Tag Archives: gay marriage

SNIPPETS (10-21-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

For the past six months, I have been visiting up to 400 blogs a day and leaving likes and comments. That takes time.

With Julian gone (see Someone’s missing from Photographic Art), I need to use the four hours a day that he was working to find a substitute for home inspections (my main source of income) that will pay my bills. That means I’m going to have to cut down on blog visits.

Since I’m following 3,302 blogs, the result is that it’s going to be a longer time between my visits to your blog.

My records (yes, I really am that AR!) indicate that over the course of my WordPress blogging (since January 7, 2012), I leave one comment for every four LIKEs. I’m going to change that and try to make it one comment for every like.

For the near future, then, blog camping is on an extended vacation, but I hope to make up for it by leaving more comments when I do visit.

SNIPPET 2

Ever since Random Acts of Kindness came about (Wikipedia says it was 1982 or 1983), I have been a huge fan.

Well, last Thursday at 2:40 p.m. I had a tire blow out at a high rate of speed. Having never experienced that before but having visualized it hundreds of times, I had no problem slowing down and getting off the freeway.

I pulled onto a side street in front of a high school and proceeded to try to change the tire. My left shoulder is not capable of provide the torque necessary to operate the jack to raise a 4,400-pound car and untighten the five lug nuts.

I was hot and sweating by the time school started letting out at 3:00. A teenage girl stopped, said hello as she was looking in her backpack, and pulled out a bottle of water, giving it to me along with her kind words, “I know it’s hot out here and you look like you’re struggling.”

Well, I was struggling so I gave up and called AAA to change the tire for me.

I don’t know the girl’s name or even the name of the high school, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some fine parents raising that girl, not to mention to that fine girl herself.

SNIPPET 3

I moved to San Diego in April 1993 specifically so I could live my life as an openly gay man, something I didn’t see myself doing in my native Texas.

Never in my wildest dreams 21 years ago did I think I would ever be legally married, yet that happened when Jim and I got married, legally, in California on October 30, 2008. Prior to that, we had dated for 2 years, lived together for 9 years, and were domestic partnered (such an ugly term) for 5 years.

As of a few days ago, gay marriage is now legal in 31 states and the District of Columbia, covering about 61% of the American population.

gay marriage

It’s only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the land. I’m going to guess less than two years.

What amazes me is that gay marriage was legal in Iowa before California, and that Utah won’t be the last state carried screaming and kicking into the modern world. I’m predicting that the southeast will be last, all joining at the same time due to an Appeals Court decision covering those states, basically a repeat of history from June 12, 1967, when the United States Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional:

Interracial marriage

SNIPPET 4

California allows permanent voting by mail:

California mail ballot

It doesn’t mean that I have to return my ballot by mail, but I can. I usually simply drop it off at a polling place on election day since there’s one just two blocks from me.

I was a registered Republican from 1976 to September 2013. I was trying to work within the system to change the Republican Party, but with the advent of the so-called Tea Party taking over control of the Republican Party, I finally gave up and registered as a Democrat last year.

Today I will be filling in those little dots on my ballot.

SNIPPET 5

I have finished my first Photographic Art calendar. This will be the one that I print and hang on my wall:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I plan on creating several more calendars:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Custom (you pick any 12 Photographic Art from my Fine Art America galleries)
Double Custom (you provide 12 of your own pictures)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Note that calendar weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday, keeping the weekend together.

I will be offering two versions: one without designations such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and one with such designations.

I have plans for one other version but it will be complicated to produce so I’ll not announce that yet, waiting until I’m sure I’m going to do it. I’ll do January this week and then decide.

I have looked at calendar-creating software online and am not happy with any of it. I have also looked at prices to buy calendars and can assure you that I will price my digital calendars for less. I am also considering having some printed for promotional purposes, maybe even for sale. I’ll keep everyone informed.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Advertisements

SNIPPETS (5-17-14)—You’re ugly, dirty lyrics, wwjd, and more!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Julian gets things done faster than I can create things for him to do, so I’m working fast to create lots of Photographic Art to keep him busy uploading to the Photographic Art galleries of Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Yesterday evening he mentioned my picture of an ugly grey duck. Ducks, of course, are not ugly, nor are any birds. They just have different features, just like people. I couldn’t think of an ugly grey duck, so I went searching in my birds folder and found a picture of a Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). Ah-ha! Lots of people think the Shoebill is ugly. What say you?

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

The Shoebill is a huge bird, getting up to 60 inches tall, weighing up to 15.4 pounds, and having a wing span up to 8½ feet. I think it might be bigger than Julian:

Shoebill and Julian

I’m thinking that Shoebill could take care of Julian real quickly, so I would say, “Beware of name-calling.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

As stated in a recent post (Rancho Santo Fe, the Benardo Fire, and my new BFF house), my chess class on Fridays happens to be out where the fires are burning, specifically the Bernardo Fire near Rancho Santa Fe. I had to pass through the burned area yesterday and, of course (you know me!), got a couple of pictures.

Burned hillsides with lots of smoke still rising from the fire on the other side:

Bernardo Fire, San Diego, California, 051614

Lonely mansion overlooking a burned hillside:

Bernardo Fire, San Diego, California, 051614

As you can see in the picture directly above, the fire got pretty close to that mansion. Fortunately, after the October 2003 and October 2007 fires, the County passed ordinances requiring people living in rural areas to create a defensible space around their home. That’s really the main reason why no homes were lost in the Bernardo Fire.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

It’s so sad that the worse the fires are, the more beautiful the sunsets. This is from my back patio May 15 where it got up to 104° (F for my Canadian friends) that day:

Sunset during the Bernardo Fire, San Diego, May 15 2014

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

I got my first paycheck from my sales at Fine Art America on May 15! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Zoey the Cool Cat will be able to eat at least one more can of Ocean Whitefish & Tuna! She’s a happy cat.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

On this date in 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States was performed in the State of Massachusetts. Amazingly, the sky hasn’t fallen, the ground has not risen up to swallow people, and the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west……………

Sunset at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

It’s no secret that the federal government has an interesting past. I had no idea that the lyrics of “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen had been investigated by the FBI as pornographic, which would have been a violation of the Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material law. If only they could investigate some of these rap and hip hop lyrics that I hear blasting from the bass-heavy car stereos…………… For more, see The FBI Laboratory weighs in on the “dirty” lyrics of “Louie Louie”. Or just listen to the song and enjoy it:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Zoey the Cool Cat loves to sit and watch (stalk) the mourning doves just inches outside the office window. Yesterday she found a new way to watch (stalk) them.

Zoey the Cool Cat stalking a mourning dove

She was really focused on the shadow for several minutes. The funny thing is, she knows where the mourning dove and feeder are because every 15 seconds or so she would turn around to look at the scene outside the window.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Remember that cool diner I found (see it here: Now I Know What Comfort Food is)? Jim, Julian, and I went to eat there last Saturday. The food was awesome! Definitely worth a return trip when I’m looking for awesome comfort food!

It was very busy, so I only got one picture of the interior, taken just before we left.

Studio Diner, San Diego, California

Food at Studio Diner, San Diego, California

Empty plate

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

Jim and I have an anniversary coming up. We celebrate several: The day we met (May 26, 1994), the day we moved in together (November 1, 1995), the day we got domestic partnered (July 31, 2004), and the day we got married (October 30, 2008). So our twentieth anniversary of meeting is in just nine days!

I lost all of my pictures of the building where we met in the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005. Here is the building where we got married:

San Diego County Administration Building

Just a few days later, California voters—the ones who voted—voted to disallow gay marriages. Fortunately, the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2009 that since we got legally married, our marriage would remain legal and valid. Ultimately the law disallowing gay marriage was overturned.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

I don’t understand hateful Christians. Didn’t Jesus heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless? Or did I read a poor translation of The Bible? WWJD?

WWJD?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Rainbow flag

Eat, drink, and be Betty

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008, just a few days before a majority of California voters — notice I didn’t say a majority of Californians — voted to take deny the right to marry to its gay citizens. Fortunately, in May 2009 the California Supreme Court ruled that those people who got married between June 16 and November 4, 2008, when so-called gay marriage was legal in California, would remain married under the laws of the State. So on October 30, 2018, Jim and I will be celebrating five years of legal marriage. We’ve also been Domestic Partnered since July 31, 2004, and we’ve had a common law marriage since November 1, 1995.

We got married at the San Diego County Administration building:

San Diego County Administration Building

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Afterwards we went out to eat at Baja Betty’s to celebrate:

Baja Betty's in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With today’s historic decisions by the United State Supreme Court in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and telling hateful people in California that they had no legal standing to be hateful, thereby overturning Proposition 8 and paving the way for marriage equality in California (again), Jim and I felt a need to celebrate. We went to Baja Betty’s, established in 2004, where the large and predominantly gay crowd was excited and having fun.

Baja Betty's in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baja Betty's in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Across the street, under the gigantic rainbow flag, a large crowd of a few thousand people were having a marriage equality rally.

Marriage equality rally in Hillcrest, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I thought it was interesting that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Elena Kagan joined Chief Justice John Roberts to form the majority. I would have thought Scalia, Alito, Roberts, and Thomas would have been against gay marriage and Gisburg, Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, and possibly Kennedy would have been for it.

However, the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of Proposition 8. Rather, in order to rule on the merits, first they had to get by procedural issues, having to decide whether or not the case should even have been in a federal court since it concerned a state constitutional issue that had already been decided by the California courts, including the California Supreme Court. If they could not first get by those procedural issues, they could not rule on the merits of the case itself.

Rainbow flagProposition 8, passed in November 2008, had been overturned by United States District Court Judge Vaughn Walker on August 4, 2010, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed Judge Walker’s decision on February 7, 2012.

Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should have denied even considering the appeal because the only two people who could represent the State in federal court would be the California Attorney General or the California Governor. Both refused to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court today determined that the appeals process should have ended there since no one of legal standing wanted to appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

So what effectively happened is that the right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court, including the ever so vocally hateful Scalia, chose to lose California by allowing marriage equality to proceed there but let the fight over marriage equality go on a while longer in the states that don’t have it.

My prediction is that within the next decade, you will see a military couple who got married in, say, California get transfered to a state like Texas. Although the federal government would still recognize their marriage due to the Supreme Court’s overturning DOMA, Texas would not. A lawsuit will eventually result in the U.S. Supreme Court requiring all states to recognize the Full Faith and Credit clause of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution which states that the States must respect the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. At that point, marriage equality will become legal in all 50 states. It will be similar to what happened in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas when the U. S. Supreme Court voided all state sodomy laws.

All in all, though, it’s a happy and historic day for gay citizens of the United States throughout the country but even more so in California. There is still lots of work to do to get marriage equality in every state, so carry on soldiers, carry on. And if you have a need to eat, drink, and be Betty, head on over to Baja Betty’s!

Baja Betty's in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baja Betty's in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo

October 30 is one of my anniversaries

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

October 30 is one of my anniversaries. What that means is that since Jim and I are a nontraditional couple (that means we’re gay!) and never expected to be able to get married in our lifetimes, we celebrate several anniversaries:

  • May 26, 1994 — The day we met.
  • November 1, 1995 — The day we moved in together.
  • July 31, 2004 — The day we got domestic partnered in California.

And, since “domestic partnered” just doesn’t have the same ring as “married,”

  • October 30, 2008 — The day we got married in California.

FuchsiaBecause we got married during a period when so-called “gay marriage” was legal in California, the California Supreme Court, in May 2009, ruled that our marriage would remain legal and recognized by the State of California. Yeah!

However, one of the main reasons why we don’t travel outside of California is because of the number of states that don’t recognize our marriage. That means that if something were to happen to one of us while we were in a homophobic state, like my home state of Texas, the other person could, and probably would, be denied the privilege of making health care decisions or recovering a body in the event of death. We have to be realistic.

Angel's trumpet in La Mesa, California, on January 23, 2012It’s those types of situations that will eventually force the United States Supreme Court to pull all the states, some screaming, into the modern age and force them all to recognize the “full faith and credit clause” of the United States Constitution relative to married gay couples. After all, the sky has not fallen in Iowa, New York, Massachusetts, and other States and countries where gay couples can legally marry.

Meanwhile, though, yesterday the United States Supreme Court announced that they would decide on November 20 whether or not to hear the Proposition 8 appeal from the homophobic right-wing nuts here in California. Proposition 8 was the 2008 measure passed by 52% of the people (who voted) to deny gay couples the right to marry. The California Supreme Court already overthrew Proposition 8, as did the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

StapeliaWe should know on Monday, November 26, whether or not the United States Supreme Court will hear the appeal. If they decide not to, which most of us expect, gay couples in California will be able to marry again. The reason why we don’t expect the United States Supreme Court to hear the appeal is because it has such a narrow focus, dealing specifically with the California State Constitution. If they decide to hear it, oral arguments will probably be in March or April 2012 with a decision probably handed down during the final weeks of the 2012-2013 term.

Jim and I are doing some special things today, but you’ll just have to wait until Halloween Day to find out what we did.

P.S. I won’t be camping out in any blogs today, but I’ll be back in camping mode on Halloween Day!

San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sunset in San Diego

Straight men should love gay men for reducing competition

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Chick-Fil-A has been in the news lately, and while going out and participating in protests has always been beyond me, I do know how to vote with my money. So when Mitch McConnell designated August 1 as “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” and asked everyone who supported Chick-Fil-A’s brand of hate and discrimination to eat at Chick-Fil-A, I decided that, yes, eating out would be good, with a slight twist.

Chick-Fil-A announced that they had record breaking sales on Appreciation Day, but that doesn’t tell the full story. Jim and I went out to eat, and many of our gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual friends, as well as our “straights for equality” friends, also went out to eat, except that we chose gay-owned restaurants.

We had breakfast at Brian’s Eatery, owned by a gay couple; lunch at gay-owned Urban Mo’s; and mid-afternoon chocolate shakes at our gay-owned Ben & Jerry’s store. I also bought some plants and batteries at our gay-owned Ace Hardware store. We had supper at gay-owned Bread & Cie; and then a late evening margarita and snacks at gay-owned Baja Betty’s. After that, we all watched the sun set, hopefully on hate and homophobia.

Sunset in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sunset in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For readers who don’t know, Jim and I met on May 26, 1994. We moved in together on November 1, 1995. Then we got Domestic Partnered on July 31, 2004 and, when gay marriage was legal in California for six months in 2008, yes, we got legally married on October 30, 2008. The California Supreme Court ruled in May 2009 that since we got married legally, our marriage shall remain legal and recognized.

The world is changing, as it always has been, and as with interracial marriage, eventually gay marriage will be recognized in all states under the “full faith and credit” clause of Article IV, Section 1, of the United States Constitution. It’s just a matter of time, and the clock is ticking, more rapidly than I ever dreamed it would. After all, the world didn’t end (it will on December 21, 2012…….lol) and the sky hasn’t fallen in countries and states where gay marriage is legal and recognized (Argentina, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Massachusetts, New York, Iowa, etc.).

Nonetheless, I will never understand how my being a gay married man has any effect on a straight person’s marriage. In fact, straight men should love gay men for reducing competition…..

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos