Week intended to highlight inequality faced by gays

RelishNow
February 8, 2007
Freedom to Marry Week was established 10 years ago. Each February, we remind our fellow citizens of the fundamental unfairness of marriage inequality and try to win their support. We hope to reach the "reachables" — straight folks who allow themselves to be educated and can ignore religious and social prejudices — by telling our stories. This is mine:

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OPINION: For love or country?

Newsweek
February 5, 2007
An Idaho mother writes about her son, "In a matter of years Cameron will be gone. He is moving to a country where he will have the same civil rights that heterosexual couples enjoy, a country that will benefit from his immense talent and skill, a country that does want him no matter whom he wants to marry. We are close, and we will find a way to stay close, but it will not be the same easy back and forth we have now. Distance and borders will make it harder. I will miss him terribly, but it is not just me who will suffer. We will all be the poorer for his moving and the reasons that drove him." [Link]

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OPINION: Left out of the dream

The Register-Guard
January 21, 2007
"He passed away a few months later. The following day, I got a phone call regarding his cremation. 'We can't allow you to authorize it,' the person at the funeral home informed me. 'You're not officially family.' So on one of the worst days of my life, I drove across town to his mother, who signed the paper that nine years of love and devotion didn't entitle me to sign." [link]

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Actress Kate Fleming’s death underscores why marriage matters

Washington Blade
January 19, 2007
If she and Charlene Strong, were wed in a commitment ceremony nearly nine years ago had been legal spouses, the decisions that came next would have been made quickly, albeit painfully. But Strong was initially denied the right to visit Fleming in the hospital as she lay dying. When asked what relationship she had to Fleming, Strong told the truth, unwilling to lie and say they were sisters. [link]

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In the heartland and out of the closet

New York Times
December 28, 2006
A Kansas woman was moved to come out to fight a discriminatory anti-gay marriage amendment. She then found that the more she opened herself up, the more she found solace. The day after the amendment passed, her handyman, a Rush Limbaugh fan who came to install her air conditioner, expressed his sympathies. "He came upstairs and said 'I'm just so sorry, Cyd, I know how hard you worked on this,'" she said. "He put his arm around me and it was just about as touching a thing that happened around this whole issue." [Link]

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EDITORIAL: VA Court of Appeals does the right thing for common sense and custody laws

Washington Post
November 30, 2006
For more than two years, Janet Miller-Jenkins has been blocked from seeing her 4-year-old daughter because of a nasty custody dispute with her ex-spouse, who has been defying a court order to allow regular visits. This week, the Virginia Court of Appeals issued an opinion that should be utterly unremarkable: It held that under federal law, Virginia courts must honor the custody orders of their sister courts in Vermont, where Ms. Miller-Jenkins and her ex were joined and where they asked a court to dissolve their union. [link]

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OPINION: Let AZ gay people pursue life, liberty and happiness

Ahwatukee Republic
October 18, 2006
It's embarrassing to remember how I wanted gays to just keep "it" to themselves. I wasn't a bad person for having these thoughts. I just never thought about it from any other perspective than my own. But from an American viewpoint, my old perspective was wrong. [Link]

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OPINION: Lesbian and gay marriages can reflect God’s covenant with creation

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 4, 2006
"It's love that makes a family. I witnessed the power of this love firsthand as a child when my uncle and his partner would visit from California. It wasn't until the 1990s that I learned my uncle had twice been sent to a sanitarium in his youth to be 'cured' of his homosexuality. When my uncle became bedridden for nearly a decade in his 80s after a series of strokes, his partner was at his bedside caring for him every day. The bond of their commitment is what marriage embodies and honors." [link]

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Love and activism in WI

The Advocate
September 15, 2006
Wisconsin couple Richard Taylor and Ray Vahey were coming up on 50 years together when Taylor died in July. In their last year together they decided to finally come out to family and friends and joined a very public fight against a constitutional marriage exclusion amendment. [link]

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Fired professor stands firm in support of marriage equality

Deseret Morning News
September 12, 2006
Jeffrey Nielsen believes gay people should be allowed to marry and have children more now than he did in June when the stance cost him his job at Brigham Young University. Nielsen said he didn't know any gay men or women when he wrote an opinion piece that appeared June 4 in a Salt Lake newspaper that opposed the anti-gay-marriage position of LDS Church leadership, but now he knows hundreds. [link]

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