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Fridge Wisdom: New Mexico Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

December 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

Congratulations to New Mexico for becoming the 17th state (and DC) to legalize same-sex marriage! After Hawaii, I thought it was going to be until another election before I’d get to slap another state magnet on the Designer Daddy fridge. But then New Mexico’s supreme court up and unanimously votes to bring marriage equality to the Land of Enchantment. I could have sworn we had some New Mexico magnets around our house, but turns out they were all Arizona. Oh well… Arizona, we got you covered, so get on the stick! (Magnets courtesy of Christy Schejnin and Jonathan Elliott, respectively.)
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Fridge Wisdom: Same Sex Marriage Passes in Hawaii

December 2, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

The state that has given us several cool TV shows, a super catchy Christmas song, and the weirdest Disney movie to date, adds yet another dash of fabulous to our country. Today marks the day LGBT American can now get married in Hawaii. Yet same-sex marriage is becoming such a common occurrence that many media outlets don’t deem it sensational enough to cover. Perhaps they’re holding out for Utah or a Carolina or the Grand Wizard of all conservative states (that would be Texas, y’all) to change its right-wing ways before making marriage equality front page news again. But Hawaii deserves
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Fridge Wisdom: Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

November 6, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

I’m particularly proud of Illinois legalizing marriage equality, as I was born in Alton, and then lived outside Champaign/Urbana for a few years as a kid. I can’t really claim it as my “home state,” as I was a nomadic Military Brat, but I’ve always been proud to be from the Land of Lincoln. Now even more so. Illinois, legislation passes November 5, 2013. Goes into effect June 1, 2014. The “S” may be silent, but gays sure ain’t! Speaking of being nomadic… Now with same-sex marriage in Illinois, my state of birth, the only other states I’ve lived in
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Fridge Wisdom: Same-Sex Marriage is Jersey Strong

October 21, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

Congratulations to the people of New Jersey, and particularly those same-sex couples getting legally married in the Garden State today! Welcome to the club! New Jersey, legislation passed September 27, 2013. Weddings begin October 21, 2013. Think it’ll get overturned? Fuggedaboutit! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Need a refresher on where same-sex marriage is already legal in the
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Fridge Wisdom: The State(s) of Same-Sex Marriage

June 25, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decisions on DOMA and Prop8, I wanted to take a moment and honor the states (and a couple of countries*) that laid the groundwork to get us to this point in the nation’s history.

Over the last decade, thousands upon thousands of Americans have sacrificed their time, money, privacy and sanity to get same-sex marriage legalized in their respective home states. Their goal of obtaining full rights for LGBT couples and families was not easily fought, and it’s upon their shoulders we will stand equal to the rest of the country, whether it’s now or in the future. I’m rooting for now…my fridge is running out of space.

 

netherlands
Surprising no one, The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, November 2001.
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Fridge Wisdom: Four More States Make It Over the Rainbow

November 23, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF

And then there were 15. Just over a dozen states remain either defiant against or dragging their heels on legalizing same-sex marriage. 62.4% of Americans now live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. As we get down to these last few hangers-on, I’m tempted to highlight the ironies of the infamously anti-gay events and people these states have produced. But I’m in more of a celebratory mood, and will refrain from such pettiness.

For example, it would be tacky to mention Matthew Shepard was beaten, tied to a fence and left to die outside Laramie, Wyoming. Or that his death and the ensuing outcry is what many consider the turning point for LGBT rights in the United States.

I’d certainly never remind you that while Kansas is where Dorothy Gale hails from, it’s also where Fred Phelps called home and set up his hate-mongering “church.”

And heaven forbid I list some of South Carolina‘s greatest hits, which include Strom Thurmond, Linda Oliver, Earl Ballard, Lindsey Graham, Mark Sanford, and Bob Jones University.

As for Montana… well, I honestly don’t know much about Montana. Isn’t that where Miley Cyrus is from?

In all seriousness, I was particularly excited about same-sex marriage in South Carolina. The legal announcement also brought with it the engagement announcement of some very dear friends. Rob and Dwight have been together for 13 years; they moved back to Charleston from DC several years ago to be closer to their extended families. It was a difficult move to make, so I’m beyond ecstatic the courts have rewarded their commitment to family by allowing them to become a legal family at long last. Congratulations, guys! I’ll be waiting by the mailbox for an invitation!
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Same sex marriage in Wyoming

Wyoming: same-sex marriage legalized Oct 17, effective October 21, 2014. (L to R: Magnets courtesy of Chad Welch and Brad Gordon)

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Fridge Wisdom: Way To Go, Idaho… and North Carolina, Alaska & Arizona, too!

October 19, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF

I don’t have a particular fondness for Idaho over the other three states that legalized same-sex marriage last week — it just made for a better rhyme. Ironically, it’s the only state of the four I’ve not visited. In any case — way to go! Over 60% of the US population now lives in a state where marriage equality is the law of the land!

Join me in celebrating the four new states that this past week helped to make the inevitable all the more so. And when you stop and think about it, it’s pretty amazing that gays and lesbians can now legally wed in places like the Grand Canyon, Outer Banks, Twin Falls or right next door to Sarah Palin
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same-sex marriage north carolina

North Carolina: same-sex marriage legal, effective October 10, 2014. (Magnet on left courtesy of Mark Mitchell)

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Dear Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage: Please Stop Raining On Our Parade*

August 11, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF

*LGBT community, I’m talking to you, too.
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Same-Sex Marriage In The United States

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I’ve been remiss in my duties as a same-sex marriage magnetic merry-maker.
I decided at some point (probably during the whole Utah kerfuffle, or perhaps Indiana flip-flopping) that I wasn’t going to fully celebrate a state legalizing same-sex marriage (with a magnet and blog post) UNTIL IT HAD FULLY LEGALIZED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. The majority of recent court cases on marriage equality haven’t resulted in immediate (or lasting) positive results. I’m the kind of person that likes to wait to celebrate until the contract has been signed, the keys are in my hand, or the baby is in my arms. I’ve been burned a couple of times from premature revelry, so I’m particularly cautiously optimistic when it comes to this subject.

And it’s admittedly been confusing to keep track. Here’s the tally,** as of this writing:

  • 18 states and DC have legalized same-sex marriage
  • 2 states are in progress, with marriages set to start (or restart) later this month
  • 9 states are in flux or on pause. In most instances, a court ruling was made declaring a same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional… resulting in marriages being performed… and then a stay being put on the ruling while the opposition got out their red tape to cause some clusterf*ckery.

There are scads of people (my husband included) with more legal knowledge than me, that could use more official terms and offer more detailed explanations. But this is how I explain it to keep my brain from imploding from all the minutia and two-steps-forward-three-steps-backwardness of it all.

One important thing to be gleaned from the current state of same-sex marriage in the United States is that momentum is clearly in our favor. Every single case that has gone before a state court in 2014 has ruled for legalizing marriage equality. Our team’s win column is filled to overflowing.

But I have a bone to pick with “our team” — the LGBT community and our ever-increasing number of hetero allies: Please stop raining on the same-sex marriage parade.

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Fridge Wisdom: God Save the Queen (or Two)

July 18, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF

Another update to my magnetic commemoration of states and countries that have legalized same-sex marriage.

Long Live the Queen! Long Love the Queens!
God Save the Queen for Saving the Queens!

Piccadilly Circus! Fish & Chips! Bangers & Mash!

Okay, that’s enough of that.

Congratulations to our friends across the pond for their fabulously progressive monarch. Yesterday Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal “Yo go, girl!” to legalizing same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.

So I scoured my mammoth magnet collection, and this was the closest I had to something  British…

wallace

While I love me some Wallace (and Gromit), this occasion warranted something more monumental. I put out a call, and my readers came through in spades! Here are my three favorites… READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Sharing History: A Gay Dad & His Son Take a Field Trip to SCOTUS

June 27, 2015 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LGBT STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

I’d been battling a summer cold and was giving my achy muscles a rest, when multiple alerts on my phone roused me from grogginess. At long last, the Supreme Court had ruled to uphold the legality of same-sex marriage! Friends and family were texting, emailing and posting in a celebratory barrage of beeps and tweets.

Yet my relief, excitement and pride were shortly muffled by throbbing sinuses, and I resigned myself to sitting this historic event out. I had been there when DOMA and Prop8 were overturned, we’d been legally married last year, my husband was out of town and I was exhausted from my solo-parenting stint — the reasons to stay in bed were legion. But something (the social media frenzy? live news reports on the TV in the background? guilt?) moved me to maneuver upright and out of bed, where my thoughts became clearer…

This isn’t about you, or about what you have or haven’t experienced. It’s not about living within reach of where it’s all taking place. This is an opportunity to share a moment with your son. A historic moment in the nation’s evolution. A moment relevant to him and his story.

After a shot of Mucinex, I somehow managed to pull it (snacks, water, metro cards, myself) together, picked Jon up from day camp, and we set out on our adventure.

I told my curious and excited 5-year-old we were going on a field trip to the Supreme Court Building. I told him we would get to ride the subway and a taxi, and that the building looked kind of like the Hall of Justice. He was already sold by the how and where, but I needed to explain the why.

Remember when Daddy and Papa got married, and how much fun that was? (Nods) Well, we were able to get married and be a family because it was legal in our state. But there were still a lot of families with two mommies or two daddies in other states that couldn’t get married because they weren’t allowed to. Because it wouldn’t count. (Look of concern) Until today. The Supreme Court is where they decide all the laws in the country, and they said that any two people can get married anywhere and be a family — and they said that was the law just today. So we’re going to celebrate!

Pauses. Mulls.

So, it’s gonna be… like a little party?

Our field trip to the Supreme Court the day same-sex marriage became legal

A day of so many firsts, including Jon’s first time in a taxi.

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