I came across a website with letters regarding the CA marriage issue and in particular was moved by this letter.

It gives me hope for change.

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Well, we had a fantastic time in Seattle last week. It probably seems a bit crazy to start making decisions/plans to move there, when summer is the only time we’ve been there. But man, those summer days are beautiful! It was such perfect weather the whole time we were there. I really think I could put up with a lot of rain during winter to have a summer like that. In the meantime, back here at home, it’s 100 degrees today…too hot to really even be outside.

So, we are definitely starting to make plans. There was a possibility that we would try to do it quickly and be there for a job opening for Erica in August. But that is seeming more and more impossible to accomplish. There is still too much to do and figure out. We need to figure out housing, both here and there. We are torn about our house here in Salt Lake, which we love and have so many plans for. I wish we could take it with us! But I don’t think in the current market, selling for what we’d like to make on it will be possible. Renting seems a better option, though we’d sure prefer to rent to someone we know (any takers out there?) 🙂 I think if we can wait a couple of years – maybe even one depending on how the market goes – we can make enough to buy something up there. Plus, renting for a short while up there is appealing because it will give us a chance to figure out where we want to buy.

The town where our friend that we stayed with lives is so adorable, but it would be a very long commute if I end up working in downtown Seattle. And we don’t really know where Erica will be working either.

So…these are the things we are trying to figure out. I think we’d both really love it up there. I know there is concern about the amount of rain and the lack of sun during the winter. But really, how much sun do we get here? Even when it isn’t cloudy, the inversion gets so thick that you really can’t see the sun anyway. I wouldn’t miss the snow at all, actually, though Erica will. We will both miss being close to our families.

But, that said, I think at least for me, getting out of Utah will help my family relationships in a lot of ways. I have a tendency to hear news about what the church is doing and assume that everyone in my family agrees with it (the CA marriage issue is the most recent example). But that is not necessarily true. And I think if I can live somewhere where the church’s actions aren’t in the newspapers every day that I can let a lot of that worry go. I don’t want to become that person who is always angry about something the church is doing – and that will be much easier to accomplish living in a place where no one else will really care at all.

So, at this point, it’s mainly figuring out the housing issues and then figuring out the timing. I think we’ll have to hope for a bit of serendipity as far as jobs go. One or the other of us will obviously have to have a firm job offer in hand, and then the other will have to trust/hope that she can find one as well. I’ll be sad in many ways to leave my current job. But I have faith that I can find something, with the experience I have now, that I will like just as well. Hopefully I will like the people I work with as well as I do now.

More to come as we figure it out….

I haven’t had much time to post anything substantive lately – i’ve been busy with work, yard, etc., and i’m going on vacation tomorrow so I probably won’t post till I’m back next week.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share something I read today on the Huffington Post. Go there and read the rest if you have time (though I’ve pasted the best part here).

There are billions and billions of reasons to hate McDonald’s. They took the McRib away, for one, and that burns. (Sometimes I almost wish I’d never loved it at all.) There’s at least one good reason to like McDonald’s: They’re being boycotted by the American Family Association.

What did McDonald’s do to cross the AFA, its president, Donald Wildmon, and — by extension — Jesus (R-Nz.)? They donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. McDonald’s’ revenue runs about five billion dollars a quarter, so you can see their profound commitment to destroying the family through sodomy.

The AFA says that by donating one thousandth of one percent of its 2007 earnings, “McDonald’s has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda.”

Which seems like a kind of shrill definition of “full weight,” but maybe it’s like the Quarter Pounder®, and it’s the weight before cooking that counts.

It feels a little like the American Family Association was looking for someone to boycott and it was just McDonald’s’ turn. They’ve already boycotted Sears, Kohl’s, Kmart, Target, Old Navy and IKEA. As a result, they’re naked and don’t have anywhere to sit. The McDonald’s boycott follows boycotts of Burger King, Carl’s Jr., 7-11, Proctor & Gamble and Kraft, which means Donald Wildmon hasn’t eaten anything for sale in America since the late ’70s. You’d think he’d be dead, but no.

(He’s a good guy. I’ll bet he loads up on locusts, beetles and grasshoppers, like it says in Leviticus. The same book that — there’s no getting around it — says homosexuality is an abomination, absolutely as heinous in G*d’s eyes as strong drink.)

Does the AFA hate homosexuals? Absolutely not! It says so, right on their website, under the heading and sub-head: “Does AFA Hate Homosexuals? Absolutely Not!”

Should McDonald’s take the boycott seriously? The customer is always right, I guess. (I think that’s from Deuteronomy.)

Happy 4th of July everybody!

I’ve started biking to work, and though it is seriously kicking my out of shape butt, it’s also been very fun. It’s satisfying to feel like, with one action, you are accomplishing several goals. The last time I filled up my car with gas, it cost more than $50 (and I get terrible mileage, so the tank doesn’t last long), so it’s nice to just leave the car in the driveway and know i am saving money. I think I’m most excited about they physical benefits – though I’m not sure when to expect them to start kicking in. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now – not every day, but as much as I can with work schedule, etc. And some days have felt easier than others. But today felt just as hard as Day 1. Friends I know who bike a lot tell me that’s pretty normal, that there’s an adjustment period for your body. I’m just hoping to pass some kind of threshold soon where I feel like I’ve made some progress, stamina-wise.

The other thing I really like about it is it feels a bit more personal than being in a car. When I pass other people on bikes, they tend to smile or nod hello, which makes me feel like I’m in the “in-crowd.” And other pedestrians are friendly, when you are stopped at lights. It makes me feel like I’m part of a community, which I’ve never felt driving through downtown.

Push by Sarah McLachlan

Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You’ve seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

[CHORUS:]
You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do ’cause you’re too good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you’ll go
You wont stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

[CHORUS]

Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me
There are times I can’t decide when I can’t tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I’d drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I’m OK
Sometimes thats just what we need to get us through the day

[CHORUS]

I thought about posting a response to the LDS Church’s letter to CA wards encouraging members to support the constitutional amendment fight with their money and/or efforts. But I came across this letter from Jeffrey Nielsen, the former BYU professor that made headlines a couple of years ago for opposing the federal marriage amendment after the church asked members, from the pulpit, to support it, and thought he expressed it much better than I could in my current emotional state:

Open Letter to California Mormons

by Jeffrey S. Nielsen
24 June 2008

I am a member of the Mormon Church, a married heterosexual, and a supporter of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. I am asking you to pause and give sincere thought to the letter from our religious leaders you have heard read, or will soon hear read, over our church pulpits asking you to get involved and oppose marriage equality in California. Please think deeply about this, not only as a member of a particular church, but also as a citizen of a democracy.

To press for an amendment to a civil constitution that would legalize discrimination against an entire class of people is no small matter, but of the greatest significance. When the argument, no matter how well intentioned, is based solely upon a religious proclamation; then, I believe, it is a serious contradiction of the wisdom of our founding fathers. It also does tremendous damage to the great progress in civil rights we’ve made in our country respecting the equal dignity of each person and towards a more certain legal equality for all citizens.

You should also know, not all faithful Mormons agree with our religious leaders’ encroachment into political matters. In fact, a growing number of active Mormons, who have gay friends and family members, are coming to the conclusion that our current leaders are as mistaken in promoting discrimination against gays and lesbians as was the Mormon hierarchy in the 60’s when they opposed equal rights for people of color, and our Mormon leaders in the 70’s when they opposed legal equality for women.

Of course, religious authorities of any denomination possess the right, and may claim the legitimacy, to set the theology and policy for their religious community. When they; however, attempt to interject religious doctrine into the public spaces of a diverse democracy without reasonable justification, then members, especially faithful members, of that religious organization have the civic responsibility to express public disapproval of such dangerous and undemocratic behavior.

No one is asking that you condone a behavior that might violate your religious faith, but we need to allow everyone the freedom to live their life as they see fit, so long as it does not physically harm another person. After all, religious values must be something an individual freely chooses, not something forced upon him or her by the state. We should never allow our constitutions, whether state of federal, to become weapons in a crusade to impose a particular religious value system upon a pluralistic democracy. Today it might be a particular religious value that we affirm, but tomorrow it might be a religious system, which would seek to legislate against our own sincere beliefs. So now is the time to take a stand and keep separate civil and religious authority.

I do not believe that people choose their sexual orientation any more than they choose their skin color or gender. So to discriminate and deny them equal protection and equal opportunity under civil law because of these natural traits; especially in this case, sexual orientation, is grossly unfair and should be rejected outright in a compassionate and just democracy. If anyone could give me a single reasonable argument against marriage equality in our civil society, which doesn’t make fallacious appeals to tradition, misplaced appeals to religious authority, or make some ridiculous claim about nonhuman animals, then I would like to hear it. So far, no one has been able to present me with even a single justifiable reason.

You should know that like you, family and marriage are very important to me. As I have become acquainted with gay and lesbian couples, I have been touched by their goodness, sincerity, and commitment. I am persuaded that allowing marriage equality would, in fact, strengthen the institutions of family and marriage in our country. Perhaps it might even make all of us a little more considerate and responsible as both marriage partners and parents. I can only hope that the citizens of California, and my fellow Mormons, will possess the wisdom and moral decency to reject the unreasonable and unjust call to discriminate against our gay and lesbian coworkers, friends, neighbors, church members, and family.