Selection Of Your Comments
October 1, 2003
Dear Parents and Friends,
I hope this message finds you all doing well and for those of you who have kids, they have successfully returned to school or daycare without too much of a culture shock after the glorious summer holidays ... we informally determined that it was worthwhile to start up a cross-Canada Internet network for queer parents and our allies in order to share important information and resources.
We have been asked to choose a name for our listserv and off the top of my head I would simply call it Queer Families to be as inclusive as possible.
I would also like to put out a call for moderators. Apparently this job can be shared between a few of us. Moderators must be comfortable with computers and e-mail and should be people that check their e-mail at least once a day. If you are potentially interested in helping with this, please let me know.
Although I have felt strongly over the years a need to hook up with GLBT parents across this vast country (for both political and personal reasons), as a busy person I am also reluctant to receive much more e-mail than I already do. Many of you probably feel the same and so perhaps we can work together to find ways to communicate efficiently when needed without flooding each other's servers.
So at this point, if possible, I would like to ask you 4 questions:
I would appreciate your answers as soon as you can, so I can actually work to get this list going.
October 2, 2003
My colleague Ruth Shields and I have committed ourselves to creating an international organization called “The Global Family Project.” We are now in the midst of our Fundraising Campaign and we are sending this announcement and request for funds to the communities we have already served and the communities in which we are creating new partnerships.
Founded in our promises, “By 2020, All of us participating in all of life, for all our lives” and “By 2020, the world is collaborating, celebrating diversity and creativity, honouring the family of man,” our Mission is to educate and advocate for the acceptance, inclusion, and honouring of “all kinds of people and all kinds of families.” Our promise together “By 2008, honouring all people is the game all people are playing” is a milestone we have created in fulfilling our joint promises and our mission.
We are creating partnerships with the leaders and directors of the national and international organizations now working in human rights and specifically rights for the LGBT community. We are expanding our extensive connections in the grassroots movements in government, church, and educational organizations countries around the world. We are organizing within these groups, causing the leader’s participation at new levels to lobby for legislation that will expand the rights and responsibilities of all people.
THE COMING 12 MONTHS
The scope and reach of causing a new reality for all people is both exhilarating and inspiring. We have committed ourselves to fulfilling on this vision and are inviting you to be our partner in transforming the world in this area of diversity. This will not be accomplished by the two of us alone. This is where you come in. Your resources are needed. You are invited to donate large or small, $1-$10-$100 or more …all of it will cause the fulfillment of this goal. Will you support us today?
To contribute, go to http://www.houseofbeing.com.
October 3, 2003
Just thought I'd send an e-mail to let you know how inspired I was by reading about your recent incident at Pearson airport. I am currently taking social development studies at our university and have chosen your topic to write up a social constructionist paper. I'm not sure if I accomplished this or not--but I want you to know that it was a great learning experience for me and I wish I thought of checking to see if you had a website prior to now (my paper is due on Monday, Oct.6). I would have really liked to have the opportunity to chat or ask you a few questions (would have given my paper greater depth), in any event I wish you both well and I'll up date you on my mark. Incidently, would you like a copy? You never know, you just might find it interesting as well!!!
Take care, All the best
We're glad that you have been inspired to explore the issues in your studies. Student papers can help change the world, as one did in the Netherlands. We would welcome the opportunity to read student papers, and we post them on this website, if you like. One or our more popular items is a student paper regarding the acceptance of equal marriage. Wishing you success in your academic pursuits!
October 5, 2003
I just found your site on the internet. I'm a Chinese. I live in China and I'm a gay. I want to ask you to help me to find a man who want to marry to me. I don't know whether it can work or not but please help me. I feel so sad as a gay in China or maybe you can tell me what kind of organization can help me.
We're sorry that you find yourself in difficult circumstances and that you are unhappy. There are many ways to meet people over the Internet. Any search engine can help. For your convenience you may want to begin your explorations with a few of our link partners:
October 5, 2003
Just got back from the rally in Winnipeg. Went very well. I really appreciate what you guys and gals are doing. Thank you very much.
Wow, we just took a look at your work ... and we thought Cardinal Ratzinger was scary! Thanks for your support.
CBC News Sunday, is a National Current Affairs TV show based in Toronto. We tackle issues of spirituality, politics, current affairs and popular culture. For the new fall season, we are looking for a gay/lesbian couple who are going to get married, and who'd like to do so on national television---LIVE---We are looking at November 2/2003 as a possible date. Are you?
It will be an opportunity for lively discussion and a special wedding to meet on one thought provoking occasion.
If you're interested in taking part and would like some more information, please contact Rick Matthews at email@example.com or 416-205-8803.
On Oct. 9, CBC told us that a couple has been found for the event.
October 7, 2003
Dear Kevin & Joe
I thought I'd write to tell you about an interesting course I am taking. I am a graduate student at McGill university in the department of English. We have teamed up with law students in what is being called the Shakespeare Moot Project. Essentially, we are arguing in a fake court, and our "law" is four comedies by Shakespeare. The case we are arguing is a fake case (but drawn from a legitimate one--"the couples") of same sex marriage. I am arguing for same-sex marriage, and trying to find my evidence and arguments in the plays of The Winter's Tale, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and Twelth Night. It's a pretty fascinating project. Hopefully we will win! I just thought I'd tell you about it, since I've looked at your website before and am a strong believer in equal marriage.
Sounds fun and interesting! We used Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 in our marriage ceremony, to make our point for equal marriage: "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. Or bends with the remover to remove ..."
October 9, 2003
Congratulations to all and the web site gets better and better!
I would like to suggest a book titled "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" that I think should be put on the site as reading for those confounded (like we all are) with the right wing church's views. It is written by Bishop John Shelby Spong.
Bishop Spong is a supporter of same-sex marriage, and the book thoughtfully goes through the passages used by right wing religious groups to oppose homosexuals and for those of us who have turned away from the church this shows that NO the right wing HAS twisted things beyond belief!
I think everyone who supports same sex marriage should read this in order to be able to articulate their own responses to those who say 'it's a matter of religion' and demystify the bunk coming from the right.
All good wishes,
Thanks for the recommendation. We have included the book in our list of resources about faith and homosexuality.
October 9, 2003
Thank you for your courage to appear publicly, to appeal graciously, and to defend ideas of equality that are near and dear to many peoples hearts and lives. I must say that your article describing this most recent development also gave me a little chuckle. The writer wrote that: The one page document simply said, "The motions to quash the leave applications are granted. The motions to be added as parties are dismissed." The court did not indicate whether the groups who appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada will have to pay the costs associated with this waste of time.
I loved reading that - one, because the Members of the Supreme Court seemed to display a notion (not uncommon in Magistrates) of irritation. I also love the fact that the Members of the Supreme Court did not have to offer a reason for their decision either. Of course they do have a reason, and that is simply that these religious and conservative groups did not have a legal "leg to stand on".
Moreso I loved the suggestion, and indeed it is more than a suggestion but a plain ole fact ... that these rightwing religious types might indeed incur legal costs for wasting the Supreme Court's time ! *LOL* Excellent work people.
Thank you for your dedication, your tireless efforts, and your ability to envision what many people (including myself) could have never thought possible,
Robert M. Simpson
October 17, 2003
I am not proud to be a Canadian at this point in our history. The continuing oppression of those who choose an alternate lifestyle does not receive the respect that we deserve. The intransigence of many of the mainstream and fundamentalist Christians deny us full rights as Canadian citizens, although we do enjoy all the monetary/pension rights of heterosexuals. Were I to die tomorrow, my partner would only be able to attend any memorial service at the whim of my family.
You may recall in the early 1960s, Pierre Trudeau stated that the government has no place in the bedrooms of the country. The Supreme Court upholds this position, through the granting of marriage rights to samesex couples in Ontario and British Columbia.
Today I was read a letter from Stephen Harper, sent to members of the clery, asserting that the sanctity of heterosexual marriage be affirmed and protected. This is another affront to the denial of human rights, and encourages discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Although I concur with my partner that a piece of paper is not going to change our commitment, it is the principle of ongoing prejudice and discrimination which keeps us out of the mainstream of society, which is our right. You will also recall that during the civil rights crisis in the United States, Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus. Neither will I!
To paraphrase the words of Martin Luther King:"I have a dream..." My dream is that human rights and an end to discrimination will be the legacy to our children and grandchildren.
October 18, 2003
Dear Joe and Kevin:
Congratulations on receiving the Distinguished Leaders Award. You have always been an inspiration to us.
Michelle Ritchot and Stefphany Cholakis
October 18, 2003
Dear Kevin & Joe,
CONGRATULATIONS on your award! We're so glad that you were chosen, as you are so very deserving. Thank you yet again for all your hard, past and ongoing work. You have also helped in a HUGE way to configure Canada as Equality Forum's 'featured country' for their 2004 Philadelphia conference.
Appreciatively, and With Love,
October 22, 2003
Hello, sorry for the delay in getting this out but I have been down with an infection in my leg related to my diabetes for the past 6-7 weeks and Al was also sick for several weeks but both of us are doing fine now. This is the announcement that appeared in the Anchorage Daily News regarding our wedding on July 22. Although the Daily News also ran our announcment in March 1999 when we celebrated our 30th Anniversary, this was the first same-gender marriage announcement run in any Alaska newspaper and one of our local talk radio shows tried to make an issue about whether it was appropriate for the newspaper to cover it and encouraged their listeners to complain to the newspaper. We also had one TV station who did "person-on-the-street" interviews to see if people in Anchorage thought it was appropriate for the newspaper to print the announcement. THE GOOD NEWS is that letters to the newspaper were 3-1 in favor of the announcement.
Dan and Al
Dan is the son of Christine Carter of Lake City, Fla., and the late Frank Carter. He is a 1965 graduate of Columbia High School in Lake City and attended Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, Tenn. Dan worked for the U.S. military for 10 years in Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska. He then worked for the Municipality of Anchorage Public Transportation Department for 24 years, retiring in 2002. He currently works part time for Identity Inc.
Al is the son of the late Andrea and Nancy Salerno Incontro. He is a 1949 graduate of Technical High School in Omaha. Al was in the Air Force and served during the Korean War. He attended the University of Alabama and retired after a 33-year career with IBM Corp. in Montgomery, Ala., and Anchorage. Al and Dan met in Montgomery and have been together since March 21, 1969. They had a commitment ceremony in Alabama in 1969 and a recommitment ceremony in Alaska in 1999 to celebrate their 30th anniversary together, but until recent court rulings in Canada, they were prevented from being married. Both are longtime members of the Metropolitan Community Church of Anchorage. Al has served on the church board, and Dan is serving as church treasurer. Both are interested in movies, reading, traveling, politics, equal rights and University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolf hockey.
The ceremony was on a sunny morning in a gazebo in the gardens of the Roedde House Museum, with the Rev. Michel Amyotte of Christ Alive Metropolitan Community Church and British Columbia Marriage Commissioner Diane Brown officiating. Micki Boling of Anchorage read Scripture from I Corinthians 13: 1-13.
The couple took a sunset dinner cruise in Vancouver that also was a celebration of Dan's birthday that day. After an eight-day stay in Vancouver, they returned to Anchorage, where they were met at the airport by friends with a stretch limousine and had a champagne drive around Anchorage.
A local reception was at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, hosted by Sandy Clark, Dee Gould, Shirley and Ron Rivas and Sylvia Short. The couple plan to remain in Anchorage, where they have lived for the past 27 years.
October 22, 2003
I am a mother of two children who is in love and wishes to marry my girlfriend. My children are too young to understand any of this, but I worry. My father is also in love with a man and wishes to marry him. Will my lifestyle and my father's corrupt my children? I keep hearing yes, even from supportive friends and family. Should my children live with their father and his wife for a chance at what society would call "a normal life" or with me. They are bound to find out when they get older, and I'm perfectly fine with that, but to be subjected to it on a daily bases when they enter school with two mother's or taking them myself and telling them not to tell their teachers or friends for fear of them being teased or children not being allowed to play with them, and if I tell them to not tell people, it would seem like I'm ashamed which I'm not. I'm not sure what is going on and if my concerns are justified. Are other same sex couple experiencing the same feelings? is it selfish to have children involved in this? I know society is changing, but not quickly enough.
There are numerous resources available to parents. If you are in Canada, we recommend you begin with one of our link partners, Family Pride Canada. In the U.S., we link with the Family Pride Coalition. We encourage you to contact these groups to further explore your parenting concerns. Wishing you and your family the best.