Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adding My Voice

Years ago I knew a woman in the process of liberation, exploding with a joy for a grander life than once she'd imagined.

In one of our conversations, she introduced me to a dance school in which children learned to go inside themselves to understand what and how to express themselves. It was, perhaps, one of the most significant conversations I've had in the last 18 years, for that brought an excellance of magnificent artistry into our lives.

She also gave my newborn daughter an Irish blessing.

Then I didn't see her again.

Until Facebook. Now I find I can count on her to pay attention and speak with that same explosion of spirit.

So, when she identifies me, "tags" me, in a note she's posted, I know to pay attention.

So I read her "Using the National Organization for Marriage To Promote Marriage Equality" and jumped right in.

Take a couple of minutes to do something to further marriage equality!

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is the organization that did that "storm is coming" ad that aired on TV ( which tried to show how same-sex marriage would destroy society and civilization as we know it. NOM is also under review as being funded by the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Right now on their website they are running a petition called Two Million For Marriage in which they're asking Congress: Don't Mess With DOMA. As you all know, DOMA is what keeps same sex couples (even couples legally wed in the 6 states that allow same-sex marriage) from receiving federal recognition, benefits, protections and rights. The Right is afraid that when DOMA falls that all state laws and constitutional ammendments banning same-sex marriage will fall as well. So this petition is going out to the writer's Senators and Representatives, Rep Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid, and President Obama asking them not NOT support any efforts to repeal DOMA.

We should hijack their petition and alter it to ask our Representatives, Senators, Pelosi, Ried and Obama to SUPPORT ending DOMA! Feel free to edit their letter yourself. Below I pasted my version of the letter.

The petition is located at:

And I went to that petition, and edited their letter (original below my version) and came up with the following:

July 29, 2009
To: Nancy Pelosi, Harry M. Reid, Barack Obama, Your Federal Senator(s), Your Federal Representative(s)
From: Barbara Bellows-TerraNova

I am writing today because I wanted to be sure that you heard from the tens of millions of Americans who firmly believe that marriage should be recognized as a commitment of union between two loving people, regardless of gender.

Too often, we have been silent, ignoring the damage done to our gay friends and family members by the narrow-minded intolerance of those who are irrationally threatened by people they don't understand, who have gone beyond human decency to attack a legitimate minority population. Today, I am writing to strongly urge you to encourage you to oppose the misbegotten federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Thirteen years ago, Congress panicked, seeing the increasing fervency of the religious right, and betrayed American citizens when they adopted DOMA, and President Clinton, in one of his many hypocritical moves, signed it into law, allowing states to rule according to petty local religious prejudices to use their power to enforce their cruelty, heartlessly rejecting relationships that often demonstrated more commitment and integrity than the officially sanctified marriages, where domestic abuse, psychological cruelty, sexism, lying and cheating have created a society in which, ironically, more Americans are lefting desperately needing the kind of federal assistance these same people frequently vote against.

This is simply common sense, recognizing the legitimacy of love and commitment shared over decades between partners who deserve to have their relationships sanctified by the state on an equal basis with heterosexual couples.

I urge you to strongly stand up for human rights and oppose the illegitimate federal Defense of Marriage Act. Our country and families are in the midst of crisis -- in the financial markets, in education, in health care. Now, of all times, let the healing begin!

As the late, "most trusted" Walter Cronkite wrote in his column, "The Marriage Debacle", published February 26, 2004:

"There are many of us Christians who recall our Sunday-school teachers and later our ministers dwelling upon the sympathy and respect -- indeed, the tolerance -- for others that, they taught, was basic to our Christian religion. As the prophet Isaiah summed up this need for tolerance: 'Come, let us reason together.'

"We who believe this are compelled to ask: Where is the tolerance, where is the Christian spirit in the effort to criminalize the personal choices of our fellow citizens, personal choices that do not physically threaten others? Where is the Christian tolerance in the conceit of those Christian leaders who dare suggest that they alone can be trusted to properly interpret the lessons of their Bible, and who would impose that belief on this nation's highly diverse peoples by threatening to throw them in jail if they don't agree with the CCR's version of God's wishes?

"Besides wishing to criminalize individual behavior, the more radical members of the Christian right would like their proposed federal law to dictate what individual churches could do in regard to recognizing or performing same-sex marriages. This is another abomination. Shouldn't that decision be made by the individual church or denomination? What possible excuse is there for government intervention in this decision except an unreasonable, unchristian intolerance for freedom of worship?

"Where is the Christian tolerance in those right-wing Christian leaders who would impose their religious beliefs on the entire diverse population of the United States, even to the extent of a Constitutional amendment curtailing our rights of religious freedom?

"As the CCR leadership presses this matter, which they depict as a moral issue, they threaten a religious war that will split our nation at a time in our lives when unity would be helpful in attacking far more critical problems on which the future of our nation depends -- our foreign policy, the economy, education, medical care and the environment, to name a few.

"In the difficult days ahead, the tolerant among us -- Republican, Democratic or Independent, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or nonbeliever -- are going to have to try to preach another morality, and that is the morality of tolerance."

Sincerely, Barbara Bellows-TerraNova

Gotta love Facebook for reviving friendships that bring out the best in us.

* * *

Their original (NOT MY THINKING):

Subject: Don’t let Massachusetts force same sex marriage on the whole country.

I am writing today because I wanted to be sure that you heard from the tens of millions of Americans who firmly believe that marriage can only be the union of a husband and wife.

Too often, we remain silent, watching events in Washington from a distance. Today, I am writing to urge you to oppose any effort to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Just thirteen years ago, Congress overwhelmingly adopted DOMA, and President Clinton signed it into law, protecting the rights of states to enforce their own marriage laws, and not allowing four judges in one small state to force their views on same-sex marriage upon the entire nation.

Forty-four states have now adopted laws re-affirming the definition of marriage as the union of a husband and wife. Out of thirty states where a constitutional amendment on marriage has gone to the people, the amendment has passed all 30 times, usually by overwhelming margins.

This is simply common sense, not bigotry, recognizing the shared wisdom of humanity across all cultural, religious, and ethnic lines. Marriage connects a child to both her mom and her dad, giving her the birthright of love and support from her own parents that every child deserves.

I urge you to strongly oppose any bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Our country and families are in the midst of crisis -- in the financial markets, in education, in health care. Now, of all times, don't mess with marriage!

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