Friday, August 30, 2013

War: What is it good for?

Back in 1970, amid growing public opposition to the Vietnam War, Edwin Starr sang "War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'!" (The song, by the way, was first recorded by The Temptations, but it is Starr's version that is best known).  It wasn't long after that poet Kendrew Lascelles, wrote The Box, with the stirring line "and please don’t ever mess around with WAR.”  In the years since, we seem to have forgotten.

In 2001, the United States began a war in Afghanistan. From 2003 to 2011 we were fighting in Iraq. Earlier this year we were on the brink of some kind of fighting with North Korea. Now it's Syria. Nothing has happened yet, but it looks likely the some kind of military action will happen there.

Let me point out before going any further that I love the United States and I certainly support our servicemembers who have volunteered to defend our nation.  How often though is war really justified?  Do we actually accomplish anything?  Wouldn't a peaceful resolution always be better?  This blog, as you know, is NOT about me.  I'd really like to hear your thoughts.  Should President Obama bring military action against Syria.  Should the United States be the world's police?  What do YOU think?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Adding up the cash

Fundraising used to require collecting cash and adding it all up to take to the bank.  These days it can be much easier.  Most charitable events now have online fundraising pages.  I have used these myself for a number of events.  Social media allows for some fundraising too or at least helps to spread the message.  Services like paypal make paying easier, even for folks that might not have a credit card.

Approved charitable organizations can accept donations on their Facebook pages via something called Fundraise by Offerpop.  Another Facebook method is Causes, which offers a ton of different fundraising opportunities for your favorite charity.

There is also http://www.crowdrise.com/ and http://www.gofundme.com/ and http://www.kickstarter.com/ and several others.
 
If you want to raise money for a cause, the online method is certainly an easier way than holding bake sales and car washes, but note that if you promise perks to your donors, it is usually you and not the service collecting the money, that needs to come through with that.  Promising perks and than not fulfilling them will lose you credibility and will likely cause you a tarnished image.  Only promise what you can and will fulfill. 
 
Adding up the cash did indeed get easier, but before using any method for fundraising, whether you are giving or receiving, make sure you understand exactly what you are doing. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dr King's dream

Today is a special day.  It's my birthday, but since this blog is NOT about me, that cannot be why today is special.  It was on this date during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that some 250,000 civil rights supporters gathered to hear the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr deliver what became his best known speech. Speaking from the Lincoln Memorial, and beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, Dr King told the crowd "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free."
 
Television, newspapers, and radio stations have been reporting a lot on the famous March and the "I had a dream" speech.  There have been special events designed to teach and to remember.  There will be many more such events today.

At noon today - the exact date and time of Dr King’s famous speech fifty years ago - Grace Cathedral here in San Francisco will ring their bells and join houses of worship across the country in honoring this anniversary.  Following the bell ringing, a service will take place in the Cathedral's Chapel of Grace with The Rev Malcolm Byrd of First AME Zion Church preaching. This evening at 5:30pm at Holy Innocents Church, 455 Fair Oaks Street, San Francisco, their church bells will peal before Dr. King’s timeless words are read together.

I hope you get a chance to hear the speech sometime, especially if it is an original recording.  It's very moving!  Oh and a little side note: As Dr King waved goodbye to the gathered crowd that day, he handed George Raveling (now a retired basketball coach) the original typewritten "I Have a Dream" speech.  It is believed that Raveling still has custody of that original copy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

many many thanks!

Even though, as I so often point out, this blog is NOT about me, I am the writer and so from time to time I like to take a moment to acknowledge some wonderful things that happen.  I am fortunate to have a number of regular readers and some of the folks who read this have done some remarkable things.
 
First, thanks to everyone who reads the words I write and a special thanks to everyone who shares those words or who acts on something I might suggest here.  Thanks too for all who write comments or who send me emails.  I am also touched by all who share in the outrage of Sunday's story of the church that faced arrest for feeding people.
 
I have been fortunate to be able to donate money to various charities from time to time.  I don't have huge amounts of money though and so my fundraising is seldom of a large scale that folks might take notice of.  This year however I raised more money for AIDS Walk than ever before.  In fact, I received notification yesterday that I was in the top twenty individual fundraisers for this year's event!  Wow!  It's because of the generosity of folks who sponsored me, many of whom came from this blog.  Next month I do the Light the Night Walk for leukemia, and I have already beaten my past record for that, again this is because of help from folks like you.  I didn't do it - WE did!
 
Someone told me recently that my blog inspired them.  I'm glad.  When you write something like this, you can hope for certain results, but there is of course no guarantee.  It's so nice though to receive the positive feedback.  Thanks for that.
 
It's is the kindness and the encouragement that I receive from readers that truly inspires me.  Many, many thanks to all of you all.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Feeding the poor could land you in jail

The Reverend Hugh Hollowell, Pastor of Love Wins Ministries had a tough job Saturday when he showed up at Moore Square in Raleigh, NC.  He was there with his church group, bringing breakfast biscuits and coffee - they come regularly on Saturdays and Sundays, but the police were there too and told the group they would all face arrest if they gave away the food!
 
Now I would have just kept on feeding those gathered in the park, but upon reflection, it seems the church group did the right thing.  If the food was seized, nobody would have been feed anyway.  If the city of Raleigh is not able to feed folks though, what's wrong with a group like this doing it?
 
What can I do?  What can all of us do?  Well first of all, Love Wins Ministries is on facebook and you can get the very latest on all this HERE.  They also post updates on their website HERE. One of there suggestions is a campaign of calling and writing to their City Counsel. That just might do something.  Publicity also has a way of changing things.  Oh and consider making a donation to them.  Programs like this do cost money!
 
Raleigh is not the only place where laws prevent groups from helping the needy.  Of course we don't want people getting sick from bad sanitation or unhealthy situations, but that isn't the issue here, and usually isn't.  We need to make it easier to help others, not more difficult.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Here come the brides (and grooms)

There is a wonderful song from Cabaret that says "How the world can change, it can change like that, due to one little word - married.  See a palace rise from a two room flat, due to one little word - married.  For you wake one day, look around and say, somebody wonderful married me."  That pretty much sums it up.
 
I still occasionally hear people ask "What's the big deal?  What's so special about being married?"  It might seem that they just don't get it.  The fight for marriage equality is winning though because more and more, people DO get it.  Marriage is about love and love is worth it.  This week the latest wins came in New Mexico where it seems a lot of folks get it!
 
Dona Ana County became the first county in New Mexico to actively issue same-sex licenses, but they will not be alone.  Late yesterday a New Mexico judge ruled that gay and lesbian couples can be married, and ordered the Santa Fe County Clerk to grant the marriage licenses or appear in court next week to explain why that shouldn't happen.
 
Just this week several friends of mine were finally able to tie the knot here in California after a long battle for marriage equality and you should see the joy!  Remember:  it's about love, and love is worth it!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Barking up the right tree

This Saturday, Bark For Life, a non-competitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness of the American Cancer Society, will take place here in San Francisco.  The fight against cancer has always been important to me.  Years ago I worked for the Cancer Society and of course it was cancer that took my mother earlier this year.  That isn't though why I am mentioning Bark For Life here.  (Although by all means, go if you are in the Bay Area.  You don't even have to bring a dog.  It begins with a walk, but then continues with demonstrations, contests, games, and a whole lot of fun - Saturday July 21st from 9am to 2pm at the House of Air at Crissy Field here in San Francisco).
 
Anyway, as I said, I'm not mentioning it because I want to get lots of folks to go there.  I mention it because it is a wonderfully creative idea to make a difference.  This event helps a charity, provides information, and is fun.  It reminds me of AIDS Walk.  Instead of just asking for money, here is a way to raise funds while at the same time doing a whole lot more.  Next month's Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia Society is going to be an event like that too.  Many individuals do cool things to raise awareness, raise money, and have fun at the same time.  Yes, we like the car washes and rummage sales and spaghetti suppers too, but this other kind of event uses a lot of imagination and does so many good things all at once.
 
Ideas?  I'm sure some of you who read this will have additional ideas.  I invite you to share them here so we can all benefit!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waste No Food

Can you remember what you were doing when you were twelve years old? I can tell you that I certainly was not making a difference back then like Kiran Sridhar did when he was twelve! Volunteering at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco back when he was in 7th grade, Kiran had the idea for Waste No Food.  Three years later his non-profit organization is doing great things with him continuing to lead the way.

For those of you who are not familiar, I should tell you that Glide Memorial not only hold worship services but also runs 87 different social service programs. They serve three meals daily to San Francisco's needy, it is was while there that young Kiran saw the problem of hunger and the need to do something about it. 

Waste No Food (which provides much information about who they are and what they do on their website at http://wastenofood.org/why-it-works) raises awareness of hunger in communities and also does something about it. Waste No Food works to get leftover food - extra food, to those who so desperately need it.  Their goal is to eliminate food waste and to help feed everyone in this country who is hungry.  Huge undertaking, but in their first years of existence, they have already done great things!

What can we do?  Well, Waste No Food has no paid staff and relies on the work done by their volunteers.  If you are in the Bay Area, consider volunteering.  Donations are also most welcome.  Oh and it can help them a lot if you just help spread the word!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Long live the Empress

Empress Jose I, The Widow Norton has died.  Jose Julio Sarria made history as the first openly gay man to run for public office (yes, before Harvey Milk) and was the founder of the Imperial Court System.  Jose didn't just do drag, he defined drag, and when he took the title of empress, he made history.

Appearing along with other notable drag queens in the 1995 film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, Jose is seen briefly in the opening sequence judging the "Drag Queen of the Year Contest." The performance that is best remembered though is his longtime association with the historic Black Cat Bar in the Financial District.
 
In recent years he might not have been as visible on a day to day basis, but anyone within the Imperial Court knew who he was and knew him.  Tributes will pour in over the days ahead because Jose was universally loved!  The block of 16th Street in front of the Harvey Milk Branch Library was dedicated as José Sarria Court in 2006.
 
Yesterday morning his earthly life came to an end, but Jose Julio Sarria will live on in our hearts forever!  Long live the Empress!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Transphobia has GOT TO GO!

With this beautiful poster from this year's Trans March hanging on my bedroom wall, I am reminded every day of the struggles that so many face. Just one week ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill empowering transgender students, but unfortunately there are a lot of folks that still don't get it.

There have been numerous reports on the news and discussions about what this new law means. Some have argued that privacy has gone out the window and that small kids are going to be "exposed" to things they are too young to see. Horsefeathers! This is just part of the ongoing transphobia that seems to be just about everywhere and it makes me want to scream. How can good people who say they want to do good and make a difference in the world, buy in to this system of hate and prejudice?

People make transphobic jokes and remarks because transgender people because we let them. We (many of us who have been targets of hate ourselves) have decided that the trans community make easy targets. It is not just hate speech or discrimination by action that I am talking about here.

The hate crimes against transgender people are so high that anyone with a heart should be able to just look at it and want to change people's thinking, and yet those crimes continue. Names like Brandy Martell, Destiny Lauren, Angie Zapata, Rita Hester, Gwen Araujo, and Fred Martinez, Jr are heard on our evening newscasts because they became the latest victims of murder by hate.
 
There is not enough space here to detail the anti-trans speech and actions that are prevailant globally.  You'll just have to trust me.  Some of it is very obvious.  Calling a human being "it" is just plain wrong and everyone knows that.  Beating someone up or taking their life is also wrong of course and we know that as well.  Now it's time to do something!
 
As I like to say here, I don't have all the answers, but I do know that transphobia has GOT TO GO!  Take a second, whoever you are, and picture someone you hold dear (your son or daughter or wife or mother) and then ask how you would feel if they were attacked.  How would you feel if someone you dearly loved was murdered because of who they are?
 
One more thing:  don't you dare say "But I'm gay.  How can I be transphobic?"  or "I know a trans person therefore I can’t be transphobic!”

Friday, August 16, 2013

KarmaTube

Have you ever heard of Karma Tube?  It's really wonderful.  I only recently discovered it and according to their website at http://www.karmatube.org/ "KarmaTube is a collection of inspiring videos accompanied by simple actions that every viewer can take." 
 
There are so many videos I won't even try to tell you about them - go look for yourself!  My favorite I think is Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir.  With 185 voices, 243 tracks,12 countries - it is truly a choir unlike any other.

I'm told it is an all volunteer outfit and the stories I have seen so far are very moving.  If it sounds familiar, yes I suppose you can see some similarities with The Jubilee Project and Go Inspire Go.  We can never have too much good though!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last call

AIDS Walk San Francisco, which took place on the 21st of last month, is a major fundraising effort and each year they give extra time after the event to collect additional monies.  (I personally think this is a great idea that other organizations might want to copy).  Anyway, tomorrow is the deadline for this year's effort.
 
Even though this blog is not ever supposed to be about me, I want to break protocol here and thank the many supporters that helped me raise the highest amount I have ever brought in.  Some of the donations were made in memory of my mother, which particularly warmed me.  There still is today to donate for anyone who wanted to be just didn't get to it, but this is last call.
 
Of course it is NOT the last opportunity to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  That is an ongoing battle and I hope more and more people will step up and help make a difference.  If you are looking for an organization to support, I'd like to suggest the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, a multicultural health services, education, research, and policy organization located here in San Francisco.  More about them can be found at http://www.apiwellness.org

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Socks for the homeless

Recently I received an email inviting me to buy socks from a company that would donate a pair to homeless people for every pair they sold.  Wow!  What a great idea!  Following my requests that the company give me additional information (so that I could write about them here with certainty about who they are and what they do) I made a purchase and hoped it was really going to help someone other than my own feet. 
 
I can tell you some things about socks for the homeless that I know for certain.  First of all, homeless people go through socks quickly. Feet sweat.  Feet get wet in the rain and the snow.  Homelessness is darn tough on feet, and keeping feet healthy is certainly difficult with little or no access to bathing and showering facilities.

Many organizations have sock drives, particularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to collect socks to distribute to those in need.  Here in San Francisco I know of numerous organizations that distribute new socks to homeless people.  One is called A Good Idea (a really fantastic charity).  Advent of Christ the King, a local Episcopal Church does an ongoing sock drive.  Saint Anthony's Foundation does it on a huge scale - some 5,000 pairs of socks a year!

There is a wonderful organization called The Joy Of Sox, founded in Philadelphia by Tom Costello Jr.  It's very simple mission is to provide socks to homeless people.  They don't try to do dozens of different things.  This is what they do - and do very well.  They have volunteers and huge corporations all helping.  They have distributed socks all over too.  I really like what they are doing and invite you to check them out at http://thejoyofsox.org/

So, helping a homeless person with a gift of socks is within the reach of all of us.  You can participate in a program that already exists or start one of your own or simply buy an extra pair of socks while you are in the store and hand them off to someone in need. 

I've written about homelessness the past few days and would love to hear any thoughts you may have.  Got some more sock ideas?  Let me hear about them too!
 
 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ending homelessness

As I wrote here yesterday, homelessness is not something new.  It is something we all can help with though.  If we all work at it, I think we can actually find an end, but we have to all work together.
 
There are 633,782 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States.  That is a huge number!  The reason why someone is out on the streets certainly varies from individual to individual.  The eviction of  tenants unable to pay their rent is how most people find themselves homeless and this might be due to a loss of income, substance abuse, release from prison, or a number of other factors.  LGBT teens are often rejected by their families when they come out and they then find themselves homeless.  Domestic violence often leads to homelessness as well.
 
So what are we going to do about it?  Well yesterday I mentioned Project Homeless Connect here in San Francisco.  Donations to them help and they need volunteers too.  The same is true with the New York City Rescue Mission which I also mentioned.  There are numerous other organizations though.  Also in San Francisco, check out Episcopal Community Services HERE and the Homeless Youth Alliance HERE. Start a program of your own that can help.  Perhaps your church or a club you belong to can partner with you for a service (such as a meal program or a sock drive or a job fair) that you can regularly offer.  Talk to the leader in your community and in the nation as well.  We need to make this a priority.
 
It is not going to be immediate of course.  Homelessness is huge.  (I really haven't even scratched the surface this weekend in talking about it here).  As I said earlier though, if we all work at it, I think we can actually find an end.  Let's do it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Homeless Through the years

The other day I heard someone say that when she grew up there were no homeless people.  "Why can't we go back to the way it was then?" she asked.  Well first of all, she was wrong.  Homelessness is not new.  The woman pictured to the left is Lucille Ball in a scene from The Stone Pillow, a motion picture she made about homelessness late in her career.  That was almost thirty years ago and in publicity for the movie Lucy said she recalled the homeless situation from her youth and wanted to shed some light.
 
People with no place to live have often been outcasts, but there have also been people who care.  In 1872, Jerry and Maria McAuley founded the New York City Rescue Mission.  It became this country's first rescue mission,  providing spiritual hope, food, clothing and shelter to the needy in New York City.
 
Things got much worse during the Great Depression of the 1930s with a devastating epidemic of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and mental illness.  Many needy people, mostly men, would hop freight trains and go from town to town looking for help.
 
Shelters have sprung up over the years, mostly in larger cities, but these are usually nighttime shelters that require their guests to leave in the morning with nowhere to go.  How can you look for a job wearing the same dirty clothes you had on yesterday and with no place to be contacted?
 
Here in San Francisco the health department created Project Homeless Connect ten years ago, as a way to bring services to the homeless.  It continues to reshape its outreach strategy and improve available services with clients being exposed to HIV testing, medical care, addiction services, legal advice, dental care, mental health services, and so much more.
 
There are organizations all over the world that help the homeless populations in their areas.  Some programs are wildly successful.  No program has brought an end to homelessness.  It isn't new.  It isn't gone.  It probably will be with us for some time.  We all can help though.  Check out the two places I mentioned (the New York City Rescue Mission HERE or Project Homeless Connect HERE) for a couple of excellent places to start.

Friday, August 9, 2013

more and more new ideas

Every single morning I sit down to write something here about how we all can make a difference in this world of ours and after all these years, you might think I would run out of ideas.  Not so!  It seems there are more and more ideas every single day and I thank you for sharing some of them with me.  I'd always like to hear more too, so if you think of something I don't mention, please feel free to email me or write a comment below.
 
Just when you move past one really great idea, you see several other doors with all kinds of new possibilities.  Lately I have been seeing ideas everywhere!

Go Inspire Go continues to be a favorite of mine because it tells us about so much good - it points the way toward ways of making a difference - it inspires.  Often it even brings tears to my eyes.

The daily newspaper column written by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz has often been inspiring too.  In this morning's column a woman wrote in asking how she might go about helping to do something about obesity.  She was looking not just to help her own family, but suggested there should be something that would benefit everyone.  It is so heartwarming to see people caring about others.
 
Some of the most inspiring things in life just come to us out of the blue.  You might be reading this blog or shopping for groceries or taking the kids off to school and suddenly an idea its you.  If those are ideas that will benefit others, share them.  Who knows?  Your next idea might really change the world!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Glass Ball Begins!

Today is a first.  Actually today is a couple of firsts. I'm writing about an unknown - I've never done that before.  It is also the first day of this new organization, The Glass Ball Foundation. So many people don't have access to treatments and therapies that might make them better, because of the cost involved. Now comes the Glass Ball to help chronically ill people and those in pain who can't afford to get healthy.
 
No track record to talk about and not a lot of information, but what a great idea!  I certainly wish them well and I invite you to connect with them.  If this takes off, you can say you heard about the Glass Ball Foundation on day one!  Follow them on twitter at https://twitter.com/TheGlassBall or click HERE to go to their facebook page, of HERE to go to their website.
 
There is not a lot of information on their website yet, but one thing that caught my eye is their fiscal statement:  "We recognize that our mission will be accomplished only with responsible budgeting and spending. Donations are not treated lightly, and we strive to optimize every contribution to help those in need."
 
Good luck to the Glass Ball Foundation.  May they be a help to many!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to school

It's almost time for back to school.  Some families don't have enough money though to pay for supplies.  It is heartwarming to see how many groups are stepping up these days to help!
 
Sleep Train stores are collecting school supplies for local foster children. If you can help, bring your donation of school supplies to any Sleep Train or donate online by clicking HERE.
 
Walgreens is helping out too.  Find the Kids In Need Foundation collection box at the front of any Walgreens store. Things like crayons, glue sticks, markers, filler paper, pencils, pens, binders, notebooks, folders and erasers are needed.
 
Oh and the Kids In Need Foundation can receive your help directly too.  Find out more about them HERE.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pollyanna?

To say that I am too Pollyanna, as some have, is not only insulting, but also inaccurate. The heroine of Eleanor H. Porter's famous 1913 novel "Pollyanna," was indeed an optimist and probably a bit too much of one. I am optimistic, but also realistic. I believe in good but know that life is not always sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.  There is something else here though - usually we think of Pollyanna as someone who considers themselves better than others, and with me, that is certainly not the case.  I never seek fame or attention.  I don't try to set myself as an authority.  My suggestions here each day are just that and seldom (this being one of those rare occasions) do I even talk about myself here.  This is NOT about me.

This is about all of us though.  This is about making a bright future.  This is about caring.  This is about change.  This is about love and respect.  This is about justice and equality.  This is about making a difference in our world.  We all have the power to do this and we can me reasonably optimistic that positive things are going to happen.  Optimism is not a bad thing.  Working for good - working for sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, can never be a bad thing.

Perhaps we are all a bit Pollyanna, or want to be.  The important thing is to never give up and to always strive for the good that we deserve and that is certainly there, if we let it be.

Monday, August 5, 2013

They STILL don't want gay blood

Gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood.  It does not matter how great the need might be, they simply cannot donate.  The 1985 ban here in the US declares that any man who has had sex with another man even once since 1977 cannot give blood - at all.  I've written about this about a dozen times here.  Occasionally I might get a comment.  It's time we got more than that!  We need this policy changed.
 
There may have been very good reason originally.  The spread of HIV was of concern and certainly men who had sex with men were among the largest group spreading HIV.  That was before testing got as good as it is today.  That was before the screening process was as detailed as it can be now.  There may have once been good reason, but there no longer is!
 
Last week the mayor of Campbell, CA Evan Low organized a blood drive in his city, but when he went there to donate, he was barred from giving his blood.  He can organize a drive, but he cannot donate.  Why?  Because he was honest on the questionnaire when asked if he ever had sex with another man.  Now if Mayor Low had lied and said no to that question, he likely would have been eligible.  See what I mean here?  The policy makes no sense.  It is discriminatory and it relies on honest answers to questions. 
 
Mayor Low is now publicly calling for an end to this ban.  I have been saying this for years and others have agreed.  What do YOU think?

Friday, August 2, 2013

this month of August

Whether you enjoy the month of August or not depends largely on where you live, how old you are, and a number of other factors.  I know that many love it because of the vacations that so often take place this month.  I have personally always loved August because it is my birth month, but of course this is NOT about me. 

Is this a time when folks are likely to be doing those kind of inspiring things I like to write about here?  Well, indeed there may be a dip, but it doesn't have to be that way.  Doing good things should never take a holiday!

Oh and there are a few things we can rally around to make good things happen.  Week one of August is National Simplify your Life Week.  Really.  The second week of the month is National Smile Week.  Friendship Week is August's third week.  The last week of the month is Be Kind to Humankind Week.  That should really inspire us!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Love is all around

Reid Bordson and Paul Nolle were married at Como Park and Conservatory's Sunken Garden in Saint Paul, Minnesota early this morning.  In fact, they were pronounced "legally married" at 12:15 am!  Same sex couples all over Minnesota starting exchanging vows right after midnight on this first day it was legal in that state.  Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed today "Freedom to Marry Day" in Minnesota. 

Back in 1970 when Sonny Curtis sang Love is all around, no need to waste it at the start of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, set at a fictional Minneapolis tv station, same sex couples could not get married anywhere in the world. In fact, when I began writing this blog just a few years ago, gay couples could only marry in five countries and one US state.  Now, love is truly all around!

No, we should not sit back and celebrate for long, because marriage equality is not everywhere, but progress is indeed being made.  Today Minnesota and Rhode Island were added to the list of places you can marry in this country. As of today, thirteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden), and parts of Mexico and the United States, allow same-sex couples to marry.  How about the rest of the world though?
 
Marriage is about love.  That is the important ingredient.  Love is indeed all around.  I am confidant that someday all world will be equal - at least I will keep working for that.