edith & her fight.

today's daily news. hope for lgbt families.

today’s daily news on my computer. hope for lgbt families, thanks to edith’s fight for equality.

42 years. that’s how long edith windsor (in the pic above) & her soulmate, thea, were together. sadly, they are separated now by death. but, edith reflects and says that it was a wonderful life together.

although they were together for so many years, they only married in 2007. same sex marriages, of course, were not so common, or even legal in most places. they were married in toronto and lived in new york, where they had been living together for years. their life was much like many. both working, both celebrating life’s joys & sorrows, sharing all the moments of life together. all the good & all the bad.

edith said that once she was married, she realized how important it was to be able to live her life “for real” with her love. it felt legitimate. however, even though they were married, in new york they were not like most couples, and to the US government, they were still not legitimate… as marriage was only recognized & legal between opposite sexes. a fact that is still true.

the reality of inequality and the fact that their marriage was unrecognized became even more real when, sadly, thea passed away. edith found herself in poor health and grieving, when she was hit with the knowledge that she had more that $300,000 to pay in taxes after thea’s death. something that would never happen after the death of a spouse in a opposite sex marriage.

but, again, their marriage was not legally recognized. they were little more than friends according to the law, though they had loved & live with each other through thick & thin for over 40 years. so, edith faced a huge bill because she did not have the same rights as her neighbors down the street. instead of having time to mourn the love of her life, edith faced the task of figuring out how she could put together this large amount of money.

so, edith went to court.

and now, after about 3 years, her case has made it all the way to the supreme court. a decision will be made on the constitutionality of the law (the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA) that prevents edith and many others from having a chance at an equal marriage, or a marriage at all. so, yes. the highest court in the united states will consider this case & another same sex marriage case during the next year. and the outcome of their decision will be huge.

it will have an amazingly huge impact on thousands of people, including my & my wife. if DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, my marriage will be recognized. my love & i can choose to move to the states, and so many other basic rights afforded to heterosexual couples, like simple hospital visitation, will be available to all people.

this case is huge.

and across the country in the state of washington, marriage equality became a reality this past sunday. the state now allows all people to get married. yay! the people of the state voted for love over hate. for acceptance & inclusion over fear & exclusion.

below i’ve posted some photos (courtesy of the seattle times) of some of the happy couples who have waited, and now celebrated, their love by taking the plunge and getting married, sealing their commitment to each other. many of the older couples have been together for 30 years or more! how can someone be against a love like that? how is commitment & faithfulness between two people ever a threat to marriage? i’m thinking these people have a thing or two to teach all of us.

check out these amazing newlyweds in washington…

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now, tell me. what is so scary about all of these people sharing life & loving each other?

me & my love

my love & i after 3 years of marriage. legal in sweden. unrecognized in the states & in north carolina.

what’s so scary about us? we are exactly the same as the couples above. as all couples. as you. as everyone. sharing life. dreaming, hoping, wishing, and loving each other through the good times & the bad.

yes, there are good things happening in the states right now. i only hope & pray that they continue. in the meantime, i will keep “go[ing] to the mattresses” = fight. fight. fight.

love & hope for equality. fight on. peace.

you are you. and i am me.

quote of the day:

“they say the most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you realize why you were born.” ~ Viola Davis, 2012 Critic’s Choice Best Actress Winner and Academy Award winner.

taking it a step further:

  • FAST from discriminatory behavior today towards other people (no matter where they’re from, who they are, what religion they belong to, political affiliation, or the way they look.)
  • PRAY for the inner strength that comes from knowing who you are and the conviction to pursue your goals no matter what others think.
  • GIVE at least 15 minutes to thinking about a long-term goal and a definitive step you can take toward it this week.

today’s words & challenges have got my brain running around in circles. my thoughts are all over the place, and i haven’t the time to write down everything i’m thinking. so, i’m just gonna spit stuff out…

when i think about discrimination today, i immediately think of the story of trayvon martin, a 17 year old teenager from florida who was murdered in february. why? most likely because he was black. by who? a police officer, nonetheless. seriously. it’s 2012 and discrimination is alive & well. regardless of whether the police officer is guilty of a hate crime or not (and it looks like he is), the outcry from american citizens and the flood of tough questions found all over social media sites points out the truth that discrimination is still around. even today. and that makes me sad. and freaking angry. read this news article to find out more about trayvon’s story.

i could be in danger for being married to a woman were i living in another country that punished or killed people for being in same-sex relationships (not to say that hate crimes against LGBT people don’t happen here or everywhere. they do). but, i have been lucky and blessed so far.

in high school, i was thrown against a wall of lockers by big guys who were not white because my high school was having horrible issues with race relations at one point. there were protests and people refused to go to school, including me after that incident. there was discrimination all over the place that year.

and, of course, i have met some people who questioned my ability to be a minister because either i was a woman, or married to a woman, or both. those people say things like: women should be silent. women can’t be ministers. don’t’ have authority. don’t command respect. can’t be used by God. and, in some churches, women who love women are immediately cast from ministry, regardless of their gifts for ministry; even if they had been in ministry before. like me.

so, yes. i have been affected by discrimination in different ways. i’m sure you all have your own stories too. but, i don’t think i’ve ever been hunted down because i who i am. for most of us, i dare say that being true to ourselves does not involve us putting our lives on the line on a daily basis. or maybe it does & i’m just oblivious. for me, at least at this point in my life, it’s more of an inner struggle with myself. i can’t do anything about the fact that i am a white woman in love with a woman. that’s just me. but, what i can choose, is how i live my life… from my soul, reaching for my goals. or not.

so, today, i’m gonna spend some time thinking about those goals and recommitting myself to one of them. and make a plan to see that goal through. and all along the way, i am going to remember that each of us have our own goals, each of us are unique, and we all (and i mean all!) deserve a chance to listen to our souls, find support & love from people around us, dream big and chase our goals… as we seek to become who we were meant to be.

so, go ahead. start pondering why you were born… what amazing gift do you have to share with the world?

love for all. peace.