All About Trey

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Filtering by Tag: gay marriage

Jumping the Broom

“Jumping the Broom” is an expression that dates back to when black slaves couldn’t marry. Instead, they would have a small ceremony with family and friends and then the couple would jump over a broom to symbolize their marriage.

Now why do I know this? Because a couple of months ago we had “Bad Gay Movie” night and we watched “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom.” Based on a TV series on Logo, the movie was about a wedding by two of the characters (it’s an all black, all gay movie). The movie was bad. On a “Bad Gay Movie” scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being semi-decent and 10 being the gay equivalent of Ishtar, I’d give it a solid 4. Anyways, the movie went back to Nextflix and I filed this piece of information in my brain under “Useless Trivia.”

Until Tuesday.

Since the Supreme Court is lame, they’ve decided that the Prop 8 trial in California can’t be televised. It’s a non-jury trial. Considering the impact this case will have on MILLIONS of Americans, I really think this case needs to be televised. Even if it’s a delayed broadcast via YouTube. But they are scared/lame/useless and don’t agree.

So I’m stuck reading the live blogging that the Courage Campaign is doing. It’s riveting even if I don’t understand it all. But I’m trying.

On Tuesday as I was reading the blog and the issue of marriage and slavery came up. Proffessor Nancy Cott, who has studied the institution of marriage, testified:

“The ability to marry, to say I do, is a civil right. It demonstrates liberty. This can be seen in American history when slaves could not legally marry. As unfreed persons, they could not consent. They lacked that very basic liberty of person to say I do which meant they were taking on the state’s obligates and vice versa. A slave could not take on that set of obligations because they were not free.

When slaves were emancipated, they flocked to get married. Marriage was not trivial to them by any means. They saw the ability to replace the informal unions with legalized vows that the state would protect. One quotation, the title of an article, “The marriage covenant is the foundation of all our rights,” said a former slave who became a northern soldier. The point here is that this slave built his life on that civil right.

Informal relationships of black slaves were totally treated with abandon by white society. They were broken up all the time. The rush to marry by so many slaves after emancipation was a common sense approach to obtaining civil rights. White employers would often demand that black families and children work in certain ways. The former slaves assumed that once married, they’d have a claim of certain basic rights.

People remain unaware that in marrying, one is exercising the right of personal freedom. They don’t tend to equate the civil rights aspects to it. It’s only those who cannot marry at all who are aware of the extent to which marriage is an expression of basic civil rights.

Slaves had to “jump the broom” since they couldn’t get married. And then once they were freed, they rushed to get married. They welcomed marriage not only as a symbol of their love, but as a way to claim their basic civil rights.

There’s a lot riding on the Prop 8 trial. It could be a miraculous win with an impact as far reaching as potentially overturning DOMA, or it could set back gay rights for 15 years. It’s a very risky case. But if the trial were televised, if the trial were on YouTube, then people could see and hear the testimony of both sides.

People would hear the truth: Marriage is an expression of basic civil rights.

World AIDS Day

I woke up at 4AM today. Still recovering from the jet lag from the Paris trip (more on that later I promise). I got up, turned the Mac on and started to get my blog fix. My first stop was Joe.My. God and I had forgotten it was World AIDS Day. But Joe didn't forget.

And I cried. And it would be the first of many times I choked up today as I read story after story about AIDS.

I fled the gay blogs and went to one of my favorite Episcopalian blogs who was remembering the death of Harvey Milk 31 years ago and I watched this:

And there is hope. Hope for the fight against AIDS. Hope for the fight against discrimination, intolerance, and violence. Hope for a better tomorrow.

And today there was a small sliver of that hope shining here in DC when the City Council voted to approve same sex marriage.

And there was a sliver of that hope shining in Clevelan, OH where their City Council voted to approve a transgendered rights bill.

And there was a sliver of that hope in Massachusetts where the Episcopal Bishop authorized the clergy in his diocese to solemnize marriages for same sex couples.

Know Hope!

Get Me To A Day Spa, STAT!

If you aren't watching Glee, you're missing one of the best shows on TV. Just LOVE IT!

Current fav song from Glee?

And since this looks like it's going to be an all You-Tube post, I have to say that this brought me to tears.

If you know anyone in Maine, please tell them to vote No on 1!

Oh, back from France.

Work was good.

Seeing my sister and her family was good.

Don't want to get on another plane any time soon.

Growing a beard.

Mainly to hide the fact that I've gained like 15 pounds.

Must get back to the gym.


Marriage Equality

So the Prop 8 ruling wasn't that surprising, but it still hurt. 

I guess the only silver lining is that there are still 18 thousand married gay and lesbian couples in California.  Still legally married.  And at some point, people are going to understand that having married gays and lesbians is not going to destroy the families of California, but help strengthen them.  And that marriage is a fundamental civil right t
hat belongs to all people, not just heterosexuals, and not just to the special, and lucky, 18 thousand gay and lesbian couple who managed to make their way over the rainbow during that brief moment in time in California.  

I went down to Dupont Circle last night to support the Day of Decision rally in Washington DC.  It was great to see all of the people who came out, in the rain, to stand for marriage equality.  Young, old, black, white, gay, and straight.  It really was great.

But a rally isn't enough.  We all need to do something.  We all need to join the movement to repeal Proposition 8.

Maine Rocks, Crazy Marion Barry, and Kylie's Coming to America!!

The governor of Maine signed into law today the bill that would allow same sex couples in Maine to get married. I watched/listened to some of the debate from the Maine legislature via the intertubes and couple of times I just got so choked up listening to men and women, gay and straight, young and old, arguing for equal rights for all of Maine's citizens. And just a big thank you to the governor for changing his position and signing the bill. So Maine makes 5! Do you know what that means? That 10% of the states in the US allow same sex marriage. I know we'll lose some battles along the way, but I really think we are winning this war and history will look back and say, "Really, you were freaked out by this? How sad."

Of course, some people just won't be happy. Including our own crazy Marion Barry who after years of being an advocate of gays rights, has decided to side with the wing nuts. Another poster child for the right wing. Multiple divorces? Check? Problems with the law? Check (tax evasion), Check (drugs the first time), Check (drugs the second time), Check (hit and run accident), and Check (bribery). So to Marion Berry, I'd like to dedicate this song (so totally NSWF, but oh so fabulous!)

And the most important news of the day (okay, maybe below the announcement from Maine), comes word that Kylie Minogue is coming to the United States. OMG! Must go see her. Must. Ms. Showgirl is only playing in like 6 cities, and not DC, so you know what that means don't you? Road trip! Need to see if we can get tickets when she plays in Las Vegas! I *must* get tickets. Must! So excited.

Ms. Kylie was the soundtrack of my coming out while I was Down Under. Here's the song that started my love of all things Kylie:

Iowa, Vermont, and Thomas Jefferson

Wow, what a crazy couple of days.

Iowa. Again wow. Who would have thought that change, dramatic change, would happen so quickly in the heartland. Bravo to the Republican judges who ruled in support of gay marriage. Bravo!

And I love this clip. Kind of makes me tear up inside:

And Vermont! You paved the way for civil unions and now this huge step towards equality. Thank you! I'll be having some of Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream to celebrate your vote (vote! not court decision!) and to help out your economy. And while I love Americone Dream already, if you think about it, the American dream is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So it just makes sense to celebrate with Americone dream!

Despite the fact that work sucks my will to live lately, I surfed around the intertubes looking at the responses to both the results in Iowa and Vermont, I stopped by Jimbo's blog where he had some famous words by Thomas Jefferson that are inscribed in the walls of the Thomas Jefferson memorial on the Mall:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

Were our founding fathers amazing or what? I'd like to take some of our current politicians down there to show them what a real statesman looks like. I've always liked the TJ Memorial the best. I need to go back down there again soon.

Reclaiming Hope

So I marched in my first gay march yesterday. I've been to Pride before and never really felt like marching in a Pride parade. Sure I'm out and proud, but marching really isn't my thing. But on Saturday I took part in the National Day Of Protest against Prop 8 and for gay marriage.

Saturday AM, I hit the CVS and bought a poster board and some markers so I could make my own poster. In my not so great handwriting I wrote, "Equal Rights For All. Fight Hate." And then Museum Man and I took the metro down to the Mall. We got off the metro at the Smithsonian stop and then walked the rest of the way down the mall, and I was carrying the sign so everyone could read it. As we made our way to the reflecting pool, I could see the crowd that was starting to form there. We finally made our way there and kind of blended into the crowd. It was really an interesting experience. A very great, positive vibe. A little disorganized to be honest, but there was something real, and hopeful, about it. Lots of great signs. The gays are pretty funny. But the crowd wasn't just gays and lesbians. There were tons of people (I've heard 3000) there, gay, straight, black, white, young, old, etc. It was really amazing. So techincally it wasn't really a gay march. It was a march for equality.

After some cheers and some speeches, we started to walk down the mall. While the weather had been warm and partly sunny earlier, big heavy darks clouds had rolled in. But still we marched. Down the south side of the Mall towards the Washington Monument. Carrying my sign, I jointed in the cheers. "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Prop 8 Has Got to Go." And it made me think.

Why I am marching for Prop 8? What causes me and hundreds of thousands of people like me around the country who don't live in California to come out to protest and march for the rights of gays and lesbians in California? I think we are there trying to reclaim a little bit of hope. First Vermont with civil unions. Then Massachusetts with marriage. Then California. Despite some setbacks, the forward progress for equal rights was happening. It was only going to be a matter of time before other states (thank you Connecticut!) would follow suit. So to see the people of California give in to hate, to fear, and to pass Proposition 8 was just a body blow to our collective hope for equal rights across the United States. If any state should support equal rights, it would be California, right? But no, the people of California lost sight of the inalienable rights of all citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This march, and the hundreds like it around the country were just our way of reclaiming hope that equal rights will come some day. That we can make it happen if we work together. If we show the rest of the country that we won't settle for second class rights.

Despite the pretty torrential downpour, we walked around the Washington Monument, up 17th St, and then over to LaFayette Park in front of the White House. The group was pretty big and stretched for several blocks. And we walked for quite a bit. And despite the rain, I think the positive attitude of everyone who marched was just amazing. And despite the traffic jams we caused, I only saw people waving or honking in support. Nothing bad or negative. It was really a remarkable afternoon.

Oh, best signs:
  • "More Gay Marriages = Less Gay Sex. Happy Now?
  • If I Can't Marry My Boyfriend, I'll Marry Your Daughter.
  • Single and Bitter, but Still Support Marriage.