Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Special Email

It's true. Sometimes kids grow up to be wiser than we were at their age. I don't think even as a young adult, I ever reflected on what my parents were going through. I received this email today from my oldest son and thought I would share. I'm sure it applies to many.


I got this and thought of you and all the things that you’ve gone through.

Malachi 3:3 says:

'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled me and I wondered what this statement meant about the true character and nature of God.

I decided to find out the process of refining silver before my next Bible Study.

I called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. I didn't mention anything about the reason for my interest beyond that of curiosity regarding the process of refining Silver.

As I watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest in order to burn away all the impurities.

I thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' Feeling the heat from the flame, I then asked the silversmith if he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. “If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.”

I went silent for a moment. Then asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

His answer struck me when he replied: 'Oh, that's easy ...when I see my own image in it.'

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What is Left to Be Said

wow. That's all I can say. People are talking about California's Proposition 8 and not even mentioning the slaughter and carnage in Florida with Amendment 2 passing. Billed as the "Gay marriage ban" it passed. All that was needed was 60% plus one vote. Before the last precincts were even reported, the total was:
62% or 4,589,831 for the ban
37% or 2,800,945 against it

Either way you look at it, that's a lot of haters. Over four million, five hundred and eighty-nine thousand, eight hundred and thirty one. And like I said, that wasn't ALL the votes. This is what it was last night, the last time I looked at it.

I'm just in shock. I have always felt out of place growing up and living here. Why I stayed and made a home here was purely due to economics. As a single parent in the late 70's the closer I needed to be to my so called support system, i.e.., family no matter how homophobic. Yes there were battles with that. I even endured my parents threatening to take my son away because I wanted to live with a woman. But, I persevered.

Maybe Amendment 2 won because it is where all the haters come to die. It also has as many rednecks as Georgia and Alabama. After all, we do have the largest Confederate Flag in the Nation flying in this town at the I-4 and I-75 junction. Maybe the 'Vote No on Amendment 2'folks didn't have the celebrity clout or money that California has. After all, people by nature down here are like sheep. In the end who really knows. But honestly, the older I get the more I think about my 'golden years' and how they may not be so golden down here. I've watched my grandparents, my Uncles, and finally one parent, age, become ill and die. It isn't pretty. None of mine had any strength to fight in the end. I can't imagine being in a similar situation and dying alone in some room because my life partner will not be allowed by my side and no one to speak up for her, for me, for us. Nope, I can't see that as being golden. All I can do is hope that our new President leads us all out of the bleak cavern of despair that exists here in Florida.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


You know, I am so glad this election is coming to an end. Aside from hating the way the whole thing was run, I hate the way it turned a spotlight on some of my so called friends and family. I had friends that I thought really were friends. They always ask about Lori if they see me without her and vice versa if I'm not with her. Never seemed like there was any issues. Low and behold, this whole Amendment 2 issue has certainly awakened their true nature. I guess while they may like us as individuals or even as a couple, they don't feel we deserve equal rights. And I'm sure somewhere in the back of their minds, they feel it is okay to feel superior to us. Looking back, when they would ask, 'Are you and Lori still together?' I should have known. In their twisted bigoted minds, they probably think gays and lesbian couples only last a few years at best.

As for family members, I hope they don't look for a Christmas card this year cause it won't be in their box. Thank goodness this only happens every four years. It's been nerve racking and I wasn't running for office.

Monday, November 3, 2008


The following is taken from a letter by some Florida attorneys who publicly shared their concerns about this amendment with their fellow Floridians.

The vague language and potentially damaging consequences of the proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 in Florida called the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. It is often referred to in the media as a "Gay marraige ban.' The proposed amendment is:

"In as much as marraige is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marraige or the substantial equivalent therof shall be valid or recognized."


References to 'marriage protection' or 'gay marriage bans' are misleading as four existing Florida statues [FS 741.212 (1), 741.212 (2), 741.212 (3) and 741.04] already define marriage as the union of a man and a woman or oherwise prohibit the creationor recognition of 'same-sex marriages.' The legality or recognition of 'same-ses' unions in Florida will be no more or less illegal in Florida regardless of the outcome of the proposed amendment.


The chief concern is the section of the proposed amendment which states: "...no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

The 2006 report of the Florida LEgislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) concluded: "The amendment provides no definition for the phrase 'substantial equivalent thereof,' which lends to the ambiguity of the wording of the proposed amendment."

Adding such vague, untested and undefined language is likely to deliver unanticipated repercussions and could substantially alter our state both economically and legally. Quoting the EDR report on Amendment 2 again, it warns, "Depending on actions taken by the Legislature, the courts, and Florida businesses, financial obligations between individuals are expected to change in complex ways..."


ALIMONY: In 2005, the State Legislature adopted a new law designed to prevent a loophole where a former spouse receiving permanent alimony opts to cohabitate with a new partner rather than remarrying and continues to receive permanent alimony. Under this relatively new divorce law, a former spouse's alimony obligation may terminate if the recipient spouse enters into a "supportive relationship" with another person. Florida case law defines a supportive relationship as one that provides "support equivalent to marriage". Clearly, "support equivalent to marriage" is dangerously similar to "substantial equivalent to marriage". The portion of Florida Statute 61.14 recognizing a relationship providing "support equivalent to marriage" could be held unconstitutional under Amendment 2. As a result, every former spouse who is either Court Ordered or who signed an agreement to pay permanent alimony could be required to continue paying alimony despite the fact that the receiving spouse had found a new partner. At the very least, these individuals will face a costly Court battle trying to uphold their agreements and to terminate their alimony obligations.

Domestic Violence Protection: Other potential impacts include using Amendment 2 as a defense to domestic violence on an unmarried partner ( a similar amendment was used as a domestic violence defense in Ohio). Quoting the EDR again, "By invalidating any union or 'substantial equivalent thereof,' this amendment could be raised raised as a defense in domestic violence cases, resulting in fewer domestic violence convictions.

PRIVATE PROPERTY ARRANGEMENTS AND ESTATE PLANNING: Without examining every potential consequence in great detail, it is possible that Amendment 2 could also have profound implications on the ability of citizens to share property or pass on assets, establish trusts or other legal arrangements or even remarry. Especially likely to be impacted by this outcome are Florida's senior citizens and retirees who remain unmarried by choice and share pension benefits or other government benefits they have earned.

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRIES: this vague and broad language could also risk termination of the several established domestic partnership registries which are currently accessible to millions of Floridians. These registries allow unmarried Floridians to share benefits or other protections such as hospital visitation, burial rights and health care benefits. The non-partisan and independent EDR report again sites this concern in finding: "If domestic partnership registries are deemed substantially equivalent to marriage, their termination could place registrants at risk of losing specified rights and benefits, such as those related to health insurance."

While NO ONE CAN KNOW THE FULL IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT, LITIGATION WILL RESULT as vested interest challenge shared health plans, defend domestic abusers or goverments seek clarity to the undefined language in the proposal. Even if every warning and potential outcome proves unfounded, the years of uncertainty and sheer legal expenses would be costly and unnecesary. Florida voters should be hesitant to support the vague and untested language in Amendment 2. Adding such a provision to our Constitution is unwise, especially when adoptiong the amendment will not alter our state's current laws banning 'same-sex marriage.'