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Friday, November 28, 2008

2008 Lesbian Holiday Gift Guide

Times are tough for everyone this year and with the holidays right around the corner, what's a lesbian to do? Well relax, take a deep breath, and don't think you have to forgo gift-giving all together. Instead, why not budget your shopping a bit more than usual, while still helping to stimulate the economy... Plus it's fun to give other's that warm fuzzy feeling that gift-giving can induce. So, with that in mind, here are some inexpensive but thoughtful gift ideas for all of the lesbians in your life.

Lesbian Books

The Butch Cookbook
Recipes contributed by butches from around the world and from all walks of life are mixed with butch musings, life and lore, history, and quotes. Novice to gourmet, these chefs have shared their expertise, frequently with humor, in easy-to-follow, hands-on instructions for an entirel new blend of cooking and culture. Irresistible offerings include quick meals for a night on your own, lucious potluck recipes, holiday indulgences, sweet treats, a special time for two, and even goodies for furry friends. Check out the website,, for photos and information about the contributors and excerpts from the book; $18.95 at

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For (hardcover)
From the author of Fun Home -- the lives, loves, and politics of cult fav characters Mo, Lois, Sydney, Sparrow, Ginger,Stuart, Clarice, and others. For twenty-five years Bechdel's path-breaking Dykes to Watch Out For strip has been collected in award-winning volumes syndicated in fifty alternative newspapers, and translated into many languages. Now, at last, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For gathers a "rich, funny, deep and impossible to put down" (PublishersWeekly) selection from all eleven Dykes volumes. Here too are sixty of the newest strips, never before published in book form; $16.50 at

Proving that true romance is more than sugary pop songs and chocolates, editor Radclyffe presents the juiciest, most seductive lesbian love stories by authors such as Jennifer Fulton, Karin Kallmaker, Alison Tyler and Radclyffe herself. These stories reveal the underlying emotions and complex relationships that help define love between women. From a shy glance across a crowded room, to a casual meeting at a dinner party, this collection of romantic stories showcases the many ways love can make us feel most alive; $10.17

Lesbian Calendars Ideas

The elegance of female sexuality is wondrously captured in this signature women's calendar. Renée Jacobs injects a breath of fresh air with tasteful, lovely shots that show the female form in all her power, grace, sensuality and vulnerability; $10.85

Judy Francesconi Sugar & Spice 2009 Calendar
This is a limited run, 12 month calendar with 13 beautiful black & white images of lesbians, each suitable for framing. $25.95 at

Lesbian Movies/DVDs
Movies are another great gift idea is quite affordable. Here are a few lesbian movies that would also make a great holiday gift.

Spider Lilies
Behind every tattoo there is a secret. Webcam girl Jade (Taiwanese pop icon Rainie Yang) makes her living tantalizing online voyeurs. But behind her sassy façade, Jade carries the powerful memory of her childhood crush on Takeko, a young woman who now works at a nearby tattoo parlor. Jade goes to Takeko seeking a tattoo of a spider lily, hoping to rekindle their love. Takeko refuses to give her the tattoo, which symbolizes a family secret. She also spurns Jade's advances - at first . . . $22.49 at

Nina's Heavenly DelightsWhen a feisty young woman returns to her home to attend her father´s funeral, she´s shocked to learn that her family has sold half of the shares in their Indian restaurant. Inspired by her colorful friends and budding new romance, she works towards saving the establishment and besting its competition. $19.99

She Likes Girls 3

The girls who like the girls are back in this jam-packed installment of the most popular lesbian shorts DVD series of all time. Enjoy the eye-candy and prepare to be entertained by these funny, sad, romantic, dramatic lesbian short movies from today’s top talents including: Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, The L Word), Julie Goldman (Big Gay Sketch Show), Cassandra Nicolaou (Interviews with My Next Girlfriend, Show Me), Roberta Munroe (Dani and Alice), and others. $22.49 at

Itty Bitty Titty
This latest fabulous movie from Jamie (But I’m a Cheerleader) Babbit is a dynamic, romantic, frequently funny and politically astute movie with a smart script, rockin’ soundtrack and terrific ensemble cast that includes sexy young Melonie Diaz as the new dyke on the block who falls in with a great gang of Feminist troublemakers called Clits in Action (CiA), and then falls in love with leader of the pack, Nicole Vicius. Unfortunately, Nicole has a girlfriend – Melanie Mayron – and, as they say, drama ensues. With Carly Pope, Daniela Sea, Guinevere Turner, Deak Evgenikos, Jenny Shimizu and Lauren Mollica; $14.99 at

Sex Toys
Whether your looking for something special for your partner, or a gift for a friend, sex toys are a fun option. Here are a few items that might make the perfect Holiday gift and won't break.

Clit Exciter
Designed specifically to hug your love button, this easy to use massager will have you gorging your clitoris on its engulfing head. Sturdy plastic makes this massager durable and reliable, while the waterproof construction ensures safe play whether you're wet or dry. The powerful multi-speed vibrations are controlled by a dial knob on the base, complete with ridged sides for better grip, and unlike most other clitoral massagers the Clit Exciter™ features an extra long shaft for ergonomic handling and easier reach. Meant to be held upside down, the top of the piece features an angled head with a central divot and a ring of raised nodes that will massage and tickle the outer portions of the clitoral area, while the divot portion encases the clitoris in a world of vibrating pleasure. As well, you can use the back portion and the sides of the rounded head for a broader massage of the area; $12.95 at

I Rub My Wormie is a waterproof, personal massager that was designed for the ultimate massage!!! Its long, rippled body is hard, but covered with ultra-soft skin and tiny, rounded nodules run the length of the Wormie's underbelly. Dual-speed control is easily operated with one hand to customize the level of vibration. Just press the cleverly hidden button and enjoy the strong vibrations running through this sweet-faced Wormie! Requires two C batteries. (Not included). $29.95 at

Babeland Body Kit
Celebrate sensuality with this collection of top-of-the-line home spa products from the new Babeland Body line. Babeland Body products are handmade in Northern California with all natural, primarily organic ingredients, formulated for the discerning customer. Plan for a decadent night with a 1-ounce bottle of fragrant Massage Oil, a 1/4-ounce bottle of tasty Lickable Oil, one sweet-smelling Massage Bar that melts when it comes in contact with skin, an aromatic Massage Candle, and a zesty Bath Fizzy to make clean-up extra fun. And keep the little light shining with the remarkable BabeLight, a vibrator so versatile that it's a keychain, vibrator, and flashlight all in one! Gift pack also includes two Babeland condoms and a matchbook for lighting the massage candle. $25 at Babeland.

Here are a few more items that will not only fit your budget, but will also make for a fun gift for your favorite lesbian.

Personalized Lesbian Holiday Ornament
Two Women "abstract art" Christmas Ornament with name personalization and date. for $14.99

Stylish Retro Lesbian T-Shirts
T-shirt designs include: Liquor in the front ... poker in the rear. Open 24 hours, I kiss girls better, Lezzy's oil and Lube...Let me Service you today...etc. $18 at

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vermont legislator plans push for gay marriage

AP news announced last week that a state legislator plans to introduce a bill to allow gay marriage in Vermont.

State Sen. John Campbell, a Democrat, says he will sponsor the bill in the legislative session beginning in January. He acknowledges it is unlikely to gain ground unless Gov. Jim Douglas signals support.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the civil union law is sufficient but wouldn't say whether he would veto a gay-marriage bill.

Only Massachusetts and Connecticut allow gay marriage. California voters recently overturned a ruling allowing the practice there.

Several other states sanction domestic partnerships or civil unions. Vermont became the first state to do so, in 2000.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban

USA Today Reports that Florida's strict law banning adoption of children by gay people was found unconstitutional Tuesday by a state judge who declared there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state's arguments that there is "a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children." She also noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, who represent gay foster parent Martin Gill, said the case was the first in the nation in which numerous experts in child psychology, social work and other fields testified that there is no science to justify a gay adoption ban.

"There is no 'morality' interest with regard to one group of individuals permitted to form the visage of a family in one context but prohibited in another," Lederman wrote in a 53-page decision. "There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting."

Because state attorneys immediately filed a notice of appeal, the ruling is likely to set the stage for a battle that could reach the Florida Supreme Court. A judge in gay-friendly Key West also found the law unconstitutional in September, but that ruling has not been appealed and has limited legal reach.

Florida is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. Arkansas voters last month approved a measure similar to a law in Utah that bans any unmarried straight or gay couples from adopting or fostering children. Mississippi bans gay couples, but not single gays, from adopting.

Tuesday's ruling means that Gill, 54, and his partner can adopt two brothers, ages 4 and 8, whom he has cared for as foster children since December 2004.

"I've never seen myself as less than anybody else," Gill said. "We're very grateful. Today, I've cried the first tears of joy in my life."

He said the two boys have been practicing writing their new last names, and the older one said: "That's what's going to make us a family."

The state presented experts who claimed there was a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse among gay couples, that they were more unstable than heterosexual unions and that the children of gay couples suffer a societal stigma.

Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association all support permitting same-sex couples to adopt.

Lederman rejected all the state's arguments soundly.

"It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent," the judge wrote. "A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs."

Florida Assistant Attorney General Valerie Martin said an appeal would be filed on behalf of the state Department of Children & Families. She declined additional comment.

Reaction came quickly from advocates of gay, lesbian and transgender parents who have long considered Florida's law the most draconian in the nation. Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Boston-based Family Equality Council, said the decision is a "long-overdue recognition of the equal ability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to raise happy, healthy families."

"The best interests of children should be decided by parents, families, professionals and judges, not opportunistic politicians and interest groups," Chrisler said.

John Stemberger, chairman of the successful drive earlier this month to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Florida, called the ruling "classic judicial activism" and predicted it would be reversed on appeal.

"Everywhere in the law where children are affected, the standard must always be what is in the best interest of the child," said Stemberger, an attorney in Orlando. "What is stunning to me is that when it comes to dealing with gays, that standard goes out the window. Children do better with a mother and a father."

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Apology for Prop 8?

This is an actual billboard in San Diego from Mission Gathering Church and it reads:
"Mission Gathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights and equality of so many in the name of God."

The Mission Gathering church was founded by a group of young adults who say they wanted "to embody God's grace to the emerging/postmodern culture they were a part of." It's affiliated with The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) which has approximately 723,000 members throughout North America and is the denomination Ronald Reagan was baptized in.

San Diego has been arguably the epicenter of the Prop 8. protest movement, with over 25,000 people marching in the streets in last week's "Day of Impact Protest"– the largest group anywhere.

No Withholds When it Comes to Love

By Larry James

It may be true that we often seek in others that which we are not willing to give ourselves. This is a correctable mistake. It is not a good reason to be in a relationship. If we are only being with someone for what they can do for us, that is called dependency.

What we think we lack, we think we will find in someone else. The sense of self we assume we lack can never happen by osmosis. What we think we need from others can never rub off on us. Being with a love partner who has the qualities we lack does not necessarily enable us to acquire those desired qualities ourselves.

It is simply only your choice to give yourself what you think you lack. What a wonderful gift. You deserve it! You do this through the awareness self-discovery inspires.

Being with someone who is independent will not cure our own leaning toward dependency. You must do this on your own. And preferably before entering into a new relationship. You alone hold the key to the cure.

It is time for us to know that we lack nothing. Nothing, except perhaps the insight to know that we already have everything there is, including that which we seek from someone else. We have only yet to discover it within ourselves. This takes time and patience and understanding and lots of love for ourselves. And you have to want to!

You must never withhold discovery of self from yourself.

It is important to give yourself the gift you have been withholding from yourself before you attempt a serious love relationship. You may discover that once deeply involved with a love partner, with all of the many nuances of a relationship, you may never again find time to concentrate on giving yourself what you think you need if you are in the throes of always putting your best foot forward in the relationship.

When we first meet, we want to look our best; we instinctively do our best to sell ourselves. We put aside our bad habits and turn into someone who is focused solely on looking good. Many of us never intentionally shift to this mode to deceive, but do so in an effort to impress our new partner.

Others become a chameleon. They become who they think their new love partner wants them to be, changing frequently, always attempting to live up to someone else's expectations.

This is a losing game. No one can win it. How frustrating this must be, not only for you but for your love partner as well. How confusing it must be to be with someone when you never know how they are going to be the next time you are with them. This kind of unpredictability will get you nowhere. The relationship is doomed from the beginning. You are lying to yourself. It is certainly not putting your best foot forward. It is a major withhold which is dishonesty in action.

This is not being who you really are. It is not being honest with the one you're with, and most certainly not being honest with yourself. It is withholding that side of you that must always eventually be revealed if two people are to really know each other. How can someone get to know you if you never reveal your true self to them?

Another tendency is to only see the good in our new love partner in the beginning. I believe it is totally appropriate to look for the good in everyone; however, by contrast, it is a potentially unhealthy tendency to purposely overlook what we do not want to see.

We become carried away with the romance of it all. We hear bells and whistles and see shooting stars. We are moonstruck. Give it time and the negative seems to always surface. It is only a matter of time before the bubble bursts.

I choose to trust that my love partner can listen to the real me and know that what I reveal about myself is really who I am. I trust her to love me for who I am, not for who she thinks I should be.

Some may argue that there are certain things that you must never share with your love partner. Perhaps. That is a personal decision. However, if trust is to be present in your relationship, you must demonstrate your own personal integrity. For me, this means no withholds.

For purposes of this conversation, I am referring to letting your lover know who you really are. I do not mean revealing something you have done in your distant or not too distant past that is not relevant to your current situation. That is being irresponsible and may hurt your love partner or perhaps even destroy the trust that may be present now.

If you have things that you feel you must reveal to your love partner that may cast a permanent shadow over your relationship, you would be well advised to first seek the services of a professional therapist or spiritual leader before you make the final decision to do so.

If both love partners strive for a state of truly being who they are, without withholds, they will find that they can see both the negative and positive sides of each other early in the relationship. There is great value in this.

I believe it is possible to put your best foot forward and at the same time, very quickly allow your new love partner to see who you really are. It is risky.

We wonder, "If we let them see who we really are, will they go away?" The truth is, if we don't let them see who we really are they may go away anyway. All we see is a puff of smoke!

People love people who are real.

I would rather present myself for who I am. My love partner will either love me for who I am or she won't. I would rather make myself vulnerable, take the risk and know where I stand, than to withhold who I really am, only to have my love partner leave in six months because the me I withheld was not someone she was able to be with.

Make a mutual commitment to no withholds, another of the keys to success in a healthy love relationship.

Lawsuit Forces eHarmony to Offer Gay & Lesbian Dating Services

Last Wednesday Fox News reported that Internet dating site eHarmony had settled a discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey, and will begin accepting personal ads from gay and lesbian singles for the first time.

A New Jersey resident, Eric McKinley, sued the eight-year-old company in 2005 after it rejected his personal ad because he was gay. The state of New Jersey took up the case last year, and the Attorney General's office found that eHarmony had violated the state's anti-discrimination laws.

eHarmony, which was absolved by a court of any wrongdoing, has until March 31st of 2009 to launch the new gay dating site. They also agreed to ensure that same-sex users will be matched using the same technology used for its heterosexual clients and will post photographs of same-sex couples in the "Diversity" section of their web site and in advertising materials. The settlement also stated that eHarmony pay $50,000 to the state and $5,000 to Eric McKinley, the man who originally brought the suit against the company.

eHarmony plans to launch the new site called "Compatible Partners," and offer 10,000 free six-month subscriptions to interested parties. "We believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business," eHarmony said in a statement. "We ultimately decided it was best to settle with the Attorney General since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable."

The New Jersey settlement is not the only lawsuit filed against eHarmony for failing to accommodate sex-same users.

Linda Carlson, a California resident, sued the online dating service in May of 2007, alleging that it discriminated against gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Carlson said she tried to use the web site a month earlier to meet a woman, but was refused based on her sexual orientation. When Carlson wrote to eHarmony to complain, the company refused to change its policy.

The lawsuit claimed that by solely offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Such outright discrimination is hurtful and disappointing for a business open to the public in this day and age," Carlson said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which is being litigated in Los Angeles Superior Court, named Inc., Warren and Warren's wife, Marylyn, the company's former vice president, as defendants. It seeks class-action status, a jury trial and unspecified damages.

"We believe that this case is now essentially moot, and we're confident that we will prove that in court," Johnson said in a statement provided to "Now that we're entering the same-sex matching market, we fail to see what the Carlson plaintiffs could achieve through further litigation."

The Associated Press
Fox News

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tell Them The Truth

A few months ago I heard Mike Robbins speak at an event I attended. I was extremely moved by his ability to convey passion, appreciation and gratitude through his presentation. Mike is a personal development coach, as well as the author of Focus on the Good Stuff: The power of Appreciation. Mike travels around the country empowering others and reminding them to focus more of their attention on what IS working, what they appreciate about those around them, and what they are proud of about themselves.

The following article is one of the many that he sends out on a monthly basis, I hope you enjoy it.

Tell Them The Truth
by Mike Robbins

Sometimes we think that appreciation is all about being “nice.” That’s not the case. Appreciation, in my opinion, is about recognizing the value of someone or something and about being able to empower ourselves and others. It is, however, also about coming from a place of gratitude, respect, and truth in our relationships with the people around us. Giving people honest feedback can be one of the best ways to appreciate them and let them know we that we care about them. This, however, isn’t always easy.

First of all, to give someone honest feedback you must have a foundation of trust and appreciation in your relationship with them. It’s also important to ask their permission and make sure it’s okay with them before you launch into your feedback.

Often we wait until it’s too late or we don’t say something because we’re scared about how they might react. It’s easy to say nothing or to just “blow smoke.” However, it takes real courage to speak your truth to another person.

The key is your intention. If your intention is to make a difference for that person, “clear” something that might be in your way with them, or help them see something they may not be able to see – you’re coming from a place that can empower and ultimately support that person. If your intention is to be superior, to show them how wrong they are and how right you are, or some version of either of these two things – you’re coming from your ego and your “truth” will most likely push them away.

I’ve recently been confronted with a number of situations like this in my own life. I’ve handled some of them very poorly - either by not speaking up or doing so in a self-righteous or ineffective way. There have been a handful of situations, however, where I’ve had the courage to speak up and say what was on my mind and in doing so something wonderful happened. Regardless of how we go about this, in the end it’s almost always better for us to speak up than not. We learn more about ourselves, get closer to the other person, and grow in the process.

When someone speaks a “hard truth” to me, I know that have a tendency to push back and defend myself initially. Once that happens, however, I’m usually able to hear their feedback and learn from it. Most importantly, I always appreciate their willingness and courage to say something honest and potentially vulnerable to me.

Look at your relationships - especially the most important ones. Where are you not telling the truth, not giving feedback, or worried to say something honest? What would it take for you to be willing to tell them the truth? What are you afraid of? What would be possible in your relationship with them if you spoke up?

I challenge to you to pick a few important people in your life that you’ve been afraid to speak your truth to and just do it. Remember that speaking your truth (with appreciation, honesty, and kindness) is a great gift for the people in your life and is one of the best ways you can acknowledge them and strengthen your relationship.

How will you speak the truth with appreciation and honesty?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

California Supreme Court takes action on Prop 8

The following information has been provided by the Judicial Council of California:

The California Supreme Court today denied requests to stay the enforcement or implementation of Proposition 8, and at the same time agreed to decide several issues arising out of the passage of Proposition 8.

The court's order, issued in the first three cases that had been filed directly in the state's highest court challenging the validity of Proposition 8, directed the parties to brief and argue three issues:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

The court issued its order in three cases filed on behalf of a variety of parties, including same-sex couples who seek to enter into marriage despite the passage of Proposition 8, a same-sex couple who married in California prior to the adoption of Proposition 8, and a number of cities and counties whose officials seek to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Petitioners in each of these cases seek an order directing the relevant state officials to refrain from implementing, enforcing, or applying Proposition 8.

In response to the petitions, the Attorney General filed a preliminary opposition, in which he urged the court to assume jurisdiction over these cases to decide the important legal issues presented, but also argued that the court should not stay the operation of Proposition 8 pending the court's resolution of the issues. The proponents of Proposition 8 also responded to the petitions, seeking to intervene as formal parties in the action and also urging the court to accept the cases for decision. The court's order granted the motion to intervene filed by the proponents of Proposition 8.

In its order, the court established an expedited briefing schedule, under which briefing will be completed in January 2009 and oral argument potentially could be held as early as March 2009.

Six justices - Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Justice Marvin R. Baxter, Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Justice Ming W. Chin, Justice Carlos R. Moreno, and Justice Carol A. Corrigan - signed the court's order, although Justice Moreno indicated that he would grant the requests to stay the operation of Proposition 8 pending the court's resolution of these matters.

Justice Joyce L. Kennard would deny these petitions without prejudice to the filing in the Supreme Court of an appropriate action to determine Proposition 8's effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before Proposition 8's adoption.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Show Governor Schwarzenegger your Support

Governor Schwarzenegger is getting bombarded by the YES ON 8 supporters for his position on same-sex marriage, encouraging the ongoing H8 protests, and voicing his hope that the California Supreme Court will once again overturn the discriminatory amendment.

Click here
to send Governor Schwarzenegger (and our supportive legislators) an email letting them know you appreciate their support. Just scroll down to the "your Information" section, fill in the required info and you're done!? Your email will be sent automatically to all the right people.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


by Judy Kinney

This slogan taps into the heart and soul of how the Law of Attraction works. The combination of “YES WE CAN!!” and “YES I CAN!!” sends a resounding message to the universe that you’re focused and committed to creating your life.  Clearly, you know that your desire is your destiny, and there is no reason to wait for anyone’s approval or understanding. 

This command, whether singular or plural, conveys that the truest revolutions begin within each of us. I know you’ve observed and experienced how exponentially powerful this energy becomes as you engage with others. I know you can launch your power to a whole other dimension by grounding your contagious energy in love, hope, and joy.

What becomes possible when you fully liberate that part of you that knows that YES I/WE CAN?

Of course I’ve come across a zillion ways others are fueling hope with their words. Here are a few examples that have inspired my personal YES I/WE CAN sensibility this past week. I hope you also find them uplifting. AND, I’d love to know what you are finding inspiring these days!

“our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared” and “we can put (our) hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.” President Elect Obama’s Election Night Speech

“Through kindness, and thus, affection, honesty, truth, and justice toward everyone else, we ensure our own benefit.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his introduction to Kindness by Piero Ferrucci, found on Exquisite Safari’s Global Cooling blog post 

YES WE CAN!! “Be motivated not by fear and hatred but by the "better angels of our nature," in Abraham Lincoln's phrase.” Rob Brezsny

YES WE CAN!! “. . .remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities.’ Mary Baker Eddy (‘Taking Offense.’ (1883-1896) Prose Works, Miscellaneous Writings, p.223.)”
Found on Sila’s Social Networking as Spiritual School blog post on Vibrant Nation

Foster community wide liberation for all families by increasing the visibility of LGBT families. Families You Know

“Strong asking and a little allowing go a long, long, long way” Abraham-Hicks on Wall Street and economics.

Feel simultaneously good AND unruly

Decide how you want your life to be!

Judy Kinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women seeking love like you know it can be. Find her at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friends and Lovers

by Larry James, personal relationship coach.

I am learning to see my love partner without distortion; to value her as highly as I value myself; to give without expecting anything in return; to commit myself fully to her welfare. Only then can love move freely between us without apparent effort. It’s unconditional love between best friends.

When we are able to love in this selfless manner, we experience a release of energy. We cease to be consumed by the details of our relationship, or the need to operate within the artificial structure of exercises; we spontaneously treat each other with love and respect. Love becomes automatic.

My forever lover is my very best friend!

I believe that friendship among lovers is essential to unconditional love and is the primary ingredient for a deep and lasting love relationship. I trust her with the deepest murmurings of my soul. She knows the best and the worst of me and yet loves me through and through -- a friend as well as a lover.

In order to experience the kind of relationship I want, I accept the fact that, in order to understand each other, my love partner and I must have clearly developed channels of communication. I cultivate transparency of myself by being a master in the art of self-disclosure. I know that when the inclination to reveal myself to the one I love is blocked, I close myself to her and experience emotional difficulties. I promise to never hide behind a facade.

I will forever practice telling my love partner exactly what pleases me, decreasing her reliance on mental telepathy. I express preferences instead of demands. I believe that I can never know myself except as an outcome of disclosing myself to her.

In ways I may not fully understand, self-disclosure helps me to see things, feel things, imagine things, hope for things that I could never have thought possible. The invitation to transparency, then, is really an invitation to authenticity. It is also an invitation to allow myself to be vulnerable.

When I allow my love partner to see me for who I really am right now, I am less afraid I will be rejected in the future. When my love partner accepts and loves me unconditionally, I know I will never have to hide in the relationship in the future.

To have inner peace it is necessary to be consistently loving in what I think, in what I say and in what I do. I think thoughts of love. I speak words of love. I demonstrate unconditional love for my love partner in all that I do.

Openness means being willing to communicate my deepest feelings. There can be no intimacy without conversation. The only way my love partner and I can truly communicate is to tell the truth. Truthful communication moves love partners and creates a condition of unity, love and satisfaction.

For intimacy to grow in a healthy love relationship there can be no withholding; feelings - both positive and negative - must be shared equally between love partners. The act of withholding the truth is always potentially a lie.

The energy required for the self-discipline of honesty is far less than the energy required for withholding. My love partner and I are dedicated to the truth and live in the open, and through the exercise of our courage to live in the open, we become free from fear. Fear cannot exist whenever insight is valued above feeling frightened.

I listen when my lover shares without making judgment. My heart is always open to hear what my love partner has to say.

Someone said that it is possible to be together so much that we suffocate each other. Perhaps. I do not allow this to happen in my love relationship. I believe that love includes letting go when my partner needs freedom; holding her close when she needs care. I am committed to creating space in my relationship when needed.

At the heart of love, there is a simple secret: the lover lets the beloved be free. My love partner and I require different mixes of independence and mutuality, and the mix is freely discussed and renegotiated from time to time when necessary.

When two people in a love relationship are complete within themselves they do not experience the love they have for others as diminishing, detracting, or threatening to the love they share. They are secure within the relationship.

Insecurities bring forth jealousy, which, in effect, is a cry for more love. It is within your rights to ask for more affection when self-doubts surface, however, the indirect way that jealousy asks for it is counterproductive. Excessive possessiveness is inappropriate. Jealousy is the surest way to drive away the very person you may fear losing.

It is an irony that the more possessive I am, the more love I demand, the less I receive; while the more freedom I give, the less I demand, the more love I receive. I take great pleasure in watching my love partner be fully free and fully alive!

We encourage each other to widen our circle of friends. We each seek to ever expand our horizons. We enjoy celebrating life together and with friends!

I know that if I expect to be the only person who matters to my love partner I am setting myself up for disappointment. As wonderful as true love can be, no one person can meet all your needs. My love partner is, and will always be my very best friend, and she is not my only friend.

I fully expect my love partner to have other passionate interests other than me. To extend the freedom to develop her own interests in other people and hobbies can only empower our relationship. Freedom can never confine. It can never be detrimental to the relationship. It can only open up many exciting and previously undiscovered opportunities to enjoy life.

When my lover is pursuing areas in which she excels, she is happy. I enjoy her most when she is happy. People are easier to love when they are happy.

Trust is forever present in our love relationship; trust and deep commitment to each other, and loyalty and devotion. This allows us the freedom to care about people of the opposite sex and to enjoy friendships with them, and when we sit down together in the evening to share the events of the day, we do not have to ask if our love partner has been faithful.

The stronger and more secure we become, the more we are willing to be ourselves while encouraging our love partner to do the same.

Genuine unconditional love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually seeks to cultivate it, even at the risk of separation or loss. The ultimate goal remains the spiritual growth of my love partner, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.

I believe that no matter how committed my forever love relationship, I will always be "single" as well as a part of a couple. Unconditional love is a special, intense connection, and it is not an answer to all or even most individual problems. No one can make me happy but me.

Join The Impact on Saturday, November 15th

On Saturday, November 15th, at the exact same time across the country (10:30 PST) , thousands of people will march, rally and protest the passage of Prop 8. Will you help to make this grassroots event the tipping point for marriage equality in America?

Click here to find a "Join the Impact" rally in your area.

For more information, go to:

Did the Mormons Plan Prop 8 For Eleven Years?

The LDS church's leadership is now being accused of targeting same-sex couples as far back as March of 1997. An inner church memo from the late Mormon president Gordon B. Hinckley, shows that the church was carefully planning to "move ahead" on the assault of gay families, while hoping to use the Catholic hierarchy as a p.r. front. Check out the news clip below:

Article of Faith: Keeping the faith after outcomes of ballot measures impacting LGBT people

by the Rev. Ruth Garwood and the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer
National Religious Leadership Roundtable

We have come through a historic election and many of us were involved in important ways, working for the issues that we care about. Regardless of how one feels about the presidential results, the votes on ballot measures addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) concerns were disappointing. While these ballot measures were only in a handful of states, the results affect us all. We write to express our solidarity, the assurance that we are not alone, acknowledge the significant progress made in spite of the results, and the good news of God’s presence with us, especially as we seek to move forward from this place.

First and foremost, we praise God and lift up with deep gratitude all who gave so much to the cause of equality and justice in this election as volunteers or staff to campaigns, with donations and through their prayers. Thank you!

We witnessed an unprecedented effort to defeat a discriminatory constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, in California. People of faith provided significant leadership and support to this effort, joining with others to raise millions of dollars and log thousands of volunteer hours in phone banks, canvassing neighborhoods and getting out the vote. Similar efforts were waged to defeat ballot measures in Arizona and Florida, as well as to defeat an anti-gay measure in Arkansas affecting adoption rights. During many of these campaigns, we once again endured an onslaught of homophobic lies and deceit that demeaned our lives, and devalued our relationships and families in order to enshrine bigotry into the core documents of more state governments.

How could we not be disappointed and angry? How could we not carry a deep sense of righteous indignation at this injustice? The votes on our lives and our equality are unfair, unjust and wrong. They violate the core promise of our faith to treat others as we want to be treated.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann adds, “The moral arc of the gospel bends toward inclusion.” The testament of the open and affirming movement within the United Church of Christ and beyond is that we are making progress, mostly in small steps and sometimes in leaps and bounds. Although the progress of equality and justice may have been slowed, we continue forward.

Even in disappointment, there are many things about which we can be proud and hopeful. The election results may not feel like progress now, but we must continue to learn and grow from all of our efforts, the relationships that have been built and the amazing organizing networks that have been created.

Let us be present to each other, especially now, as we cope with these disappointing results, learn from them and move on. So, let us attend to one another with love and compassion, being vessels for one another of God’s gracious, loving and healing presence. May the solidarity we share strengthen us and our resolve for the challenging journey that lies ahead.

The struggle is far from over and one day our “yes” will come. This is a confident hope, rooted in the gospel promise of love, justice and abundant life. “God is turning the page!” as our sister, the Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder says, “And, if it is God’s will, then there is nothing in heaven or earth that can stop it.” So, let us continue to be vigilant, creative in our efforts, just in our actions and loving in all we do.

May God bless you, each and every one, and may God bring you the peace that surpasses understanding — the peace that only God can give

About the Authors: The Rev. Ruth Garwood is the executive director of the United Church of Christ (UCC) Coalition for LGBT Concerns and the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer is the executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy in Wider Church Ministries of the UCC. Both are members of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gay couples marry in Connecticut

Associated Press reported that same-sex couples began marrying in Connecticut on Wednesday after a judge cleared the way, a victory for gay-rights activists still enraged over the vote last week that cost them the right to wed in California.

On Oct. 10th, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. A lower-court judge entered a final order permitting same-sex marriages on Wednesday morning.

"Today, Connecticut sends a message of hope an inspiration to lesbian and gay people throughout this country who simply want to be treated as equal citizens by their government," said the plaintiff's attorney, Bennett Klein.

Massachusetts is the only other state that allows gay marriages. Like the highest courts in that state and Connecticut, the California Supreme Court had ruled this past June that same-sex marriage was legal. But after thousands of marriages were conducted in that state, California voters last week approved an amendment which overturned that ruling.

Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage also passed last week in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

The California vote has sparked protests and several lawsuits asking that state's Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

A group of Southern California activists has launched an effort to have simultaneous protests outside state houses and city halls in every U.S. state on Saturday. Word of the event has spread through social networking sites such as Facebook, and protests have been scheduled outside the U.S. Capitol and in more than 100 cities.

According to the state public health department, 2,032 civil union licenses were issued in Connecticut between October 2005 and July 2008.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."

Connecticut voters could have opened the door to ending gay marriage last week by voting for a constitutional convention to amend the state's constitution, but the measure was defeated.

Peter Wolfgang, the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a gay-marriage opponent, acknowledged that banning gay weddings in Connecticut will be difficult but vowed not to give up. He condemned the high court's decision as undemocratic.

"Unlike California, we did not have a remedy," Wolfgang said. "It must be overturned with patience, determination and fortitude."

The state's 2005 civil union law will remain on the books, at least for now. Same-sex couples can continue to enter civil unions, which give them the same legal rights and privileges in Connecticut as married couples without the status of being married. Several states, including California, allow domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples.


Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut, and Lisa Leff in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keith Olbermann, Prop 8 and The Human Heart

Never did I expect to be so moved by Keith Olbermann's Special Comment segment on prop 8 last night. With no personal investment in it for himself, Keith Olbermann stated to the world what many of us have felt in our hearts, but perhaps just couldn't articulate, about the passing of Proposition 8.

With amazing passion and trembling voice, he states, "...this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it. If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

He also reminds us of the United State's cruel history of marriage discrimination..."If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967."

He goes on to say, "What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Please, take the six minutes and watch the video below, you won't regret it...

Lawmakers join call to overturn Prop. 8

The San Francisco Examiner reported the following story yesterday:

More than one-third of California's lawmakers added their voices Monday to the chorus calling on the state's highest court to overturn the prohibition on same-sex marriage approved by voters last week.

Forty-four members of the California Legislature filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support one of the three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8. The case, brought on behalf of gay couples who have not yet married, argues the ban should be tossed out because voters did not have the authority to make such a dramatic change in state law.

The brief argues that the gay marriage ban improperly usurped the state Supreme Court's duty to protect minority groups from discrimination. Proposition 8 overturned the court's May decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass are among the signers.

The Anti-Defamation League, the Bar Association of San Francisco and three other legal or civil rights groups also submitted letters supporting efforts to get the court to delay implementation of Proposition 8 so gay couples can continue getting married until the legal issues are resolved.

Also Monday, the Campaign for California Families asked the court for permission to become an official party to all three cases, which currently name only the state health department and Attorney General Jerry Brown as respondents.

The conservative group, which unsuccessfully sought to get a gay marriage ban on the ballot that also would have stripped same-sex couples of domestic partner benefits, said in its motion to intervene that state officials would not adequately defend the rights of voters.

Lesbian Parent's Attacked at Child's School

Last week in Toronto Canada, a lesbian couple was physically attacked by another parent outside of their children's elementary school.

The local news reported, "Ms. Dimitriou, 30, and her lesbian partner Jane Currie, 37, said Friday they still can’t believe what happened. 'He [Mark Scott] clocked me right in the face, like right in the side of my face, and I hit my truck and I couldn’t see anything, like I blacked out,' Ms. Dimitriou said. 'I was awake but I could hear everything but I just couldn't see anything. Then I think he clocked me again right in the top of my head.'

Anji Dimitriou said she was helping her son put his backpack into the car when another child’s father came toward her and began yelling, "which of you two men spoke to my kid? Fucking dyke lesbians." Then "out of nowhere" he spit in her face and punched her."

Jane Currie saw what was happening to her partner and rushed over. “I had said to him, ‘you asshole what are you doing? You just beat a woman’ (then) bang I got it” she said.

To make matters worse, the attack occurred in front of the couple's three children, the attacker's children, and other kids at a school.

“Kids were screaming. Little kids. It happened right where kids go to get on the school bus. They were so afraid,” Jane said as she began to cry. “You try and explain that to your kids. They’re petrified. So scared they can’t sleep at night.”

Durham Regional Police Sgt. Paul McCurbin said Mark Scott, 43, of Oshawa faces two charges of assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident.

School officials said a “no trespass” order has also been issued by the school.

Ontario News

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Can we do NOW?

With all that is going on in the news with the anti-gay marriage amendments passing, many of us in the LGBT community are wondering what can we do NOW?

Well, one of my favorite lesbian sites, Lez Get Real, came up with a checklist of things we can do to voice our disagreement with the gay marriage bans in Florida, California and Arizona. 

Check it out below:

___File a Lawsuit. Lawsuits are being filed on behalf of the couples who were married in California, and you should check to see if there are lawsuits you should be included in where you live. Filing a lawsuit when your civil rights have been violated is a duty you have to yourself and those who look up to you, and can have a huge impact on these discriminatory laws.

___Sign Petitions. Voter signatures can work wonders, and you should sign every petition that comes your way that will aid in removing the gay marriage bans in Florida, Arizona, and California, and that will prevent gay marriage bans from occurring in other states as well. A petition you should sign right now is the petition to remove the tax exempt status of the Mormon Church which you can find here and the petition to Invalidate Prop 8 here. Petition can help change the legislature.

____ Donate to The Invalidate Prop 8 Campaign. Send a message to the Mormon Church, whose members raised more than $15 million to fund the deceitful advertising campaign for Proposition 8, the initiative that takes away the right to marry for same sex couples in California! Make a donation to support the legal organizations working to invalidate Proposition 8 and to fund grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. For every donation of $5 or more, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will send a postcard to President Thomas Monson’s office in Salt Lake City, acknowledging your donation in his name.

____ Attend a Local Protest. You can find a list of protests going on around the nation here, including a national cry to call for equal rights at the steps of your city hall on November 15th. Bring signs with valid points plus your camera or take video. Be friendly and peaceful to the media, make your point with your signs. Wear your walking shoes and bring a bottle of water. More info on the National Protest can be found at

____ Join The Rainbow Dragon Network. The Rainbow Dragon Network is a list of organizations around the world who are ready to be called upon when members of the LGBT community are in need. If you lead a local LGBT outreach organization or program, please send your contact details to

Friday, November 7, 2008

Did the Mormon Church Steal Our Rights?

Some people may not be aware of this, but the IRS has a law that states Religious organizations, including churches, risk losing their tax exempt status if they play a substantial role in influencing legislation (commonly known as lobbying).

Since the Mormon church openly encouraged members to vote Yes on Proposition 8 and helped fund the campaign through their member's contributions, I think that it is only fair that they get what is coming to them, loss of their Tax Exempt Status.

Check out the website and petition link below, the site is requesting that the IRS investigate the Mormon Church for their involvement in Prop 8.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Permission Granted!

by Judy Kinney

I was mad and sad Wednesday when California’s Prop 8 passed. I was resolved that the other propositions would pass, but I was counting on Californians to be smarter, dammit! After a few minutes of sliding into despair, I stopped. I realized that wanting someone else to sanction me and my love was a slippery slope. I know that this yearning is a danger zone, and is completely unnatural. Of course, the ability to create the life, love, and family we desire is the most basic right available to each of us!!

Do we need a law to make this true? No! It is just true. Since acting on your love is THAT true, THAT basic, you’re completely free to create your life. Remember that the universal law of attraction wants you to flourish, but ensures that whatever you focus on expands.

What do you want? What are your core desires?

  • Love?
  • Health?
  • Prosperity?
  • Understanding?
  • Community?
  • Happiness?
  • Freedom?

Each of these desires is naturally and readily available to you as you turn your attention in that direction and claim it. Consider that there are at least a zillion ways to create your life, love, and family.

Think about it. You are completely free to create your life and love. What’s your pleasure? I revel in knowing that society’s natural progressive movement is advanced each and every time you act on what feels good to you.

Personally, my life is far too enjoyable to seek, or wait for permission, sanction or understanding from others (especially people that I don’t even know!). Can I confess that I can’t identify a single part of my life that would be better if I could legally marry my sweetie?

AND, I hope you always feel completely free to create and enjoy your life as you desire!!

Thank you! The world is a much better place because you’re here! Enjoy it all!

Judy Kinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women seeking love & life like they know it can be. You can also find her at

Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8, Should It Pass

Legal Papers Claim Initiative Procedure Cannot Be Used To Undermine the Constitution's Core Commitment To Equality For Everyone


SAN FRANCISCO: The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution' s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group – lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first.

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.

"If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw – it removes a protected constitutional right – here, the right to marry – not from all Californians, but just from one group of us," said Jenny Pizer, a staff attorney with Lambda Legal. "That's too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters."

"A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities. Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution, " added Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

The groups filed the lawsuit today in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California and 6 same-sex couples who did not marry before Tuesday's election but would like to be able to marry now.

The groups filed a writ petition in the California Supreme Court before the elections presenting similar arguments because they believed the initiative should not have appeared on the ballot, but the court dismissed that petition without addressing its merits. That earlier order is not precedent here.

"Historically, courts are reluctant to get involved in disputes if they can avoid doing so," said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of NCLR. "It is not uncommon for the court to wait to see what happens at the polls before considering these legal arguments. However, now that Proposition 8 may pass, the courts will have to weigh in and we believe they will agree that Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place."

This would not be the first time the court has struck down an improper voter initiative. In 1990, the court stuck down an initiative that would have added a provision to the California Constitution stating that the "Constitution shall not be construed by the courts to afford greater rights to criminal defendants than those afforded by the Constitution of the United States." That measure was invalid because it improperly attempted to strip California's courts of their role as independent interpreters of the state's constitution.

In a statement issued earlier today, the groups stated their conviction, which is shared by the California Attorney General, that the state must continue to honor the marriages of the 18,000 lesbian and gay couples who have already married in California. A copy of the statement as well as the writ petition filed today is available at:,, and

In addition to the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR, the legal team bringing the writ also includes the Law Office of David C. Codell; Munger Tolles & Olson, LLP; and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rachel Maddow Honored by Out Mag

My favorite lesbian Pundit, Rachel Maddow, is being honored by Out Magazine as one of the top 100 men and women who made 2008 a year to remember.

Out magazine writes:
It's been almost as big a year for Rachel Maddow as it's been for the political world she covers in her nightly MSNBC show. The 35-year-old Rhodes scholar, a TV novice but veteran radio commentator (with Air America since its 2004 founding), seems to be having the time of her life. "I think of this as a chance to talk about the news on TV for an hour each day," she told the Los Angeles Times. "How awesome is that?"

Pretty awesome indeed, according to the audience response: Hers was the most successful launch of a new show on MSNBC, doubling that channel's viewership in her time slot from 800,000 to 1.7 million viewers. "I'm a big lesbian who looks like a man," she told one interviewer. "I am not, like, Anchor Babe, and I'm never gonna be."

Go Rachel!!!

Proud and Ashamed to be an American Today

I am feeling both proud and ashamed to be an American today. I am proud that the American people have stepped up to the plate and chose change over fear by voting for Barak Obama. However, I am beyond disappointed that while the American people are finally willing to elect an African-American president, they still choose to discriminate against LGBT Americans all over the country.

Voters in both Arizona and Florida passed amendments that will deny LGBT Americans the right to marry, and in some cases, the right to civil unions or domestic partnerships. And in Arkansas, voters passed an amendment that would eliminate the right for anyone who is not "legally" married (specifically the LGBT community) to adopt or foster children. And of course we can't forget Proposition 8 in California, which at the time I am writing this post is still too close to call, but appears likely to pass, but by a small margin.

However, even with these defeats, HRC President, Joe Solmonese, is far from ready to give up this fight. “We all know that our marriages did not begin with a court decision and they will not end with a vote on a discriminatory amendment.”

“In California, we firmly believe that all votes should be counted before calling the race. Several million votes in CA have yet to be counted. We are waiting to see the final results from those ballots and we should not be speculating about something as important as people’s fundamental rights,” continued Solmonese.

“Although we lost our battles in Arizona and Florida, we will not allow the lies and hate—the foundation on which our opponents built their campaign—to break our spirits. We are on the right side of history—and we will continue this journey."

“The continuing movement in public opinion underscores that it is only a matter of time before we undo this loss and add more states to the march for marriage equality,” Solmonese continued.

We can only hope that President Elect Barak Obama, who did happen to mention the gay community in his acceptance speech, will help to lead the American people towards a more compassionate and less discriminatory view of the LGBT community.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Have What You Want

"It is easier to have what you want, than what you think you can have." -Michael Neill

Do you ever wonder if your desires are unrealistic? Do you reduce your standards as your body shows its age, the value of your stocks drop, or when true love seems elusive? I know I occasionally forget that I get to have exactly what I want. Michael's statement above has become my personalized pot of gold lately, inspiring me as I move through my day. Of course I want to share it with you!

Why is it is easier to have exactly what you want than what you think you can get? As you know, the universe matches the energy contained within your beliefs and sends you what you're expecting to receive. When you focus on what you really want, you'll naturally send out pure energy that is in concert with your true self. Your energy becomes expansive whether you choose to move toward your heart's desire one step at a time, or in leaps and bounds.

I know you've experienced this in your life. You've gotten the job, salary, entrance into the school, and/or the date you really wanted. You've tapped into the inner knowing and easy flow that comes when you're aligned with your desires. This is the energy of pure desire.

Conversely, you drag fear with you on your quest when you settle for what you think you can get. Your fear becomes a dominant part of what you're attracting. You've experienced this too when your "just in case" approach to work, love, and or health becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, yes?

Let's highlight the energetic contrast of these two approaches to life. Take a few minutes with each scenario below, notice what your energy and body feel like.

Begin by thinking about something that you really want. Imagine yourself having it.

Now, suggest to yourself that you're being unrealistic, and adjust your desires accordingly.

What's your level of enthusiasm with each choice? What's your body's response to each option?

Which energy do you want to be sending out to the universe?

How would your life be different if you approached life with this energy?

I've found that the easiest way for me to normalize this approach in my life is by simply repeating this phrase throughout the day:

"It is easier for me to have what I want, than what I think I can get" "What do I want?"

I find my life naturally and effortlessly adjusts toward what I really want. It's amazing! Try it and let me know how your life evolves!

Judy Kinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women seeking love like you know it can be. Find her at

Who will get the LGBT Vote?

Alright fellow lesbians, election day is upon us, let's go out and make history or maybe I should say herstory!

If your still having difficulty choosing which presidential candidate to vote for, below are some facts about where the main candidates and their running mates stand on issues of importance to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community. And no matter what you decide, be sure to get out there and VOTE!

Barack Obama (Democratic Presidential Candidate):

  • Being gay or lesbian is not a choice. (Nov 2007)
  • Decisions about marriage should be left to the states. (Oct 2007)
  • Homosexuality no more immoral than heterosexuality. (Oct 2007)
  • Ok to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples; they know already. (Sep 2007)
  • Has any marriage broken up because two gays hold hands? (Aug 2007)
  • We need strong civil unions, not just weak civil unions. (Aug 2007)
  • Legal rights for gays are conferred by state, not by church. (Aug 2007)
  • Disentangle gay rights from the word "marriage". (Aug 2007)
  • Gay marriage is less important that equal gay rights. (Aug 2007)
  • Gay rights movement is somewhat like civil rights movement. (Aug 2007)
  • Let each denominations decide on recognizing gay marriage. (Jul 2007)
  • Supports health benefits for gay civil partners. (Oct 2006)
  • Opposes gay marriage; supports civil union & gay equality. (Oct 2006)
  • Marriage not a human right; non-discrimination is. (Oct 2004)
  • Include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws. (Jul 1998)

Joe Biden (Democratic VP Candidate):

  • Nobody asks if you're gay in a foxhole. (Jun 2007)
  • Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
  • Rated 78% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)

John McCain (Republican Candidate):

  • Don't ask, don't tell is working; don't tamper with it. (Jun 2007)
  • Leave gay marriage to the states. (Jan 2007)
  • 1994: No Senate hiring discrimination by sexual orientation. (Jan 2004)
  • Would be “comfortable” with a gay president. (Dec 1999
  • Ban on same-sex marriage is unRepublican; leave it to states. (Nov 2006)
  • Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
  • Rated 33% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (Dec 2006)

Sarah Palin (Repulican VP Candidate):

  • Opposes same-sex marriage.
  • Supported 1998 Alaska state constitution amendment banning gay marriage.
  • Vetoed a bill that barred same-sex partners from receiving state employee benefits under grounds of the constitutionality of the measure.
  • Ties to conservative anti-gay groups like Family Research Council

If your looking for more information on qualified, committed, openly GLBT candidates running in your state, check out the Victory Fund.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

LBGT Discriminatory Amendments on the Ballot this November

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am sure by now you have all heard about California's Prop 8, which if passed, would eliminate the right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry in California. However, California is not the only state dealing with anti-gay and discriminatory amendments on the ballot in this election, other states such as Arizona, Florida and Arkansas, are also fighting for LGBT rights.

Arizona's GLBT population is dealing with Proposition 102, also known by its supporters as the Marriage Protection Amendment. If enacted, it would amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Arizona is the only state whose voters have rejected a same-sex marriage ban in past elections. The 2006 rejection of Proposition 107 was widely attributed to provisions interpreted to prohibit government recognition of domestic partnerships and civil unions.

Florida is facing their own Marriage Protection Amendment, known as Proposition 2. The official text states, "This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." The one positive thing I could find about this amendment, is that in Florida for this proposition to pass, the it will require a 60% majority.


The state of Arkansas is not dealing with same-sex marriage this year, instead, they are dealing with a nasty adoption ban called the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban. This is a citizen-initiated state statute that would make it illegal for any individual cohabiting outside of a valid marriage to adopt or provide foster care to minors. While the measure was designed to prohibit same-sex couples from being adoptive or foster parents, this measure would also apply to all otherwise qualified couples who are not legally married.

Florida Dept of State Elections Division
Arkansas Ballot Measures
California Secretary of State

A Lesbian Fairy Tale Wedding

In this Sundays San Francisco chronicle there was a great article, written by Marisa Lagos, about a lesbian couple's Storybook Wedding. Since I realize many of my blog readers are out of state, and some even in other countries, I thought you all might enjoy reading this one yourself. It may be a long one, but I think it is well worth it.

Women's storybook wedding - politics aside

Some girls dream of a fairy tale wedding. Karina Keethe, on the other hand, dreamed of having kids - seven of them. And Andrea Cernusak never really thought about marriage or children at all - until she met Karina.

The couple's history may not be typical, but their wedding, on Oct. 24, was as traditional as could be. There was a white dress, flowers, family, cake, dancing and, of course, flower girls and ring bearers. Eleven of them, just as Karina wanted.

"She's been maternal since she was maternal with her Strawberry Shortcake dolls," said Karina's father, Larry Keethe. "Kids follow her around like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. I think she's been a nanny for almost every kid in the city."

Andrea, meanwhile, was a tomboy as a kid; her mother remembers BB guns, bows and arrows and pirate costumes. Being the baby of four children, Andrea didn't spend much time with kids younger than her. And being gay, growing up in Idaho, marriage didn't seem like much of an option anyway.

"I never thought I would have a white wedding," Andrea, now 30, recalled.

Andrea and Karina, 29, already knew they wanted to be together for life, and when the California Supreme Court struck down a ban on same-sex marriage in May, the once faraway idea of getting married suddenly became very real.

"One Friday night, we're sitting in our living room, talking about (the court decision) casually, and I said, 'I want to get married,' " Karina said.

Andrea agreed to the sudden proposal, thinking that the couple might do something small the next spring. But when they learned that a measure to ban same-sex marriage would probably appear on the November ballot, they decided to marry Oct. 24, so politics could not spoil the sentiment of their special day. They are among the thousands of same-sex couple rushing to exchange vows throughout the state before the election.

According to San Francisco city officials, nearly 1,400 same-sex couples scheduled appointments for marriage licenses between Oct. 1 and Tuesday at City Hall, and 823 of those appointments were scheduled for the two weeks before the election. An additional 941 couples received their licenses in September.

Andrea and Karina's wedding plans soon grew far beyond the modest affair they initially imagined. Andrea's parents offered to chip in $5,000, as they had for both of her sisters' nuptials, and the couple decided to use some savings to pay for the rest, so they could invite more guests and make it the fantasy wedding they now envisioned.

"Once it became a reality, feeling that I wanted to marry this person, suddenly I wanted everyone I knew to be there with us, because it's so special," said Karina.

The couple met in September 2005, when Andrea, looking for a change, moved to the Bay Area from Portland and landed in a Berkeley house with some of Karina's friends. But it wasn't until the next summer that Karina really noticed Andrea. The feeling wasn't immediately mutual; Andrea didn't realize that Karina, who is bisexual, was interested in dating women. Further complicating matters, Karina wasn't even sure whether Andrea was gay.

"For me, as soon as I got to know her, I had a crush," said Karina, who grew up in Sacramento and moved to the Bay Area a decade ago to attend UC Berkeley.

More than friends

Karina took the leap, conspiring with a friend, Traci Smith, to find out whether Andrea was interested in women. When she found out the answer, on the way to a baseball game, the already bubbly Karina began to shamelessly flirt with Andrea, Traci said.

"She was giddy," said Traci. "But her flirting isn't always obvious, especially to someone as oblivious as Andrea."

Andrea was more cautious, even when it became clear Karina was interested. Andrea explained that she was just becoming comfortable with her sexuality after hiding it for years. She wasn't out in college at the University of Idaho, only briefly dating a few men, and while she'd told most of her friends in Portland she was gay, she had never been in a serious relationship.

"I didn't know her background. I didn't know if she was interested in anything more than a one-night stand," Andrea said. "I had a hard time buying into it."

They finally became more than friends after a party at a friend's house, and quickly fell hard for each other. By the holidays, Karina was going home with Andrea to meet her family. It was a big move for Andrea, who had never brought anyone home, let alone a woman. She decided to first tell her sister, Emily Cernusak, who lives in Oakland. Emily - who learned the news just minutes before meeting Karina - was thrilled for Andrea, and the news soon spread.

"It wasn't a surprise," said Andrea's mother, Ellen Cernusak. "Later, Annie said, 'Had I known this was going to be such a non-issue with the family, I would have had Emily tell everyone sooner.' "

The next month, the couple moved in together, to a studio in the Panhandle. They now live in an apartment in Duboce Triangle, with their two cats.

Their friends weren't surprised by how quickly things progressed.

"Karina is very methodical in her approach to everything. ... She's very 'Go, go go,' " said Traci, one of Karina's bridesmaids. "Andrea is the opposite. She's very slow to move, relaxed, easygoing. They complement each other."

Irene Ng, Andrea's closest friend, also knew that her dear college buddy was "smitten."

"I had never seen her so touchy-feely with anybody. I knew she had fallen deeply in love," she said.

Andrea's parents, who are divorced, also saw the connection immediately.

"They are so good together," said her mom, Ellen.

"I have never seen Annie smile the way she does with Karina," added her sister, Emily. "It's just giddiness."

Karina's family, including two brothers and a sister, may have been a little more surprised. When Karina called her mom and told her she was dating a woman, she said, "Oh, I always thought you were joking about that." But her parents, who are also divorced, saw how well matched the women were.

"There was a comfort. I could tell that Karina felt totally loved, and absolutely knew she was loved and cared for," said her mother, Wendy Keethe. "I had never seen her like that before. As a mom, all you want is for your child to be happy. ... Andrea is an incredible person, and Karina is incredible because of her."

Planning the wedding

This summer, between work - Andrea is in the middle of a series of exams to become an architect and works on renovations for a local architect in the meantime; Karina was a nanny until recently completing her schooling to become a Waldorf School teacher - the couple planned their wedding. They knew they wanted to be married outside, and chose Sigmund Stern Grove because it was affordable and they loved the foliage.

Karina headed to David's Bridal in search of the perfect dress. She quickly found it - a simple empire-waist, floor-length gown. Andrea chose a gray three-piece suit over a white collared shirt, after returning at least one other outfit.

Bridesmaids were selected, and 11 nieces, nephews and former charges from Karina's nanny days were given flower girl and ring duties. Emily was asked to officiate and was deputized by the San Francisco County Clerk for the day. On Sept. 17, the couple visited San Francisco City Hall at 10 a.m. to apply for their marriage license. As Karina balanced a toddler on her hip - one of her now-former charges - the couple grinned and filled out the paperwork. Several weeks later, they sat in their living room and joked about their dynamics. Karina is talkative and more emotional, but also is the pragmatic planner, while Andrea is easygoing and, as Karina jokes, "a typical man" - she can be oblivious to Karina's moods, takes out the trash and doesn't worry about the details as much.

"I am more the nurturing, a homemaker, and I like to get things done. She's more the laidback man type," Karina said.

"She's the planner," added Andrea. "I'm just thinking, OK, we'll figure it out."

The big day

As the wedding day neared, the women stayed true to character. Karina stressed about every little detail, while Andrea remained calm.

"I've been talking about being a little bit scared, but Andrea just laughs," said Karina. "It's not a question of whether I am making the right decision, but can I be a good enough person. I'm going to make vows, am I going to live up to them?"

Andrea wasn't concerned, just excited to marry a woman she clearly adores.

"I processed a lot at the beginning," she said simply.

They did agree on one area of stress: voting. Several weeks before the wedding, the couple realized that they would be on their honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, during Tuesday's election. So they cast their votes early, at San Francisco City Hall, in the hopes that other same-sex couples will also have the opportunity to marry.

On the afternoon of Oct. 24, about 150 friends and family gathered in Stern Grove to watch Karina and Andrea say their vows. Guests were greeted by a program with the heading "Here come the brides."

'No reservations'

Both women beamed as they walked down the aisle separately, on their father's arms, and Andrea giggled as she watched her bride approach. The six bridesmaids, all in different colored dresses, formed a rainbow around the couple and Andrea's sister, Emily. Both brides clutched colorful bouquets of dahlias that matched their bridesmaid's dresses, and exchanged matching silver bands, with a row of embedded diamonds, that they had picked out together.

Emily spoke about the first time she met Karina, and how she has watched the couple grow together over the past two years.

"I had never before seen a smile take over my sister's face the way it did that night. The joy, warmth they both exuded was a prelude to what would naturally deepen into a love that anyone in their presence can't help but feel and be moved by," she said.

"It takes courage to love deeply, to love well. In Rainer Maria Rilke's words, 'For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all of our tasks, the work for which all other work is but preparation.' Yes, to be strong enough in one's sense of self and at the same time vulnerable enough to fully open to another is brave work indeed. And in a world where there are still many who want to lay down laws about whom one can and cannot love, it is even braver work still."

In their vows, which they wrote together, Karina promised to "make your goals and your dreams as important as my own" and thanked Andrea for "all the ways you have enriched my life and encouraged me to stand tall." Andrea told Karina that "it wasn't until we met that I truly understood what marriage is" and that, with her love, "I am able to approach the world with a firm grounding and a path that is hopeful, trusting, joyful and free." They both ended with the statement "I choose you, in the presence of our friends and family, to be my wife."

After Emily pronounced them "spouses for life," the couple kissed, then embraced in a long hug. Then they walked away, hand in hand, pausing for a moment to throw their arms up in a joyful gesture that was met by whoops and hollers.

Later, in a reception at Stern Grove's Trocadero Clubhouse, friends and family reflected on the couple's relationship and how thrilled both brides appear to be. In his toast, Andrea's father, Darryl Cernusak, said he has never seen his daughter as happy as she has been the past few years. Claire Shell-Rood, one of Karina's bridesmaids, also spoke about how well matched the couple appears.

"I had no reservations because every time I talked to Karina about the two of them together, she sounded so excited," she said. "Every time I've seen Karina talk to Andrea, or seen them together, Karina seems like the Karina I've always known and loved."

To see a video of Andrea and Karina following their wedding planning and the main event, go to


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