Equality Won – Gay Marriage Victories

DOMA

America took a great stride toward fulfilling its inherent commitment to equality. On June 26th, the United States Supreme Court issued two very important gay rights rulings that nullified the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8. The court found DOMA unconstitutional on equal protection grounds and determined those petitioning the court to sustain Prop 8 did not have “standing” to do so and let the 9th Circuit decision stand.
DOMA being declared unconstitutional, brings to an end a very long fight that finally brings fairness and equity to those same sex couples legally married in that they now are accorded all the federal benefits of marriage that are available to heterosexual couples.… more

Insane Courage

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I recently saw a post on Facebook that impacted me in a way that I didn’t think about when I first saw it.  However, when I started to think about it more and related it to my life in its current form, it became an amazing revelation.  The post from Facebook, “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.”
As most of you know I have recently resigned my position as City Clerk for the City of Oneonta.  My last day will be July 12th.  After thinking about this quote I saw on Facebook, I realized that it took all but 20 seconds to go into the City Manager’s Office and give him my resignation – 20 seconds!  That 20 seconds it took to give him my letter of resignation has resulted in a raging fire of motivation and excitement that would never have happened if I did not muster up those brief moments of insane courage to do what I needed to do and what I had been thinking about doing for so long.… more

Leap of Faith

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How many times in our lives do we hear people say to us and others, “just have faith and it’ll all work out.”  What is faith?  There are many definitions, but for the purpose of this essay faith, as per Merriam Webster, is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust.”  Because faith is such an elusive concept not grounded in fact and cannot be proven, it is hard for many to grasp and put into practice.  The daily grind of life, many times, can wear down any semblance of faith we may have to endure the most trying of times.… more

Fear of What You Want

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Fear is a driving force in our lives.  The motivating factors of fear induce us to do things we normally would not do, good and bad, and also propels us to heights of awareness and achievement beyond our wildest expectations.  There is also a tendency of fear to be a regulator on our progress forward because we sometimes actually fear what we want, thus subconsciously preventing us from obtaining what we dream for.  While all these various factors of fear interact in our lives in some form or fashion, it is the last factor, fearing what we want, that is the most destructive to achieving our personal greatness.… more

Embrace Your Past

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”Never forget where you come from but strive for a place you have never been.”  — Nishan Panwar
How many times have we heard people lament their past and wish they could blot it out of their memories forever.  I know I have done it.  I look back and just cringe at some of the things I did!
The nice thing about life is that we can decide to not dwell on the past and live in the moment and move on to bigger and better things.  The past is past; we cannot change it no matter how hard we try.… more

Secure and Confident: Part 2

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In a prior blog post I had written about the secure and confident environments we all had as children.  I had also touched upon how, as we grow older, those secure worlds we had as children begin to crumble and are replaced by other much less secure and confident conditions due to external influences that begin to impact us.  The purpose of this essay is to carry those general concepts forward and describe this evolution we all face in more personal terms.
Looking back on my childhood, many aspects were quite similar to those of other children I was growing up with.  I liked to play and hang out with my friends.  I went to school and experienced much of the same trials and tribulations that others around me were experiencing, but my secure world seemed to have started to crumble very early in my life.… more

Equality is Coming!

DOMA

On March 26 and 27, America and the world witnessed an amazing and historic moment with the Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  While it is certainly difficult to read the outcome based on oral arguments, it does appear, on the surface anyway, that Prop 8 and DOMA will be thrown out.
While we queer activists would love to see the court rule on the broader issue of marriage equality for the entire nation with its Prop 8 decision, based on the oral arguments, I am not all that confident that that is going to be the end result.  At the very least, I believe the court’s decision will be framed narrowly to only to apply to California and Californians will have their freedom to marry restored.  It will also send a clear message to other states that discrimination at the ballot box is unconstitutional!… more

Secure and Confident

Growing Up

When we were children most of us had a relative sense of security and confidence due to the stable environment in which we were growing up.  Our parents seemed to take care and watch out for us, provide food and clothing and whatever else we may have needed.  Overall, change and the disruption change causes, was minimal, leaving us free to simply worry about those things that children generally concern themselves with.
As we began to grow up and move ahead with our lives, change and it’s disruptive nature began to have more influence over us.  Going to school and dealing with all the peer pressure and issues related to trying to fit in and meet new people creates havoc in a young person.  It can foster feelings of self-doubt and insecurity.  Children can be cruel because they do not understand how what they say and the actions they take can adversely impact another of their peers.  For many, the self-doubt and feelings of insecurity are often times carried through to adulthood.… more

Lessons Learned

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From the moment we are born the learning process begins.  Human beings during their lives are exposed to many situations and learn many lessons.  As a result, we form habits and life perceptions based upon those lessons learned.  The lessons we learn guide our lives until a new lesson or better understanding of what we learned replaces that which was engrained into us at a prior point in our lives.

As children, we were always asking questions, wondering why things were the way they were.  There was an inherent desire to explore the unknown and to better understand the world around us.  As children our minds perceived the world around us with very few filters  We had not yet learned the prejudices and pre-conceived notions of our parents and other adults that circulated amongst us.… more

Groovin’ With the Flow

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There are many forces in nature that influence our lives, both seen and unseen.  In terms of those forces that are visible to us, we are beholden to the elements, and the natural Earthly phenomenon that we have no control over, such as storms, climatic variations and such other occurrences that can cause disruptions in our daily routines.  We learn to deal with these natural events by adapting to the consequences of any after effects caused by natural phenomenon and get back into the groove of life after any disruption subsides.… more