Saturday, June 25, 2011

Statement from Episcopal Bishop of Long Island

Bishop Provenzano shows the kind of leadership the Epsicopal Church needs!

"Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?"

These words taken from the promises in the Baptismal liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer can be prayed more clearly today as the Gay and Lesbian community and all of New Yorkers begin to live into the reality and joy that same gender marriage is now law in New York. To the many LGBT members of the diocese I celebrate this day with you, your loved ones and families. Today the New York Senate has helped us all move yet closer to living the reality that there are no outcasts in the church. The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island will engage this new law with a generous and open response allowing, under the provision of our General Convention, the use of rites for same gender marriage by priests of this diocese who believe they are called to preside at the exchange of vows, once the law has taken effect in 30 days.

Respecting the dignity of every human being will also be lived out in our continued care for those who do not celebrate this milestone in the lives of God's people. Respecting the dignity of every human being includes those who feel a sense of loss and anger. The love and charity of Jesus Christ proclaimed in the gospels does not have winners and losers. We are all God's people, redeemed and sanctified by the enormous love of God made real in Jesus Christ. Let us all move forward in the knowledge of that love and charity and more fully live into the reality of being the Body of Christ.

The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano

Bishop of Long Island

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just in from shooting off firworks...

Marriage Equality in NY!

Just in from a quick display. My husband kept me from opening a bottle of Moet for myself. It feels so surreal. I thought I'd have lots to say. But I am speechless.

Severabilty and religious exemptions...

Severabilty and religious exemptions...

We can live with this silliness. It will be challenged. It will be decided in court.

Senator Saland, HE's Our MAN!

To the floor...

To the floor.... 8520

Assembly Voting: 7:54 PM

Passed 82-47 ... now off to the Senate.

Assembly Voting: 7:51 PM

On the Assembly Floor 7:43

7:43 Assemblyman O'Donnell introduces the Bill on the Floor of the Assembly.


Even the feed you can hear the competing forces yelling outside.

Mr. Boyle to oppose on the grounds that it will be in the courts for years to come.

No one else rose. Vote in Progress.

Our Personal Anti-Christ

Our Personal Anti-Christ

He who shall not be named on an unrelated issue:

Here Starteth the Live Blogging...

Here Starteth the Live Blogging...

The NY State Senate stands at ease, the Assembly has just started their session.

I feel like I have been here before, but not since 2009. The past week has been false starts and promises on Marriage Equality. A trip to Albany proved painful. The venom being spewed in the name religion, Christians and Jews helping me remember why even now I have a viscerally negative reaction to most places of worship and people of faith that have not proved themselves welcoming.

6:55 Skelos has just reported 4 bills, not us. Now a non-controversial calendar... guessing that we are not on that either, though it is the Assembly.

The "protections" in the modified bill are embarrassing. As we all know no one can be forced to marry anyone, gay or straight. That means the much is redundant. The other parts are protecting bigotry and fear. But if that is what we need, so be it. Someday soon it will be as relevant as Jim Crow and as embarrassing.

7:05 PM Not much

Google's Gay Surprise..

Search Google this month for non LGBT related stuff and you get the usual...

But search for something LGBT related things and look what happens! IheartGOOGLE.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How it feels - Theocrats on the March

I was chatting with my friend Carl the other day. "I am so weary of having my rights being treated as a political football." I know how he feels. These last two weeks have been horrid and now that we have had this passed forward to the 3rd day after the official end of the session in Albany the frustrations just build.

I was feeling charitable enough on Monday to remind him that this is part of price of democracy. If we were in a totalitarian state there would be no hope. It always reminds me of the reason I am proud to be an Episcopalian. Our polity, and the hard work of many years of prophetic and energetic leaders, has allowed us to move forward on issues of radical welcome for LGBT persons. In the Roman Catholic church this has not happened. It is a patriarchy that cannot evolve.

This charity is fleeing as theocrats attack me.

The United States of America and New York State are republics, representative democracies. The rights of minorities can be protected when government sees and acts on these inequities. The genius of the founders is not in what they did, but what they prepared for. The prepared a system that could react to slavery, and eventually actions striking down Jim Crow laws. They prepared the way for the right of women to vote though they could hardly have imagined it. The founders knew that there would be things that they could not imagine. The system was established with this in mind. Today we call in visionary.

The "separation of church and state" is similarly worded in a broad way. It simply says that there shall be no state religion. We are not and cannot be a theocracy. The wisdom of this is all too evident in many parts of the world today.

And yet those who want purport to worship the Constitution cannot see its true brilliance. Many of these same people fail to see the same brilliance in Scripture.

They chose to sacrifice the human rights of others on the altar of their personal beliefs. Sadly many of these are Christian.

Let us all pray that the human rights of all are defended in the NYS Senate this week and that the United States of America never become a theocracy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"I am a Republican. I Was Born That Way"

My Senator is quoted in the Advocate:
"I am Jim Alesi. I am a Republican. I was born that way," said the Rochester-area lawmaker, in a confident display of his familiarity with Gaga-esque lingo. He called the potential marriage equality vote the most important of his 20-year career and noted the change from 2009, when the bill failed in the state senate with no Republican support and he, thought to be a potential yes vote at the front of the roll call, instead cast an “anguished” vote against it.

“I no longer have anguish. My vote will be yes,” said Alesi. “And my name begins with A. I am the first Republican vote to be cast in the New York state senate and I am proud to be a Republican. I will also be proud to be the first Republican voter to vote for marriage equality in this state, to lead off what I hope will be a succession of more than just enough votes,” he said.


In the previous blog, you saw my sign, "Thank You Senator Alesi."

Today the Senator spoke to the rally in Albany. I will be voting for this Republican as long as he is my state senator.

In Albany Monday 4#ssm

In Albany Monday for Marriage Equality

Bryan Bedell+, Kit Tobin+ and the belly of yours truly were in the background video on CNN yesterday. They were interviewing Senator Ball, a key swing vote. It was a pretty lousy interview.

The best guess from those of outside is Republican Conference is that they want to spend as much time wrangling so they can say they did all they could to protect the religious opposition. I am a bit loathe to jinx anything, but when the NY Post says it's a done deal, (The Fox News of "news"papers) it's a good sign that we will see marriage in NY this week.

The halls of the capitol were hot, physically and emotionally. It was hard not to sing along with some favorite hymns and songs of the Christian opposition. I just gave in because they are my songs too. "We shall not be moved," was really the message of the day. The shout downs seemed a waste.

One gentleman approached me wear my Episcopal Diocese of Rochester polo to tell me that the Bible was very clear... I said, "John 16:12"

Can you quote that for me. Fighting the urge to say, "You don't know?" I said, "“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth."

"You mean you believe that in dynamic scripture?"

"Yes I said, what a great way to put it!" He wandered off obviously not believing that "God is still speaking."

Today it has been reported that the Republican Caucus has come up with more protection to add so that those who object on religious grounds will not be forced to have to do business with a "gay wedding." I would be glad for whatever language they want to be included. "No straight florist shall be required to decorate for a gay wedding." Like any Lesbians or gay men would hire a straight florist. It would be challenged in court and declared illegal soon enough. The opposition know that. No language will be acceptable to them.

Thanks to Bryan for driving... wish he had told me his A/C wasn't working though. I would have made Kyle go car-less!

Keep praying and calling the senators that are on the fence.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Company ... WOW!

Cristina Hendricks and Neil Patrick Harris in Company. Wow.

Cristina Hendricks and Neil Patrick Harris in Company. Wow.

Went out of curiosity, not my favorite show, but Wow. Sondheim's genius is hard to match and this cast of popular people knocked it out of the park. Stephen Colbert? Who knew. Patti Lupone and "Ladies that Lunch" was a showstopper.

Seeing NPH in bed with Hendricks and her Dolly Partonesque attributes was a tad ironic. But Harris played the part with perfection. The casual, amused observer transformed to "Being Alive" with seemingly effortless aplomb and belted out the ballad as skillfully as any Broadway baby.

The comedic timing was perfect, not a word George Furth's book or Sondheim's lyrics was wasted.

Here's the scoop on this production from Wikipedia:

2011 New York Philharmonic Concert

In April 2011, Lonny Price directed a staged concert production,[18] with Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby, Stephen Colbert as Harry, Craig Bierko as Peter, Jon Cryer as David, Katie Finneran as Amy, Christina Hendricks as April, Aaron Lazar as Paul, Jill Paice as Susan, Martha Plimpton as Sarah, Anika Noni Rose as Marta, Jennifer Laura Thompson as Jenny, Jim Walton as Larry, Chryssie Whitehead as Kathy, and Patti LuPone as Joanne. Paul Gemignani conducted a 35-piece orchestra, which uses the original orchestrations from the first Broadway production. This concert follows a long tradition of Stephen Sondheim concert productions at the New York Philharmonic, including Sweeney Todd and Passion.[19][20] A filmed presentation of the concert debuted in select movie theatres June 15, 2011.[21] The cast of the production gathered again for a live performance at the 2011 Tony Awards, hosted by Harris, on June 12, 2011.[22]

Makin Stuff Up.

The right wing "traditional values" group
FTP has to make stuff up to be upset about...

Can you guess their complaint about this?

Of course perspective escapes them. Hmmm? Freudian?

And etiquette is observed as when a group of flags of EQUAL HEIGHT is displayed the American flag is at the left.

A Letter to Our State Assemblyman

A Letter to our State Assemblyman, Sean T. Hanna, who voted against marriage equality. Happily he was in the minority.

Assemblyman Hanna,

We write to thank the Assembly for their history making support of marriage equality. We are saddened that you did not support this legislation.

As constituents and neighbors we would like you to know that we were married in Toronto 3 years ago after 8 years together. To have some legal recognition of our love and commitment to each other was more amazing than we ever thought it would be. Even more we were blessed to have the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester and his wife of 40+ years as our witnesses.

We hope that you can someday find it in your heart to ask forgiveness of the small, yet important part of your constituency that was hurt personally by your vote. You may also come to realize that you are not even representing the majority of your constituency if polls are to be believed.

If you voted against this on the grounds of your personal understanding of morality, that is not why you were elected. You were elected to be a leader, a visionary with a vision for the rights of all. And yet we will pray for you that the loving God that we know may soften your heart to realize that we are all God's children, all God's beloved.

Please save the paper of a form response, but feel free to stop by for coffee and chat with us and find out how our family is no different from yours.


Neil and Kyle

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Andy Smith Photographs of My Irises (part 2)

Unknown Orange

Too Sweet

Unknown Siberian

Unknown Siberian

Exotic Star (TB - 1974, Plough)

One Extended Evening

We went to the first of 3 extended evenings tonight. The Fellowship of the Ring was on the big screen tonight. To see this again, and in the extended version, as it was meant to be seen was totally engrossing. There is much exposition that was left out of the original release, especially the gifts of Galadriel, which enrich the story. Next Tuesday its The Two Towers and a week after that The Return of the King. All this leading up to the first release on Blu-ray.

I could frighten Kyle by threatening to get all the action figures out.

Andy Smith Photographs of My Irises (part 1)

Andy Smith photographs my irises...

Last Sunday, Kyle and I invited a few folks over to see the irises at beak bloom. Among the guests was Andy Smith. His photography has been a part of some great exhibits. I asked if he would mind taking some pictures and he obliged. I was so impressed with what he did that I have to share them.

Rare Treat (TB - 1987, Schreiner)

Mystic Shrine (TB 1942, Weed)

Exotic Star (TB - 1974, Plough)

Batik (BB - 1986, Ensminger)

Orange Harvest (TB - 1988, Brown)

Note: The lighting and film takes the natural colors of these cultivars toward the red end of the spectrum. For instance the "Rare Treat" is a described as a cornflower blue.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ally Oops

My new purchases from Borglum's this year included Ally Oops, for which Dana was just award a medal from American Iris Association. Gotta join that!

Even though the season is almost done, since I am getting back to the blog (freed from some evil in my life) I will be recapping the season soon... and the daylilies are on their way.

2000, Borglum

'Ally Oops' (Borglum, Registered 2000) SPEC-X, height 18" (46 cm), blooms Early Midseason. Standards and style arms light blue; Falls yellow, blue veining; foliage tall, ribbed center. Parentage unknown --- presumed siberian X Iris pseudacorus . Borglum 2002. Randolph-Perry Medal, 2010.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Careful, the things you say

Careful the things you say, children will listen... Three parts of Anderson Cooper's report (in there parts) on the the "Sissy Boy Experiment" government funded program at UCLA in the 1970's.

Read my husband's blog and his comments here.

Then watch Bernadette from Into The Woods

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Die Walküre in HD

Tonight I went to Die Walküre, Live from the Met in HD.

It was really wonderful. Siegmund stole the show for me. OK so I had a huge crush on Jonas Kaufman. Truth to be told there wasn't a singer who was anything less than stunning.

Stephanie Blythe as Fricka has a very small part in the 5 1/2 hour epic, her acting was the least engaging. She comes across as a bitchy wife and not the "moral compass" that she is supposed to be.

There are lengthy scenes of repetitious staements of love, hate, jealousy, etc. And I mean lengthy. But the talent of the singers and Wagner enveloping score make it impossible to get bored. Knowing a little about the leitmotifs really helps.

The set is a mechanical wonder and used so cleverly it is fascinating.

There are some drawbacks to HD closeups. Seeing the ends of the set marks and bolts is one. Another was watching Siegmund drool. Apparently the cutey has overactive salivary glands. Watching Sieglinde wipe it of his chin took a bit of the passion out of that love scene.

So you expected a classy review? As a Wagnerite from way back, I can only say it was an evening well spent. I can't wait to see the Trilogy completed next season. (There are four operas, but Das Rheingold is in one act and most would agree it is just a lengthy [only 3 hours long] prologue.)

Back to being Me

I have resigned from the Integrity Board of Directors. I won't go into the reason, but it's nothing immoral or Anthony Wiener like. I will miss working with some really wonderful people. I am also looking forward to having my own life again. My blog has been neglected. That will change.