Thursday, August 21, 2008

Planning a Wedding

Next month, on September 27th, Becky and I will become part of History. We will be legally married at our Church, SJFCC. People ask why we do it, when we've already had a committment ceremony To us, it makes a statement, not just for us, but for our community that we can be equal with all other married couples. (almost). The Federal Benefits are still denied us, but for the state, it is legal!

It seems strange to spend months planning an event that will take less than half an hour! We will have friends and family there to take part, and to witness our marriage, and I can't help but wonder how it will feel to legally be a "spouse"not just a partner. Or if it will feel any different at all.

On November 4th, 2008, the state will vote on whether to terminate our marriage by Prop.8. Folks think it is just about Gay marriage, but it's really a question of Marriage equality for everyone. I have faith in the people of California to Vote No on this bill to take away our rights. At my age, I want to enjoy all the rights we can.

It makes me sad that my family can't be here. Arlene was at the ceremony I had a few years back, and Debbie was at our ceremony in Hawaii...but This is a real marriage! I will have a birthday in two weeks, the first time in 64 years that Arlene and I won't celebrate together. That makes me sad. And, it will be the 1 year anniversary of the passing of Arlene's oldest boy, Star. On the other hand, My sister Debbie will celebrate over 30 years of marriage--to the same man even:)

So, a lot of milestones. I pray that our wedding will be just one of many!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Contact from an Exodus leader

This week I received an email from an Exodus leader I haven't heard from in almost 15 years. At first, I was just surprised, then I started really looking at his message. It read: Darlene, I'm glad I ran across your blog. I still miss you. I am sorry to hear that your lover died of breast-cancer. Darlene is God sending you a message? Please consider coming back to Exodus. You are loved and missed. Why would God call you back to lesbianism, give you a lover and then take her away. I'm sorry that you are going through this. My heart is breaking right now but I believe that you belong to the Lord and "He chastizes the one's that he loves". I believe He is calling you back. If you want to talk I am here to listen. Please call me if you want to talk. May God Bless You, Anthony Falzarano

Anthony was the founder of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and has been active in Exodus for many years. When I first left Exodus in the early 90's...Anthony called to share his concern and assure me of his prayers for my return to the fold. He never called again.
I don't want to sound harsh, or judgmental of his recent contact, but I need to respond in this blog! I want to thank Anthony for reminding me WHY I left Exodus leadership and ministry.
1. He misses me but hasn't reached out in 15 years
2.I accept that he is sorry to hear about the loss of my partner due to breast cancer(over 3 years have passed since that event.)
3. Is God sending me a message? First hint of judgment.
4Please consider coming back to Exodus.- He obviously is not aware of my apology for that involvement, or how deeply I have been impacted by seeing the great harm done to individuals and families through this message.
5. You are loved and missed.---Somehow I've missed that message from Exodus leaders
6.Then...Why would God call you back to Lesbianism, give you a lover and take her away??
I think this is the line that hit me right between the eyes. Far too many Christians beleive that God will punish you if you don't toe the mark! To assume that bad things don't happen to God's people is to have an unhealthy view of the Christian life. God didn't give Des breast cancer, and take her away because of our committed 12 years relationship. I reject that Judgment.
7. He beleives that I am the Lord's-and that God is correcting me because He loves me. That concept is Biblical, however I reject the context of illness being a result of preceived sin! AND, I DO AGREE THAT I AM THE LORDS WORKMANSHIP. HE IS MY SAVIOR, AND CREATED ME JUST AS I AM.
8.He beleives that God is calling me back. To where? To What? I haven't left, and I am still active in this is a bit presumptious.
9.Anthony then says he is there to listen. Hummm..He has his mind made up that I'm living a sinful lifestyle, has judged me; tried to place guilt and shame on me to conform me to the accepted behavior...How can he Hear my heart when there are so many hinderences?
10. So, I remembered when I had all the answers and thought I was listening when I directed an ex-gay group. I told them how to pray and change their orientation so God would accept them completly.(Or was it so the church would accept them?)Anyway..This email has given me the chance to say one more time. I'm sorry for the harm I caused by that message of conditional love. Please forgive me. Darlene