Year’s End Reflection

This has been a very rough year. The shootings at Pulse, the sudden death of my uncle, the slow death of my grandmother, and the political upheaval of the election all took a toll on me emotionally.  Josh has been very patient with me, as he has always been.  My birthday falls at the end of the year, which is naturally a very reflective time.  This year I turned 42 and I have come to the conclusion that my answer to “life, the universe, and everything” will always be my family.  As long as I have Josh, JJ, AJ, DJ, and MJ by my side, I will always be content.  This birthday, Josh took me down to Fort Lauderdale for a quick romantic getaway and we had a lovely dinner date night!

We have something exciting planned for 2017.  Stay tuned.

Change

I couldn’t sleep last night.  I laid awake in bed after the race was called in the early morning hours with racing thoughts.  The little ones are too young to understand, but I struggled with how to explain the election result to AJ and JJ.  How could a world change so drastically overnight?  I decided to suppress my own fears and strike a reassuring tone with the boys.  I told them when they woke that the candidate we had hoped for had lost, but what would never change is our love for them.
We will always do whatever we can to keep them safe, no matter how hostile this country becomes to Jewish, mixed race, same sex parent families like ours.
After I dropped them off at school, I reached out to our lawyer to ask about how we can best legally protect our family in the years ahead.  Stay tuned.
Josh says we got through years like this before, and he is right.  We are fortunate enough to lead relatively privileged lives and will live to vote another day.  Nonetheless we are sorrowful for the suffering of more vulnerable minority members in the years to come.
Our family isn't going anywhere.

Our family isn’t going anywhere.

Keep Your Cake and Flowers

gaymarriage-caketopper_original_3

Over the last two weeks, there has been an uproar over bills about to become law in Indiana and Arkansas.  If signed by their respective governors unchanged, these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts would have allowed individuals to refuse service to anyone if it conflicted with their religious beliefs.  Much of the controversy was because many interpreted this to be license for florists and bakers to discriminate against LGBT couples looking to get married.  Personally, I am not too bothered by private business owners shooing away customers because of their own hangups.  I would actually prefer if these businesses took it a step further and posted their discriminatory policies online. It would save me time and gas money not having to pile four kids into the minivan to go visit these hateful establishments. The market will deal with these businesses and I do believe that the number of businesses that actually invoke these RFRA laws will be low because the truth is, discrimination is bad for business.

I’m not worried about cake and flowers. I will happily go elsewhere and do business with better people that are more receptive to my family. What troubles me is how these laws are so broadly worded that they may allow for government employees to refuse service. If a county clerk has a problem with me when I apply for a marriage license or refuses to process my homestead tax exemption because they don’t agree with my family structure, that is a problem that is not as easily remedied with going somewhere else.  I feel that government officials, law enforcement officers, and healthcare professionals have a duty to serve the public, and if they can’t handle working with certain minorities, then they should resign and find another more insular line of work.

After much discussion, these laws were hastily amended in attempt to satisfy the public outcry.  Let them eat cake.  But I do not believe these fixes properly addressed potential situations in government, law enforcement and healthcare.  And bills like this are still being considered in other states.  I expect more reactionary measures like these will come up in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision coming in June, and the elections of 2016.