And Let Freedom Ring! Top Court Takes Historic Stance on Gay Marriage

YES

So I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop and the writing is going strong and I realize I need a piece of research info and I open the Internet and the first thing I see is this! I want to dance! I want to sing! OMG! Amazing! And let freedom ring!

I find out Friday that I am now legally married in Missouri. And now see I am in Kansas and North Carolina, the two states I thought would be last?

See world? There is justice! God is working in everything. God is love. And Love always conquers hate in the end.

Here it is! The words that I saw! Sharing this with you now. Or find the original article by CLICKING HERE! Meanwhile…

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

YES 2

The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in 11 More States

By Ryan Gorman

The Supreme Court effectively made same-sex marriage legal Monday in 11 additional states.

The nation’s highest court declined to review petitions from lower courts whose jurisdiction covers nearly a dozen states. The decision upheld court decisions striking down bans on same-sex unions in those states.

The decision was announced quietly, but the resulting shockwaves will be felt across the nation.

The court validated three federal appeals covering Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to Bloomberg.

By declining to hear the petitions brought forth from the jurisdictions, the Supreme Court left intact appeals courts decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans in the locales.

Couples in those states should soon be able to obtain marriage licenses and be legally wed.

The announcement led a large group of same-sex marriage supporters gathered outside the court to celebrate. They cheered, waved flags, hugged each other and embraced the landmark decision.

Supreme Court and #SSM (a same-sex marriage hashtag) immediately shot to the top of trending topics in the United States on Twitter.

Supreme Court of the United States immediately became the most talked about topic on Facebook.

“Practically, today SCOTUS recognized a right to SSM,” SCOTUS Blog, which covers the Supreme Court, said immediately after the decisions were made public.

The court unwillingness to wade into the gay marriage debate is noteworthy. It is highly unlikely the court would undo marriages in any future decision.

No reason was given for the decision.

The court has previously showed support for gay marriage when it struck down a federal law last year denying benefits to same-sex married couples.

Further appeals are currently under review in San Francisco and Cincinnati, according to Bloomberg. Rulings on those cases could come at any moment.

Refusing to hear an appeals on lower court decisions to strike down same-sex marriage bans sets a precedent. The remaining 20 states banning gay marriage will likely also be bound to appeals courts decisions should their bans be overturned.

The unions are now legal in a total of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia.

#SSM

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Judge Rules Missouri Must Recognize Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

So I am so excited. Great news as a judge struck down at least part of Missouri’s gay marriage ban. As some of you may know, the man I have been with for nearly 14 years recently went to Baltimore so we could get legally married. And now our state of residence will recognize our marriage! This is wonderful. And here is the article…

Judge Rules Missouri Must Recognize Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

BILL DRAPER | Associated Press

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A judge struck down part of Missouri’s gay marriage ban for the first time on Friday by ordering the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, saying state laws banning the unions single-out gay couples “for no logical reason.”

The order means that such couples will be eligible to sign up for a wide range of tax, health insurance, veterans and other benefits now afforded to opposite-sex couples. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who has defended the state’s ban on gay marriage, said his office was reviewing the ruling.

The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed by 10 same-sex couples who were married in states where gay marriage is legal. The couples argue that their rights to equal protection and due process are being violated by Missouri’s ban on gay marriage.

Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs agreed, ruling that the couples deserve the same recognition as opposite-sex couples who were married in other states. He said Missouri’s bans serve no legitimate government interest.

“The undisputed facts before the Court show that, to the extent these laws prohibit plaintiffs’ legally contracted marriages from other states being recognized here, they are wholly irrational, do not rest upon any reasonable basis, and are purely arbitrary,” Youngs wrote. “All they do is treat one segment of the population – gay men and lesbians – differently than their same-sex counterparts, for no logical reason.”

The lawsuit before Youngs only challenges Missouri’s refusal to recognize marriages legally performed in other states, not laws that bar same-sex couples from getting marriage in Missouri. But it is the first ruling to strike down part of the state’s ban on gay marriage.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which helped the couples, applauded the ruling.

“We’re gratified that the court recognized that married same-sex couples and their families are no different than other couples, and that the Constitution requires them to be treated equally,” ACLU attorney Tony Rothert said. “This is not the first court to reach this conclusion, but it is the first court to do so in Missouri, so it’s a tremendous day for our state.”

He said the ruling means that thousands of Missouri couples who got married in other states can now qualify for spousal government benefits and, on a smaller level, make changes such as changing their last name to match their spouse’s on their Missouri driver’s license.

The case is among at least three challenging Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage. The others include a federal challenge in Kansas City and a St. Louis case in which city officials granted marriage licenses to four same-sex couples to trigger a legal test of the ban. The lawsuits are based on the same arguments that led the U.S. Supreme Court last year to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied a tax, health and other benefits to legally married gay couples.

Youngs said he expects the Missouri Supreme Court to weigh in on the overall issue and “provide the last word on all of the important legal issues presented by this case.”

Fine the original artical by CLICKING HERE

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

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Here is a truly lovely and beautiful article that I believe you should read. It is written by Lauren Martin and appeared at Elite Daily on July 9th, 2014. You can find the original by clicking RIGHT HERE or simply reading on. I would love to know what you think. I know this much–I am glad my husband reads. He doesn’t read fiction as much as he used to, but he even had his own little used bookstore when we met. Happiness is a lover that reads….

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Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

Life • Lauren Martin • Jul 9, 2014 – 1:59pm

Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?

You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.

You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate. (Maybe, erotic?) You just had an intense and somewhat transient metamorphosis.

Like falling in love with a stranger you will never see again, you ache with the yearning and sadness of an ended affair, but at the same time, feel satisfied. Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul. You feel fed, if only for a little while.

This type of reading, according to TIME magazine’s Annie Murphy Paul, is called “deep reading,” a practice that is soon to be extinct now that people are skimming more and reading less.

Readers, like voicemail leavers and card writers, are now a dying breed, their numbers decreasing with every GIF list and online tabloid.

The worst part about this looming extinction is that readers are proven to be nicer and smarter than the average human, and maybe the only people worth falling in love with on this shallow hell on earth.

According to both 2006 and 2009 studies published by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and “theory of mind,” which is the ability to hold opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own.

They can entertain other ideas, without rejecting them and still retain their own. While this is supposed to be an innate trait in all humans, it requires varying levels of social experiences to bring into fruition and probably the reason your last partner was such a narcissist.

Did you ever see your ex with a book? Did you ever talk about books? If you didn’t, maybe you should think about changing your type.

It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference.

They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things you’ll never understand and have experienced deaths of people you’ll never know.

They’ve learned what it’s like to be a woman, and a man. They know what it’s like to watch someone suffer. They are wise beyond their years.

Another 2010 study by Mar reinforces this idea with results that prove the more stories children have read to them, the keener their “theory of mind.” So while everyone thinks their kids are the best, the ones who read have the edge as they truly are the wiser, more adaptable and understanding children.

Because reading is something that molds you and adds to your character. Each triumph, lesson and pivotal moment of the protagonist becomes your own.

Every ache, pain and harsh truth becomes yours to bear. You’ve traveled with authors and experienced the pain, sorrow and anguish they suffered while writing through it. You’ve lived a thousand lives and come back to learn from each of them.

If you’re still looking for someone to complete you, to fill the void of your singly-healed heart, look for the breed that’s dying out. You will find them in coffee shops, parks and subways.

You will see them with backpacks, shoulder bags and suitcases. They will be inquisitive and soulful, and you will know by the first few minutes of talking to them.

They Won’t Talk To You…. They’ll Speak To You

They will write you letters and texts in verse. They are verbose, but not in the obnoxious way. They do not merely answer questions and give statements, but counter with deep thoughts and profound theories. They will enrapture you with their knowledge of words and ideas.

According to the study, “What Reading Does For The Mind” by Anne E. Cunningham of the University of California, Berkeley, reading provides a vocabulary lesson that children could never attain by schooling.

According to Cunningham, “the bulk of vocabulary growth during a child’s lifetime occurs indirectly through language exposure rather than through direct teaching.”

Do yourself a favor and date someone who really knows how to use their tongue.

They Don’t Just Get You…. They Understand You

You should only fall in love with someone who can see your soul. It should be someone who has reached inside you and holds those innermost parts of you no one could find before. It should be someone who doesn’t just know you, but wholly and completely understands you.

According to Psychologist David Comer Kidd, at the New School for Social Research, “What great writers do is to turn you into the writer. In literary fiction, the incompleteness of the characters turns your mind to trying to understand the minds of others.”

This is proved over and over again, the more people take to reading. Their ability to connect with characters they haven’t met makes their understanding of the people around them much easier.

They have the capacity for empathy. They may not always agree with you, but they will try to see things from your point of view.

They’re Not Just Smart…. They’re Wise

Being overly smart is obnoxious, being wise is a turn on. There’s something irresistible about someone you can learn from. The need for banter and witty conversation is more imperative than you may believe, and falling in love with a reader will enhance not just the conversation, but the level of it.

According to Cunningham, readers are more intelligent, due to their increased vocabulary and memory skills, along with their ability to spot patterns. They have higher cognitive functions than the average non-reader and can communicate more thoroughly and effectively.

Finding someone who reads is like dating a thousand souls. It’s gaining the experience they’ve gained from everything they’ve ever read and the wisdom that comes with those experiences. It’s like dating a professor, a romantic and an explorer.

If you date someone who reads, then you, too, will live a thousand different lives.

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Lauren “LMoney” Martin grew up with one goal: to be the first woman engineer. Upon finding out there already were women engineers, and unable to pass Calc 1, she chose to study the beautiful and honorable art of advertising. After advertising proved uninspiring, she attempted a career in acting which was over before she could get on stage. And when she failed at everything else she decided to become a writer.

Male Homosexuality Study: Gay Men Have Evolutionary Benefit For Their Families, New Research Suggests

By Natalie Wolchover
Published: 06/12/2012 12:59 PM EDT on Life’s Little Mysteries

While female sexuality appears to be more fluid, research suggests that male gayness is an inborn, unalterable, strongly genetically influenced trait. But considering that the trait discourages the type of sex that leads to procreation — that is, sex with women — and would therefore seem to thwart its own chances of being genetically passed on to the next generation, why are there gay men at all?

Put differently, why haven’t gay man genes driven themselves extinct?

This longstanding question is finally being answered by new and ongoing research. For several years, studies led by Andrea Camperio Ciani at the University of Padova in Italy and others have found that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men tend to have significantly more offspring than the maternal relatives of straight men. The results show strong support for the “balancing selection hypothesis,” which is fast becoming the accepted theory of the genetic basis of male homosexuality.

The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males’ female maternal relatives. Through this trade-off, the maternal relatives’ “gay man genes,” though they aren’t expressed as such, tend to get passed to future generations in spite of their tendency to make their male inheritors gay.

While no one knows which genes, exactly, these might be, at least one of them appears to be located on the X chromosome, according to genetic modeling by Camperio Ciani and his colleagues. Males inherit only one X chromosome — the one from their mother — and if it includes the gene that promotes gayness in males and fecundity in females, he is likely to be gay while his mom and her female relatives are likely to have lots of kids. If a daughter inherits that same X-linked gene, she herself may not be gay, but she can pass it on to her sons.

But how might the “gay man gene” make females more reproductively successful? A new study by Camperio Ciani and his team addresses the question for the first time. Previously, the Italian researchers suggested that the “gay man gene” might simply increase androphilia, or attraction to men, thereby making the males who possess the gene homosexual and the females who possess it more promiscuous. But after investigating the characteristics of 161 female maternal relatives of homosexual and heterosexual men, the researchers have adjusted their hypothesis. Rather than making women more attracted to men, the “gay man gene” appears to make these women more attractive to men.

“High fecundity, that means having more babies, is not about pleasure in sex, nor is it about promiscuity. The androphilic pattern that we found is about females who increase their reproductive value to attract the best males,” Camperio Ciani told Life’s Little Mysteries.

Turns out, the moms and aunts of gay men have an advantage over the moms and aunts of straight men for several reasons: They are more fertile, displaying fewer gynecological disorders or complications during pregnancy; they are more extroverted, as well as funnier, happier and more relaxed; and they have fewer family problems and social anxieties. “In other words, compared to the others, [they are] perfect for a male,” Camperio Ciani said. Attracting and choosing from the best males enables these women to produce more offspring, he noted.

The new study will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Of course, no single factor can account for the varied array of sexual orientations that exist, in men as well as in women. “It is quite possible that there are several influences on forming a homosexual orientation,” said Gerulf Rieger, a sexual orientation researcher at Cornell University. He noted that environmental factors — including the level of exposure to certain hormones in the womb — also play a role in molding male sexuality. But as for why genetic factors would exist that make men gay, it appears that these genes make women, as well as gay men, alluring to other men.

Originally posted HERE in The Huffington Post

Why Same-Sex Marriage Makes Sense Economically

Here is an interesting little article I found and wanted to share.

What do you think? And not just emotionally.

I think the writer makes some really fascinating points.

Why Same-Sex Marriage Makes Sense Economically

By Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers

The national discussion about same- sex marriage is heating up. Just last week, North Carolina voted to prohibit the practice, and, for the first time, President Barack Obama clearly came out in favor of it.

The debate, which has focused on our evolving views on sexuality, also mirrors a deeper generational shift in how we view and experience marriage.

For our grandparents’ generation, marriage was about separate roles, separate spheres and specialization. Gary Becker, an economist at the University of Chicago, won the Nobel Prize partly for describing the family as an economic institution — a bit like a small firm that employs people with different skills to produce both income and a well-run household. click the link to find out more

What Women Want: Gay Male Romance Novels

The website Globe and Mail has published a fascinating article on M/M romances. One of the things that excited me was that my story Desert Crossing is one of the covers featured in the article! Which is funny, because the article is about heterosexual women writing gay romances, but who cares? It’s advertising. And it is an amazing article. Check it out…

What Women Want: Gay Male Romance Novels
Elio Iannacci
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 5:01PM EST
Last updated Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 7:03PM EST

Trends in contemporary popular fiction can be as unpredictable as fashion fads. Nobody expected, for instance, that the gloomy, bespectacled Harry Potter would help resuscitate the ailing book industry any more than Lady Gaga’s bizarre looks would help motivate retail sales. Yet today’s newest publishing trend is as out in left field as Potter and Gaga once were.

Over the past year, man-on-man romantic fiction – books featuring two male protagonists engaged in a sexual or emotional relationship with each other – has taken a significant bite out of one of publishing’s biggest markets. Amazon’s Kindle has had such success with the genre that the e-book site has tripled its “m/m” stock since January, 2010. Even Harlequin – the most profitable and old-fashioned romance fiction house in the world – has recently started to publish same-sex love stories via the company’s digital imprint, Carina Press. What’s most surprising, though, are the types of readers the books have hooked: Straight, married women are among the genre’s top fans. That may be because the authors, such as Iowa’s Heidi Cullinan, a 37-year-old suburban mother of two, are frequently heterosexual females, too. Cullinan has penned such recent works as the popular gay romance Double Blind and the homoerotic fantasy Miles and The Magic Flute. click to find out more