Archive for the ‘Love’ Tag

Why Shouldn’t Homosexuals Marry?

I was sitting down last night going over the house hold bills, trying to figure out which over due statement I should throw money at next. As I cycled through the stages of acceptance for each bill I began to ponder the balance of what goes in whose name. This bill is solely mine while this one we share is in his name and this other is in my name, but everything gets paid through my accounts.

That made me wonder about what that does for my credit report. Does paying the light bill in his name using my account qualify as valid credit if we want to switch the light bill into my name. Not that we need to, I was just wondering because all growing up, adults constantly told me to never let a man have everything in his name. You know how small towns are, you get married in your twenties, have a child, get divorced, then spend the rest of your life in terrible cereal monogamous relationships that destroy your credit.

It fairly obvious that I didn’t grow up with a healthy view of marriage or long term relationships. My current is the longest I’ve had so far, but I definitely do not want to get married. At most, if the time is right and we have been together long enough, it might be convenient to file our taxes together. That led to thoughts about other friends of mine who are in long term, committed relationships whose lives would be made better by joint finances. So it would seem domestic partnership could be a cool option for us all. All the financial perks of marriage without being the same thing as marriage.

Since 2009 Washington state has granted domestic partnerships the same rights as marriage “…for all purposes under state law, state registered domestic partners shall be treated the same as married spouses and that provisions of the act shall be liberally construed to achieve equal treatment, to the extent not in  conflict with federal law.” http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/laws_and_regulations.aspx (Washington State, as of February, adopted same-sex marriage, but as that is likely to be out voted this November, for the sake of argument, lets stick with the status quo.)

What an awesome solution. Domestic partnership isn’t marriage in the traditional sense of two people putting their lives together, its just putting your finances together according to the state and country. Simple.

Not so much.

The legal definition of a domestic partnership in Washington is “same-sex couples over the age of 18 and heterosexual couples in which one partner is over the age of 62 qualify for a domestic partnership. Eligible couples must also share a common residence. They cannot be closely related, married, or in a domestic partnership with another person.” http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/laws_and_regulations.aspx Because we are all heterosexuals under 62, our only financial option is marriage.

But we don’t want to get married.

Now imagine that in reverse. Two people in love, prepared to take the plunge in to the world of the wed, before their friends, family and great spirit, can only file taxes together. What an insult.

Despite how I view marriage in the modern age, there is still something special about it that I respect. Marriage is the union of two souls in love for better for worse. Whatever the couple’s personal religious identities, marriage is the thing that brings two mortals closest to that divinity. It is this reason that marriage is considered sacred. It is why it *is* sacred. When two people wed, they are acknowledging the height of their beliefs through their union.

Imagine, heterosexual readers, that you found that person with whom you feel that you could enter into that sacred union. No imagine that you were only allowed to buy a few investments together and file your taxes together, that this sacred union was off limits to you. Would you not feel a sorrow in your soul? Would filing your taxes together really unite your souls before your friends, family and your great spirit? Do you think you could really experience that level of love in a domestic partnership?

So why do so many people say “I think gays should have all the rights of marriage, but that it just shouldn’t be called marriage”? Who are these people who decide on other people’s happiness?

Sure there are the ultra religious ass holes who forget that their faith is about good will towards man, helping the poor, orphaned and widowed, and loving their neighbors. Then there is a bigger group of people who barely identify with a religion that also try to block other people’s happiness. These people claim that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and make long winded arguments about how unnatural it is, how confusing it is for children, suicide rates, gays getting divorced, ect. All of these arguments based off of stereotypes and misinformation.

It is these people say “domestic partnership”  and suddenly there is a “solution” to gay rights. But domestic partnership is not a solution to homosexuals who want to get married. Nor is it a solution for herterosexuals who don’t want to get married. Domestic partnership does not equal marriage, it never will. Stop insulting people who love each other in such a demeaning way and stand up for equal rights. Love knows no bounds, and it is time that we, as a country, as people, recognize that.

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Combating Hunger in America

Today I read an article that said 1 in 5 children are at risk for hunger. 14.5% of households in 2010 did not have the resources to feed everyone. (US Department of Agriculture) Two things that don’t help is the lack of knowledge of tasty, healthy and cheap meals and the lack of time to prepare them. Naturally the author outlines the volunteers who are working to combat this problem. Teaching parents how to shop and cook while getting children enthused to help. The full article is http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/23/us/cnnheroes-hungry-children/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

It is awesome that there are people – lots of culinary students – who will give up their time to teach parents and children to survive in these tough economic times. But what about the briefly mentioned population that work two jobs for 16 to 18 hours a day, who barely find time to eat themselves yet alone can prepare dinner for their kids? The single mothers and fathers whose only real options is to give the babysitter enough cash for McDonalds or three slices of pizza from down the street.

Now what about the exceptionally broke youth, fresh out of Mom and Dad’s house, who now must learn to prepare food for themselves as well. They are underemployed, on a tight budget and don’t know how to eat healthy….

Yesterday my friend who is 18 made dinner for 5 people. Homemade Kung Pow Chicken, the night before it was homemade green curry. She is only 18 and works as a kitchen manager in a local bakery. On a nightly basis she makes food with us, improvising, using what she has, and teaching who ever is in the kitchen how to prepare what ever treat she is making.

Another friend of my is superawesomefantastic at soul food. Once a week she will feed about 30 people at her house and another 10 to 20 who are hard at work at local bars. These kids (I call them kids even though they are all a decade older than me) would not be able to eat a decent meal after their shift. Most would go to bed on a stomach of liquor and tater tots.

Both of my friends are great with children which got me to thinking, what if we could set up a volunteer babysitting service for those families? The ones who don’t have the time or energy to shop for and prepare healthy meals? Teach the youth who are fresh out of their homes how to cook (and babysit) and then have them spend a couple of hours a few evenings a week helping a family at risk of hunger.

Parents of course would have to buy the ingredients or give the volunteer money to buy ingredients. But every evening, one more family could rest on the fact that their children were fed. That one parent could conserve a little energy and place it instead into play time, bed time, or work; which ever the case may be. And the kids would be learning how to cook in the process furthering the cycle. Once those children got old enough, they can also volunteer their time to help families in the same situation as themselves.

It’s a small idea, but I hope you can help it grow. A tiny twist on an existing program, but it could reach so many people. Are you a good cook and good with children? Do you have a few hours in the evening, even if its just a few times a week, to  help these families? Do you have youth of your own,maybe a teen? Could you teach your youth to do the same?

Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, if this is an idea you can stand behind, if you know someone who could do this, tell them. Seriously. Humans need to help one another, we need to feed each other. Let’s come together in these tough times and make a difference.

The Season of Giving, You Have the Power to Make a Difference

This week officially kicks off the holiday season. This thursday we will prepare an obscene amount of food for our friends and families then eat until we pass out. Wake. Eat another piece of pie (or three). Pass out again. Eventually we put the left overs in the fridge and everyone goes home.

Then Black Friday, probably the most dreaded day of the year for retail employees. The gluttony of Thursday is met with greed, pride and further gluttony as countless parents, grandparents and lovers take to the stores to begin their holiday shopping. In their fury of Christmas shopping, everyone needs something. One month and hundreds of dollars later Christmas finally happens.

This is supposed to be a season dedicated to being grateful for the gifts we have and to spread joy, love and peace. Instead I am sitting at a job that can barely pay me to Facebook all day, thanking the heavens that its the Christmas season, because Lord knows there is no other reason to buy any of the crap that I monitor.

What have the holidays become? Days for us to fill our refrigerators full of food that we cannot possibly eat and buy crap that will likely be returned or thrown out in a year. We are raping our food resources while starving others and then polluting the earth with our consumerism. All the while we drop some change into the fish bowls of the Salvation Army Santas think that we are helping those less fortunate. The season of giving and gratitude has become a season of consumerism and greed!

I’m not saying that I don’t have a christmas list, I do. There are things I need and would prefer to have specific versions of the things I need. Likewise, I have Christmas lists for my friends. Things I know that they need or could use. But what about things that you can’t buy in a store?

In the spirit of giving I have a few suggestions of ways that you can enrich the lives of humans both in your community and around the world.

1. This is the easiest, donate to goodwill. Just go through your stuff, your kids’ toy box, your husbands 6 same sized ratchets, your teens thirty fully functioning hair straighteners, ect. Donate what you are not using. You’re just gonna get more crap soon anyways.

2. Donate your old glasses. Its a donation that will change the life of the receiver. Imagine a child whose education is halted because he can’t see the words in his book. A mother that has never clearly seen the faces of her children. An artist, a shop keeper, a seamstress, a wood worker, anyone who cannot see their craft an suffer financially. Here is a link to New Eyes for the Needy http://neweyesfortheneedy.org/ to learn more.

3. Donate livestock to needy families around the world. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for life… the same holds true here. Heifer International is an organization that takes your donation, uses it to buy livestock for families in need and send it in the name of your loved ones. It could be a small donation like a flock of chickens or a big donation for a cow, llama or goat. To find out more about this wonderful organization, follow this link http://www.heifer.org/homeview?msource=magento. They have a catalog so you can see the cost and benefits of each option.

4. Support American soldiers. There are plenty of ways. Trees for Troops is a donation programs to donate Christmas trees to the families of soldiers, treesfortroops.org. Or AnySoldier.com allows you to see what would be of use to our service men and women and how to donate. We can all agree it sucks to be alone for the holidays, imagine being in an active war zone, or having your loved one in an active war zone. Agree with the war or not, these soldiers and their families need love, otherwise their sacrifice is pointless.

5. Donate to your local Occupy Movement. Seriously, take them some warm Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Take them blankets and socks. Books and fresh water. It’s cold and wet out, take them hats, scarves, mittens and coats. Bring them coffee, hot tea or cocoa. If you have the means take them gas masks and padding for the occasional police raids. These people are standing up for humanity, protesting the things that have gone wrong with the world. They are present when you are not and they freeze for us. They go hungry for us. They sacrifice their comfort, suffer beatings and pepper spray for you.

6. Look around your community for other charities and talk to your canvassers. There are plenty of ways to offer your help and many more that have not been thought of. Set up a donation drive and get creative. Use the internet to help you, Facebook and Google will get you started.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is with love in your heart and compassion in your soul. And finally, don’t stop making a difference just because Christmas is over.