Just Married

Stephanie and I got married on Saturday. I would have blogged about it at the time, but for some reason, I had big bundle of gladiolas in my arms and no access to a keyboard. (How’d that happen?) I picked gladiolas for my bouquet because they’re what my Grandma Mineart carried in her wedding, and I always adored the wedding photo of her carrying them that hung on the stairs at her home.

Our Wedding

We got married in Great Oak Commons Park, which is a beautiful little neighborhood park a block away from our house in Old Northside neighborhood. The weather was beautiful. All of our family and friends were there. Dan was my best man, and Kathy was my bridesmaid. Stephanie’s friend Michelle was her maid of honor and her friend Veronica was her brides maid. Stephanie’s niece Raven was a junior Bridesmaid, and she looked after our ringbearer, Spike, who was in the wedding party with us. Our friends Joe and Douglas were ushers, and Jonathan twittered our vows as we said them. And we had tons of other help from our family and friends; we are very blessed.

Our Wedding

I couldn’t have been happier about how the day went. Stephanie was absolutely gorgeous, but I knew that already.

Our Wedding
Stephanie with her mom

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it all was to be holding Stephanie’s hands and saying to her all kinds of crazy things about how wonderful she is, and how lucky I am to share her life.

These were our vows:
I, Steph, take you, Stephanie,
to be no other than yourself,
loving what I know of you,
trusting what I don’t yet know,
with respect for your integrity
and faith in your abiding love for me,
through all our years
and in all that life shall bring us.
I will honor your goals and dreams
and help you to fulfill them.
From my heart I will seek to be open and honest with you.
I say these things to you with the whole of my being.

If you follow us on Twitter, you probably saw those come across, with the help of our dear friend Jonathan.

Our Wedding
Steph and Stephanie with Steph's Brothers, Sisters-in-law and nieces

[ My Flickr Photoset of our Wedding ]

[ My Brother Scott’s photo album of the wedding. ]

Tonight we’re in Toronto, Canada, for our honeymoon. We’ll get married again in City Hall on June 4th to get our marriage license. Watch my Flickr Photo Stream for pictures of some of the fun we’re having. Well, not ALL of the fun. But some. 🙂
Photo Collection: Wedding and Honeymoon Photos

Continue ReadingJust Married

links for 2008-03-18

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-03-18

I wanna commitment ceremony you

Stephanie and I were having talk the other day with one of our friends over terminology and what we called our selves, our wedding, and what we’ll call ourselves once we’re married.

That’s not an unusual discussion, and gay people have different opinions about it. There are some who don’t embrace the words “marriage” “fiancĂ©e” and “wife” because there is historical baggage associated with all of them, surrounding women being treated as property.

I understand that argument, but I disagree with it – I think the historical “property” context in far enough in the past that not many people realize or associate those ideas with those words anymore. And I also feel that the words “marriage” “fiancĂ©e” and “wife” have tremendous power in them that the second-class terminology of “commitment ceremony” and “civil union” and “domestic partner” lack. Here’s a funny video about why that’s the case: once you start using those terms in context, they sound dumb:

Continue ReadingI wanna commitment ceremony you

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette on the Marriage Discrimination Amendment

Courtesy of blueindiana.net, I enjoyed this editorial from the The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette on the plans to re-introduce SJR-7 – the marriage discrimination amendment – into the short legislative session this year (when, of course, there are much more pressing issues like property tax reform that need to be addressed.)

There is no reason for it to pass this year or any year. Indiana has a law that prohibits same-sex marriage. The language of the proposed amendment is murky at best and would create more legal questions than it would answer.

Meanwhile, other states are quietly going the opposite direction from Indiana. Instead of adopting measures that take rights away from citizens, they are expanding rights. In 2007, New Hampshire joined Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey in offering civil unions. And Washington State and Oregon approved domestic-partnership laws to ensure legal rights for same-sex couples. Maine, California and Hawaii already have such laws.

Colorado, Iowa, Oregon and Vermont all banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, bringing to 12 the number of states with such anti-discrimination laws on the books. Nearly half of the U.S. population now resides in states that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to Stateline.org, an authoritative Web site that reports involving issues with state governments across the nation.

It is foolish for Indiana, still lagging other states in economic recovery, to consider a measure that would alienate any potential investor. It’s even more foolish to consider such a measure when elected officials should be focused on tax restructuring.

Continue ReadingThe Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette on the Marriage Discrimination Amendment

Bigotted Atkins Cheesecake Family denies partner access to gay son

From today’s Indy Star:

Brett Conrad spent more than half his life as Patrick Atkins’ partner. For 25 years, the men shared bank accounts, apartments and eventually a home in Fishers.

But when Atkins, 47, fell seriously ill in 2005, Conrad faced what many gay Hoosiers consider a travesty: no law guaranteeing them the same rights as married couples to participate in care decisions for their ill partners.

Conrad, 47, spent much of the past two years trying to win guardianship of Atkins from Atkins’ parents, Thomas and Jeanne of Carmel. Jeanne Atkins is quoted in court documents as saying she believes homosexuality is a sin and that she disapproves of the men’s relationship. The parents have barred Conrad from visiting their now-disabled son in their home where he lives.
In June, Conrad won visitation rights from the Indiana Court of Appeals, but the court upheld an earlier Hamilton County ruling that left control of Atkins’ care to his parents.

Gay-rights activists say the men’s story illustrates the discrimination embedded in Indiana law and underscores why gay marriage should be allowed.

On the other side, opponents of same-sex marriage say the case could have been prevented if Conrad and Atkins had used existing laws that can give unmarried couples — straight and gay — the legal right to act on each other’s behalf.

Read the whole article (linked above) for more information, including some great references about what legal documents you should have in place to protect yourself from this sort of madness.

And obviously – I’m never eating Atkins Cheesecake again, and of course, I’m contacting the Atkins family to tell them why that’s the case.

Continue ReadingBigotted Atkins Cheesecake Family denies partner access to gay son

SJR-7 Died in Committee

From numerous sources, but quoting from the Indiana Equality email:

Marriage Discrimination Amendment dies in committee
Indianapolis – Indiana Equality announced today that the Indiana House of Representative’s Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee voted five to five on Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR-7). As a result, the amendment will not be brought for a vote by the full House of Representatives and will not be voted upon by the Indiana General Assembly.

The Indy Star has an article on it.

Advance Indiana breaks down the vote:

Rep. Terri Austin (D)-No
Rep. Scott Pelath (D)-No
Rep. Russ Stilwell (D)-No
Rep. Earl Harris (D)-No
Rep. Bob Kuzman (D)-No
Rep. Randy Borror (R)-Yes
Rep. Ralph Foley (R)-Yes
Rep. Eric Turner (R)-Yes
Rep. Matt Whetstone (R)-Yes
Rep. Dennis Oxley (D)-Yes

Wow, that was brave of the democrats to stand against this – we can’t forget them. I’ll be sending them some flowers, without a doubt.
I’m so happy I could cry.

Continue ReadingSJR-7 Died in Committee