth and other resources to fight LGBT rights, and individual church members. The Churches (LDS, Catholic, SBC and the like) and their leaders are the enemy, the individual church members are not.

  • 85. JonT  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:39 am

    @GRod: 'I do not disagree that religion has the potential to be a positive force but I’m a separation of state and church guy.'

    Oh so am I 100%! Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

  • 86. JonT  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:45 am

    @Sagesse: 'What I noticed (and yes, there were supportive clergy as witnesses there as well) was that the committee members ‘got it’; they were rolling their eyes at the NOM-style, scaremongering witnesses.'

    Heh – I only had access to the live audio stream, so I did not get to see any eye-rolling, but it was easy to imagine it taking place 🙂

    The SSM opponents were spouting the same crap we've all already heard from NOM and the others of their kind. It was an eye opening experience (pun intended 🙂 I was glad I spent the day on it.

  • 87. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 6:04 am


    You could also tell from the questions they asked, and the tone which you would pick up on the audio.

  • 88. Franck  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:12 pm


    I'm also a late-comer here. I think it was when the final arguments were about to happen, I actively searched for a site that would centralize news from the trial, since it's so hard to follow the whole thing from afar. I think the culprit for my presence here was Google 😉

    Eventually, I stayed because this site did everything I wanted, plus more. I read new stories, read about new people,… Short story, ain't it?

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1165 days, as of today.

  • 89. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Well Rob, since you asked….:)

    I arrived here to follow the trial. I could not believe that Olson and Boies were actually joining together to fight for us. Reading the transcripts everyday proved to be very affirming for me. It was like therapy–hearing our lives being defended, day in and day out; and hearing our opposition being called out for their lies and prejudice. Seeing our side present expert after expert, while the other side could present nothing…felt like vindication to me.

    But what I found, and what has kept me here, is that there are thousands of LGBTs out there; and they're brilliant!!! It has been so refreshing to connect with everyone. This site has provided us with the community we all seemed to be craving. It has empowered us. I am so impressed with the intelligence, passion, and cleverness of our community! We have truly evolved into family–affirming, supporting, and occasionally butting heads with each other. The underlying theme is one of acceptance; and that is something many of us do not have anywhere else.

    I have seen incredible things come to be due to the connections that have been made on this site. I am constantly amazed at what 'our people' accomplish. This site has become the glue, bonding LGBTs from all over the nation and around the world.

  • 90. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I'm a latecomer to P8TT; found this site right about the time Walker's decision came out. I was looking for a place where people discussed the trial factually and thoughtfully and used words with more than two syllables. But I didn't plan on being anything more than a lurker. In the process, I found an entire community of thinkers — and of people who even bother to correct their mistakes with immediate follow-up posts! I've never taken part in an online community before (I truly am a determined hermit), so it has been quite a welcome surprise for me to find "family" here.

    (Whose enthusiasm often precedes her brain while posting.)

  • 91. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:32 am


    I have so enjoyed your posts! You came on right when I had to take a break (I found that following this site was greatly hampering my ability to actually work! Go figure)

    I like your description "community of thinkers"…that's it, exactly!

  • 92. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Work? HA! I'm with you, LInda — is there a 12-Step Program for P8TT addicts? Sign me up. All that work outside that needs doing ….. the ranch is falling apart before my very keyboard..

  • 93. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:09 am

    @Linda I was thinking of you when I posted that off topic video yesterday, did you catch it? It was in the Politics in California topic. I was a little disapointed it was a really cool video and nobody replied. Again it was completely off topic but funny as hell.

  • 94. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Wow, you were thinking of me? Now see, that's what I'm talking about: we've become a family. How else would a straight grandmother who lives in France be thinking of a lesbian Californian when making a post. I'll go look for that video; sorry I missed it last night!

    Thanks for thinking of me!

  • 95. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:41 am

    <blockquote cite="Kate">Whose enthusiasm often precedes her brain while posting</cite>

    There's value in that sometimes. 🙂

  • 96. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:44 am

    not in my case, Rob…..

    Q: How many P8TT posters does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: Only one, but s/he has to change it a second time to make corrections.

  • 97. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Yes, but at least she realized the light bulb needed to be changed!!!

  • 98. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Please forgive me, but I cannot resist reposting this link again 🙂

  • 99. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:43 am

    I was devastated when PropH8 actually passed, I thought, how could that happen??

    But, like I said above, I live in a conservative town, and there was little support for No on 8. I drove back to Sacramento a few times during the campaign, and saw many street intersections with groups of equal size on opposite corners, trying to support their position, but here, there wasn't even that, just lawn sign after lawn sign of Yes signs.

    I found this site at the beginning of the trial, and it was a breath of fresh air!! I could finally have intelligent conversations! I also read a lot more about the positions of both sides. Its allowed me to have a few of those conversations with those who were either fence sitters, or at least could see the fence! I got a few of them to rethink their positions a little, based on the conversations we have here.

    Conversations that started with: "That judge, what gives him the right to say we can't vote on laws?" I was able to calmly point out that this "law" violated the US constitution, and reminded them that that was a federal court judge's job to do. It was very satisfying to see them stop and think about that for a little while!

    This community here helps me from becoming too jaded, to continue to see that not everyone doesn't know how to think for themselves.

  • 100. Gregory in SLC  |  August 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi Tony – Thank you for your story 🙂 What a nightmare to see all those YES on 8 signs (shudder!)

    I appreciate every voice and story.

    Best of everything to you 🙂

  • 101. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

    @Kate, sorry, ran out "replys".

    I live in Modesto, Stanislas County. I've never seen an equality movement here, but I'll check out the main Courage Campaign website, thanks!

    Unfortunately, the most casual I can dress at work is a polo shirt, so I'll have to look for pins and coffee cups!!

  • 102. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I just checked — they have one for Merced, and that's close enough to Modesto in my book to count. How 'bout in your book? AND they sell tote bags, so you could still show your local rainbow while in your polo shirts.

  • 103. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Thanks, Kate, I'll check it out!

  • 104. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I love how they took the state flag grizzly bear and rainbowed it……

  • 105. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I just had a "duh" moment…

    The Courage Campaign bear is from the California flag, isn't it?

    That just never occurred to me before, don't know why.

  • 106. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:40 am


    tee hee hee — silly girl! Yes, and the star, too. And the position of the star and the bear. By the way, that's the only grizzly bear left in California…..

  • 107. carpoolcookie  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:10 am


    Well, I have to admit, some of us here in CA aren't getting any younger, so we may end up replenishing the supply.

  • 108. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    @Kate: we have many grizzlys here in Colorado. We can provide some for you. Will FedEx do? 🙂

  • 109. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I live in Fresno, and I know exactly what you mean about all the 'Yes on 8' yard signs, and the masses congregating at street corners yelling at all the passers-by, demanding that they support prop 8. It was frightening to drive to work every morning. It's a scary feeling to see so many people who are actively hating you. That's one of the great things about this site; it helps us realize we are not alone. I think it helps us to feel a little less vulnerable. We've got each others' backs, so to speak.

  • 110. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Hi Tony! Neighbor just to your north. 🙂 I just looked up through that we have a chapter here in San Joaquin if you're interested. Gonna check them out myself, now that I know.

  • 111. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I would like to make a post not about me but about the Lurkers.

    I would like to ask the Lurkers here why you lurk and don't post?
    Is it laziness?
    Are the topics and discussions not interesting enough that you feel like posting?
    Do you feel funny jumping in and posting for the first time, in other words the first post makes you uncomfortable?

    So to all the Lurkers out there, why do you just lurk and not join in? I am really curious

  • 112. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:34 am

    As one who has 'lurked' from time to time, I'll speak to this. Often I would feel that I had nothing to add; everyone on this site expresses things so well I am often left speechless. Other times I just cannot allow myself to get drawn into a discussion, because my work really does demand my attention at that point. And yes, making that first comment is a bit intimidating. Everyone seems to know each other so well it can almost feel like an imposition to interject into the conversation.

    So I say to our lurkers–Welcome! We're glad you're here, and we invite you to make yourselves known. This is not a closed community by any means; we accept new members always!

  • 113. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:54 am


    (I can't resist doing this….)

    Q: How many lurkers does it take to make a post on P8TT?

  • 114. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:56 am


  • 115. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:57 am


    Ha! Good one!

    Come on, all of you who are actively lurking–this is the time to introduce yourselves. Remember, we've all lurked; we will not pass judgement! Tell us your stories, please.

  • 116. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Hi Louis.

  • 117. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hmm….Okay, I'll rephrase–all lurkers EXCEPT Louis please introduce yourselves. (Louis, we already know more than enough about you!)

  • 118. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:34 am


    Any chance you're old enough to have known Rhita Flake at CSU Fresno?

  • 119. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Have no idea what the age requirement would be…:) But I don't remember a Rhita. However, I was a music major and spent the vast majority of my time in the music building practice rooms. I was not social AT ALL!

  • 120. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

    She was a prof (phys ed….) there and a friend. Her family was some big famous batch of Mormon pioneers who "settled" a lot of Arizona. (Snowflake, Ariz., is a combination of her family patriarch's name and another's.) She and her brother (Brigham….) were both gay. She actually had to have herself excommunicated from the Mormon church, and when I asked her the obvious "Why bother?," she said it was because all those sweet little old Mormon ladies wouldn't stop coming to her house with cookies unless she was officially excommunicated! It made me appreciate being able to just walk away from the Catholic church without having to endure some getting-rid-of-me ceremony.

  • 121. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I keep forgetting that I'm still on the Mormon rolls somewhere. Though I've gone through name changes and relocated so many times, they probably just don't know where to find me. But I find it at least a bit annoying that they get to count me in their statistics. But even more annoying is the fact that the man who raised me (and who I thought was my bio father until about 15 years ago) had my mom baptized post mortem – my mother who was a staunch atheist.

  • 122. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

    That baptizing people against their will after they die really ticks me off. What gives them the right to force their religion on other people, even if they're dead???? And they call US recruiters! My partner's sister went to high school with Obama's mother. Guess what — yep; the Mormons have since "baptized" her.

  • 123. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Sheryl Mormon Mom and other LDS allies here — you know I don't me you, since I can't imagine you'd ever do such a thing.

  • 124. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Oh, that's interesting about Rhita Flake. No, I never knew of her; but I was running (or trying to run) in hetero circles back then–trying to keep my 'weirdness' to myself.

    I don't think it worked. 🙂

  • 125. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Baptizing after death…..not a whole lot different than imposing religious doctrine on us while still alive, is it?

    Kathleen, I saw your recent 'debate' with Colin. My! You certainly have patience!

    Don't you just love the, "I believe it, therefore you must live by it" argument?

  • 126. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

    @Kathleen you said, "But even more annoying is the fact that the man who raised me (and who I thought was my bio father until about 15 years ago) had my mom baptized post mortem – my mother who was a staunch atheist."

    OMG that is so creepy. This is the first I have heard about baptising dead people, it kind of reminds me of voodoo. I hope the Mormons here do not take offense, I have never heard of this.

  • 127. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

    The LDS Church apparently also baptizes the living in absentia, I've been told. A neighbor girl married into the LDS Church, the rest of her family were not allowed to attend the ceremony because of restrictions on who may enter the Temple, and the rest of the family later found out she'd had them all baptized. They were staunch Catholics, and were furious.

  • 128. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Okay, wanted to reply about the baptism issue. First, I've never heard of proxy baptisms for the living, will do some research on this.

    Baptisms for the dead are performed because the Mormon faith believes that one must be baptised in order to inherit the kingdom of God. Now, we also believe that the people who are baptised after dying still have the opportunity to reject the baptism.

    As for entering the temple, yes only worthy members receive a temple recommend (which is needed to enter the temple). There are many members who do not have temple recommends. Usually, when a couple gets sealed (a temple marriage is a sealing for time and all eternity) in the temple and they have family members who do not have a temple recommend, the couple has a ring ceremony to allow those family members to share in the joy of their union. To me, for a couple not to do that is very inconsiderate of their family.

    Oh and lest you think a temple marriages dooms a woman, civil divorces are an occurence and should the woman want to remarry in the temple, she can apply for an annulement of her temple marriage. Because we do believe in polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom (the highest degree of glory), the man doesn't have to go thru that. And, the fact that we do believe in polygamy in the next life, is one the things I find so ironic about the LDS supporting the 1 man, 1 woman idea.

    Now I"m sure you know more about one area of Mormonism than you ever wanted to know.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 129. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Sheryl, I admit right off that I do not have first-hand knowledge of the anecdote I told about baptism of the living, I was told it by a mutual acquaintance of the family in question.

    I also do not know whether the couple had a ring ceremony such as you mention. I only heard that the family was angry at being excluded from the Temple.

  • 130. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    @Sheryl- thank you for the explanation. Two follow up questions
    1. Then the ring ceremony must take palce outside the Temple, is this usually done at the reception then?
    2- What is the level of Glory just prior to Celestial Kingdom?

  • 131. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Straight Grandmother, the degree of glory before the Celestial Kingdom is the Terrestrial Kingdom and before that is the Telestial Kingdom, don't make it to any of the 3 degrees of Glory and you end up in Outer Darkness (otherwise known as hell).

    Anyone else have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 132. JC (1 of the 18,000  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I have posted only occasionally. My restraint is definitely not because of any of the motives you posit, SG, but rather, my main desire to say something that forwards the conversation (and sometimes others have done that so well that there's nothing of value I can think of to say). To be completely honest, though, occasionally I succumb to feeling like I'm back in the junior high cafeteria, where all the cool kids are already talking and I should just go over there in the corner….

    I tend to get lots of positive feedback for posting on Facebook, for example, but haven't found that same momentum here, so I read and learn and share what I learn here with others.

    Oh, and then there's time. To wit, I'm supposed to be doing something else right now, got sucked into checking out this thread, and see now that I should really spend some time writing up my our 30-year, 3-wedding story. But I've promised to get back on task. I do promise to share our story, though, soon. Some new friends who moved here from LA insisted on hearing the whole thing the other night and started talking movie 😉

  • 133. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

    JC, I remember reading your posts and liking what you'd said. In fact, just this morning I was wondering if you were still around or had moved on, so finding your post here now is a real treat!

  • 134. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:53 am


    I am anxiously awaiting your 'story'….!!! Seriously, I really want to hear about it. Don't forget to get back to it after you finish all that pesky work. 🙂

  • 135. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Funny you should say that about the cool kids. Because I remember you, I remember that "JC 1 of the 18,000" it is very catchy. I think it is totally cool that you jumped through that open window when you had the chance before Prop8 was passed.

    Sometimes I wonder myelf why I post when everyone else has (it seems to me anyway) better/smarter insights than than I do. I hope I am welcoming to everyone. I can tell you one thing, if you post and include a link I always click on the links and check it out.
    Thanks for answering my question, I hope to see you around more.

  • 136. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

    @SG–Don't think for a moment that your presence here is not cherished. You are valued here, my friend. You offer unique insight and perspective; and besides, you're family!

  • 137. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    There is one word that covers all those bases, Sheryl; unfortunately, though, it is ….. queer.

  • 138. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I've always liked the word "queer" but I understand it has a lot of negative baggage, so I rarely use it.

  • 139. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Why does the word "queer" have negative connotatioons?
    The first I ever hear the word used was during the NOM Tour and there are organizations using that word. Queer Action of Rhode Island comes to mind. I went to 2 different Queer organiazations the New York one and the RI one and I really liked them. I read their Facebook pages and websites. I feel a kindred spirit with them as they seem more willing to put feet on the streets than other mainstream GLBT organizations. To face the enemy face on, and I like that, that is my style also.

    I was thinking of contacting them and writing up and article and submitting it to CC and hoping perhaps they would give me a one off Guest Blog article. I am kind of facinated by the queers and don't know much about them. Why is queer a bad word, or has negative connotations?

  • 140. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:23 am

    "Queer" is a word that has often been used as a pejorative, but is trying to be reclaimed by some LGBT activists.

  • 141. Kevin S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I lurked for a while, joined in for a bit, and then circumstances took me away. Now, I tend to get a little overwhelmed by the size of the threads (not that P8TT's popularity is a bad thing!) and finding a place to jump in, so I find it easier to share the link to a post I particularly enjoy with some friends and discuss it in a smaller setting. It's certainly not any of you guys, though – I always felt the vast majority of the commentariat here has been well spoken and good hearted.

  • 142. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    To be fair SG, I joined before the trial started, but I don't believe I made my first post until a couple of days after the trial started.

    I needed to see what the environment was. A bunch of trolls and haters? Or some of the very cool people (like you) that I found instead.

    Don't beat them about the head too much 🙂

  • 143. ElsieH  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:56 am

    As a former lurker. Sometimes I'm shy about expressing my view in in front of people who are more articulate. I'm not blowing smoke at y'all, There are some truly well spoken people here who are quick witted to boot.

    Funny, given that I write for a living.

  • 144. Fluffyskunk  |  August 30, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I lurk because I have nothing to say. In my opinion, that's a legitimate reason not to say anything. 🙂

  • 145. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    But you have a cool monikker and I like seeing it, so you should post more Fluffyskunk!

  • 146. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Hi Straight Grandmother – I've stepped up quite a bit in P8TT from my usual lurker mode. I find, like others, that I often don't have much to add to the conversation. Plus I'm shy, introverted, trained by my peers to think my opinion is boring/insubstantial, and despite the cliche nature of it, I'm just really busy. A lot. 🙂

    As I mentioned to Peter Yarrow in my personal comments, I have several lesbian friends, through my personal circle of friends, my extended circle of friends (i.e. friends of friends), and coworkers. I have a gay cousin, have had a few gay friends (though we've drifted apart), and I'm probably about a 1-1.5 on the Kinsey scale, though I was too afraid of my sexuality to explore it before I married my exquisite wife, so I'll likely never know for sure. Thus, P8TT has been way too important for me to fall prey to my usual tendencies.

  • 147. AndrewPDX  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Welcome to the party and thanks for supporting us!!!!!

    Please, don't be afraid to voice your opinions, even if it's just to laugh. We may not always agree, but if we can agree to disagree and move forward together, we can all benefit. There is no such thing as a "boring/insubstantial" opinion.

    <cite>Hope will never be silent</cite> — Harvey Milk

    PS: When I'm busy, I find it's helpful to just 'subscribe' to a new post; that way you get all the comments in email, where you can read them at your leisure — gmail is nice at being able to group the emails to make it even easier.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 148. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Thanks, Andrew! For the support and the official welcome. 🙂

  • 149. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Hmmm… how did I arrive here?

    Marriage equality is an issue I've been passionate about for a long time. Not for any particular personal reason, I am a bisexual woman with no current marriage prospects in either direction, but because I think it is the right thing to do. I was strongly influenced in this by my dad, who was a left leaning Protestant minister, and also a big supporter of gay rights. I am also a stage manager, and in the theatre, these issues are more openly prevalent, but really, mostly it just comes from knowing right from wrong. People are just all people, and should be treated equally, period.

    I got to P8TT about a month before closing arguments, when I was looking for some information on how the trial was progressing. I knew there was a delay, but had lost track of the timeline, and stumbled into P8TT then. I suppose, like most, I lurked a bit at first, feeling like the late arrival at the party, standing off to the side with a drink hoping someone might notice me, then eventually got drawn into the discussion simply because everyone I was reading here was so interesting, in their own ways.

    I stayed because I have LEARNED so much. The lawyers here have enriched my understanding of the legal background. The activists have posted links to fascinating things that I would never have found on my own. The passionate people of all sorts have told me their stories, have let me know what is going on in their parts of the world, have propped up my spirits from time to time, have entertained me always, have seemed to enjoy my company, have not LET me stay a wallflower, but dragged me in wholeheartedly to the family, sat me down and fed me till I was overstuffed on all their marvelous ideas, and sent me home with bags full of leftovers for later. That I get to participate and share my goofy stuff is just the cherry on top of the sundae.

    And I stay because I do want to win this fight. And I know we will. Because I know that love, which we have here in abundance, beats hate, every single time.

  • 150. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    How funny you see yourself as a wallflower! You seem to me one of the most informed and informative persons at this site. I love and appreciate all your insights and passion. Thank you for enriching my life with your research and contributions 🙂

    Love, Gregory

  • 151. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I think some of you have already heard my story, such as it is, in bits and pieces. My brother and his husband are very active in the marriage equality movement, and are part of the fortunate 18,000 to have been married during that window of time in 2008.

    I came here before the trial, I think, and have been glued here ever since. Those days of the trial I did not, alas, get much work done.

    I can honestly say I have made many very good friends here, although I've never met any of you in real life. We are indeed a community.

  • 152. Regan DuCasse  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Welcome Rob!
    You, of course will be a great asset to this blog.

    Everyone, I had an experience over a year ago where a TownHall blogger decided to go on a character assassination campaign against me. He posted anti Christian quotes and attributed them to me.

    They weren't mine, but it didn't matter.
    Rob, came on board and completely proved this guy for the liar he was. But that Rob would take the time, be there for me, shows that he is a knight. A formidable intellect…and he's easy on the eyes too!

    He's right about how rigid people will be in defending their worldview.
    But to the point of serious insanity, regardless of tangible and measurable detriment.

    Another example occurred here on another subject with one of our own.

    Rob IS an exceptional human being and I'm glad to call him my friend.
    Love you Rob!

  • 153. Sagesse  |  August 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

    What brings me here? A long and winding road.

    I'm a straight woman who graduated high school in 1968 and started out on the front lines of the women's movement. If I expect society to respect my rights, surely I have to respect everyone else's.

    I wanted to see how the two sides handled themselves at trial, what evidence and experts the defense would muster, and how a judge would deal with it. Began following the liveblogging, and have hung around for the company :).

  • 154. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Did you burn your bra? I remember women's rap groups, even attended a couple myself. That is what they were called "Women's rap group"

    The BEST thing about the womens movement in the late 60's and early 70's was the burning of the bras, I still hate wearing a bra and never wear one on the farm. When we get a customer who piulls up for olive oil, I always have to go duck in the house and put on a bra, and as soon as they leave I can't wait to rip it off. I would be so happy if we had a great bra burn out again.

  • 155. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I'm so jealous! There's no way in H*** that I could get away with going braless; it's just not possible. My girlfriend, however…..she can manage it; and is it ever sexy!!! (excuse me while I take a moment to drool).

    My daughters strip off their bras as soon as they walk in the door (well, they go to their rooms first). 🙂

  • 156. ElsieH  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I'm about the same age as Sagesse and didn't burn my bra but we did have big debates about whether you could be a feminist and wear eye shadow.

    I miss those days : ). It definitely shaped my attitudes about sex and gender and brought me here eventually.

  • 157. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:02 am


    No, the rights that were of concern to me had nothing to do with the right to burn my bra, or go without one. The decision to wear a bra, or not has never been a political statement, and to this day, it depends on how the spirit (or the outfit) moves me.

    The rights that mattered to me were to be able to go to business school, and get a good paying job, to non-discrimination in employment (equal pay for work of equal value; hiring, firing and promotions based on merit (without discrimination based on gender, or race or sexual orientation or disabilty, or….), paid maternity leave, with a legal guarantee that my job would be there at the end), to have credit in my own name.

    Rights we more or less take for granted now, having forgotten there was a time we didn't have them, even though we lived the time when we didn't have them.

  • 158. Lora  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Welcome Rob…I love your videos and am looking forward to your contribution here!

    First off…I, too, am 1/2 of one of the 18,000 married couples in Ca. The witness at our wedding was an ex-Mormon straight married woman who asked if she could be there to witness our wedding! As I've posted before, she told us that being there sent her home to her husband with a new sense of commitment to their own marriage.
    My parents, while they know about my sexuality, do not know that I have been married for 2 years. They are very religious and are ardent followers of Dobson and Focus on the Family. They moved to Texas a few years ago and have become even more extreme in their views.
    While I live in a gay-friendly area of Sacramento known as 'Lavendar Heights', the rest of Sacto. is still pretty "redneck", IMO. I'm pretty out at work and my co-workers have been GREAT. They even threw a big BBQ party for us to celebrate our wedding!
    I've been a regular, daily reader and sometime poster here since day 1…and yes, I'm addicted too. I have learned so much from the legal minds here that help sort out the legal-ese…so I thank you all for all the comments and support. A special thanks to our straight allies! <3

  • 159. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Lora, I think that is really sad that your parents do not even know you are married. How sad for them and how sad for you. Your parents with their narrow mindedness don't even know their own daughter completely. I hope that it will not always be so Lora. Your story touched me.

  • 160. Lora  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you SG. Maybe someday….

    I remember the first Saturday after Prop. 8 passed, there was a huge rally at the state cap. here in Sac. I was standing with an older couple who were there with their children and grandchildren and I told them about my parents…and they told me that I could adopt them as my parents. I just lost it…hugs all around. It was a happy moment and a sad moment all at the same time.
    Family doesn't necessarily have to be by blood. I consider people here on the P8TT as family. 🙂

  • 161. paul  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Welcome aboard Rob! Your story is very familiar to me and we're on the same page regarding the… recruit their hearts…approach.
    One of the talking points NOM uses…KIDS ! They're right about the KIDS…we need to enlighten them, protect them and embrace the gay & lesbian KIDS out there while they are young enough to think freely. Most importantly…assist the gay & lesbian KIDS that self-loath and don't understand why. It's dangerous for them & for us older gays because we risk losing them in one way or another. They need us to help them embrace their gayness and we need them to carry on for us when we're gone.

  • 162. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

    P8TT addiction 'fess up:

    We're going to Tanzania in November. I am already fretting about how I'm going to manage without the community here. Reading 6 thousand posts after we return just doesn't have the same feel to it………..

  • 163. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Are you sure you want to go to Tanzania? My son was there about 2 years after 9/11/2001 and many many of the younger guys were wearing t-shirts of the World Trade Center with the airplane attacking it, and on their t-shirts was a thumbs up graphic. Also terrible for pick pockets. I suggest you get a small combination lock for your back pack/fanny pack/day pack. Dar es Salaam was the first country our son traveled in where he felt that, as an American, he was not welcome there. Be very very careful, and if you can possibly be out and about in a group of 4 it is much safer than a group of 2.

    You are going to have to get a lot of shots for travel also aren't you?

  • 164. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I have traveled much in US, Canada and Mexico…but when I hear information like this I feel ignorant and amazed what a sheltered life I've lived!

  • 165. Trish  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Welcome, Rob. Sorry I'm joining the party late. But I have to say I am sickened by the evidence that shows people don't believe facts and evidence. In law school, we were taught to always present the evidence to a judge or jury in the most emotionally appealing way. Make the facts tug at heartstrings. Then, once you've gotten the judge or jury's attention, you can get them to look at the evidence. I hated it in law school and I hate it now. If someone presents me with an absolutely erroneous argument, I feel the need to show them why it is wrong. Unfortunately, that apparently does not work.

  • 166. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I saw your 'debate' (yours and Kathleen's).

    Talk about an exercise in futility! The 'problem' with debate is it assumes that both sides are capable of rational thought. Your opponent clearly was not.

    Nevertheless, you and Kathleen acquitted yourselves admirably. Well done!

  • 167. Trish  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Thanks. I only hopped in at the last minute after watching the conversation go on for days by e-mail. I think Kathleen and Ann did a great job, though.

  • 168. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Yes, Ann too. Sorry Ann for not mentioning you earlier. Great job, all of you.

  • 169. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, Linda. It was an interesting intellectual exercise for a while there, but then it got rather boring.

    @Trish, I am like that, too, about having to correct people when they're wrong. It's something I try to keep a lid on when it's not appropriate to do, but I'm sure I still do it too much.

    One of my conservative colleagues at work tried to engage me about the parental notification law after the 2008 election — I managed not to lose my cool or piss her off, but that was not a conversation I welcomed, at all. I also learned much TMI about her and her past — ugh!

  • 170. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Hey all, one thing I'd like to point out: Research shows that the entire political spectrum can be impervious to rational arguments. That means us, too. Something we all need to keep in mind.

  • 171. Trish  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

    But Rob, it's so difficult when those who would deny us equal marriage don't use rational arguments when we attempt to speak with them.

  • 172. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Rational arguments are powerful in the courtroom, however. 🙂

  • 173. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Understood… I know I have fallen into that trap myself at times. When someone finally hits me upside the head and I can think rationally again, I usually apologize and work hard to keep from being so obstinate the next time.

    That said, I haven't yet seen a 'rational argument' for discriminating against LGBT people seeking marriage. If there is one, I'd love to hear it.
    The best I have heard so far has been "I don't want my children to be taught in public schools that gay marriage is okay…" but then I have to ask them "Why would that be a bad thing?" It's been either because of homophobia or because of religion (and the inherent homophobia of those specific denominations), so it's not so 'rational' an argument.

    Has anyone here actually heard a 'rational', non-religious, non-homophobic, fact-based reason to continue discriminating against LGBT citizens?

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 174. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    You're in good company, Andrew — Judge Walker wanted to hear that argument, too.

  • 175. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

    There isn't one.

    And during the trial, when Judge Walker kept asking for that, over and over…the attorney for prop8 finally just said, 'we don't need that'….They don't have a rational argument; therefore they don't need a rational argument. So there!

    Yeah; that argument just doesn't work in the courtroom. 🙂

  • 176. draNgNon  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:12 am

    well, back up a second. of course there is a "‘rational’, non-religious, non-homophobic, fact-based reason" to allocate a relationship status to opposite-sex couples but not same-sex couples. to get there, you just have to change your paradigm and world view. you don't even have to change it very far.

    as soon as you change your world view to accept that men and women bring different and necessary contributions to a marriage and play different but necessary roles, it all makes a lot of sense. and as we have seen, that IS their world view.

    that is why in the prop 8 decision, Judge Walker dedicated a lot of writing to explaining how we no longer view marriage that way – it is a coming together of two equal adults, who are considered capable of bringing the same contribution to the marriage. and as soon as you think of marriage that way, all the rational arguments against same-sex marriage are destroyed.

    this is why we keep circling back to procreation. to the anti-gay-marriage forces, the very act of procreation is proof enough that men and women bring different but necessary contributions. but tying that to marriage in a state that allows adoption out of wedlock isn't really a winning strategy.

  • 177. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I guess my interpretation of a 'rational' argument would be one that can withstand scrutiny. The procreation argument cannot withstand scrutiny, since the ability and willingness to procreate is not a prerequisite for marriage.

    True, it is the one argument that can be made without having to invoke religious beliefs; but it is not rational, imho.

  • 178. draNgNon  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

    they didn't have to stick with procreation, if they could have come up with anything whatsoever demonstrating that men and women bring different but necessary contributions to the marriage.

    to be fully honest, I'm sort of surprised there isn't something out there, and I expected the trial to go more on the merits of competing studies. instead we got "common sense" cited at us. "common sense" – sure, if your commonly held world view is that the woman is the homemaker and the man the breadwinner, if you subscribe to the notion coverture should never have been thrown out… etc.

    ah well. I'm just as happy it went this way. ultimately pursuing that argument goes down the path to gender discrimination, and the more that gets destroyed the happier I am.

  • 179. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Andrew: Has anyone here actually heard a ‘rational’, non-religious, non-homophobic, fact-based reason to continue discriminating against LGBT citizens?

    If you actually find one, let me know.

    My experience? Nope, never.

  • 180. Ann S.  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Rob, that's a good point — we do need to keep it in mind.

  • 181. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I don't like the politics of the situation. Why should anyone get to vote on my children's civil rights?? I would rather have the situation ended by the courts. I am like a couple fo other posters here, I don't really care if people "accept" my son and daughter I just want the law on their side.

    I hate the fact that it is politics that needs to happen in order to have ENDA, I wish we could win that battle in the Courts also.

    I am more of a march, protest, boycott, Direct Action, and show strength in numbers and demand civil rights, than touchy feely ask for acceptance. I think it is my pride. One website name that caught my eye was Good As You. I think humbling yourself and begging for understanding and acceptance is demeaning.

    The irony of my opinion that is being posted on the Courage Campaign Instituite is not lost on me. If this coummunity would get off thier duffs and put 20,000 feet on the street protesting and demanding our civil rights in Washington DC we would have everything we want, done deal. Why the hell can Glen Beck draw over 10,000 people to Washington and this community can't?

    Do you know that if each of the 50 states sent only 200 people to Washington to protest that is 10,000 people right there? Only 200 people for each state gives you 10,000 people. And if you could get 400 people per state that would give you 20,000 protestors. The only reason I can figure out why this is not done is becasue their is no great GLBT national leader who can get this done. If 20,000 people showed up in Washington DC protesting like mad Nancy Pelosi would ahve gotten Enda through int he next weeka nd Obama would have signed it. She told us that herself this summer, she said, "Show me the critical mass" and we didn't do it. So guess what no ENDA.

    Because we do not protest and demand our civil rights the fall back postion is the only one left, convert the nation one heart at a time. Or else just wait for all the old people to die off, it will come eventually.

    I am sincerely sorry to be the spoiler on your very first Topic Rob.

  • 182. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Hmm… make good points, SG. Now, the next step is figuring out how we can go about accomplishing that.

    10,000 to DC…at $500 per person=$5,000,000; or $100,000 per state. (I just pulled that $500 out of the air; a roundtrip from CA to the east coast run roughly $500-$600). Would this be a reasonable expenditure? Does each state have an organization that could foot this bill?

    Next step–determining which 200 will go. Lottery?

    My comment is sounding facetious, but I don't mean it that way. I'm thinking out loud here. I tend to be a problem-solver. So….if we need en masse visibility, I guess the next step is to figure out, step by step, how to make that happen.

    And if we're going to do something like this, we sure need to pick a date that will give us the most leverage/attention/validation.

    I'm interested in everyone's ideas!

  • 183. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Linda, it is not even as hard as I stated. Actually if you only got a measly 100 GLBT people per state and they each brought a straight ally with them that would give you your 200 per state. This honestly does not seem that formidable to me.

  • 184. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Also, SG–
    Another point that helps me deal with Glen Beck's supposed success is this: his rally was less about him and more about the armed forces group he was raising money for. So those who came out represented a cross-section of our population. Their common cause was supporting the troups…not necessarily supporting Glen Beck and all he stands for.

    On balance, let's consider the NOM tour. Now that effort was definitely focused on one thing–denying marriage rights to ss couples. Look at the numbers for their rallies. Our side outnumbered them nearly 3 to 1. Let's be encouraged by that. 🙂

  • 185. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Again, my first thought when presented with an idea such as yours is, what's the timeline?

    We would need an event/date; then we would have to work backwards and determine what would need to happen, and by when to make the whole thing happen. It is a big deal; it's not an impossibility though. It would require that the majority of 'us' be onboard with it, and be willing to help to make it a reality.

    It isn't easy for people to take 3-4 days off work. If they're going to do this they need to be able to arrange that months in advance. Also, the cost could be prohibitive for many.

    This is one of the disadvantages of being a minority; there are just simply fewer of us! It's harder for us to BE a critical mass! Perhaps an alternative would be to have a date (and it would need to be a meaningful one) where we all assemble at our own state capital buildings.

  • 186. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

    @Linda you said, This is one of the disadvantages of being a minority; there are just simply fewer of us! It’s harder for us to BE a critical mass! Perhaps an alternative would be to have a date (and it would need to be a meaningful one) where we all assemble at our own state capital buildings."

    Nope! Has to be Washington DC. Go big or go home.
    I believe that there is 100 GLBT people in each state who care enough about their civil rights, that they would go and protest. It is not a lack of interest it is simply lack of leadership.

  • 187. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:14 am


    You may very well be right.

    I guess I'm feeling unequal to the task. 🙂

  • 188. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

    @ LInda, are you on FB? If so, go to my page on FB and send me a friend request, with a note about this site. Then I can send you a page suggestion for "Let's All Unite For Equality and Ride to Washington, DC, at One Time."
    We are trying to get enough of a response from people who will work in their local area to get a group together so that we can coordinate the bus schedules and have a series of Equality Rides to DC.
    One bus or however many buses it takes for whatever size crowd each of the local organizers can get, and we get together to set a date and that way we know when each group would have to leave their local area so that all the buses meet up on the roads going to DC and folks see the numbers growing as the buses converge. But it makes the best impact if all of the buses arrive in DC at the same time.

  • 189. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I am already on your FB friends list. 🙂

    (my last name begins with L and ends with S…)

  • 190. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Good. I will go back in there and send you a link for the Equality Rides, and if I find that you are there, I will send a few suggestions that can be used for your area.

  • 191. IT  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

    All you have to do is listen to the interviews with NOM bus tour attendees, and with the Beck-ites at yesterday’s rally. Or read the comments in the open threads of the newspapers when they publish a marriage equality story. So many of these people are so divorced from reality–as they say, Teh Stoopid, it Burns.

    But I agree with Rob–we must reach the middle. And the way to do that is to come out over and over, to give real-life examples of our families to those who are afraid. WE have to inoculate against the hatred.

    And it doesn’t matter what the judges say, at some level. We STILL have to continue to win hearts and minds, we STILL have to win that battle, because the opponents are not going to stop lying or stop hate mongering.

    More discussion about how we lost and what needs to change, in my opinion, on my blog, Gay Married Californian (see specific posts here and here)

  • 192. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I'm not sure I've ever told how I ended up here and why I stay. I learned about this site from

    I really wasn't following things that closely and came here on day 2 of the trial (and you haven't gotten rid of me yet (insert smiley here). I have learned so much from everyone on here. And, I do feel as if you are all a part of me extended family. I stay because, well, because I'm addicted. But it is a good addiction because it has so broadened my understanding of the issues surrounding the LGBT community. And, I want to remain a part of this family. I was so worried that when the trial ended the site would go away, or at least that people would leave.

    I've also been thinking that I need to do more than I do. I am familiar with PFLAG and was thinking of joining so that I can be of support to other parents or family members who are going thru the early stages of finding out that their child, sibling, etc. is gay, lesbian, etc. (is there one word other than homosexual that covers all bases?). Was wondering if there are other groups for family members?

    Again, thanks to everyone here for all of your insight.

  • 193. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:06 am

    You are a wonderful and welcome addition to our family!

  • 194. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Sheryl, you would be an incredible PFLAG mom! You will be stunned by how much love you will receive. To me, the best part of the times I've marched with the Pride Parade in SF is hearing the roar rise a block or two ahead of us and knowing that the front of the PFLAG contingent has just entered another section of the crowd. People run from the sides to huge these loving parents and friends, draping them with necklaces, giving them gifts, flowers, photos. All you can hear from the crowd is "I LOVE YOU!!!" over and over and over again. You could paddle a kayak through the tears that are shed on Market Street as PFLAG passes by. Sheryl, you deserve to feel this love and appreciation. Please join!

  • 195. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Great explanation Sheryl, post #106. And there is NO baptism by proxy for the living. I have been to a number of ring ceremonies that are performed after a Temple marriage. They have been officiated by a member of the bishopric and have been beautiful………….and yes, performed during the reception.

    The degree of glory before Celestial is Terestrial.

  • 196. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    My cousin, who is Mormon, married a man, who I think is not. They had a wedding ceremony outside in a park.

    Would that be because he was not Mormon and couldn't go into the Temple? Pardon me if that is an odd or rude question, I am just curious how this works, and am not really close enough to the cousin to ask her.

  • 197. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Your question is a very good one, thank you for asking it. My oldest daughter married a man, who was not a member of the church. The had a beautiful ceremony in a park here in SB. He decided later to be baptized. After a person is baptized, it is required that he is a member for one year before he is able to enter the Temple………….if he has lived worthily. My daughter and her husband were "sealed" in the Temple for "time and all eternity" about three years after their civil marriage.

  • 198. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Ah! I see. My cousin, unfortunately, married a guy who was rather a jerk, and after about a year, they were divorced, so he never made it to that stage.

    Just as well, she is very much better off without him, as it turned out.

  • 199. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I'm always sorry to hear about the heart break of divorce, as I watched my mother go through that. But fortunately, your cousin found out sooner than later…………and before children.

  • 200. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Sheryl: 'I really wasn’t following things that closely and came here on day 2 of the trial (and you haven’t gotten rid of me yet (insert smiley here).'

    And don't you dare go! 🙂

    One of the great things about this site is hearing from different points of view. I really appreciate your contributions here.

    Your son must be proud. I know I would be if I were in his place!


  • 201. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    You guys really know how to give the compliments. Might just be another reason I hang around.

    Kate, I had never thought about PFLAG marching in the Gay Pride Parade. I think that would make my son very happy. He is a great son and really takes good care of his mom.

    This is probably a good time to find out. I know there are some of this family here in the Bay Area (DaveP and Alan E I know are) I'd really love to have those in the area join me at BATS Improv on a night when my son is performing. We could meet there and go out for drinks (doesn't have to be alcoholic, mine won't) after. I think that would be a great evening.


  • 202. Dave P.  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:22 am

    HI Sheryl!

    I would be honored to join you at BATS! So how would we make arrangements? You can email me here:

    davep2 (at) sbcglobal ( dot ) net

    And yes, please consider getting involved in PFLAG. You really seem like the kind of person who could do a lot of good.

    And another vote for marching in the PFLAG contingent of the parade. A little story-

    At the first Pride parade I ever attended, PFLAG had a small flatbed truck with young LGBT people riding on the truck while their parents marched along side with signs that said "I love my gay son" and "I love my lesbian daughter". I never knew that such an organization existed and it had a huge impact on me.

    Then the next year, they were back with the same truck, but this time the parents were riding on the truck while their sons and daughters marched along side with signs that said "I love my straight parents". As Kate described it, not a dry eye in the house.

  • 203. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:56 am


    is it the BATS at Fort Mason, or do they have locations elsewhere? I work at Fort Mason if it is. Send me an email at alanleckert (at) gmail (dot) com

  • 204. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Oh, small world Sheryl! I used to work with Seattle Theatresports and I'm good friends with several members of LATS down here in L.A., so may have met or seen your son perform at some juncture. Just Say Yes! 🙂

  • 205. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Elizabeth, Did you know Rebecca Stockley when you were in Seattle (she's in SF now, has been for years but started her improv career in Seattle). I know Kasey has performed once in So. Cal. can't remember when. And many of the LATS people started in SF (Dan O'Connor and Stephen Kearen, to name just 2). Loved that show that Dan had that was on TV for a brief time. Unfortunately, I had to work and couldn't go to the BATS vs. LATS show this year.

    Yes, it is a small world.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 206. IT  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    By the way, if we’re telling stories: my wife and I are one of the 18,000 couples married before PropH8 passed. We didn’t trust the electorate, and while we knew that in many ways marriage would just complicate our lives (since it doesn’t exist federally), we had to make witness that it matters. And we found that it truly life changing.

    We became accidental activists. We donated ourselves. We asked our wedding guests to donate to the campaign rather than give us gifts (and they were very generous). We stood on street corners with No-on-8 signs (where we were cursed and spit at). Someone put glitter clue all over the back of my car with its No-on-8 sticker.

    But we didn’t do enough. And after seeing the film Milk, we realized that Harvey’s call still resounds. I wrote about that on another one of my blogs:

    So we must each BE Harvey Milk ourselves, and consciously think, “what would Harvey do?” to keep our momentum in the post-Prop8 world. All of us own this responsibility. If we don’t do it for ourselves, each GLBT person, we can’t expect our straight friends and allies to join us. We must participate in the marches and the elections and the outreach and the grassroots. It’s what he would have insisted we do.

    “My name is Harvey Milk, and I’m here to recruit you!”

    That’s why I started my blog Gay Married Californian. And if you attend any of the rallies in San DIego, you’ll see me with my sign that says “The arc of history bends towards Justice”, with bright glitter rainbows. If you do, say hello.

  • 207. IT  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Donated ourselves..not enough! 😉 Forgive the typos.

  • 208. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Thank you for all your advocacy, IT. And congratulations on being "one of the 18K" 🙂

  • 209. candide001  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    The religious right has known for a long time that facts don’t matter. It’s talking to the reptilian brain that gets you the votes. The left’s foolishness in neglecting this simple truth of human psychology has let them be rolled time and again. The right has become increasingly adept at manipulating voters’ more primitive instincts.leaving the left at a clear disadvantage.

    Right now the left should be whipping up absolute terror in the American electorate at the prospect that the GOP could retake control of their government. I’m not seeing a lot of that. Two months left; we’ll see if the DNC can start ramping things up.

  • 210. IT  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

    It was a litle scary to see the number of people Beck recruited. I don’t think that our side could do as well, and so much rides on this election–it’s scary.

  • 211. candide001  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I'm incredulous that the DNC has apparently lost control of the narrative to such a degree, leaving us vulnerable once again to that primitive, irrational, violent, nativist religious component of the American psyche that has caused minorities so much harm throughout American history. Brutality, religious self-righteousness, and intellectual stupidity, hand-in-hand, the dark side of the American soul.

    When O was elected I naively felt relief that the LGBT nightmare of the Bush years was over and we were finally in the hands of a strong, competent, sane leader who had the political talent and skills to protect our interests while keeping the right at bay. O's reluctance and/or inability to strike boldly and decisively at the right has left me quite unsettled.

    There's still the hope that he's the master chess player after all, and that as the election approaches he'll start ratcheting up the emotional appeals that work, while the economic team starts making the economy look better. We'll see. But the intractable insularity, narcissism and self-congratulatory stupidity of the American electorate, as showcased so clearly at the Beck rally, remain a cause for grave concern.

  • 212. BK  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hey, all! And welcome, Rob! I loved your videos!

    "It was a little scary to see the number of people Beck recruited." <– if Beck wasn't LYING about his views on gay marriage, maybe he could convince his audience to stop bashing us and voting against our rights.

  • 213. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Never going to happen. Though his PRIVATE views may be that he doesn't care about marriage equality one way or the other, he knows where his bread is buttered, and knows that his audience would not like that sort of talk, so he just doesn't speak about it.

  • 214. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hey everybody, thanks for the welcome. I’m excited about posting here, chiefly because the Courage Campaign has built such a community. I don’t see that at any of the other major marriage equality organizations.

  • 215. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Really? The other ones are not like this? I'll have to broaden my horizons and look around. I only ever really come here. I started coming here the first day of the trial and jsut never left.

  • 216. Don in Texas  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

    WELCOME, ROB. I look forward to reading your articles.

  • 217. Straight Grandmother  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I think this video is approriate for our group
    I can relate to this, can you?
    [youtube =]

  • 218. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I love it!!! Thanks for sharing this, SG!

  • 219. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Yes, I can. Beautiful.

  • 220. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Yep SG, I can.

  • 221. ElsieH  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Welcome Rob. I am one of the straight allies who frequents this site. I am very familiar with your videos and your blog, they are both brilliant. I am here because I am an inter-racial marriage that was specifically forbidden in the State of California until the 1940's and I have LGBT family members, neighbors and friends for whom I've joined this fight.

    Until Prop8 passed I was not politically active at all but until Prop8 I had never seen such bald face lies used to scare voters in a campaign. I was doubly incensed that they used children to stir up fear and hate. It was the last straw.

    Now I work against discrimination not only because they are attacking people I love but they attack my own marriage as well. The likes of the anti-equality side want to perpetuate their rigid view of marriage based on mythical gender roles which I find offensive.

  • 222. Ronnie  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Like Everybody else has said…Welcome Rob…I love your videos….I don't know if you know, but your "Peter Barber Gallagher-Sprigg" video was posted on that "Protect" Marriage: One Man One Woman Facebook page that NOM "says" they are not affiliated with (yeah ok…rofl)…some of things that were said were pretty hateful…but we took care to put the anti-Equality side on spot on the page I'm a member of (Freedom Fighters for Equality)

    Anywho…I don't really remember how I came about finding Tracker…but I'm glad I did…I found out about it right before the Trial started & I have been ever since…Being here meeting all these great people has up the stakes on my activism for Equal Rights….My mom has even upped her activism by going with me to the rallies….& its official Trackers…I am making the struggle for Equality & LGBT Rights apart of the 1st collection I'm working on to launch my Design House (hopefully) in December….i can't wait to see how it comes out.

    Again..Welcome Rob….can't wait to read more form you…<3..Ronnie

  • 223. robtish  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Yeah, the funny part about that was the NOM employee saying he wasn't sure whether I was gay. And that meant gays couldn't be an "identifiable class" (as the law and precedent define it) because you just can't identify them gays for sure.

  • 224. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    You can't identify a person's race or religion for certain either, Rob. But try getting the anti-equality folks to see that. Thanks for bringing up this point. I actually had a woman of color tell me that I didn't look or walk like a gay man. I asked her what one was supposed to look and walk like, and then asked her how she would feel if a police officer were to tell her she did not look like someone who would own a BMW or a Mercedes. That showed her the logical fallacy of her comment to me.

  • 225. AndrewPDX  |  August 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    So, NOM cannot tell gay from straight… then how can they tell gay marriage from straight marriage?

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 226. anonygrl  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    They look for the rainbows, Andrew.

  • 227. Linda  |  August 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Hmm….I'm guessing when a SS couple applies for a marriage license they're pretty identifiable.

  • 228. Sagesse  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:54 pm


    Have you ever wondered how LGBT are not an identifiable group, yet they can still manage to aim laws squarely at them?

  • 229. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:50 am


    A key question asked in the trial to an expert witness was this:

    "If two women want to get married, are they considered gay?"
    A: Yes

    "If two men want to get married, are they considered gay?"
    A: Yes

    Those were the only questions in the redirect and it was an amazing feeling. My first thought while reading the liveblogging (Thanks Rick!) was "BOOM!"

  • 230. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

    @ LInda, Click on this link and this will take you to the page. I tried to send you an invitation from the page, but it didn't work. And hopefully some of our other equality family here, even our lurkers, will see this and go to the page.!/pages/Lets-Al

  • 231. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Darn it, the link broke. Guess whoever wants to use it will have to copy and paste it to their browser.

  • 232. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I love that logo. That's the button "Tony Douglass in Ca" needs so his lesbian co-workers will know he's on their/our side.

  • 233. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks, Kathleen. They do have a tutorial for new users, don't they?

  • 234. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    It's easy, Richard. Just copy and paste the long url into the box that says, "Enter a long URL to make tiny:" then click the button that says "Make Tinyurl."

    Copy the tinyurl that looks like this:

  • 235. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you, Kathleen! Once again, you have helped me more than you know.

  • 236. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Richard, facebook links get broken here. A workaround is to create a tinyurl here:

  • 237. carpoolcookie  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Dear Rob:

    Excellent video! These are REALLY great educational tools…sadly, a lot of people (I mean the general public, not the posters here!) cannot retain written information, or sometimes even finish reading an article.

    I really identified with your talking about how you would overextend being “nice” in your youth, as a way to get people to accept the outer you. Ugggh. I remember that took SO MUCH TIME, and it actually keeps people from really knowing us, and seeing our feelings.

    I’m so glad you’ll be one of the new writers here!!! (PS: I am in L.A., too!)

  • 238. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    For those who don't know this, Peter Yarrow founded Operation Respect in 2000:

  • 239. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Oops. This wound up in the wrong thread. It was meant to follow discussion of the song "Don't Laugh At Me"

  • 240. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I'm glad it's here. I didn't want to see that PP&M thread fall of the end of the conveyor belt as the days pass………

  • 241. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I did not know this until just a few minutes ago, Kathleen. since I ran into a woman who works with the GSA in Wake County, NC, last night at Drag Bingo (a fundraiser for the Alliance of Aids Services-Carolinas) I went to the site, and I have singed up for email notices from them, bookmarked the page, and requested their DLAM packages, and I will be emailing her about using this there and as we begin to form GSA's in Cumberland County. Thank you so much for this resource, which has only elevated my respect for Peter Paul and Mary, and also for you!

  • 242. Kathleen  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Peter Yarrow is, by all accounts, an amazing man. I'm not claiming he's without faults, but there are numerous stories of his compassion and belief in non-violence.

    There's the well documented case of the theft of his guitar. When it was located on eBay years later and subsequently returned to him by the FBI, Yarrow chose not to press charges.

    When I was checking some of the blogs that carried the story of the NOM letter, in the comments were other stories of people's encounters with him – of how genuine and humble he is. One person told the story of a friend having gotten into an auto accident with him (that driver's fault – not Yarrow's), Yarrow's only concern with with the driver's condition and Yarrow never sued, even though he could have.

    Operation Respect seems a reflection of his character.

  • 243. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Off, dammit, not "of."

  • 244. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    And THAT went into the wrong place. I was flustered by seeing an error page pop up that said "You are posting too quickly; slow down." True!

  • 245. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    @Kate, you're right, I love that logo on Richard's FB page! Richard, care to make up some small buttons??

  • 246. Kate  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I'm sure we'd all buy. That would help with bus fare.

  • 247. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I will contact the company that makes the sticker that is on that FB page. When I tell them why I want them, they may even donate them to us! What a great bunch you guys are!

  • 248. couragecampaign  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    It's 10:15 here in Los Angeles. I tried to have a quiet weekend with mixed results. Friday was our first Courage Campaign Institute Board meeting, which was extremely useful. This morning, I went to Nancy Stephens' house for a "pep rally" for California candidates including Gavin Newsom, Debra Bowen and Dave Jones.

    I've been quiet, reflecting on the juxtaposition of Ken Mehlman coming out and favoring marriage–which further indicates that NOM is way out on the fring– with Mike Huckabee and The Call. I keep thinking we are getting more like that elephant and the dog, but then we see people so frighened of the "other."

    I met Rob Tisinai just about two years ago, shortly after 8 passed. He was organiznig a vigil after a screening of Milk that Courage put on. He was working with Join the Impact and did such a great job. As with so many, Prop. 8 gave him his voice and brought his soul to us all. That's why we're going to win, and soon.

    It's a gift to have Rob here; we're all fortunate.

    One last note: I had no idea we had a Lubavitcher Rabbi in our midst. That is a terrific story, one worthy of a video or three. I hope that happens.

    Do you all see how rich is this community? That's what Testimony is all about. We are going to build a movement so powerful that this country–and it's judges–will see that equality is America.

    Thanks so much to each and all of you.


  • 249. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    'I had no idea we had a Lubavitcher Rabbi in our midst

    Richard! Front and Center! 🙂

    Thanks so much to each and all of you.

    And thank you Rick, Eden, and the others at Courage Campaign for making this community possible!

  • 250. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I add my thanks for this site and for it continuing after the trial ended. So many wonderful people here and so much valuable information. My knowledge of how our legal system works has certainly been greatly improved (been a very long time since that high school civics class).

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 251. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I am here, JonT! Be right back! I here some Seattle's Best Coffee (BZ found it on sale for only $1 a 12-oz bag, bought me three of them, whole bean) calling me, so I will fill up my cup and then return.

  • 252. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Rick, I truly thought that everybody on here knew that BZ is a Lubavitcher rabbi. He received his training and ordination at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Phyllis interviewed us in Raleigh when we went up to counter NOM's attempted infection on August 10. And yes, we will do other videos for you. I will PM you on Facebook with our numbers and other information just as soon as I catch up on emails.

  • 253. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Richard, care to educate me. I thought a rabbi was a rabbi, evidently there is a lot I don't know about rabbis.



  • 254. JonT  |  August 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Really late subscribe – been arguing with the latest sticky-troll, Colin 🙂

    I look forward to your posts Rob. I've certainly appreciated your videos.

  • 255. Ed  |  August 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Damn Hilarious Rob 🙂

    …..not that kind……. LOLOL


  • 256. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Rob, I agree with Ed. This video is fabulous!

  • 257. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:23 am

    fun video 🙂 I keep wondering what the NOM folks are really fighting for=nothing!

    ….I can TOTALLY relate to St Peter shaking his head….

  • 258. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Cheers for Rob and St. Pete!

  • 259. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Welcome Rob 🙂 I love your video(s) and share with others!

    What a treat to read so many stories of "why you/we are here" I enjoy hearing about what motivates everyone to contribute to change.

    Cheers to all!


  • 260. Bolt  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Good morning to you all. Happy Monday. 97 days left until 12-6.


  • 261. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:35 am

    RICHARD: I have learned so much from you! Who would have thought that the same person could provide personal knowledge of both the Knights of Columbus and determination of kosher foods?

    Also — I have the PP&M recording of Don't Laugh at Me that you wanted, and I would be honored to send you an mp3, if I know that it is legal to do so. (I usually stretch that definition for most artists and just do it, but my respect for PP&M has grown exponentially since Peter & Paul sent their letter to NOM). Let me know. Also, it is available on these of their recordings that I have: Carry it On (Disc 4), In These Times, Songs of Conscience and Concern, and (most recently) The Prague Sessions. (That is their last recording as a group, as Mary died soon thereafter.)

    Folkie Foremother

  • 262. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Thank you, Kate. I actually stumbled on the recording PP&M did of this last night when I went to the Operation Respect website. I am also going online later to see which PP&M albums are still available and make out my Chanukkah list. And believe me, I never dreamed I would not only become a Knight of Columbus, but then fall in love with a Lubavitcher rabbi and learn what I have learned about kosher food and all the other things I have learned about Judaism.
    And look at everything I have learned from you about ranching, eggs, and the area around Mt. Shasta, in addition to just overall unconditional love?
    I want to take another trip to California, especially since I want to see more than just the Sandy Egg. Oh, yes, I want to see San Diego again, but there are other areas I want to visit also.

  • 263. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Be sure to get The Prague Sessions, as the song has been tweaked on that one to include gays and lesbians. Besides, it's the last PP&M album…..

    Sandy Egg…. ha ha; it took me a minute. I'm about a thousand miles north of there, so I'm slow when it comes to So. Cal. references.

  • 264. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:56 am

    This message is for Santa barbera Mom, Sheryl, & Gregory in SLC, thank you for the inforation abou the Mormon religion, I ahve to confess I was a blank salte and didn't kwno a thing about it other than, they are Christians and believe in the Bible but also they believe in there was another prophet who came in the 1800's and he added on more. That is hte sum totoal of what I knew. Becuase of the deiscussion on this tread I went and looked up Celestial Kingdom in Wikipedia and followed many links related to the Mormon religion. I think I now have a grasp of your religion.

    I just want to say this, YOU 3 are courageous. You face formidable obsticles, much more than I ever knew. Lutheran's if they want to go to church they jsut open up the church door and step in and take a seat in the pew.

    But you guys, your religion is not at all like that. You are actually not permitted to enter the temple if you are not "in favor" (for lack of a better word). For Mormons to stand up and say, "I'm gay" or "I support my gay or lesbian children" it is terribly courageous. You dont' really know how courageous until, and unless like I just did, you learn a little bit about thier religion. I thought highly of each of you three before but now I hold you in even higher esteem. WOW!

    I can see now why the LDS church is such a formidable adversary in this culture war. My eyes have been opened.

  • 265. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Dear SG 🙂

    Your post stimulates so many ideas, thoughts, feelings….

    I'm at work on a busy Monday so limited time. The Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka "LDS" or "Mormon") has wondering people in it who strive to do good and help each other. However, they are blind to LGBT issues and I have no place in that religion. I used to fear I would lose the spirit of knowing right from wrong if I left the church but the OPPOSITE occurred.

    The LDS church has a very strict code to follow to enter in their temple and I have chosen to not enter in the temple for many years.

    Also, if you are not "worthy" you cannot participate in any part…for example, I love to play the piano and sing in choir, for much of the time I was excluded from this because "not worthy"

    Leaving the church was a blessing to my life !

    Love you SG !!


  • 266. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:13 am

    "wonderful" people not time to proof-read

  • 267. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Actually, I thought "wondering" was the word you meant — I like it that way. In fact, I was going to ask you if wondering people are automatically considered unworthy. Even if it was a typo, I'll still ask.

  • 268. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:19 am

    maybe a Freudian typo!!!!!

  • 269. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Hi Kate 🙂 (and everyone!)

    Every since the other day when I sobbed all day…I feel changed. I LION has woken up inside of me…ideas are forming how to help, write, communicate to all I can reach to describe my experience to hopefully help others.

    Thank you to all for your stories, inspiration and support! I love you all


  • 270. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

    The best kind! Also (and I don't know how to ask this delicately without offending Mormon allies here, which is not my intent), how open was the church when you were in it about the Mountain Meadows Massacre? I'm a bit of a history buff about the emigrant trails, and obviously the Mormons played a large part in that part of the country's westward history, so that's why I wonder.

  • 271. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:32 am

    The modern church has been VERY open to this event. The past year I read 2 contrasting books, one written by a non Mormon, who found Brigham Young Suspect and another book written by LDS scholars affiliated with Brigham Young University. The latter details how the LDS church opened up their archives and data for scrutiny. Also the LDS church has written about the event…issued apologies and created a monument in Southern Utah.

    I don't know how anyone can take offense at a factual occurrence. I find it a fascinating part of history.

  • 272. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:33 am

    And Greg, this is just my honest opinion, but the ones I feel are worthy to enter the temple are you, Santa Barbara Mom, Sheryl, and the others who have shared here. No disrespect to the LDS church, but I feel that President Momson is not worthy, nor are his cohorts who conspired to make sure Prop H8 passed. I have met other Mormons who are rank-and-file membership, and the ones I have known (other than the ward here in Hope Mills) are the true Christians, and feel as though every adult has the right to marry the other adult that they love. I look forward to the day we all have the freedom to marry the one we love and have that marriage recognized by all of the state governments and the federal government. And I am getting this feeling that it is closer than we even dare to allow ourselves to realize.

  • 273. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:34 am

  • 274. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Did you read "Blood of the Prophets" by Will Begley? He is an incredible researcher and writer. And the Juanita Brooks early expose (which needs an accent mark I cannot here provide)? She was a very brave woman to take that issue on from within her church, long before the church accepted responsibility for the incident.

  • 275. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:40 am

    @Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)
    AMEN!!!! Too bad the folks here at P8TT don't get to make those worthiness decisions……..

  • 276. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Thx Kate and Richard 🙂

  • 277. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:52 am

    oops…posted in wrong spot…re posting

    Kate – I read “American Massacre” by Sally Denton for the non-Mormon perspective. The book/author you mention sounds good too, however, I’m not so interested in LDS church history or issues much these days :/

  • 278. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Good morning, Kate. Regarding "wondering" people ~ no they are not considered unworthy. For instance, I recently went for my temple recommend interview with both our cool bishop and a member of the Stake presidency. The bishop already knows how I feel, but I felt prompted to tell him that I believe that one day gay members will hold the priesthood. He just listened nicely. We have a new Stake presidency and I let him know straight out my feelings, and he just listened to me and then signed my recommend. I have a nice big rainbow button attached to my purse. It reads "All Families Matter". When I carry my purse to church, I make sure that button is facing out so it's very visible. (Just planting seeds 🙂

  • 279. Santa Barbara Mom  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Gregory, I still get sad when I think of you not being allowed to participate in the music. It has reminded me that several years ago there was an opening gay man in our ward……….a music teacher at my children's high school…….he was often in our home, as he taught piano and voice to my girls. Anyway, he was very involved in our ward music. It wasn't until he decided to seek a partner that he moved away, to Hawaii. He is missed. I would guess that some areas of the country are a lot more conservative in their thinking than others.

  • 280. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I'm so proud of you, Santa Barbara Mom!

  • 281. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Yay! Santa Barbara mom! good for you! I celebrate your open support of your son 🙂

    At this point I am not interested in the LDS church, even if they offer Gay man to hold the priesthood but I respect you and others rights and beliefs. These things are deeply personal and we can only decide for ourself what is right for us.

    There was a wonderful LDS ward in the Los Angles area that was made up of LGBT persons. The Bishop is legendary because of his inclusiveness and love. However, the LDS church disbanded ward because not consistent the teachings of the church.

  • 282. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Gregory — that is a good article you posted. I'm surprised (to tell you the truth) that it is as accurate as it is, given that it was church-written. They do leave out some important points that non-LDS historians discuss, but it's still a surprisingly-open article.

  • 283. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Gregory, I'm just getting around now to some of these messages from this morning in my inbox —

    It's sad about the music. Years and years ago, I guess it was in the early 80s, I remember having a discussion with a guy in my carpool. I didn't know him well at all, but somehow it came up that his church had fired their organist for being gay. I couldn't understand it. He said it was because he was a sinner. "Don't sinners belong in church?" I asked him.

    Yes, he said, but not in the front, only in the congregation.

    I guess somehow having a gay organist was going to somehow lead the whole flock into temptation? I couldn't make any sense of it.

  • 284. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Sorry I'm late to the book recommending party, but I'll chime in for Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven." A great read (like his other books) and full of mind-boggling info about the evolution of LDS.

  • 285. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Elizabeth, I also really enjoyed "Under the Banner of Heaven", but I think the LDS church officially took issue with it. I can't remember just now.

    An interesting, if older (1964), read is The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner. Quite a lot of detail about the westward migration from Illinois and St. Louis, IIRC, to Utah, mostly on foot and pulling hand-carts.

  • 286. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Gregory, I too thought that wondering people was a great phrase and very applicable to those of us who do not take everything the leaders say as the final word.

    I am so sorry that your oldest daughter is having problems with who you are. I hope that one day she will soften her heart and you will get to know your grandchildren.

    Straight Grandmother, I appreciate that you consider us Christians. Believe me, because we don't consider God the Father, The Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ as one and the same but rather we consider them 3 distinct individuals and because we have added scripture to the Old and New Testament, we are not usually considered Christians. That was even expressed by members of the Coalition. They appreciated the help to defeat Prop 8 but do not considers us Christians. Just one more reason to wonder about being a part of the coalition to defeat Prop 8.

    Also, wanted to comment that we do have church buildings besides the Temples. Services are held in ward buildings (which may or may not be shared by 2 or more wards). Then we have stake centers (larger than ward buildings) where wards within the stake have meetings or social functions(wards also meet in stake buildings for their meetings) . Then there are interstake centers where several stakes will meet for functions. Also, at least with the Oakland temple, when you actually enter the temple, there is a waiting room where those without recommends may sit and wait for their friends or family who do have temple recommends. And, since we believe that our prayers are heard no matter where we say them, no particular reason to go to a church to say them. Also, we do not have paid clergy, so the leaders in the wards and stakes, etc. usually are working themselves and not available to be at the building most days. Temples have a very specific function that does not include regular meetings.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 287. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I appreciate you taking time to read 🙂 I am just AMAZED the articulate, educated, motivated persons like you who contribute to prop8tt! thank you for your interest and feedback 🙂

  • 288. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I am post challenged today! keep replying in wrong spot :/ this comment was from kate

  • 289. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:24 am

    I have been a member of the P8TT community since Day 1 of the trial. I was going back and forth between here and Firedog Lake to follow the transcripts being liveblogged. I initially wanted to follow the trial as closely as I could, but I ended up getting to know the people here and have enjoyed every minute of it. Halfway through the trial, we were trying to figure out what would become of this site when it was over. NOM helped out some with their summer tour, but the community we have formed here is what really is propelling the site. This is a place for us to discuss the detailed INS and outs of this and other trials and events. Each of us brings a different perspective or level of expertise to the table as demonstrated by the numerous references that individual posters have received in new posts. This has clearly shown that the Courage Campaign is listening to what we are saying and making shifts or strides accordingly.

    I have not been able to post as much in recent weeks, but I still value what everyone else has to say. That's why my inbox is stretched to the max every week. That is what sets CC apart from many of the other larger advocacy groups because there is a steady place to provide insight and input. As my own piece of advice for you Rob, ease find ways to keep the community involved, and you will surely make this experience as rewarding as they come.

  • 290. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:31 am

    PS Where do I sign up to have CC or FDL replace my F5 key? If there was a tracker to find out which key on my keyboard I've used the most since January, F5 would beat my spacebar hands down.

  • 291. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Indeed! I used to wear off the "e" key first on my keyboards; now it looks as though the F5 key might be pulling ahead….

  • 292. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Firefox had to repaint the little circular arrow on my screen. And the left-click button on my mouse is turning from silver to shiny black. Wonder why? LOL!

  • 293. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Nice to see your name again, yeah I noticed you have been busy.

  • 294. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:12 am

    By the way, can these posts be sorted by "newest first" so I don't miss replies to earlier ones?

  • 295. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Kate, the only way you can do "newest first" is to read the email in the order it came in. There is usually a brief quote form the post being replied to, but I usually take each comment as its own.

  • 296. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Kate – I read "American Massacre" by Sally Denton for the non-Mormon perspective. The book/author you mention sounds good too, however, I'm not so interested in LDS church history or issues much these days :/

  • 297. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I'll repost this under thread

  • 298. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Can't say I blame you …… fortunately, my interest was from that of a historian who has not had to deal with any impact from the LDS church on my life. Much easier!

  • 299. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I'm gad you and others take time to learn about these people who tragically lost their lives because of fear, ignorance, even personal gain. They deserve to be remembered truth revealed. There was much lies, and mystery surrounding this event.

    My partner has said he doesn't see much difference between the massacre then and how Mormon church affect the LGBT persons. I tend to agree!

  • 300. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Actually, Kate, because of the Mormon Church's involvement with Prop 22 and Prop 8, your life has been impacted by the LDS Church. Certainly not to the degree of a member who comes out, but impacted nonetheless.

    As far as the Mountain Meadow Massacre, I too am surprised that the church is being more open to discussing it. It used to be a rarely mentioned event (at least where I grew up) in church history. In some areas the church is progressing.

    Santa Barbara Mom, I need to get me one of those buttons. And, I hope both of us are able to attend a church meeting where LGBT members are as accepted as straight members. Won't that be wonderful.

    Straight Grandmother, Thank you for the praise. In my case I don't think I'm doing anything spectacular, I just love my son. And, I don't like discrimination (perhaps because I have felt it in my own life as I have always been overweight). There are many courageous members of the church on this issue. If you haven't checked out, do so. The website owner is LDS. Then there is Carol Lynn Pearson who has been an advocate for many years. It was reading her first book, "Good-bye I Love You" that helped me understand the being a homosexual is not a choice. And, this has been reaffirmed by discussions with members of the LGBT community that I've worked with.

    I will also add, that the LDS church does not judge you on your political views (at least is not supposed to, unfortunately, there are individuals within the church that will). What would get you judged by the Church is actively working against the Church. I believe there is a fine line between the two. So, I can be pro choice and pro equality and not be working against the church. Hence, as long as I'm living worthy to get a temple recommend, I can get a temple recommend no matter what my political views are

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother.

  • 301. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:10 am

    You are not kidding the Church is more open. In my research, I read in a church published, Gospel Doctrine book that George Albert Smith completely denies anyone but the Indians had anything to do with Massacre.

  • 302. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:15 am

    @Gregory in Salt Lake City

    Don't forget, though, Gregory that the Mormon participants were dressed as Indians…….

  • 303. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:16 am

    About Carol Lynn Pearson….she is the bomb! (as is her daughter Emily, who co-starred/co-produced 8: the Mormon proposition movie) Carol Lynn was very insistent that the filmmakers be respectful when making this movie and not just end up bashing the Mormon church, if she was going to be associated with it.

  • 304. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:24 am

    yea…the Indian costumes were despicable. I seriously doubt if any Indians were involved at all. Based on my own research the tribes who supposedly participated were very peaceful people….and even if did participate, they were duped somehow to do so.

    I would mention however, over-all, the Mormon Church had good relations and great respect for the Indian people as they play an important historical role in the Book of Mormon.

  • 305. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:04 am

    p.s. sorry to mention "Indian People" I was using a term from that time period. "Native Americans" seems more respectful.

  • 306. Bob  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:14 am

    thanks for the correction re Native Americans, I feel a little better,

    first time I heard this story, but somehow it doesn't surprize me, our countries were founded on these types of bloody injustice what a twist, killing and attempting to blame it on the people whose country was originally invaded.

  • 307. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:27 am

    And now many "True Americans" (aka tea party) are doing the same to Mexicans(and anyone with hispanic accent)…trying to "rid the United States of the Brown Plague" ….. It seems history repeats itself many times (Native Americans, the Irish, the Japanese…)

  • 308. John  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I arrived here for the live-blogging in january, which was truly exhilarating reading. It was great to see all the issues (homosexuality, homophobia, discrimination, etc) being dealt with head-on in a court case for the first time. During the NOM-Tour I even posted a few comments myself. The whole tour tracking and counterprotests were superb pieces of action and they were equally exhilarating to watch develop, and blossom. I learned a lot about activism, countering homophobia, and your lives.

    It is great to see all the different perspectives, and the breadth of experiences. Most forums tend to either be characterized by conformistic uniformity, or by bitter feuds. What is happening here is very different, and very special.

    Lately, I'm getting behind on the posts and tons of great comments. I do read everything, but when I do everything already has been said by others. I really enjoy this site.

  • 309. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

    What brought me to P8TT…and what keeps me coming back day after day? Hmmmmm…….
    I have been fighting for equality since the early 80's….having spent countless hours working with and for HIV/AIDS organizations forced me to confront terrible hatred for our 'family'. This lead me to other forms of civil rights struggles for the GLBT community (I remember a time when it was referred to as just 'The Gay' community)
    I met and fell in love with my Robert in 1983 and slowly that has brought me to the Marriage Equality struggle. Over the last 10 yrs has become a major focus of my/our life.
    Robert was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2000.
    It began to REALLY matter to us….we needed more than ever the protections and rights that can only truly come with marriage. Civil union / domestic partnership is NOT enough! It is NOT equal! It is NOT just!
    The thousands of dollars we have spent fighting this cancer…and the thousands we have spent on legal documents, to try and insure we have some peace of mind, some protections against societal discrimination.
    We've raised a family and had a wonderful life together but it sure hasn't been easy. All in all I think we have done an amazing job with what we were given.
    Our most recent struggle was trying to not lose our home due to financial problems stemming form Dr's bills. We were denied time and again on the government's refi programs because Federally we are not seen as a 'real' couple. We have worked for near 30 yrs, and now gone…all because of legislated discrimination by our religiously controlled government.
    This has been a horrible decade for us…but had we been allowed to marry so mush of the stress and expense would have simply gone away.
    Marriage Equality is SO important for so many many reasons. The twisted entwined mess that would simply evaporate if SS couple were given their civil right to marry is mind numbing.
    Robert and I have had our struggle questioned…been accused of being selfish…disingenuous….over reacting.
    Told we should be thankful for what we DO have. Told to relax, to wait. Well FUCK THAT! We can't wait any longer…we really don't know how much time we have left.
    So to answer the question of what brought me to P8TT and what brings me back day after day…it's simple

    I don't post as often as I use to simply because I no longer feel as welcome here as back during the actual trial. The weeks of the NOM tour changed the dynamics of this group drastically.
    Also I tend to write quickly and with passion so often make errors…spelling, grammar, etc The spelling and grammar police got WAY annoying
    Some days it's like watching the cool kids in high school all over again.
    With all that said I do believe this site has evolved into a family all its own. And as with all families some members get along and some don't.
    I appreciate each and every one of you for your contributions here and to the struggles at large.
    I have often posted my love for you all and I mean it.

  • 310. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Mark, this is heartbreaking. You and Robert need to be among those witnesses at the trial. How can Maggie and her ilk hear these things and not care? I simply don't have the words to adequately express what I am feeling for you right now.

  • 311. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Damn it, there are TV shows>/,i> for cris'sake, where the "winner" is the one who "gets to" marry the contestant (mixed marriage, 'natch), and THAT is OK with the religious right, but what you and Robert have done with your lives and for society at large doesn't deserve the same recognition and array of rights??? They want us to wait?? For what, until we all die off????

  • 312. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:59 am

    bad typist….. worse formatter.

  • 313. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Thanks Kate. I wonder these things every day…how can people like Maggie, Brian, Louis, and all the other Nombies continue to allow such pain and misery to exist at their hands.

  • 314. Kathleen  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:14 am

    In case I haven't told you lately, Mark and Robert. I LOVE you. xoxoxo

  • 315. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Love you too Kathleen!!

  • 316. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Mark, your story is yet one more reason we must all continue to fight for our equality and our civil rights. There is also the fact that, without marriage, anybody who decides to dispute BZ's will if he dies before I do (which is a possibility since he is 15.5 years older than I) could literally have me thrown out on the streets because we are not legally recognized as a couple. I am sorry that the grammar police have gotten you so annoyed that you no longer post as often as you once did. You are one of the many I have learned from, and you are one of the many here who has inspired me to resume my activism and to once more work in any way I can for our full equality. Please keep posting, and please keep your passion.

  • 317. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    We are very fortunate in many many ways. We have a loving family, amazing support system, good jobs, and truly gifted doctors….so I am sorry if my post made it sound like I was being whiny. All things considered we are blessed.
    Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

  • 318. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Mark, you sounded frustrated, not whiny. And you have good reason for your frustration. We are dealing with health issues here in our household also, and that is part of our frustration with the lack of equality and the ubiquity of discrimination. We, too, have a wonderful family and a wonderful support system, but at the same time, I also realize that not everyone in our extended family is on board with our relationship. And even when we have our marriage license, until NC finally moves from the Dark Ages into the 21st Century, there will always be uncertainty about my status in the event that BZ dies before I do. And that is scary stuff. I mean, I am 47! I am too old to even begin thinking about taking on a mortgage or a rent payment now on top of any other bills I may have. And yet MG, BB, LJM, and others like them want to stop BZ and me from being able to provide for and protect each other simply because they can't bring themselves to wake up and smell the coffee!?! Everything you said about this being unfair and unjust is 100% true! And again, I admire your passion, and it inspires me when I am feeling like I can't go on anymore. Every time someone here lets their passion about this show, it reminds me that I am not alone in this, and that I do have somewhere I can go to vent, and to recharge. And that is why this is my extended online family and why I keep coming back.

  • 319. Bob  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Mark, I'm at a loss for words, imagine that, just wait they'll come, your story is too real, too close to the bone, and too much to bring into my awareness, and you are only across the pond from me, a border divides us, but our stories couldn't be more different, I am embarrassed (leaving the typos) for all the things I enjoy here in Canada,
    I've heard about the difficulties for people paying medical bills in the states, and honestly I cannot comprehend that. To hear you share it as part of your reality breaks my heart, in such a way that I want to hurt somebody or something, (think I'll go poke sticks in my wasp nest or something)
    I miss your posts, even though we've been in a few heated exchanges, and I agree, in the early days theire was more lpassion and less concern about spelling.
    I am known for jumping on here and blasting off whatever is on my mind, it's part of my healing juourney. in the old days I think the only one whose posts where longer than mine was Carvels, speaking of , wonder where he is. these days.
    My partner and I celebrated our one year anniversary yesterdeay, and to stick to our marrigage vows, which said we would agree to allow each other the sllpace to develope as our own unique inviduals, we're celebrating by him taking a few days in Vancouver, and I do lmy thing which is hibernate, and contemploate my naval.
    We too have medical issues, but everything is paid for, we never have a bill, and we have used a lot of medical services. We even get free ferry travel if we need to go to the city to see a doctor,
    I'll stop there, cause not having those comforts, adds pain and destroys health. we just got to get equal.
    I love you Mark, hugs to Robert you inspire me to keep fighting, I think that's one of the major dust ups we've had in past, I get heated , want to come down there with a posse, and shoot the bad guys. remember my favourite movie was There Will Be Blood (caukse a preacher gets killed)

  • 320. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you so much for your post Bob. Sounds like you are truly blessed with a more stress free life for you and your husband there in Canada.
    Big hugs buddy

  • 321. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Mark –

    I don't know of your past writings but I loved (and HATED) hearing you story. It all seems so unnecessary, because of bigotry and "common sense" you didn't have the same benefits as "straight" couples during a time you most needed help. *BIG SIGH*

    I would like to mention at first I felt sort of like an "outsider" on this website so didn't post much…but I've observed the postings after Judge Walker's Ruling seem more hopeful, more inclusive, less-judgmental, more caring (at least toward our side). Look out anyone who goes against a prop8TT family member!!!

    I love having you beautiful people from all walks of life and literally all parts of the globe on my side. (oh boy…tears are coming again!)

    I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and ideas Mark 🙂



  • 322. Mark M  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you Gregory…look forward to getting to know more about you on here. Been enjoying reading your posts as of late.
    The P8TT family is truly a special one, and I am very glad to have found it back in January.

  • 323. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you, Mark M, for sharing such a personal and sad story. I just can't imagine what it must be like to have those worries. Are you on facebook?

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 324. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Hello Rob – and all you lurkers out there, come out come out where ever you are 🙂
    My story. My son who is 29 is gay and married legally in DC to his husband this past April. My daughter is a lesbian and she had a wedding ceremony 5 years ago and I, and all of her family consider her to be married, well except for the state of Virginia. My daughter and her wife wanted children so my daughters wife conceived with the aid of an anonomous sperm donor from a fertility clinic and deliverd our beautiful twin grandchildren who are now 2 years old, a boy and a girl.

    If you are fortunate enough to live in a state that permits same sex couples to co-adopt or be co parents be really grateful for that as there are only 14 states that allow it. Many states will permit a single GLBT person to adopt a child but they will not permit a GLBT couple to adopt. My daughter who gave her wife hormone shots every night to help in conception is not permitted to be the legal co parent to her twin children, which then makes me not the legal grandmother to my grandchildren and it just hurts me so bad.

    For my grandchildren there is no daddy, not legally, not on the birth certificate, not now and not ever. So my grandchildren end up with only one legal parent instead of 2, and only 2 grandparents instead of 4.

    This situation is very very painful for me and my husband as well of course, for our daughter. My daughter and her wife and their twin children ARE a family, and yet it is not now, and will probably never be, legal in the state of Virginia for them to become a legal family unless and until the Federal Courts force them to by ending the discrimination against legal Gender Neutral marriage. If my dughter was legally married to her wife then it would not be a problem at all, it would go through smooth as silk.

    I was never involved in any GLBT issues at all until this trial and I saw a news article and it had the link to P8TT. I have been on here since the first day of the trial hoping and praying that we WIN! It is kind of funny in a way that I didn't get involved even though my only 2 children are gay. OTOH it makes sense because even though they are gay the state never came in and legally seperated me from my children. But oh.. once those grandkids arrived, now I am like a grizzly grandmother bear protecting my cubs because the state has made me a Stranger In Law to my own grandchildren, in law, I don't exist in their lives. Do you have any idea how heartbreaking that is? Real heart breaking let me tell ya.

    So now because of this trial I woke up, I woke up to the fact that if I am ever going to be the legal grandmother to my grandchildren I am going to have to work for it and that is what I am doing, and why I am here.

    My kids are adults they can take care of themselves, but little children, babies, should not be discriminated against and denied two parents. I could go on and on and list the injustices, like the time our grandaughter rapidly spiked a fever and went unconscience. My daughter in law is a physician and she called 911 to get her to the hospital as quick a possible. She rode in the ambulance with our grandaughter and our daughter took our grandson to a neighbor and then drove to the hospital in the car. When the ambulance left, our grandaughter had her eyes rolled back and was completely unresponsive, she was totally unconscience. Our daughter in law, the doctor was terrified. When our daughter got to the ER she was not permitted in, she was STOPPED. I can't write any more about that, it hurts me too much to write about it. What was wrong with our grandaughter is that she spiked a high fever very very rapidly, she had had a low grade fever in the morning and then just BAM she was unconscience! They fixed her up in the ER and did a brain scan and everything was fine and they went home the same day. This is just one instance of what it is like to not be the parent of your own child and it hurts me terribly.

    My husband is both French and American as is our children (I am only American). If our daughter never is able to become the legal parent to her twin children our grandchildren loose French citizendhip. Once my daughter is their parent they gain French citizenship and keep their American citizenship, this is a big issue in our house as our children feel both French and American, and Papi (grandpa) really wants his grandchildren to also be French like him. There are a lot of benefits to being French, just one of them is that public universities are free, you only pay for your books and lodging.

    My grandchildren cannot inherit from us tax free, that is a big deal. There is a lot more I could say but I think you get the idea.

    Most of the times the discussions in the press and even here, are about GLBT couples and I am always the one piping up and saying, "and their children, and don't forget about the extended families, the grandparents"

    My husband and I lived all of our married life in Wisconsin but around 5 years ago we moved to France and bought an olive farm in Provence. So now we are full time olive farmers and we make award winning olive oil, really good stuff. I think my life would be perfect, I can't think of anything I am in want of, other than to be the legal grandmother to my own grandchildren. This is a big hole in my heart.

    I hope to HELL this case goes all the way to the Supreme Court and we WIN! If not then the only option I see is that my daughter will have to up and move to a state with Equality. Why are there no warm weather states with legal SSM????

  • 325. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:32 am

    @SG, I wonder if your daughter and her wife can get married in France? How lovely that could be!

    I am sure you have thought about that, but I thought France was ahead of us in terms of marriage equality?

  • 326. Franck  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Ann, sorry to tell you that, but in terms of marriage equality France is actually closer to the United States. It has a limited form of Domestic Partnership, and even that keeps being disputed as "too much" by members of the current (right-wing) government.

    The chances of getting marriage equality passed anytime soon actually hinge on the chances of kicking the right wing out of power in 2012 – and even then, nothing would be guaranteed, since opposition to "gay marriage" has more bipartisan support than equality does.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1166 days, as of today.

  • 327. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Good Morning Franck. As soon as I see your name in a post I immediatly look to the bottom of the post to see how many days you are forced to be about from your loved one. For those who don't know or don't remember Franck lives in Madagascar.

    Franck is right about DP's in France.But one impotant point is that DP's are open for everyone, not just SS couples. What DP's have done is France is actually reduce the number of people who get married, they go for a DP instead. Yes it is NOT Marriage, however it is not "seperate" from what OS couples get either.

  • 328. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Thanks, Franck and SG, for the information about marriage and DP in France.

    I've often heard that in France you get civilly married at the courthouse, and anything else you do (like a religious wedding) on top of that is not legally necessary (unlike the US, where an many people, not all of course, get their license at the courthouse but the marriage is actually solemnized by a religious officiant).

    But I guess that doesn't carry over to marriage equality. I'm sorry to hear that France still discriminates.

  • 329. robtish  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Stories like yours make me SO CRAZY when our opponents say, "Gays only want marriage for the benefits." First off, it ain't never just about the benefits.

    But more to the point, those benefits are what two people need to build one life together. Is that so hard to understand?

    SG, you don't happen to live anywhere near L.A., do you? We could sure use you on tape.

  • 330. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Rob, SG might have signed off because she lives in France and it's pretty late at night there, by my reckoning.

  • 331. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Ann S is right, I am 9 hours ahead of you so when it is 10am by you 6pm by me. It is usually Franck in Madagascar and me who post when we get up in the morning. I miss out on some to the discssions and have to then catch up the next day. Of course many any times I stay up until 2 and 3 in the morning if there is something important going on. Thanks for thinking of me Rob, I appreciate it.

    Don't forget I am watching to see if and when you will use the word Discrimination in your topics.

  • 332. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing more details of your story. I can identify with not being involved with equality, because I wasn't either until toward the end of the Prop 8 campaign. I was just keeping my mouth shut and knew that I would not place any Yes on 8 sign on my property or car and that I would vote No on 8. Then I found the pMormons for marriage site and found my voice. My son (who you would have thought would have been more involved) donated time at the No on 8 office in SF (at my suggestion). Next I got the No on 8 bumper stickers for both vehicles, then the sign that I could wave at those annoying people holding those ridiculously sloganed signs on street corners. After the trial started, I found this site and have learned so much about the issues faced by the LGBT community and want to do what I can to be of help, even if it just posting the clever videos on my facebook page for my less than liberal family and friends to see. My son has become a little more involved and did admit that if he had someone special he would be very involved. Of course, between his work and his passion (improv, both teaches and performs) not sure he actually has that much time. And, my joining PFLAG will make him happy, not why I'm going to join, but a nice extra.

    The day your daughter becomes the legal parent to her children, we shall celebrate with a big party. I hope it happens very soon.

    Perhaps there needs to be a letter writing campaign to the Virginia legislators emphasizing the need to allow the partner of the parent to adopt, even though same sex. Do they really want to deny the child continuity should something happen to the legal parent. Anyone here live in VA? Let's forget about the adults and focus on the children, after all they keep saying not allowing same-sex marriage is about the children. Let's take it to them in language they understand.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 333. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Sheryl, we have FABULOUS PLFAG people in Utah. I cannot say enough good about them. I got on their mailing list 3 years ago. From the email alone I feel I'm kept up-to-date on all the important happenings in the LGBT community. I hear wonder stories, find out where I can help, become more educated on real issues.

    An example of this PFLAG spent several weeks highlightly transgender persons, letting everyone know important events, TV specials, (check out Barbara Walters special "Born with the Wrong Body" for a heart warming educational program that opened up my once closed heart to these special people)

    We have an amazing Pride Day in the summer and PFLAG float and walkers is usually the biggest entry, they celebrate and demonstrate love and joy. It is this group that makes and on-going difference in my life.

    I can't encourage you enough to get active in PFLAG. You never know whos life you will help. I have no personal association with this group, yet they unknowing touch my life, educated and informed me.

    Here is an article about Utah PFLAG president. I look forward to each of her emails.

    Love to you Sheryl

  • 334. Marlene  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with the things said in the video about polygamy.

    I see nothing wrong with polyamory and I think it sucks when we happily throw them under the bus to prove how "Just the fuck like everybody else" we are.

  • 335. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hi Rob, and welcome! I found your video this morning before work and didn't get to watch until this afternoon. I'm posting this as a reply to Marlene because I have a similar concern. I loved everything you said in your video–except the part about polygamy.

    I am well aware of polygamy's checkered past of violence, sanctioned abuse, de facto ownership of your spouses, and so on. And I know there are people that would still behave that way in a polygamous relationship because they already do so in their monogamous relationships.

    My wife and I are good friends with a polyamorous quad and have seen first hand that the violence associated with polygamy is just not a factor in responsible, non-mongamous relationships.

    I have come to realize I have a polyamorous streak in me, too. In investigating a network of support for myself, since my wife is completely monogamous by nature, I have come to meet several other polyamorists and found no substantial difference between polyamory and monogamy in terms of violence and abuse.

    Also, consider that laws have evolved since the outlaw of polygamy in the 1860s. We have laws against domestic violence, spouse-rape and other abuses now. We no longer consider a wife to be property. Can you offer up any reason to deny polyamorists the right to wed all their partners? I think this is the same overall war for equality here, don't you?

  • 336. AndrewPDX  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Personally, I have enough of a problem trying to get a twosome relationship to work (heck, some days, I have problems just living with myself)… I can't imagine trying to make a polyamorous relationship work.

    I can imagine that there are some out there who can make it work, but I'd image that it's pretty rare.

    Polyamory and polygamy are not necessarily the same thing, we have discovered through history. But, I cannot see any reason for it to be denied if we can figure out how to make it safe and healthy for all involved.

    Can you imagine the mess the laws would be in trying to figure out inheritance and taxes and hospital visitations and all of that? Oi… my brain hurts now.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 337. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Glad to see these remarks about the polygamy part of the video. I thought is was just me because I was Mormon and, on my mother's side, there was polygamy. My grandfather (mother's father) was 10 when polygamy was done away with and the men had to choose 1 wife to be their legal wife. He loved to shock people by telling them he remembered when his parents got married. I realize no one would bat an eyelash today but this was in the 50's and a lot of eyebrows would raise. Loved my grandfather.

    Anyway, polygamy when done right does not involve young girls being forced into marriage with an old man. And, it is the responsibility of the man to provide for all of his family. And, all of wives are to agree when another wife comes into the family. My mother's grandfather had 3 wives (all of the children were from the 2nd wife). The family used to say the old man was smart, his first wife was older and could teach him, the second wife was his age and could be a companion, and the third wife was younger and could take care of him in his older age. Oh and if anyone recognizes, this story, let me, we are probably related.

    And, I'll state it again, polygamy is in the Bible so don't know why they worry about it being the next step. And, for a church that believes in polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom (highest degree of glory in LDS belief), I don't understand how we can agree with the 1 man and 1 woman philosophy and that has always bothered me about The Proclamation on Family. And third, for a church who has a history of being persecuted, how can we turn around and persecute another minority, especially, when some of that minority are our own family members.

    Alright, time for me to be quiet for a couple of moments.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 338. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    That was a very intersting story you told. Yesterday when I did y research into the 3 Kingdoms (basically heaven) it did immediatly strike me as odd that in the highest heaven, CK (Celestial Kingdome), where you live with both the Father and the Son, that polygamy is practiced there but not in thei other Kingdoms. I also thought it was very odd that when you get to heaven, you get the "reward" of polygamy, but here on earth, 1 man and 1 woman. It seemed contradictory.

    I also wondered in the Celestial Kingdom how it could work, as in order to get into the Celestial Kingdom you had to have been "sealed" (married) on earth. Therefore everyone in the CK arrives as part of a married couple. So where do all the extra women come from that are available for polygamist families?

  • 339. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Sheryl, I also have no problem with polyamory if all parties consent and are of age, and if the laws (or, failing that, private arrangements) can adequately protect all parties, including children, as far as inheritance and, in case of divorce, child custody, visitation and support, alimony, property division, etc. As a lawyer I see many potential problems because our current legal system is not set up for polyamory, and it wouldn't be for me, but I have no moral problem with it.

    There is polygamy in my family, too. Back in my grandparents' time it was commonly done in Chinese families. My siblings and I were a bit shocked when, in our 30s, we learned that my mother's father, who raised her in Hawaii along with her mother of course, had a second wife in China.

    Apparently this was rather common for Chinese men in Hawaii at that time — a wife with you in Hawaii, a wife in China to take care of your parents. Traditionally, a well-to-do Chinese man could have multiple wives, of course.

    Off-topic, but there is an excellent movie called "Raise the Red Lantern" about the 4 wives of a wealthy man in pre-Revolution China. Highly recommended.

  • 340. Anna Bryan  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Can I just say this: Rob is a hottie!

  • 341. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Anna, every time I see your name, it gives me a bit of a start 'cuz I read it as Anita Bryant. I doubt this is the first time you've hear this……..

  • 342. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Please delete. A kind friend just wised me up via e-mail….

  • 343. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    @ Anna Bryan: BZ and I both agree with you that Rob is a hottie! And he writes so well. Could that also be part of the attraction for you, since you write so well yourself?

  • 344. Bob  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

    yes you can, but you're not the first, so back of the line….bet if he called a rally he'd get a crowd, and if Straight Grandmother has her wits about her, she may negotiate some kind of exchange, his getting feet on the ground , and her talking either on tape or with him on stage. Go Rob

  • 345. Sheryl Carver  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Welcome, Rob!

    I also agree that, satisfying though it may be to ridicule the ridiculous defenders of ignorance & discrimination, it isn't very effective in gaining support from the swayable middle.

    Thanks for the pointer to "The Political Brain", of which my library has multiple copies. Will pick one up tomorrow.

  • 346. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Rob –

    Why am I here?

    Being a former Mormon man living in Utah it was hard to ignore all the fervor leading up to vote on prop 8. I was hoping that it would fail. When I heard the verdict it passed, I was speechless. Of all places(California), how could this have possibly happened? I thought CA was open-minded and progress. It just didn't seemed right. I started to feel panicky, resentful…but something amazing happened, I was hashing over election details with my partner (who was devastated by the ruling…more on that in a moment) when a light-bulb came on in my head and said to my partner, "prop 8 is the BEST thing that could have happened for us!"

    LGBT people are the most amazing, creative, resourceful people I know, within hours protest marches around the country were ignited. Here in Salt lake city I was thrilled to see THOUSANDS marching around the Salt Lake City Temple in protest of the Mormon Church's involvement in an election in another state. 8: the Mormon proposition Movie was born out the passing off prop 8, and countless other stories…

    I was searching the internet to get more informed about the prop 8 trial and came across this website. What a blessing to all of us to come here and share stories, up to the minute news, get compassion, release stress, feel loved.

    Just a little bit why I care about marriage. Me and my partner live with the constant threat of being separated. My partner was born in South America and came with his parents 13 years ago at age 18. His Father was hired by an American company for his expertise. Problem is, being 18, he was not eligible for citizenship.

    All of his family are citizens now because they were under 18, or married straight persons or got invited for work…but my dear partner is stuck in limbo, a refugee of sorts for over a decade, because we cannot marry. He considered marrying a female at one point because he liked her much and life would be easier but his ethics are more powerful than convenience.

    He is a brilliant Sociologist, but cannot yet work using his skills so he is pursing advanced education in the meanwhile…I work two full-time jobs so we can manage. I don't mind this, but it breaks my heart sometimes to see his frustration and fear he lives with daily. He is Hispanic and feels marginalized daily by Utah teachers and class-mates as well, which brings further frustrations. He often feels he cannot defend himself because if trouble pursues he could literally be kicked out of the United States to a place he has no relatives and no where to go.

    The company I work for does not extend benefits to same-gendered partners but I have worked 3 years now to change this. I've worked my way up the corporate HR chain where I now correspond with the VP, Senior VP and CEO of a 40,000 employee company. I'm expecting an answer any day about benefits.

    Additionally I have four children from previous marriage and a grandchild I have not yet met as my oldest daughter is not comfortable with her Father's new life. I want my 9-year old son(my youngest) to absolutely know its ok for people, even his father to be Gay. He told me the other day that sometimes he tells his friends about me and they tell him "that's weird". He says that it doesn't matter though "because he loves me and he knows I love him and that is all that matters."

    Thank you Rob for joining this fight. thank you for clever style and articulate media to debunk the PREJUDICE against our community.

    Gregory, Salt Lake City UT

    With the encouragement of this group

  • 347. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Gregory, how wonderful that your son gets it.

  • 348. Gregory in SLC  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    thank you Ann for all your contributions here 🙂

    I look forward to getting to know you and everyone better. This has been a great post to hear stories and motivation of many. I appreciate Rob commenting and taking interest on the various posts, which motivated me to write (typos and all…wink wink to Mark 😉

  • 349. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Los Angeles married straight ally here, many gay friends and family members for longtime but really became involved in marriage equality about nine years ago when I got authorizations to issue marriage licenses and conduct wedding ceremonies. Since 2000 I worked with many straight couples who had issues like Mark M's, Straight Grandmother's, and Gregory's in SLC–illness, inheritance, citizenship–but they were able to get a huge fix through the simple act of being legally married and my gay associates could not. That Would Not Do.

    Legalized discrimination doesn't fly with this Mayflower baby. OUR "family values" for many generations have always included kicking up a fuss when civil injustice or ignorance is harming people, and–whether convenient or not–making a ruckus on behalf of fairness and equality. It's just part of the DNA at this point. Since our Separatist days back in England we have been big advocates of a clear line between church and state, and it was apparent to me from the beginning that marriage law was the last bastion of civil code still dictated by religious sensibilities. That Just Would Not Do. So here I am.

    I came here via EQCA/GLAAD/Courage Campaign emails, was riveted by the trial live-blog, and I come back to follow the latest news and get edyoomicated about the legal issues. I also write about weddings and marriage for and frequently post about Prop 8, and I'm the "go to" person in my circle for info on the progress of marriage equality in CA, so I feel obligated to stay up to date (and Prop8TT is an excellent source of info and expert opinion!)

    Nowadays I'm handing out a lot of voter registration forms and nagging people about getting to the polls to support the pro-marriage equality governor and AG candidate….especially since I read here that Meg Whitman could mess up an appeal to SCOTUS if she's in office. That Will Not Do Either.

    Anyway, I'm here for education, inspiration, and to lend my hands to whatever work is necessary to make marriage equality a reality (I also crack the occasional joke.) Thanks so much Rob for your insights, and for taking the time to contribute here. Now back to your regularly scheduled comment thread….

  • 350. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    EO- I am so glad that would "Not Do," Merci!

  • 351. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Rien, mon amie!

  • 352. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth 🙂 I'm in awe of our straight allies. I used to live a straight lifestyle–a challenging choice I made, based on socialized beliefs, but a wonderful learning experience nonetheless! When I was living a straight like, Mormon, republican, I went along with the church view that is was ok to support traditional marriage as part of God's eternal plan. I was NOT an ally 🙁

    I now find that view absurd. If there is a God would she/ he really want people to hate and discriminate each other, to cause the pain and suffering of the stories we read here? I'm glad I am learning better ways.

    Thank you again Elizabeth for your determined fight against discrimination! Your example will cause others to pause and break away from institutionalized beliefs that no longer serve the humankind.

  • 353. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Mwah, Gregory! Thanks for sharing your story, which is a powerful one.

    Being here on Prop8TT and working with gay couples through our California marriage equality process has taught me so much. It's easy here in California for both gay and straight people to take much for granted because the atmosphere here isn't as repressive socially, but legally and politically it's the S.O.S. as elsewhere in homophobic America. Where GLBT rights are concerned, the system's broke and needs fixing; as part of the marriage bureaucracy I'm in a unique position to see how the nuts and bolts work (and I also see firsthand how hearts and families are impacted by marriage, or harmed when marriage rights are withheld.) The unfairness and suffering drive me to do what I can to make it better.

    You can't see what's happening and not be enraged, hopeful, and frustrated all at the same time, which is why it's wonderful to have this spectacularly insightful community at P8TT to interact with.

    Anyway, I got your back. 🙂

  • 354. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Once again I find myself grateful for finding this group where people are actually capable of putting words together intelligently and not just shouting "Because I saids so!!"

  • 355. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:04 am

    LOL!! ditto!

  • 356. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Now if I was just a better speed proof-reader :/ I have so many typos in my posts…get rushed because work too.

  • 357. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Typos are okay, Gregory! And you are one of the many here who has made me laugh, cry, jump for joy, and all the other emotions. So please, as your schedule permits, keep posting!

  • 358. Elizabeth Oakes  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Or, as we all learned from Judge Walker: Ipse Dixit!!!

  • 359. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    "Because I said so" is the reason mother's use when they tell their child they can't do something and the child wants to know "why?" Not very beneficial in an adult conversation.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 360. Rose  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:58 am

    YAY Rob! 😀 I *heart* your blog and videos and frequently link other people to them. Thank you for all your hard work.

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