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What hate burns, love rebuilds…

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As we get ready to wave our American flags this weekend, I feel extra proud of our country because of the recent human rights accomplishments we have made with the Supreme Court ruling in support of gay marriage.

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Now I want us to take our celebration of love and human rights to the black communities of America and put an end to racism, starting with rebuilding the black churches that have been attacked in the South.

daughters-2webWe can not stand back and let their churches burn to the ground as the Confederate Flag flies over their heads.

40170013I was born and raised in South Carolina, so I know how essential churches are to these communities and it breaks my heart that these acts of terrorism, committed by our own citizens, still happen and that we, as a country, are not doing more to prevent them.

belton-07-01webI want to do something to let these communities know that we will not tolerate this kind of violence in our country and that we will help them through this tragedy.

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So I looked for an organization that is raising money to help the black communities rebuild their churches and I found a website created by the Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) and I have made a donation.daughters-webBecause when I wave my American flag this weekend, I want to wave it with pride. Pride in the belief that we are a country that stands up for love and human rights for all of its citizens.arannmississippiIf you would like to join me in standing up for love and human rights this Fourth of July, please click here: “What hate burns, Love rebuilds.”

11261802_10153287217550020_5731177427677169330_nThank you for your support and Happy Fourth of July, from my family to yours.

My heart hurts today…

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On November 4th, 2008, Californians voted not to allow people of the same sex to get married, even though the California Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent humans of their basic right to marry the person they love.

My fiancé, Arann and I were at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco on election night, with our dear friends who worked so hard on the No on 8 campaign to protect equality for all. The huge ball room was packed with couples who were so nervous that their right to marry the person, who they loved most in the world, would be taken away. The room was thick with emotions, as we all waited and waited and waited. The numbers coming in were not good. And eventually, they told everyone to go home because we wouldn’t have an answer until the morning… but we all knew.

And today my heart hurts.

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Arann and I are supposed to get married on April 4, 2009. But I called him from the airport today and said I didn’t think we should get married. And he said he was thinking the same thing.

When we first got engaged, I wasn’t so sure about the idea of having a wedding. But slowly the idea grew on us and we started to understand the importance. A wedding is not a marriage, but it is a ceremony that brings together all the love and support of everyone in your community, as you take this huge step forward.

So, the more we thought about the meaning of our big step forward, the more we felt it was important to have our community with us, as we vow to care for each other for the rest of our lives. It is especially important to us that my grandparents, who will celebrate their 65 wedding anniversary next year, are there to pass on their advice and inspiration to us.

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So, we picked a day and we started making plans. A hike, followed by a ceremony, followed by a reception with a collective art show, with the theme: Advice, followed by good food and dancing. We thought that would be the perfect way to enter into the next stage of our lives as a married couple.

But as we stood there election night, surrounded by people whose hearts were breaking as they were told their marriages would no longer be accepted… we started to question why we should have the right to marry, when other people don’t, just because their body parts are the same.

It doesn’t make any sense to me. In a world of such hatred and fighting, why wouldn’t we want to encourage and support people who want to build their community? Why don’t we want to encourage people to promise to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives? If it is about God, I was taught that we are not supposed to judge, so… then let God judge, if that is what you believe.

Same sex marriages will not hurt you.

The pesticides people spray on their lawns that washes into the storm drains, and into the rivers, and pollutes the water, and kills the fish, and breaks down the food chain… will hurt you. The SUV’s people drive that consume a lot of gas and spit out a lot of carbon dioxide that heats up the planet, and melts the glaciers, and raises the sea levels… will hurt you. But allowing people to love the person they choose to love in their own homes… will not hurt you.

So, Arann and I would like to get married. We want the love and support of our community, but we don’t want to get married until everyone can. And so today, my heart hurts and my eyes are sore from crying because I have a better understanding of what it feels like not to be able to marry the person you love.

If you believe in equality for all, please take a moment and sign this petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/seg5130/petition.html

Thank you for your support.

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