Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year Round Up...The Best of 2009!

Chase away the storm clouds of that last post...its time for the best of 2009!

2010! Thats such an absurd number to me! That date always represented "the future"...you know...the one with flying cars and robots that did all our work for us before becoming sentient and exterminating us?...Ah Arther C. Clark we miss you. What will we dream next, now that we have crossed into that territory marked  "here there be dragons!"?

Its hard to believe everything that happened this year! It was so full of events that Its hard to believe that they all happened in a single year. Both my kids got alot bigger and Daniel broke his arm, we saw marriage for gays and lesbians take a step forward in some surprising places, and certain individualls really stepped up to the plate this year.....so let take a look at our lives in 2009...




 
 
5) Heroes
 
Alot of people stood up for us this year and I wanted to mention a few. I mentioned this list a bit in yesterdays "worst of" post and the list of names includes many politicians, entertainers,...and my personal faves...bloggers and youtubers.
 
First up on our politico list is David Patterson of New York City for pushing a reluctant New York State's senate into voting on marriage equality. That it failed to be passed is immaterial. The more important point is that Patterson faught for marriage equality because it was a matter of conscience...and he did it at great personal cost to his career. To me that makes people like Mr. Patterson and Gavin Newsom stand out and shine...both of them rock out loud in my opinion. Another name that belongs  on this list follows in the same vein. David Catania and the Washington D.C. city council deserve stand up recognition for not buckling to pressure from Catholic Charities and supporting all of D.C.'s citzenry, gay or straight...religious or not. Another name I'd like to include is Tammy Baldwin. The reason why I'd like to include her on this list is because whenever I hear of a federal action regarding gay rights, her name is in there. She seems to be one busy gal to be present for so much. Next time you see a gay rights bill go to congress, or the president getting his arm twisted to make a statement about gay rights...check for Tammy..I think you'll find her doing a good deal of the twisting. She likes to work quietly, that one.
 
This year many Celebrities also made statements about marriage equality and not all of them disavowed it. Among those I mentioned previously...Cindy Lauper, Margaret Cho, and Portia De Rossi. One that surprised me, was The Boss...Bruce Springsteen. Some celebrities like Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie made their intentions to remain unmarried known...until everyone is afforded the same right to marry they are. And then there his Lady Gaga...who not only came out at the peak of popularity but has been outspoken about gay rights and even attended the National Equality March this year. And to wrap up this list is a lady that  was using her act to make statements about marriage equality even before she made a big splash with her coming out...Wanda Sykes...Being able to see her in person this year was fantastic.
 
And this list would not be complete without a shout out to those that keep all of informed in a way the news clearly does not. Say what you will about bloggers, they go down in my "hero" column. So thanks go to: Pam Spaulding and the blenders of http://www.pamshouseblend.com/ , The many writers at http://www.queerty.com/, the newly wedded Jeremy Hooper of http://www.goodasyou.org/ , Andy Towle of http://www.towleroad.com/ , the fine folks at http://www.bilerico.com/ , and many others I'd love to mention.... but this is already becoming longer than War and Peace.
 
4)Matthew Sheppard Act
 
I would Just like to say.....FINALLY!
 
I can't believe it took almost ten years AND a violent murder to force our government to extending the hate crimes act to include the G, L, B, and T. And to add to the absurdity of it is the fact that it had to be attached to a senate appropriations bill for the military. Seriously...we had to sneek in the back door with an order for body armor and camo colored toilet paper. And whats worse?...that our advocates in government see that tactic as the only way to get GLBT legislation passed. So DADT or DOMA?.....got to wait to get tacked on to next years appropriations bill....../FACEPALM.
 
3)Mexico City and Argentina
 
Who new?...well, Argentines probably did, but if you live in the informationally cloistered United States you have to look a little harder for unbiased international news. Much thanks go To Ana Christina for keeping me informed and for sharing the joys and tears along the way for Argentina.
 
We followed the rise...fall...and ultimate triumph of Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre's struggle to marry. I think we really have to hand it to them, they fought hard to make that happen and now look at the effect thats going to have on countless gay couples in Argentina. They have much cause to celebrate this new year.
 
Mexico City caught me completely off guard and totally stole Argentina's thunder at being the first Latin American nation to allow gays and lesbians to marry.
 
Congratulations are in order for both of these countries and the world will be watching more closely to see whether equality spreads... or if there is a big pushback...much as there is here in the U.S.
 
2)New Hampshire, D.C. and...Iowa?
 
And Don't forget Vermont....its for lovers for lovers after all.
 
2009 saw many states adopt marriage equality. The most surprising being Iowa. Caught up the the heady times of wins in New hampshire and Maine, Iowa added their name to the list of states who's legislatures voted in Marriage Equality. Also..like New Hampshire, NOM has not turned its attention here in efforts to roll back the votes of the legislature with a poplular vote....not that they wont try. New Hampshires law officially takes effect tonight and I can't think of a better way to ring in the new year.
 
But along with marriage equality came many states that adopted civil partnerships the highest profile one for this year being Washington State. However, the list also includes Wisconsin, and limited civil partnerships in Nevada and Colorado.....baby steps.
 
But the thing which surprises me the most was That Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law a bill that will allow California to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. I tell you, the game just keeps getting more interesting here in California.
 
1)Good Friends
 
Our number one slot goes to you, our viewers and readers who have been out ear, and at times our shoulder to lean on. When we began this we had no idea the response we would get and just how important it would become to us over time. We've made some fantastic friends when we expected nothing. I don't think I could ever give all the names of those who have encouraged us and who we have gotten to know. The list would be simply too long. But, for all that we have put out into the electronic ether, you guys have returned warmth and support a million fold and for that you have our deepest thanks and a place in our family :)
 
Happy New Year Everyone!

14 comments:

  1. Happy new Year my dear good far away friend. I hope Next year is blessed as this one, and even better.

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  2. I'm writing from Russia, 2010 is already here :) for almost an hour :) (Moscow time zone)!

    Happy MMX to everyone who's already in 2010, and to everyone who's still awaiting for it!

    Happy New Year to the Leffew family!
    I wish you happiness, love, health, good friends, good times, good memories.
    I wish you to stay the way you are — two fabulous guys, just like from "King & King", and two fabulous dads that you are!
    I hope some day, as soon as it is humanly possible, we'll see a video from you with tears of happiness in your eyes — when we will celebrate marriage equality in USA!

    Blogspot added "Relevent" reaction to the bottom of posts? They were celebrating so hard that they've misspelled this word :) No, I'm not drunk :)

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  3. I have 25 minutes left of what was one of the worst years of my life (and at 30, I've had more than my share of crappy years already). Good riddance - and may 2010 be better because I cannot imagine it being much worse!

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  4. Everyone seems to have had a crappy year in 2009 but it was one of the best years of my life ever.

    I became a home owner with Jake and I love my house. Got a big promotion at work and corresponding pay rise. Got my cute little doggies that I love and have wanted all my life and went to a thousand weddings.

    This is the best year ever for me.

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  5. 2009 will always be remembered as the year my life began being mine. It has been the year that I've come out to many friends and family. The year when I had the opportunity to turn a man's interest down. The year I got to find out what it is like to not be entirely alone, but share my sexuality with others. I've learned to take fewer things for granted. Learned the power of a single person to change and be changed. I've been reconnected with my environment, and been amazed by the love that surrounds me. It makes me quite excited to give my love to somebody else.

    It wasn't the best year of my life, but it offered me a refreshing new start on it. I look forward to 2010.

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  6. gayfamilyvalues, you guys are amazing! One of my friends showed me your blog at the beginning of November and it has truly been a treat to read your posts every day. When he first showed me your blog I was apprehensive and thought that it was kind of silly to have a blog about specifically gay families but over the past two months I have grown to appreciate the fight for marriage equality more and to see that what you guys are doing is very important.

    As for 2009 mine was neither amazing nor awful.
    At the beginning of January I moved back to my hometown to go to school. I was not very happy about it and some adjustments have been pretty rough. The one amazing thing that can out of it was I have found a wonderful group of friends who are all exceptional, beautiful people and I feel privileged every day to know them. As we go into 2010, two of them will be leaving to go to grad school and that makes me sad because I will miss them very much.

    While 2009 was fine, I hope that 2010 will be exceptional not only for all of our families but the human family as well.

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  7. @carolyn, @everyone

    It may be the four martini's talking or the extra glass of champagne but you all honor me every day and I'm glad to know each and every one of you no matter that its via keyboards across the globe. Happy new years!

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  8. Have a great new year Bryan (and Jay and the kids) and everyone else!

    This year has been mixed for me - not really happy with the situation I'm in, but had the most amazing summer and made some incredible friends, which has led to me being far more comfortable to just be myself... which is always good!
    Hoping things may begin to change for me in the new year, although possibly not until next september when I am due to move.
    Not sure about how optimistic I feel about gay rights victories for 2010 - there's been some hard knocks this year. But it does seem like 2 steps forward, one step back, which still means we're getting there, just a lot slower than we might like.

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  9. I feel as if I AM part of the family!!! I check-in on you guys just about every single day. May 2010 be full of treasure for all of you. You are certainly treasure for me.

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  10. @goblin... I hate you... Well no, i kinda have a crush and you and jake, I´m so happy for you.

    But hell 2009 sucked ass ( and not in the good way) 2010 started crappy ( expect a video soon, yes, a video!!!) But hell i´ve already made up my mind about changing a few stuff...

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  11. happy new year to everyone specially to the leffew family!
    Mabungahong Bag-ong Tu-ig from Cebu, Philippines!

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  12. Bryan,

    One slight correction to #2 in your list. Gay marriage was not voted in by the Iowa legislature, as you stated. In fact, the Supreme Court of Iowa overturned a previously passed law in Iowa that stated marriage is between a man and a woman. The campaign to legalize gay marriage in Iowa utilized a well-planned and organized strategy that played up on Iowa's strengths and how Iowans see their home state. It's important to understand and appreciate the subleties of the various techniques used in each state, and why they succeeded. There are a lot of heroes in Iowa whose faces you will never see because the national media only comes around once every four years for the caucuses.

    Keep up the great work in 2010!

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  13. I saw that in the news too Kirille!

    2009 was a good year. For example, I found out about you guys. =)

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