Thirty two years and counting!

Together 32 years ago!

It’s that time of the year again, I’ve updated the tagline for the blog to show that yet another year has ticked by.

Not real obvious what this means so, for those of you that don’t know; that’s the number of years that Rob and I have been partners. Thirty two years together and counting!

As far as I’m concerned we’re married in every sense of the word, except legally of course. You see there are still those in this country that are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Rob and I the basic human right to marry who we choose.

For the vast majority of those opponents of same sex marriage the argument against it is based upon religious beliefs. Strangely enough I actually support those religious beliefs. Now and in the future I will defend religious freedom in this country; but I also defend the separation of church and state.

My defense of separation of church and state is, at least in part, a religious belief. A belief based on the same religion that most opponents of same sex marriage use to justify the blanket denial of basic human rights. A tenant of Christianity that many in this country seem to have overlooked for years.

In Mathew 22:21 Jesus is quoted as saying “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. To me this is a clear statement of the separation of the church and state; an instruction from Christ himself to “Render unto Caesar…”. Pretty clear and straightforward to me.

Even if you don’t agree with my logic there are so many holes in the argument against same sex marriage that you have to question why all of the fuss and defense of the holy sanctity of marriage as a religious institution. After all we don’t hear any argument from same sex marriage opponents that:

  • A marriage performed outside of the Christian faith/church isn’t just as valid.

    Are Hindu, Muslim, or Jewish marriages by default not legitimate? If we follow the logic of the argument then these marriages aren’t sanctioned by the Christian God.

  • A marriage performed by a Justice of the Peace or Magistrate isn’t just as valid.

    Being a Christian isn’t a requirement for holding those offices. Nor is questioning the religious beliefs of the official common practice; so is that marriage performed by a legally recognized person invalid because they aren’t Christian?

The list could go on for quite a while. But there’s really no point to continue.

5 Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday : ✪ MATTHEW PAUL TURNER ✪

A friend pointed this blog post out to me late today and I thought it was worth mentioning. It seems to fit well with my post on Facebook a few days ago; actually go hand in hand in a way.

I’ve pasted my original Facebook post below the quote.

5 Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday

via 5 Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday : ✪ MATTHEW PAUL TURNER ✪.

Thanks Chick-fil-A!

I grew up with a rather large extended family steeped in the Southern Baptist tradition and I was part of it for the longest time. Honestly proud of it as well, until as a young teen I realized that I didn’t fit in with that tradition. That I wouldn’t be welcome because I was gay.

Needless to say I left the church, but I never left the faith. I may not practice it the way I was brought up, but it’s never left my heart in thirty some years since.

My partner and I have been together for 32 years this coming September never pushing our relationship in anyone’s face but certainly not afraid to show who and what we were. And although we’ve never been really close to my extended family I’d always thought that we were accepted and welcome at family gatherings and in their homes.

I understood, or thought, that although they may not agree with my ‘lifestyle’ they would still accept me for the family that I am and accept my partner.

But boy there’s nothing like a little Chick-fil-A controversy to let you know where you stand. I don’t know if I’m naive or just plain stupid.

Recently some of my extended family has been so proudly shouting their support for a company that spends millions of dollars to deny me the basic human rights that they enjoy. Denying me the same legal rights and protection that they take for granted.

It hurts, it hurts a lot.

I’ve never asked to be married in your church and honestly I don’t want to be. I respect your right to your religious beliefs and would never ask you to change them.

But I’d always thought that you could see the difference between legal rights and religious beliefs. And for some strange reason I thought that you as my family could see the love and dedication that Rob and I have shared for nearly 32 years. Longer then some of you could stay married to your first wives.

That somehow you could at least respect that even though you may not agree with it. But obviously I was wrong.

Thank you for insulting me and my relationship, belittling the 32 years that Rob and I have shared and the many more that we hope to share in the future. Thank you for supporting a company that works to deny me everything that you take for granted simply because it doesn’t fit in to your narrow view of the world.

And most importantly thanks for letting me know how truly loving and accepting my extended family really is.

Defense of Marriage Act heads to US Supreme Court

One step forward in a long journey….

A battle over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman appears headed for the Supreme Court after an appeals court ruled Thursday that denying benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional.

via The Associated Press: Defense of Marriage Act heads to US Supreme Court.

But don’t read too much into this decision. The bottom line is that so far the cases against DOMA that have won favorable rulings have done so only on the issue of denying federal benefits to legally married same sex couples; not the underlying human rights question of same sex marriage, nor states ability to deny and curtail those rights.

Opponents to same sex marriage have clouded the issue by shrouding it within the context of state’s rights. In other words by claiming that the state has the right to determine and define ‘marriage’ in whatever way that they see fit. In effect saying that the people of our state don’t want to allow or recognize a marriage if it doesn’t fit with their particular view.

It wasn’t that long ago that many states used the same argument of states rights to justify the implementation of laws, that in essence legalized racial discrimination, and in particular made it illegal for a mixed race couple to marry. Although the banter about same sex marriage may be slightly different the underlying farce is exactly the same.

So stop for a moment and consider this from a different point of view. How would you react if any state in the US reintroduced legislation making mixed race marriages illegal?

AFB Saxophone Ensemble

AFB Saxophone Ensemble performance of Carmen Suite.


Bravo! Picture Downloads

You can download all of the Atlanta Freedom Bands Bravo! pictures in the zip files below.

Group pictures will be added as soon as possible. Need to finish up the post work.

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