#DoYourJob

Married four times, won't let gays marry once.

Married four times, won’t let gays marry once.

I just want to take a moment to say, “I told you so.” Five months ago I posted about all the fuss with bakers and florists refusing to serve gays, and I predicted that the true dilemma would be government officials like Kim Davis, County Clerk in Kentucky, refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

After she turned same sex couples away, they filed suit along with the ACLU and asked for punitive fines, not jail time. Kim enjoyed free (and bad) legal representation from Liberty Counsel and proceeded to refuse court orders to do her job. She was quickly dismissed by the SCOTUS earlier this week and was thrown in jail for contempt of court yesterday after again refusing to issue licenses, or even to allow her deputies without moral objections to do so in her stead.

And now the conservatives have their darling martyr of the moment sitting in jail. She is surely raking in cash donations from sympathetic haters nationwide and will be laughing all the way to the bank as soon as she is released. I want the media to do a “Where Are They Now?” investigation on Sweetcakes by Melissa, Memories Pizza, and Kim Davis 10 years after their 15 minutes of infamy to see how holy they are living their lives after cashing in on hate.

#DirtyHalfDozen

After repeatedly losing in court and having exhausted almost all of its legal options, the National Organization for Marriage released today a list of the donors that helped them campaign in 2009 for the repeal of marriage equality in Maine.  Detailed listings reveal that the vast majority of more than $2 million dollars spent in Maine toward getting marriage equality (temporarily) repealed in 2009 came from only a half dozen donors – 5 individuals and one organization.

Sean Fieler

Sean Fieler

Topping the list at $1.25 million donated is Sean Fieler.  He is an unabashed opponent of LGBT and abortion rights.  He is also a board member of the Witherspoon Institute, which funded the widely discredited Regnerus study seeking to smear gay parents as harmful to their children.

Terrence Caster and his wife Barbara

Terrence Caster and his wife Barbara

Next on the list having donated $300,000 is Terrence Caster, a San Diego businessman who owns A-1 Self Storage that has locations in California and Texas.  Unsurprisingly, he also contributed heavily to the Prop 8 ballot in California from 2008 much closer to his home.  Anyone who does business with A-1 Self Storage of CA or TX that has a problem with their money going toward political hate campaigns should considering moving their belongings elsewhere.

John Templeton Jr.

John Templeton Jr.

Tied with Terrence at $300,000 is John Templeton Jr., M.D.  Dr. Templeton presided over the Templeton Foundation.  John Templeton Sr. established this foundation for philanthropic purposes and, according to its website, “expected the John Templeton Foundation to stand apart from any consideration of dogma or personal religious belief.”  Well, so much for carrying on that legacy.  Dr. Templeton died earlier this year, so NOM should not expect any personal contributions from him in the future.

In Service to All...Unless You Are Gay

In Service to All…Unless You Are Gay

The Knights of Columbus is supposedly the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, but they seemed to be operating like an anonymous hate group closer to the KKK when they donated $140,000 to NOM.

The only donor from Maine was Richard Kurtz

The only donor from Maine was Richard Kurtz

Richard Kurtz bears the distinction of being the only Maine resident on this list when he gave $50,000 to NOM in defense of bigotry.

emphaticbrian

Does Benjamin Brown have any relation to this angry man?

Closing out the list at $200 donated is some sad sack in Michigan named Benjamin Brown who possibly didn’t realize he was in the company of millionaires.  Any relation to current NOM head Brian S. Brown perhaps?

This very short list of donors is consistent with previous reports about the funding sources of NOM.  They constantly plead for online donations on their website, and like to create the illusion of a movement by speaking as if they represent throngs of supporters.  The truth is that they are operated with the financial support of very few, wealthy individuals.  These people should be brought out from the shadows so they can take responsibility for their hateful actions.  This compounded with the fact that they have not seen many returns on their political investments lately hopefully means that the donations to NOM will dry up very quickly and they may be bankrupt very soon.

Love Wins, Hate Loses, and Life Goes On…

Notorious RBG is my hero!

Notorious RBG is my hero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the months leading up to this momentous day in history, I have engaged in an increasingly rancorous dialogue online debating marriage equality. Opponents of marriage equality, some of whom profess to be civil and respectful, escalated their political statements into personal attacks against me and my family calling me “sick,” “criminal” and likening me as a gay parent through surrogacy to a rapist, a human trafficker or a child abuser. This type of defamation enraged me, but Josh and some other wise souls helped me realize that what I was experiencing was the last, bitter, fitful and truly impotent gasps of a hateful movement sliding into the wrong side of history. I needed to disengage, because they couldn’t touch us, and our contented lives would go on regardless.

After the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed marriage equality in all 50 states this morning at 10 a.m., what was next? A co-worker congratulated me. I spoke with Josh on the phone and discussed what to pick up at the grocery store. I came home and put on my Ruth Bader Ginsburg t-shirt in celebration. The boys spent some time in the pool while the babies played with cars and balls on the patio. I will cook Shabbat dinner for our family, and we will be extra thankful for our blessings today. After we put all four kids to bed, Josh and I will probably crack open a bottle of wine and share a toast. Our lives will go on largely unchanged, but maybe someday soon, we will get legally married and add an extra sheen of dignity to our already happy lives.

What’s next for the hateful opponents of marriage equality? Many of them were howling on Twitter about what they saw as an injustice today, but it didn’t appear that many people were listening or responding. I imagine that their lives will go on, too. The fact that their LGBT neighbors will be permitted to marry will have no bearing on their lives whatsoever. It won’t touch them. Many of them will realize that society did not crumble because of marriage equality like they predicted it would. Some of them may live long enough to read in the history books about their shameful movement and feel a twinge of guilt for having been a part of it. Even if they never come to this wisdom, I will try not to be resentful toward them. People who choose to waste so much time and energy fussing about other people’s lives and not their own deserve pity, not hate.

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.

We Have a Date!

Happy Birthdays July 1 and 2!

Happy Birthdays July 1 and 2!

Our surrogate has been admitted to the hospital for almost two weeks.  Despite her discomfort, she has not shown any signs of early labor.  After consulting with the delivering OB/GYN Dr. at Hiranandani Hospital on Wednesday, it was decided in the best interest for the health of the twins to wait until term before scheduling a C-section.

Thus the C-section is scheduled for Monday July 1, one day before 37 weeks gestation.  We could have requested Tuesday July 2, but having two sets of twins with the exact same birthday would probably take the whole sharing thing to the extreme after all.

Today we made arrangements for the twins’ umbilical cord blood to be collected and sent to a blood bank.  We did this with AJ and JJ 6 years ago, and consider it a worthwhile investment for a couple reasons. There is a lot of ongoing research in developing stem cell therapies for many different illnesses.  Given the fact that the egg donor is anonymous in gestational surrogacy, our children may have more difficulty than usual locating a donor match if they should ever need something like a bone marrow transplant.  Banked stem cells may come in handy in these circumstances.

In other news, we are very happy with the SCOTUS decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8.  I think it was the best outcome that could be reasonably expected given the Justices currently seated.  What remains to be seen in the next few years is how many of the 37 states (including our current home state of Florida) that do not allow gay marriage will get with the program and change their policies before families like ours decide to move on to greener and more welcoming pastures…