Pride Chorus keeps on Singing

June 1 is Blogging for LGBT Families Day 2009. The Pride Chorus is "a chorus of mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers & grandmothers" and Juneau Woman of Distinction Marsha Buck does her LGBT activism on behalf of her children, so this is Bent's LGBT Families Day post. Last year's post was Two Moms and Two Boys DO Make a Family.
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The Juneau Pride Chorus annual (spring) concert was early this year, 'way back in February. In March, the Chorus sang at the annual AWARE Dinner, where Chorus member Marsha Buck was honored as a Juneau Woman of Distinction. In April, the Chorus sang at the Juneau Folk Festival. Then in May, they opened for a special concert by Emma's Revolution.

"It was a privilege to open for Emma's Revolution and sing a song with them," writes Pride Chorus member Juanita Reese. "There was a big turn out, and they are wonderful people - funny, inspiring - with good music."

The Pride Chorus also performed the opening set for the Women of Distinction Dinner. Marsha Buck attended the dinner with her daughter Lys, who was visiting from Wisconsin. 

"She and her wife, Liz, and their two children are the ones on whose behalf I do my LGBT activism," writes Marsha.

In addition to being a member of the Juneau Pride Chorus and a Juneau Woman of Distinction 2009, Marsha is a member of PFLAG Juneau and the Board President of Alaskans Together for Equality.

"These women were chosen for their dedication and relentless service to peace, justice and the empowerment of women," reads the Women of Distinction 2009 page. "Each honoree has enriched the lives of women and children and has made a legacy of compassion out of their own lives."

The 35th Annual Folk Festival described the Juneau Pride Chorus as "a chorus of mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers & grandmothers bonded by a love of singing and & a desire to celebrate diversity."

The theme of the Women's Pride Chorus 2009 annual concert in February was Women's Bodies, Women's Strength. The concert was followed by a dance, with music performed by female musicians.





















The Juneau Pride Chorus singing at AWARE's Women of Distinction dinner in Juneau. 






















Marsha Buck with her daughter Lys at the AWARE Dinner.






















Chorus member Juanita Reese at the AWARE Dinner with her daughter Janae.





















Pat Humphries and Sandy O of Emma's Revolution.

Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Churches & Religious Groups

Visitors, new residents and long-time Alaskans want to know where to find churches and that are inclusive, welcoming, open, affirming or at least LGBT-friendly. Here is the current list. If you know a gay-positive religious organization in Alaska that you think should be on this list, please leave the information in a comment below the post.

Disclaimer: This list is not an endorsement or recommendation of these particular religious groups, only a recognition that they are LGBT-friendly.

Bent Alaska's resource list for Alaska's GLBT organizations, groups and publications remains one of the most often visited pages on the blog. There is also a list of GLBT Alaska's Annual Events, and Seasonal and Recurring Events.

Alaska's GLBT Business List has so many listings for Travel-related businesses, that I've added a separate Travel resource list, Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Travel & Tourism.

Alaska's GLBT-friendly Churches and Religious Organizations

Fairbanks
(Fairbanks listings from Fairbanks PFLAG)

4448 Pikes Landing Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
(907) 451-8838

1012 Cowles Street
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
(907) 452-3425

Juneau
5th and Main, downtown
Juneau, Alaska 99801
(907) 789-9068

325 Gold Street
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 586-3532

Mat-Su Valley
415 S. Bailey Street
Palmer, Alaska 99645
(907) 746-2907

Anchorage
2222 East Tudor Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
(907) 258-5266

2222 East Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
(907) 563-3341

2311 Pembroke St. (off Boniface Parkway)
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
(907) 333-5253

3201 Turnagain Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99517
(907) 248-3737

1801 O'Malley Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
(907) 344-3025

1612 Oceanview Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99515
(907) 345-3858

7525 E Northern Lights Blvd
Anchorage, AK 99504
(907) 338-1836

(Religious Science Church)
929 E 81st Avenue, Suite 106
Anchorage, Alaska 99518
(907) 522-0940

(Shin Buddhism)
4105 Turnagain Blvd. East Suite G-2
Anchorage, AK 99517
(907) 334-9984
(meets in the APU Chapel)

Focus on the Facts: Myths and Facts about the Ordinance

 

Fear has long played a significant role in efforts to oppose movements for equal rights in our country. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, those who objected to the suffragist movement stoked fears that if women were granted the right to vote they would lose their "natural" feminine qualities. In the 1950s, Jerry Falwell argued that integration would destroy the white race. And today in Anchorage, there are allegations that by ensuring that our city protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Alaskans from discrimination in employment and housing, we will somehow unleash a virtual tsunami of disruptive and illegal behavior that will threaten the safety of women and children. 

Fear is an understandable human reaction to the prospect of change. However, it important that in considering Anchorage's future and the kind of city we should strive to be, that we base our decisions on facts—not unfounded & unproven fears. To this end, Equality Works would like to focus on the FACTS of the proposed ordinance to update Anchorage's equal rights law to include LGBT people. 

On the Nature of the Ordinance

A common misinterpretation of the proposed amendment is that it will grant Anchorage's LGBT citizens rights that no one else has. The reality is that Anchorage already has a nondiscrimination law. It protects people from discrimination on the basis of age, disability, marital status, nationality, sex, race, color, and religion in the realms of employment, housing, public accommodations, financial services, and municipal business. Anyone who suspects that they have been discriminated against on any of these bases can file a complaint with our Equal Rights Commission, which by law is empowered to investigate, mediate between parties, or pursue legal action depending on the situation. However, because sexual orientation is not included in that list of protected classes, the Equal Rights Commission is not allowed to investigate such cases of suspected discrimination. 

Supporters of this ordinance are only asking that sexual orientation be included in the list of protected classes for a law that is already on the books. So when opponents argue that it will grant LGBT people "special rights," they are misrepresenting the ordinance itself—which is simply amending a law that already exists—and intentionally or unintentionally misleading the public. 

Nothing "special" is being created or added that will apply to LGBT people alone. Equality Works believes that ALL persons should be treated equal in the public sphere. 

On the Effects on Business, Workplace, & Our Community

While much has been made out of how the proposed ordinance would alter workplace behavior, Anchorage's nondiscrimination law has never prohibited businesses from establishing standards of conduct and behavior suitable for the marketplace and other professional settings as long as those rules of conduct are equally enforced. We doubt that the majority of Fortune 500 companies, including some with a local presence—such as BP, Alaska Airlines, and Wells Fargo—would have voluntarily adopted internal policies to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation/gender identity if those policies were proven to be bad for business or to result in increased rates of workplace misconduct. On the contrary, these corporations understand that LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies help to recruit and retain a more diverse, talented, and productive workforce. 

No clause in the proposed ordinance requires an employer, business owner, or realtor to tolerate anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who behaves in an inappropriate, disruptive or unprofessional manner, including in a restroom or other facilities. 

On Individual Religious Rights & Religious Institutions

The Bill of Rights promises every American the freedom to practice their religion and express their opinion without persecution. These promises are two of the building blocks of our democracy. The Municipality of Anchorage recognizes those rights by including "religion" as a protected class in its nondiscrimination laws. This means it is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of their religious beliefs. The current law also includes language that allows churches and other religious organizations to limit access or admission to those who share their beliefs. 

The Equality Works coalition is made up of people from a variety of spiritual backgrounds and we would never propose a law that infringes on our freedom of religion. At the same time, we believe that no one should be denied employment, refused public service, or denied a lease simply because the proprietor doesn't agree with the partner they've chosen to spend their life with. It's a matter of mutual respect. 

 On Gender Identity/Expression

In the proposed ordinance, sexual orientation is defined as "perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender expression and identity." As used in this definition, 'gender expression and identity' means having or being perceived as having a self-image, appearance, or behavior different from that traditionally associated with sex assigned to that person at birth.

While sexual orientation is the phrase used to describe people's primary attraction, gender identity refers to a person's internal sense of being male or female, regardless of their sex assigned at birth. And gender expression refers to how people express that identity. In many cases, when people are perceived to be gay or lesbian, it is not because they have "come out" or have been seen with a partner of the same-sex. They are perceived to be lesbian or gay because they express their gender identity different from what is traditionally expected. A gay man can be harassed for being gay without ever telling his coworkers that he is—and so can a straight man who isn't deemed sufficiently "masculine." This is one of the reasons why it is important to protect people from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity/expression--because no one—straight or gay—should be treated unfairly in work or the public sphere because they don't conform to rigid stereotypes. 

Equality Works believes the small minority of transgender people in our community whose gender identity does not match that of the sex they were assigned at birth deserve protection. They are people who have served in our military, who drive our taxis, who have children and families to provide for and they are no less deserving of employment and housing than anyone else. While some in our community try to paint transgender people as a dangerous threat, transgender men and women are far more likely to be the targets of violent harassment and discrimination than those who would refuse them equal opportunity under the law. 

Every civil rights law creates some discomfort in a workplace.  Title VII discomfited those who did not wish to work with women, racial minorities or people of other faiths.  The Americans with Disabilities Act required employees who felt uncomfortable around people with disabilities to nonetheless come to work and do their jobs. By revising the city's non-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is making the policy determination that the ability of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to have equal access to employment and public accommodations will make Anchorage a better place to live and work.

Conclusion

Decisions regarding the fate of our city should be made based on accurate information, not on misinterpretations and exaggerations rooted in fear. The Equality Works coalition is committed to participating in an honest and respectful dialogue in hopes of building a broad base of support for our efforts to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Alaskans from discrimination. We believe that if all interested parties make the same commitment our community can emerge from this vital discussion with a greater respect for our diversity, a better sense of the values we share, and pride in being leaders in Alaska when it comes to protecting all our residents and workers from unfair treatment.

Prevo stirs up "trouble" right here in Anchor-city

by Matthew Moak

Each time I read something written by Rev. Prevo, I can't help but equate him with the character Harold Hill from the Music Man.

Melodically, Rev. Prevo takes to the media singing his own version of "Trouble." Rev. Prevo's ability to use this musical message filled with fear to control his followers as he attempts to push his "moral agenda" is unfortunate. The tune he sings however is catchy and the beat easy to dance to.

Christians used the Holy Scriptures to condone slavery and to champion against interracial marriages based on their own interpretation of the Scriptures. Rev. Prevo attempts to push his own interpretation of the Scriptures as they relate to homosexuality.

Rev. Prevo is quick to toss out the Clobber Scriptures which he interprets to be damning to homosexuality such as Leviticus 20:13 and yet he refuses to admonish his followers for eating shellfish, which is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), or to chastise his own male followers who get their hair trimmed, which is expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19.

There were four commandments given to us by Jesus. Love God, love yourself, love your neighbor and love your enemies. Not one of them involves hate.

Oh yes, Rev. Prevo, we've got trouble, lots and lots of trouble here in Anchorage. Thankfully the vast majority of us are familiar with not just your song, but also your dance.

Another Letter of Support

The ADN is printing a steady stream of letters to the editor about the Assembly's non-discrimination ordinance, including this letter from Laura Muller of Anchorage posted on Wednesday:

Stop bearing false witness

I'd read about the proposed nondiscrimination ordinance but hadn't thought much about it until I ran across a recent press release from Anchorage Baptist Temple that implied homosexuals, pedophiles and pornographers are all cut from the same cloth.

If protecting kids is their aim, they're probably after the wrong rabbit -- most molesters are straight men.

As a Catholic wife and mother, I don't feel I ought to be spending much time pondering what other people do in the privacy of their homes. Jerry Prevo taught me more about necrophilia and bestiality today than I ever knew existed!

The most disturbing part, though, is this assumption that homosexual people aren't quite human and can't be expected to live by the same societal rules as the rest of us. That's dangerous and irresponsible.

It doesn't matter if you repeat it or shout it or tattoo it on your forehead -- that doesn't make it true.

Fact isn't an opinion or subject to religion. Please stop bearing false witness. It isn't right, and it isn't Christian.

Celebration Art Show, Pride Week Events & "Oh the Things Mommies Do!"

Gay AK: Notes from LGBT ALaska

Homer PFLAG decided to make a float for the local July 4th parade this year, so Alaska will celebrate LGBT Pride in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau AND Homer this summer.

Write to your Assembly members, RSVP for the June 9th Hearing
Have you written to your Assembly members yet? If not, please write or call today. If you don't live in Anchorage, please contact friends who do and ask them to call or write for you. Will you be at the hearing on June 9th? Please RSVP with Equality Works. Have Questions or Concerns? Email Tiffany McClain or visit Equality Works.

Alaska-raised illustrator co-authors "Oh the Things Mommies Do!"
Crystal Tompkins and her partner Lindsey Evans, who grew up in Anchorage, are self-publishing a new LGBT children's book, "Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two?" a celebration of Lesbian Mothers and their children. "Oh The Things Mommies Do!" is a "bouncy and playful look at the joys of a two Mom family. With its catchy rhymes and vibrant illustrations, it is a pleasure for children and parents alike." Lindsey was raised in Anchorage, attended Bartlett High School and was a student at UAA. "Oh the Things Mommies Do!" will be available in June.

Radical Woman Award nominations due 5/30, CoC Art Show entries on 6/3
The Radical Woman Award honors women who have made significant contributions to the GLBT community in Alaska. Please nominate a wonderful woman and send a short paragraph highlighting her contributions to Radical Arts for Women by 5/30. The winner will be announced at Celebration of Change. Female visual artists are invited to submit their work for the Celebration of Change First Friday Art Show, 6/5-29 at the Kodiak Bar and Grill. Drop off entries on 6/3 after 3 p.m. The 25th Anniversary show of Celebration of Change is at the Wilda Marston Theatre at 7 p.m. on June 13. Tickets for CoC are available now at Metro, or the GLCCA on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Anchorage PrideFest seeks Volunteers
More volunteers are needed to be Parade Route Marshals for the parade, and for setup and tear down for the Festival on Saturday, June 20. If you can volunteer your time and energy please email the GLCCA. Congratulations to M.E. Rider and Jill Ramsey, editors of the Grrlzlist, who are the Anchorage PrideFest Parade Grand Marshals for 2009. Check out the many Pride Week events, download the vendor, performer and contingent applications, and read about M.E. and Jill at Anchorage PrideFest 2009.

Drag Queen Bingo and Pride Week with Four A's
Four A's is hosting several events for Pride Week 2009. Adam and Steve's Annual Drag Queen Bingo Fundraiser is on Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m. at Snow City Café. All proceeds go to the Adam and Steve HIV Prevention program for young gay and bisexual men. The Bingo includes a silent auction and a drawing for everyone who dresses in drag. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Join Four A's annual marching unit at the PrideFest Parade on Saturday, June 20th. This year's theme will be Mission Possible: Know Your Status and we will be dressing in camo and promoting HIV testing. National HIV Testing Week is June 20-27th. Free HIV testing will be offered all week, including during PrideFest. For more info, visit Four A's.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 5/29/09

This week's events from the statewide newsletter. Subscribe to Alaska GLBT News.

Fairbanks

Dance Your Heart Out: Country Western 2 step lessons & dancing 5/29, 7:30 p.m. $12/drop in. Bovee Studio, 1845 Caribou Way, off College Rd. RSVP to Judith.

Bac'untry Bruthers at the Clucking Blossom at Birch Hill, 5/30 at 8 p.m.


Juneau

SEAGLA Social Fridays (6-8 p.m.) for GLBT people and our friends over 21, at The Imperial Bar, downtown. 


Mat-Su Valley

Mat-Su LGBT Community Center in Palmer is open M-F 5-8 p.m. (except 6-8 on Wed.) The social group meets Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. at Vagabond Blues. Harmony Choir meets at the Center on Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.


Anchorage

Fire Benefit for Garfield & Alvin 5/29, 9 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

Wendy Withrow performing at the Downtown Market on 5/30 at 11 a.m.

Side Street Saturdays for LGBT writers, Saturdays noon-3 p.m. at Side Street Cafe.

Sunday worship for Pentecost, with Rev. Norman Van Manen and MCC Anchorage, Sundays 2 p.m.

Transgender Support Group, Sundays 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the GLCCA.

Gay, Joyous and Free AA Meeting, Mondays 6 p.m. at the GLCCA.

Anchorage Frontrunners, Tuesdays, 6 p.m.

Couple Loses All in Anchorage Fire

Garfield and Alvin lost everything in the Spenard apartment building fire on Memorial Day, and Mad Myrna's is hosting a benefit show for them on Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m., and setting up a barrel to collect donations.

"They literally got out of this with the clothes on their back. Sadly, both of their cats died in the fire,"reports their friend Bear. "One of the guys was at work when it happened. The other was asleep and neighbors woke him up and got him out of the apartment." 

"They need everything. There is a barrel at the bar so people can drop things off there any time."

A list of suggested donations includes money, canned food, clothing (large & XXXL), pots and pans, linens, furniture and other household items. If there are donated items that they can't use, Bear will pass them on to other needy people in the community. 

The Friday night benefit will donate money from the Divas show, the door charge, and a special halibut dinner by Lola's.

People were in seven of the 10 apartments when the fire broke out, said Kelly Hurd, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross of Alaska. One unit wasn't rented and residents of two other units weren't home.

The fire started outside a stairwell on the first floor and raced up to the second floor in the 10-unit building. An investigator is looking into the cause. 

Two of the apartments were destroyed and residents lost everything, Hurd said.

Please help Garfield and Alvin get back on their feet after this terrible loss. Donate items at Mad Myrna's, or email Bear at this address to make donations.

Churches have 'special' rights, gays don't

Elise Patkotak wrote another great ADN column in support of the Anchorage non-discrimination ordinance, Unlike gays, church has its 'special' rights:

According to Jerry Prevo's letter to the editor in Sunday's paper, his main problem with the city's proposed ordinance protecting homosexuals' civil rights is that it would allow men to dress as women for work. Hmm ... isn't that what Milton Berle did on his TV show in the '50s? And didn't Tom Hanks get his start as a cross-dresser in a sitcom? Then, of course, we have J. Edgar Hoover -- there was a man who knew how to make a dress pop.

I erupted in laughter upon realizing his main objection to this ordinance is his belief that if passed, gay men would blanket the workplace with skirts, heels and makeup. He also apparently believes it authorizes gays to be sexually promiscuous with pornography during work hours. Tough luck for all those straight guys out there who found their company blocked access to porn on their work computers. If this ordinance passes, they'll apparently have to find a gay friend who is willing to share his screen.

In all seriousness, am I the only one who read that relatively bizarre letter and thought, as the Bard so eloquently once wrote, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Fear mongering under any guise is a hateful and nasty way to try to hurt someone who is different from you. The Nazis did it with the Jews. America did it after 9/11 with Muslims. The confederate states did it with blacks -- it wasn't all that long ago that a black man looking at a white woman was given a death sentence in many parts of the American south. And now some people are trying to use it on gays in Anchorage under the guise of Christianity.

Most mail I received in response to last week's column supported my position, though some did so with clear limits and reservations. Many stated that Jerry Prevo simply did not really represent Christianity. A lot of people said that while they didn't understand how someone could be gay, and maybe could never support the concept of gay marriage, they didn't hate gays and felt their civil rights should be protected. All in all, most letters were thoughtful ruminations on what is clearly a difficult issue for many people.

But as always, there were the haters. They were the ones who substituted "ph" for "f" in the spelling of some words in order to get it by any obscenity filter I may have on my e-mail account. Many were little more than rants that made it clear I'd be going to hell to spend eternity with all the gays I was protecting. They quoted the Bible to ensure I understood they were speaking with authority. After reading those letters, I think hell would be a much safer option for me.

Jerry Prevo is entitled to his opinion because this is America. And Jerry Prevo and his following have the right to keep gays out of their church, again because this is America.

For his followers who wrote me in a rage because I support "special" rights for gays and they want to know where their special rights are, I suggest they look at the tax exemptions their church has -- not only for the church building itself, but for just about any property it owns. They should check into how this ordinance specifically allows them to follow their beliefs and discriminate against gays if they wish. That's a special privilege. In fact, probably the greatest specially protected entity in this whole country is its churches. They don't pay taxes and they won't have to follow this ordinance.

Contrary to Prevo's fears, most gay men are not standing in their doorways dressed in drag waiting for the moment they can go to court and try a case in a lovely skirt and blouse ensemble. Most have families, bills and pets and live a stable life. And the more flamboyant part of the gay population no more represents the majority than the drunks, druggies and prostitutes you read about every day in the paper represent typical Alaskans.

This world is already filled with groups who hate each other. Why would anyone claiming to be Christian want to add to that?

The Antichrist is Coming - and He's Gay!

While Prevo tries to stir up fears about clothing and collects tax-deductible donations for his anti-gay political agenda, Pastor Ron Hamman from Wasilla isn't afraid to tell us what he really thinks about gays in his article Will the Antichrist be a homosexual?:
"But will the Antichrist be a homosexual? Having seen what the Bible says of sodomy, we have no further to look than the book of Daniel, chapter 11 to find our answer. It says, 'Neither shall he [Antichrist] regard... the desire of women....'"
He gives a long definition of sodomy, charges that creating words based on scientific evidence is "historical revisionism," and calls "mankind's desire of women" the "glue" of Christianity. He decides that "the one called 'that Wicked' by Paul" will indeed be a gay man.

He doesn't stop there. Adding sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policies of Anchorage, Alaska is proof that the Antichrist is coming!
"The time is ripe for such a leader. Indeed, it should not be surprising that the one who is against everything Biblical and Christian should be a partaker of so great a sin; there is no greater way to reject the Creator than to reject your gender and his design for it. And at what other time have we seen such perversion come out of the closets onto our streets, threatening violence if we do not accept their ways?

Is it any wonder that Revelation 13 says that this same Antichrist will make war with the saints of the tribulation, and overcome them? Are they not now readying themselves to make it illegal to "offend" them in any way, calling it hatred to preach against their sin? Is it because they love us? The time is ripe for such a man."

Prop 8 again


A few months ago, a slim majority of California passed Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California after five or six months of it being legal.  Since then, we've been waiting for the California Supreme Court to decide upon the measure's legality under the California constitution.

Today, by a vote of 6 to 1, the justices upheld it.

I can't say I'm surprised.  Nor, however, am I particularly demoralized: I think we've already begun seeing a sea change. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine… New Hampshire is close, New York not far behind. Things are starting to go the other way. And younger voters overall favor equal rights, while older voters who don't are gradually dying away.  As one person commented in one of my online communities,
This will be a pyrrhic victory [for opponents of marriage equality]. The 20-somethings are for gay marriage by a 3-1 or more margin. You'll see a reversal on Prop 8 within 5 years with a 55-45 vote at least. It is a lot better when it happens through the political process than from the courts (e.g. abortion). I realize this is no solace for those who have to wait.
I couldn't have said it better myself. And note that the later states in which same-sex marriage is being established are all establishing it through the political process.

Meantime, it was of some comfort that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in California during the brief period of marriage equality were ruled, in the same decision by the California Supreme Court, to be valid.  It delighted me to know that Artemis & Lori, whom I met last November during an Anchorage protest of Prop 8, just a few days after their wedding in Palm Springs, California, are still recognized as having a valid marriage — at least, in California.

After work today, I bussed downtown to join the small protest of the California Supreme Court's decision.  Like the one last November, this one was held at the Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage.  It was organized more or less at the last minute, so there were only a few people present — a total of seven during the time I was there, before I had to get home to take care of the dog.  But it was good to be there anyway, & to get at least a few honks from supportive passers-by.

Related:

18,000 Marriages are Upheld, but Not One More

Mo and Lin of Juneau were legally married in San Francisco City Hall on Sept. 15, 2008, exactly eighteen years after their original (non-legal) wedding. Today's California Court decision means they are allowed to remain married, although other same-sex couples will not be able to legally wed in California.

The California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage, and also ruled that gay couples who wed before the election will continue to be "married" under state law. A statement from Alaskans Together for Equality and the link to the Anchorage protest information was posted earlier.

Many Alaskan same-sex couples were married in California last year when the marriages were legal, and were waiting to hear if the court would divorce them. Other couples were hoping they would be able to get married in California this year.

Conservative groups that support the ban are angry that the 18,000 couples married before the election can stay married.

On Oct. 5, Mo and Lin held a Jump the Broom wedding reception in Juneau, and their friends created a Human Arch of Love and Acceptance for them to walk through. Then Mo and Lin joined hands and raised their arms as part of the Arch, and other couples walked through.

 

"We may need to do that Arch of Love and Acceptance again and again, letting it grow until all are included and equal in our nation," wrote Mo after the reception. "Perhaps we can have arches of love and support all over our state in 2009, or all over our nation."

Here are photos of the Arch of Love, the Newly-wed/Oldy-wed Game, the 3-tiered cupcake tower, and Mo & Lin dancing at the Juneau reception after their California (still-legal-today) wedding:



Lin responded to today's CA court decision: "It's a sad day for fairness and equality but I take heart from many things. Fair-minded people are planning for the next step toward full equality. I take heart from Meghan McCain's recent words (paraphrased), "Republicans believe in fairness and equality and I believe that supporting gay marriage is part of our platform."

Mo is in California today and plans to attend the Day of Decision action in Santa Barbara tonight. She sent this response:
I will use Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words here among mine, my hero of civil rights introduced to me by my Father in the 60's.

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

Now is the time for us all to work together, harder than before to change this injustice.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

Let us stand together, let me hear YOU!

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

Good people please join us, and let us be the change we wish to see in this world.

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.