First Stop: Post Falls, Idaho

What I called our first mistake happened twice today. I’d mapped a dog park along the way to Idaho, one called Ringer Loop in Ellensburg, WA. It sounded like a dream: river access, lots of room to run. We were worried our dogs would be too full of energy, stuck in the car all day like they were.

Idaho sign
Welcome to Idaho! (Can't you read it?)

What I called our first mistake happened twice today. I’d mapped a dog park along the way to Idaho, one called Ringer Loop in Ellensburg, WA. It sounded like a dream: river access, lots of room to run. We were worried our dogs would be too full of energy, stuck in the car all day like they were.

We headed off the highway, onto one, then another road, passing a salvage yard with rusty, unrecognizable contraptions looming over the fence. The train tracks made us nervous. More nerves: the road abruptly turned to gravel. But we kept going.

Finally we arrived at what seemed to be our spot. A tiny, RV-unfriendly parking lot and a wooden kiosk like they have at every dog park I’ve ever been to. I got out to look at it, but it had no identifying sign, and said nothing about dogs. It only said what you couldn’t do at the park. Shooting was the top item.

I shrugged back at Ami, who had wisely chosen not to enter the parking lot. I looked at our map again and decided the entrance to the park would have to be a little further down the road. So we bounced and shook our way over the gravel until we reached a much smaller, also gravel road. Here we were advised by multiple signs that we couldn’t park wherever the road ended without a permit.

To our left was a field with an irrigation system set up at the far end. To the right were woods. The field had some fencing, but most of it was wide open to the road we were on and another, busier road on the other side of it.

Esmerelda, our puppy, is fixated on Hank. Hank is a runner. Open the door too wide and out he goes. But we’ve had limited success with letting him run around on beaches when we’re the only ones around.

I unstrapped the baby from her car seat and held her in one arm. We stood outside the car, looking from one end of the field to the other. “I’m sure he’ll come back,” I said. Then, “Aren’t you?” If she was, I definitely was sure.

“No,” Ami said. “But if you are, that’s fine.” Continue reading “First Stop: Post Falls, Idaho”

On the Eve of Our Departure

Today we spent most of the day getting a minor transmission problem fixed in the Jeep. Not a big deal, but they got the wrong part, not once but twice. Meanwhile they couldn’t put the old part back on, so we hung out in limbo waiting for the fix.

Today we spent most of the day getting a minor transmission problem fixed in the Jeep. Not a big deal, but they got the wrong part–not once but twice. Meanwhile they couldn’t put the old part back on, so we hung out in limbo waiting for the fix.

I was at the hairdresser getting one final haircut while Ami and Frances took care of the car. As a result, I spent most of the day wandering Fremont, the neighborhood in Seattle known as the Center of the Universe, where I once lived for two years. It was slow and pleasant, not at all what you’d expect for the day before a massive trip like ours.

Now we’re all finally home, and it’s boogie time. So I will leave you now. By tomorrow evening our banner will change to report our entry into a new state.

I hope it’s not spoiling any suspense to say that we will be no more married there than we are here.

Monday is Funday: Contest #2

From Paula Martinac’s The Queerest Places,

1) In what Massachusetts town, at 20 Quincy St., did Henry and William James’ little sister Alice live with her partner, Katharine Loring? From Martinac’s review:

Well, you could.
Well, you could.

The winner of this contest will receive one of our stunning, hand dyed and hand screenprinted Onesies!

Let us know in your entry which is your favorite design (check  a couple posts back for pics), and tell us if a 12 month or 18 month size would be better.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post answering one of this week’s questions. One right answer can win, but the response with the most right answers will trump.  Drum roll, please!

From Paula Martinac’s The Queerest Places,

1) In what Massachusetts town, at 20 Quincy St., did Henry and William James’ little sister Alice live with her partner, Katharine Loring? From Martinac’s review:

Henry James– who pictured a Boston marriage in his novel The Bostonians— wrote that Katharine’s love for Alice was “a devotion so perfect and generous…that to brush it aside would be almost an act of impiety.”

2) In which Louisiana town, in a rented room on Royal St., did Truman Capote write his first literary sucess, Other Voices, Other Rooms? Martinac’s reports:

“By the time I was ten”, Capote remembered as an adult, “I was sitting up all night long to write.” He was also already putting himself to sleep by taking a few swigs of whiskey.

3) Which St. Louis author worked as a young man at the International Shoe Company– where he met, befriended, and became infatuated with “a brawny worker named Stanley Kowalski, a “ladies’ man”…”

Kind of makes you want to go out and visit Queer America, huh?

We will choose a winner at 1 p.m. (or so) tomorrow. Any entries posted before we choose will be eligible. We’ll update this post with the winner when he or she is chosen.

(P.S. If you would like to donate a prize for a future contest, let us know.)

The Car Is Now Washed

Everything is coming together.

Driving through Capitol Hill this morning, at about 14th St. and E. John, I ran into this pack of hardworking honeys.

These Boys Need to Get to San Diego
These Boys Need to Get to San Diego

Everything is coming together.

Driving through Capitol Hill this morning, at about 14th St. and E. John, I ran into this pack of hardworking honeys.

Turns out they’re on softball team together, and they need to get to their next game in San Diego. Stop by and sample their skills, you won’t be disappointed!

Now that the car is looking sexy we’re almost ready to leave town. A few more days, a few more curtains to add, and then we’re off to earn that cross country patina.

Babies for Marriage Equality!

Yesterday we made hand-dyed, custom screen printed onesies. Our crafty crafty friend, Jenny, offered up her YuDu machine. Here are some of our designs.

Yesterday we made hand-dyed, custom screen printed onesies. Our crafty crafty friend, Jenny, offered up her YuDu machine. Here are some of our designs.

Babies for marriae equality!

I love love

If we lived here my mamas would already be married.

And this final one, though not for the faint of heart, is probably our favorite. The slogan was courtesy of our friend, Patch:

I'm only a bastard in some states

On Single-Issue Voting

Last night I read a post on Michael’s Gay Thought, “Is It OK To Be A Single Issue Voting Gay?” In response to a critic of LGBT single-issue voters, he writes:

The Gay community is at this very moment involved in a civil war in the United States of America. The issue is equal rights for the LGBTQ community,not just equal marriage. If you think this is a bloodless war, you are sadly misinformed and mistaken. Every day Gay kids are committing suicide because of society’s lack of acceptance of who they were born to be. Every day members of the Gay community are physically attacked, abused, murdered, spit on and denied their rights as human beings because of who they are. Our community sheds blood frequently in defense of who we are. Judy Shepard has become a one issue woman since the murder of her son Matthew. Her issue now is that there will be no more cases like Matthew. Would she be called stupid for making this her single issue?

Around the time of our first marriage, I became passionate about the issue of LGBT equality–in marriage and otherwise. Because of my personal connection to the issue, it incensed me that anyone could play politics with my status as a human being. I realized that to cast a vote for someone who didn’t believe in my equality–whether for personal or political reasons–was to condone this opinion.

Yet I didn’t become a single-issue voter. Since then I have voted for a number of people who don’t believe in my right to marry, including our current President.

The converse is also true: voting for someone only because they support LGBT rights is not acceptable, either. I wouldn’t vote for Dick Cheney, for example, though he supports my right to marry.

When I was first able to vote, I was very idealistic about it. I would only vote for the person, not the party. Back then I voted for some very interesting candidates, none of whom had the slightest chance of winning. With age comes–if not wisdom, at least pragmatism. There are a great many issues I care about, and while this one is at the core of my life, it is not everything I think about when casting a vote.

So while I am not a single-issue voter, I understand those who are. Meanwhile, I will do my best to convince the candidates whom I wish to support that I am worthy of the same rights most of them enjoy.

ENDA and the Religious Exemption

I would argue that religious organizations, for- and non-profit alike, should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity in matters of employment. I can see that a person employed as, say, a minister, would have to belong to the religion as a job qualification. But do their accountants and school bus drivers have to drive and subtract with the blessing of the right God?

Wikipedia map of LGBT employment discrimination laws
Wikipedia map of LGBT employment discrimination laws

Reading some reactions to the ENDA hearing today, I came across a blog post from Focus on the Family. [Forgive me for not linking to it, but my hit on their page was one too many. I am loathe to drive traffic to their blog.]

“So why aren’t we talking more about the religious liberty rights of for-profit religious corporations?  I haven’t seen a reasonable defense for denying a religious exemption to them, and I would argue that there isn’t one.”

Says the writer of the post. And indeed, current religious exemption law is on his side. Title VII  of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 says that the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion:

“…shall not apply to an employer with respect to the employment of aliens outside any State, or to a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities.” [Emphasis mine.]

According to the Wikipedia entry on ENDA,

“Religious organizations are provided a special exception to this protection, similar to the principles of the Civil Rights Act. Non-profit membership-only clubs (except labor unions) are likewise not bound to this rule.”

I would argue that religious organizations, for- and non-profit alike, should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity in matters of employment. I can see that a person employed as, say, a minister, would have to belong to the religion as a job qualification. But do their accountants and school bus drivers have to drive and subtract with the blessing of the right God? Continue reading “ENDA and the Religious Exemption”

Approve R-71 in the Lead–but Not by Much

Word here in Washington State is that R-71 would be approved if the ballot was cast today–but not by a wide margin….

I’m probably not telling you anything if you lived through 2008, but getting your side to vote wins elections.

Word here in Washington State is that R-71 would be approved if the ballot was cast today–but not by a wide margin. Today Joe Mirabella said on his Seattle P-I Reader Blog:

On a call to bloggers a few minutes ago Josh Friedes from the Approve Referendum 71 campaign shared the results of the first poll specifically about referendum 71. The results are a startling contrast to more general polls released by the University of Washington. When voters are read the exact ballot language, 51 percent approve referendum 71 and 44 percent reject referendum 71. The discrepancy may because this new poll looks only at voters likely to cast ballots in the 2009 off year election. As many as half of all voters don’t vote in off year elections, and those who do tend to be more conservative. [Emphasis his.]

This differs from the aforementioned University of Washington poll results, released last year. The Stranger’s Dominic Holden wrote on the Slog today: “Polling released by the University of Washington last October—in a presidential election—shows 66 percent of state voters support either full marriage equality or all the rights of marriage for same-sex couples.” [Emphasis mine.]

I’m probably not telling you anything if you lived through 2008, but getting your side to vote wins elections.

As something of an aside, I wonder how the method of voting will effect voter turnout this year. This November 3rd will be the first non-primary election in Washington that is conducted entirely by mail in all but one county in the state. I will be interested to see how the turnout differs from the last off-year election. I’m picturing myself going door to door with a roll of stamps, urging people to put their darn ballot in the mail. A $44 donation to pay for 100 of my neighbors’ postage would probably be money well spent.

Just call me the postage fairy.

Monday is Funday: Contest #1

The winner of this contest will receive four (four!) paperback books by LGBT authors from our personal library. These are books we like, by authors we admire, not an attempt to clean out our bookshelves (though that’s always welcome around here).

1. Rolling the R’s by R. Zamora Linmark
2. Faith for Beginners by Aaron Hamburger
3. Hello, Cruel World by Kate Bornstein
4. Babyji by Abha Dawesar

The winner of this contest will receive four (four!) paperback books by LGBT authors from our personal library. These are books we like, by authors we admire, not an attempt to clean out our bookshelves (though most people would say they could use some thinning).

You don’t have to be queer to enjoy these books, and you don’t have to be queer to enter this contest.

  1. Rolling the R’s by R. Zamora Linmark
  2. Faith for Beginners by Aaron Hamburger
  3. Hello, Cruel World by Kate Bornstein
  4. Babyji by Abha Dawesar

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post naming the last book you read. Recommend it, pan it, promote the book you wrote–whatever. Winner will be chosen at random. If you are shy, or have other reasons for not wanting your entry noted, you can send us an e-mail at arewemarried@gmail.com.

We will choose a winner at 11 a.m. (or so) tomorrow. Any entries posted before we choose will be eligible. We’ll update this post with the winner when he or she is chosen. If you win and have already read any of the books, we will donate them to a book drive or queer youth organization.

(P.S. If you would like to donate a prize for a future contest, let us know.)

Legal Matters

Things changed after we had our first wedding ceremony. We shared so much joy with all our friends, chosen family, and family that I knew if we had rough times, 200 people would be there to root for the union. I think we both felt like there was a 3rd person in our relationship now; the marriage was a person to which we each had a relationship. I felt a protective urge that I’d never had before–she was my family now.

At our second, legal marriage, we had a different experience. I had an uncanny sense of history the day we were legally married. I thought of scenarios where our great great grandchildren would be looking for us on ancestry.com one day (ha ha), and would pull from a government archive database, a copy of our marriage license. Both of our names, legally bound.

11-15 01-sm
My Love Matters

There was a political uproar in Seattle immediately following the passage of Prop 8 in California. The evening Obama was elected was a night of great joy, but also heartbreaking disappointment: the state of California repealed the right for gays to marry.

I was crushed–I didn’t know whether I was  still “married” or not. After feeling married for over two years, even if only one of our weddings was legal, I felt like something had been taken from me.  It was like Ellen had gone back in the closet, or Sir John Elton admitted that he’d lip synched his whole career.

As soon as it was announced, I knew that we had to go to the march on November 15–to be around others who were outraged and hurt so none of us would feel alone. Ruby took this photo of me in front of the amphitheater at Volunteer Park, holding my sign. (Yes, that is a broom handle.) She was pregnant with Frances at the time.

I thought about what it was that could be taken from me, and what couldn’t, what it was that made the difference between being girlfriends and being wives, even if our legal marriage resided in a different state than we did. Continue reading “Legal Matters”