*Pats self on back*

See that right there? That’s my work being cited in the Family Equality Council, et al. amicus brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy about it, a lot of late nights went in to the project when the four of us put it together for a Family Equality Council amicus brief in Perry and Windsor.  It’s not often that one gets the chance to leave their fingerprints on history and I’m grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to play a small part.  There is a dark cloud hovering in the background, though. This is yet another accomplishment that Covenant College is going to refuse to acknowledge. Doesn’t matter if the brief managed to swing Scalia and Thomas to vote for equality in a unanimous Supreme Court decision (not gonna happen, but a girl can dream), my alma mater isn’t going to acknowledge it. Because acknowledgement equals endorsement and we can’t have that.  Not going to lie, it hurts. It would be nice to have something positive happen without having any reason that my happiness is tarnished.  Maybe someday.

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Florida has been updated to blue on the Wikipedia marriage map. I’ll blog more on this later but for now I’ll say that it’s hard to believe this is really here. I keep waiting for another shoe to drop, for Florida to be Florida and screw this up somehow, but Pam Bondi finally admitted defeat, and people are getting married. There’s still work to be done until everyone has full equality, but we’re a little bit closer to equal justice under law.

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Top 10 posts of 2014

Here are my top ten posts from 2014. One thing I realized while compiling this list is that I really need to blog more, so here’s to a more productive 2015. 10. #DefendTheDuggars (Sort of) I’ve said it before on social media and I’ll say it again here. The mocking of Duggar children is not something I can get behind. Criticize the Duggar parents for what they’re doing to their children, criticize Jim Bob, Michelle, and Josh for their anti-LGBT activism, that’s fair game. Mocking the kids isn’t. Kids like the Duggars, who aren’t being given a real education (you don’t get a real education from ATI Wisdom Booklets), who aren’t allowed college, and who aren’t even allowed a single private conversation with someone of the opposite sex until they’re married, are the ones I’m trying to help.  9. “You went to a Christian college, what did you expect?” The campus climate problems may be different at Christian colleges than secular ones, but don’t kid yourself, the environment can be pretty bad at state schools too. I don’t want my criticism of how Covenant handled my alumni update situation and the erasing of LGBT alumni to suggest that it’s a problem limited to Christian schools. 8. Kevin Swanson Bingo Inspired by the Kevin Swanson Watch bingo, Twitterer @Apostate_X created this handy dandy Kevin Swanson Bingo for you and all your friends to play along at home while you listen to K-Swizzle’s Generations Radio. Or, as we prefer to call it, the #KSwanComedyHalfHour. The #KSwanComedyHalfHour is where you can learn about how Frozen turns children gay, how Girl Scouts turn children gay, how homosexuals are like cannibals, how lesbians eat feces (I think he saw Two Girls, One Cup, please, please, please nobody tell him about goatse), and well, you might be noticing a theme here. You’ll also learn about the Neronic[…]

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Dear Flip: An open letter to Flip Benham on the occasion of his disrupting wedding ceremonies

Dear Flip, I don’t know if you remember me or not, but there was a time back in the 1990s when you were on a first name basis with my parents. If you don’t know me you should, my photo is on the cover of one of your Operation Save America brochures and the cover of Rusty Thomas’ book. I danced on stage to the song “Children Things We Throw Away” at Operation Rescue National events in Melbourne and Birmingham, and when you spoke in Bradenton, each time performing to standing ovation. I’ve spoken at ORN events and had people praise me afterward. When I say that I was a child of Rescue and that I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, I mean it literally. The t-shirts are shoved in the back of a dresser drawer, artifacts that I’d never wear again but can’t bring myself to throw out. I’m writing to say thank you. Thank you for creating an activist. When you’re shoved on to the front lines of the culture wars as a child, activism becomes second nature. I know how to fight because ORN/OSA taught me. I wouldn’t be the activist I am today without you. Just as importantly, thank you for so mishandling the situation with the conflict my parents were in–you know the details–that you started our break from the movement. I may have never gotten away from the oppression of the religious right and become the fabulous queer I am today without what happened that Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. For that I truly thank you. God uses all kinds of people in unexpected ways to get a person where they need to be, and God used you screwing over my parents to put me on the path to freedom. Flip, I see[…]

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Malala and Me

I sat here crying as I watched Malala Yousafzai talk about wanting to get an education and follow her dreams. She talks about how she decided to speak up against the Taliban because she didn’t want to be locked away in her house with no education, forced to marry at 13 or 14, and I can’t help but cry because it hits too close to home. I know what it feels like to fight for an education in a culture that thinks girls shouldn’t get one. That believes girls should be married off young with no skills and little education beyond primary school. I know what it feels like to want more and to feel the weight of everyone around you writing off your dreams as a silly fantasy. No, I didn’t have the Taliban forcing me home, and like Malala, my parents made sure that I had an education and encouraged me to follow my dreams. Who sent me to college, and who didn’t think that I had to marry off young and become the property of my husband. I was lucky though. There are so many girls stuck in the conservative Christian homeschool culture who aren’t so lucky. The stay-at-home daughter movement popularized by Doug Phillips and Vision Forum teaches that the proper place for a daughter is at home under her father’s authority until she’s given to the husband that her father has selected for her. Stay-at-home daughters are often given limited education, and dreaming of a life away from her father or husband, an education and a career, is unthinkable.  I remember going to hear popular homeschool speaker Little Bear Wheeler speak when I was in middle school, hearing from him that girls should be left as malleable clay to be shaped by their husband to best[…]

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My Brain is Broken

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been on a hiatus from any kind of serious blogging until the bar exam. Well, except for last night’s “Mark Driscoll or Tyler Durden” posts, that is. Turns out that when you’re running on that much adrenaline from stress it’s not so easy to fall asleep even when you’re exhausted. Anyway, the bar exam is over and I’m pretty sure I broke my brain. I feel like I crashed a motorcycle into a wall at the moment. Literally. That’s not hyperbole or misusing the word “literally” to mean “figuratively” either. I’ve crashed a motorcycle into a concrete pillar, have a scar just below my left eyebrow as a souvenir. At the moment my body feels about the same as it did when I was finally able to slow down two days after my accident, stopped running on adrenaline and suddenly felt my entire body hurting. Who knew that months of stress followed by two days running on nothing but adrenaline sitting in a room answering test questions could be this physically demanding. The bar exam. As bad as crashing a motorcycle into a wall. I plan to spend the next week sitting on the beach and then I’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming. I’ve got some ideas that I’ve been tossing around so stay tuned.

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We’re Here, We’re Queer (and patriarchy had nothing to do with it)

I’m not sure if two examples counts as a trend, but over the last few weeks both HSLDA founder and Patrick Henry College chancellor Michael Farris and well-known homeschool mommy blogger Karen “that mom” Campbell have both suggested that the blame, as it were, for LGBT homeschoolers lies at the feet of patriarchy. Under this narrative, patriarchy has so harmed and broken us that we have not only rejected patriarchy itself, but have fallen off into a morass of sin and depravity. Farris’ version of the story, as given in his May 2014 keynote address at the Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA) Leaders Forum, is that homeschool alumni critics of homeschooling are almost all victims of patriarchy, and in rejecting that we’ve also rejected God and some of us have become “open homosexuals.” It’s all very Romans 1 of him. Transcript: “But the majority, I think, are walking with God. A significant minority, however, have rejected God entirely. A significant number are way, way out there. And the– and the critics that we’re seeing arise from– in the homeschooling movement from young people who are in their twenties and– twenty– mid-twenties, mostly, is kind of the oldest group– that are loudly criticizing homeschooling on the internet and so on and in other venues– were almost all raised in these kinds of homes. And there is no pretense of Christianity in most of their lives. There are openly homosexuals involved, there are atheists involved, there are people that utterly reject everything that we believe in and make no pretense about it, that are– but they came. And so the idea that people are going to create generational, patriarchal family legacies, and we’re counting for them very well, you’re not seeing that. You erect a false view of God for your children, don’t[…]

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Sixteen years after I took my high school graduation photo posing with a Con Law casebook, today I walked across the stage to get my JD. I’ve taken the circuitous route to get here, detouring into computer science and teaching in Vietnam, but in the end I made it to law school after all. I sewed the suit I’m wearing in my high school photo, I’m still quite proud of it. Seventeen year old me is doing my best to look serious and grown up in my photo–I’ve even busted out the glasses that at the time I was only supposed to wear for reading, something law school turned into a full time thing after years of near perfect vision. The graduation portrait was a graduation present from my “adopted grandpa” McCormick, who was my biggest cheerleader and was always convinced that I would end up on the Supreme Court some day. Doubt that’s going to happen, but in any case, I’m kind of sad that my circuitous path to law school meant that he didn’t make it to see this day. And with that, all that’s left to say is that it’s great to be a Florida Gator!

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