Friday, October 31, 2008

High Tech for Gays

A group of high tech Silicon Valley leaders have taken a stand for equality. In a recent newspaper ad they say: “We are committed to equality and fairness. We are opposed to Proposition 8 because it would change our state constitution to take away rights from one group of people. It would set our state, and our country, back in the fight for fundamental fairness and equal rights.

"Please join us by reaching out to friends and neighbors and asking them to stand for fairness: Vote No on Proposition 8 on November 4th.”

Silicon Valley Leaders Say NO on Proposition 8: (titles are for identification purposes only)
Sergey Brin, Founder, Google, Inc.
Bill Campbell, Chairman, Intuit Inc.
David Filo, Founder, Yahoo! Inc.
Chuck Geschke, Founder & Chairman, Adobe Systems, Inc.
John Morgridge, Former CEO & Chairman, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc., Founding Partner, Omidyar Network
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google, Inc.
Jerry Yang, Founder, Yahoo! Inc.

LEADERS (partial list)
Deborah Barber, Principal, Jackson Hole Group
John Battelle, Chairman & CEO, Federated Media
Larry Birenbaum, Former Senior Vice President, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Lorna Borenstein, President, Move, Inc.
Larry Brilliant, Executive Director,
Owen Byrd, President, Byrd Development
John Chisholm, Chairman & CEO, CustomerSat, Inc.Barry Cinnamon, CEO, Akeena SolarTod Cohen, Director of Government Affairs, eBay Inc.
LaDoris Cordell, Administrator, Stanford University
Sue Decker, President, Yahoo! Inc.Jack Dorsey, Chairman, TwitterDavid Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development & Chief Legal Officer, Google, Inc.
Donna Dubinsky, CEO, Numenta, Inc.
Alan Eustace, SVP, Engineering and Research, Google, Inc.
Naomi Fine, President & CEO, Pro-Tec Data, Inc.
Rachel Glaser COO/CFO,
Carl Guardino, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Andre Haddad, CEO,
Jeff Hawkins, co-Founder Palm, Handspring, and Numenta
David Karnstedt, Investor Scott Kaspick, Managing Director, Kaspick & Co.
Steve Kirsch, Serial Entrepreneur
John Koza, CEO, Third Millennium
Ross LaJeunesse, Head of State Policy Western US, Google, Inc.
Gary Lauder, Managing Partner, Lauder Partners Venture Capital
Laura Lauder, General Partner, Lauder Partners Venture CapitalLen Lehman, Investor
John Luongo, Former CEO, Vantive CorporationRoger McNamee, Managing Director & co-Founder, Elevation Partners
Ken McNeely, President, AT&T CaliforniaMichael Moritz, Partner, Sequoia CapitalSusan Packard Orr, CEO, Telosa Software, Inc.
Randy Pond, Executive Vice President, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Amy Rao, Founder & CEO, Integrated Archive SystemsJana Rich, Managing Director, Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc.
Miriam Rivera, Former Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Google, Inc.Dan Rosensweig, Investor
Dan Rubin, Partner, Alloy Ventures
Hilary Schneider, Executive Vice President US Region, Yahoo! Inc.Len Shustek, Chairman, Computer History Museum
Jeff Skoll, Former President, eBay Inc.
Stephanie Tilenius, SVP, eBay North America
Joy Weiss, President & CEO, Dust Networks
Steve Westly, former California State Controller & former SVP eBay Inc.
Evan Williams, CEO, Twitter

What can you do?
Give as much as you can afford. You can easily donate at

- Vote No on Proposition 8 in California
- Vote No on Proposition 102 in Arizona
- Vote No on Amendment 2 in Florida

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jews for Gays

Jews for Marriage EqualityAt times it may not seem like it, but not all religions are against gays. The Jewish Reform and Reconstructionist movements have embraced and supported gay marriage for decades. Although the Conservative branch is not there yet, there is dialogue, learning and small changes happening. Unfortunately the small Orthodox movement is firmly on the side of the Mormons, Catholics, and Evangelicals. They can not reconcile “equality for all” with their religious beliefs.

The week before our wedding (October 19), the Board of Directors of our synagogue, Congregation Beth Am, endorsed the following resolution:

“The California Constitution should guarantee that every Californian be treated fairly. Congregation Beth Am of Los Altos Hills opposes any initiative that would amend the state constitution in an attempt to ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples in California.

“This action is consistent with the core values of the Reform movement: affirming the dignity of all persons, and standing up for equality under the law and civil rights for gays and lesbians. It is also consistent with our long-standing practice at Beth Am to recognize and marry same- sex couples. Additionally, The Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Central West Council has urged their California congregations to get involved in the campaign to defeat Proposition 8.”

In a recent press release:
“The Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Central West Council (“PCW”) passed a resolution last week opposing Proposition 8…In so doing, the Northern California based Council joined the URJ Pacific Southwest Council (“PSW”), headquartered in Los Angeles, which had passed a similar resolution in June.

“The PCW’s “Protection of the Freedom to Marry” resolution, mirroring the language of a 2004 PSW resolution supporting the freedom of gays and lesbians to marry, calls marriage “a basic human right and an individual personal choice” and declares that “the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and to share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage.”

“Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, Co-Acting Regional Director of the PCW and Senior Associate Director of the PSW, explained the importance of this issue to the Reform Movement as follows:

“The Reform Movement holds that we are all created equally in God’s image – male and female, straight and gay – and that all are therefore entitled to equality and fairness. And we know that God created human beings to be in relationship, which makes marriage truly a fundamental freedom. We cannot and will not stand idly by when Proposition 8 threatens to take away such a fundamental freedom and to hurt the gay and lesbian members of our community; we are called to protect the freedom to marry and the equality of all.”

Conservative Rabbi Sheldon Lewis was one of the speakers before our wedding. In his remarks, he said the following:

“Now we have much less patience with racial injustice, with inequality for women, and with keeping the handicapped trapped within severe boundaries. Torah and Halacha (Jewish law) have learned deeply from our age, and they are evolving. No religious stream within Judaism has been impervious to these changes. A key sign of vitality for every religious tradition is its capacity to stretch itself in every new age. We simply have to acknowledge, I believe, that our need to grow our tradition in light of new insights will never cease.

“Surely marriage equality for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters marks an urgent new frontier for Torah and Halacha. Verses in the book of Leviticus have brought untold suffering. I am so very sorry that these ancient strictures and the prejudice they represent have caused and continue to cause such pain for so many in eras past until this day. I am so sorry that it often takes so very long for us collectively to take a new look and commit to higher and more just values. I am so sorry that I personally took so long to realize my error and to continue to assume that our tradition was wise in this area. Now it seems so clear. God’s creation is so wondrously diverse. The Divine Image in every person is expressed in uncounted ways. Homosexuality is part and parcel of God’s creation. To deny any person the right to live fully and joyfully, to discourage or to prevent any person from finding a lifetime partner with whom to fashion a home in love, to hinder that couple from receiving the full benefits of the law in our society, and to place obstacles before two people to celebrate their commitment legally and publicly simply fly in the face of God’s justice and compassion. We need to recalibrate our tradition in light of our new learning. We are blessed that today in this sanctuary and in this age, we are taking steps to do just that.”

Jews for Marriage EqualityUPDATE: Along with the Reform and Conservative movements, ADL, Hadassah, and the American Jewish Committee, the board of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley voted on October 2 to add its name to the website

Monday, October 27, 2008

Laughing in the aisle

I can see Russia from my pianoLast week’s theatre attendance centered on one-man comedy shows. Tuesday we saw “Russian on the Side” at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco. The performance is by Mark Nadler. He plays the piano and tells humorous stories in a style reminiscent of Victor Borge and Danny Kaye. In fact, the show is structured around a Danny Kaye show-stopping patter song "Tchaikovsky". The tune was written by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, and consists of the names of Russian composers sung at rapid speed. The evening was one mad-capped musical lesson on Russian composers. Plays through November 16.

Miss Coco Peru in Ugly CocoWednesday night we were at the Rrazz Room in the Hotel Nikko. We saw our friend, Miss Coco Peru, present “Ugly Coco”. Coco Peru is an outstanding storyteller, monologist and singer. “Ugly Coco” raises the question; can a drag queen save the world? In a hilarious and moving fashion the audience relives portions of Coco’s childhood and follows her life from boyhood to manhood to “womanhood”. Miss Peru performs until November 2nd. Don't miss her!
We first got to know Miss Coco Peru last year on a TravelPride New Year’s cruise. We are all signed up again for this New Year’s cruise. It is not too late to join us. “Finally, the answer for what to do for New Year's! Leave the chaos, crowds and cold weather behind and spend it in the company of 148 newfound friends in the warm Caribbean. Our holiday cruise will take you to some of the exclusive yachtsman's ports rarely experienced by the large mega-cruise ships.”

Goldstar: Enjoy Live Entertainment for About the Price of a MovieTIP: Half-price tickets for many select performances, sporting events and family activities are often available on Goldstar Events. Areas include San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago.
Goldstar Events is our favorite source of cheap tickets in the SF Bay Area. But it is not the only option. You can also find half-price tickets at: Artsopolis – good for San Jose & the South Bay. And Theatre Bay Area - discount tickets from member theatres available online and/or at TIX Union Square, SF.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

150 Years of Redefining Marriage in California

[Updated July 2013] Today’s so called “protect marriage” advocates have a naively nostalgic view of the history of marriage and how "traditional" marriage has never been redefined. In reality, the legal and societal recognition of marriage has changed and evolved quite a bit over time to include the equal rights of women and racial equality. Soon, I hope, it will include recognition of all loving couples, male/female, male/male and female/female that seek to be legally married.

The California marriage battle has been going on for over a 150 years. Here is a brief history of the redefinition of marriage in just one state.

The definition of Marriage first changed in California to support women's rights:
No Self Respecting Woman Should Wish or Work for the Success of a Party That Ignores Her Sex - Susan B. Anthony 1872Beginning with statehood, women of California began pushing suffrage. Suffrage meant more then just the right to vote. It was a demand for equality under the law; property rights, guardianship of their children, and access to education. Many saw this as a threat to the traditional institution of marriage. In 1893, state legislature approved suffrage for women but the governor vetoed bill as unconstitutional.
A statewide referendum for suffrage was overwhelming defeated in 1896.
Many churches and religious organizations were against woman’s suffrage. To many it signified nothing less than a radical and revolutionary change in our whole social system. It was an assault upon the Family as the social unit based on radically false theory of civil and political rights. It would hurt children and weaken marriages. It was truly a “reform against nature.”
Finally in 1911, male voters approved full women's suffrage. The definition of "voting" was redefined. California women were finally beginning to be treated as equals in a marriage.

The definition of Marriage in California then changed to support minority rights:
Yes On Prop 8=Banning interracial marriageAnti-miscegenation
laws were laws that prohibited the intermarriage and sometimes interracial sex of white people and people of different races.
The first California law prohibiting marriages was in 1880. California legislature prohibited the issuance of licenses for marriage between a white person and "a Negro, mulatto (mixed ancestry of black and white), or Mongolian (yellow or Chinese)."
The Japanese were added by special legislation in 1909 to the list of those barred from marrying whites.

Gunjiro Aoki, a Japanese man, was engaged to Helen Gladys Emery, daughter of the archdeacon of San Francisco's Grace Church. The union, touted to be the first interracial Japanese/Caucasian marriage in California, so infuriated local politicians that an emergency session was called in the Assembly to specifically keep the wedding from happening. In order to get married, the couple boarded a train and kept traveling north. At every stop, hordes of people would try to stop their progress. Gunjiro and Helen were finally married by the mayor of Seattle.
In 1933, the California legislature quickly adds “Malays (Filipinos)” as forbidden from marrying whites.

Salvador Roldan challenged the anti-miscegenation law in California on the basis that Filipinos are of the “Malay” race. Roldan won permission to marry his white fiancé. Unfortunately, two months later the Senate amended the anti-miscegenation statute to include the “Malay” race, and all previous marriages between Filipinos and Whites are declared void. The California legislature responded by continually to broaden the prohibition of marriage between whites and any group of Asian Americans.
Finally in 1948, the California Supreme Court (activist judges??) ruled in “Perez vs. Sharp,” against the state’s anti-miscegenation laws, stating that they were based on racial distinctions that were "by their very nature, odious to a free people".

Andrea Perez, daughter of Mexican immigrants, fell in love with Sylvester Davis, an African American man. The couple was denied a marriage license by a Los Angeles County clerk. Ms Perez filed suit. This was the first time a state Supreme Count found an anti-miscegenation law unconstitutional.
Ten years later in 1958, the first Gallup poll conducted on the subject of interracial marriage revealed that 94% of whites still opposed it. Interracial marriage was considered to be a threat to the traditional institution of marriage. In fact, it wasn't until 1997 that a majority of Americans supported the freedom for interracial couples to marry.

Will marriage in California change to support the rights of same-sex couples?
Same-sex Jewish wedding of Eddie and EdUp until 1974 same-sex intimacy was a crime in California.
In 1977, the California Civil Code is amended to define marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary."
There wasn't a single law recognizing the relationships of same-sex couples until 1984 when the Berkeley School District passed the first one.

Dianne Feinstein, mayor of San Francisco at the time, vetoed an early version of a domestic-partner law in 1982 under intense pressure from the Catholic Church. It was not until 1990 and on its fifth attempt that San Francisco finally passed a domestic-partner law.
In 2000, Proposition 22 passed by 61% to 39%. It added a one-sentence section to the Family Code explicitly defining the union of a man and a woman as the only valid or recognizable form of marriage in the State of California.

The State of California passed in 2003 the first comprehensive domestic partner policy in the United States that was created by a legislature without court intervention. The policy went into effect in 2005.
In 2005 and 2007, the California legislature passed a marriage equality bill. Both times Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
Then in May of 2008, California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage (Proposition 22), saying sexual orientation, like race or gender, "does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."
Meanwhile more than 18,000 same-sex couples were married in California between June 17 and November 4, 2008.

No on H8In 2008, Proposition 8 qualified for the fall election. Fueled by misinformation, distortions and lies, millions of voters said YES to bigotry, YES to discrimination, YES to second-class status for same-sex couples. The proposition was heavily funded by the Mormon and Catholic Churches. It passed with by small majority of 52.5% and was the most expensive proposition on any ballot with over $85 million spent by both sides. The proposition changed the California constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. A new section is added stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

More updates when available.
2009: California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, constitutionally defining marriage between a man and a woman, but ruled that previously officiated marriages of same-sex couples shall remain valid.

2010: U.S. District Court of Northern California declared that Proposition 8 violates due process and Equal Protection clauses in the U.S. Constitution. Supporters of the proposition appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

2012: Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 that Proposition 8, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the decision, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California."

2013: The US Supreme Court ruled on two gay rights cases. First, the court threw out Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Same-sex married couples will now be entitled to federal benefits. Second, the court declined to decide on the California Prop 8 case and effectively allowing marriages for same-sex couples to resume in the state. California becomes the 13th and most populous state allowing such marriages. The rulings leave in place laws banning marriage equality around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our legal gay wedding

GuyDads legal gay weddingWith over 400 people in attendance, Eddie and Ed (GuyDads) were married in a civil ceremony yesterday. Exactly 3 years, 3 months before we had been married in what we consider our 'real' wedding (a full religious Jewish wedding and sit-down dinner and dance). Yesterday's event still was extremely moving and exciting as we participated in what felt like an historical event. California's constitutionally legalizing same-sex marriage is so exciting and important; and as we all know, so threatened by Proposition 8, which would remove that right by adding an amendment to discriminate against lesbians and gays who want to marry. Yesterday, we were able to affirm that what we want in the right to marry is all about LOVE and EQUALITY, not about re-establishing two classes of citizens.

Our civil ceremony was part of a much larger event that we helped host and plan. "Marriage Equality is a Jewish Issue: An Evening of Learning and Celebration" was an event at our Jewish Reform synagogue, Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, CA. We planned the event with our Rabbi and two lesbian couples who were married along with us. (Each couple had had a full Jewish wedding in the past 4 years at Beth Am.) We decided we wanted not only to get legally married but also to garner lots of support to defeat Prop 8. We solicited co-sponsors to join Beth Am and were eagerly joined by the Progressive Jewish Alliance, The Jewish Community Relations Council, LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Federation, Congregation Shaar Zahav, Jewish Mosaic, National Council of Jewish Women, Keddem Congregation, and the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay. We are VERY PROUD of the greater Jewish community for such support to defeat this proposition.

We also had wonderful support from the No on Prop 8 campaign who provided lots of swag (yard signs, flyers, bumper stickers, etc.) and several cute volunteers who signed people up for phone banks and hosting house parties as well as collected money for the campaign. Our full program moderated by our head rabbi, Janet Marder, consisted of five speakers. Their talking points were as follows:
Flaurie Imberman, Progressive Jewish Alliance
o Mission of PJA and kinds of programs they undertake.
o Reasons PJA has adopted “No on 8” as a focus this fall.
o Thanks to the other co-sponsoring organizations.
o Why this is an important issue for her personally.

Emily Doskow, Board Member, National Center for Lesbian Rights
o Mission of NCLR and brief overview of issues pursued through the courts through the years.
o NCLR's history with same-sex marriage.
o The arguments before the CA Supreme Court and what NCLR believes was the tipping point to win there.
o How NCLR sees this decision affecting general LGBT equal rights battles across America.
o Why this is an important issue for her personally.

Rabbi Sheldon Lewis (a Conservative rabbi)
o The Jewish view of marriage equality.
o How Jews reconcile the Leviticus verses so often quoted by those opposing same-sex marriage.
o Why this is an important issue for him personally.

CA Assemblymember Ira Ruskin, 21st District
o California's legislative history in terms of equal rights laws, marriage laws, and GLBT rights.
o How this proposition is same and different from other propositions.
o What it means to 'amend' the Constitution in CA.
o What legislation implications are there for either passing or defeating this proposition.
o Why this is an important issue for him personally.

Deb Kinney, Board Member, Equality California
o Mission of EQCA and brief overview of issues pursued in its history.
o Overview of the campaign to defeat Prop 8 and the latest, current status of the campaign.
o Description of who seems to be supporting Yes on 8 and why are they being so successful in persuading voters.
o Who are the 'un-decideds'?
o What it will take to defeat the Prop.
o What is needed from folks present.
o Why this is an important issue for her personally.
o Solicitation of donations and why so needed at this late time in the campaign.

GuyDads walk down the aisleThe wedding ceremony itself was much more moving than Eddie or I thought it would be. Our Jewish wedding was so wonderful, we did not want to try and re-create it. Originally, we and the other two couples just wanted quickly to say the vows necessary for the legal marriage. However, as the number of guests grew and as we contemplated how important it was for everyone there to feel the love and to experience a 'real' wedding in order to feel how 'right' it was to be able to occur legally, we began to increase the scope of the service. So, the ceremony was preceded by a 10-minute multi-media presentation of our original Jewish weddings. (It was a beautiful, moving tear-jerker in itself.) Each couple walked down the aisle to a gorgeous song sung by our Cantor. She sang a total of 4 songs (both in English and in Hebrew) during the ceremony.

As we once again stood under a huppah, our Rabbi conducted a civil ceremony that was in many ways just as beautiful and profound as the religious ceremonies she has conducted for us in past years. She went couple by couple administering beautiful vows and allowing each person to say something personal to his/her partner. At one point, as the Cantor again sang, our various witnesses came forward and signed the 3 wedding certificates (as required by CA law) and then surrounded the 3 couples as the Rabbi proudly declared us married in the State of California.

Blessing to all couples, gay or straight married this summer and fallThe entire ceremony was capped by her inviting all couples present who had been married since the CA Supreme Court had made its historical decision in June or who will be married by the Nov. 4 election. About 12 couples, gay and straight, joined us under the huppah. The Rabbi and Cantor jointly gave a moving blessing on all the newly married couples.

We all danced down the aisle and led the hundreds of guests to a delicious catered affair by our good friends at Too Caterers, the highly regarded Kosher subsidiary of Continental Caterers (who helped sponsor the event also). The absolute hit of the entire evening, it turned out, were the cupcakes (all displayed on towers as table decorations) from Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Sam and Julia Thoron, who are featured in the first No on Prop 8 ad, spoke to the guests and again summed up the need to defeat the lies and hate of Proposition 8At the reception the elderly couple, Sam and Julia Thoron, who are featured in the No on Prop 8 ad, spoke to the guests and again summed up the need to defeat lies and hate of Proposition 8. They had heard about our event on Friday and asked if they could attend.

All in all, things could not have gone any better. The event raised over $16,000 for the "No On Prop 8" fight. This amount will be doubled with a challenge grant. 30 volunteer shifts to work phone banks were gathered. Just to give everyone one more flavor of how the evening went, here is the catering menu:

Freshly made Felafel, served with Tahini Sauce
Israeli Salad on Pita
Cornmeal Crusted Eggplant Bites
Quinoa Tabouli in Romaine Boats
Grilled Fall Vegetables
Baked Brie Tartlets
Salmon Tartar on Potato Crisp
Israeli Green Olive Tapenade on Walnut Baguette Crisps
Seasonal Fruit Arrangement
Pasta Bar with Pesto and Fresh Marinara Sauces
Cupcakes: Double Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Carrot

What else can you do? Give as much as you can afford. You can easily donate at

- Vote No on Proposition 8 in California
- Vote No on Proposition 102 in Arizona
- Vote No on Amendment 2 in Florida

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anti-gay Radio in the SF Bay Area?

Anti-gay radio?
Shame on San Francisco classical radio station, KDFC 102.1. They have betrayed a huge portion of their loyal listeners. Once again they have thrown gay and lesbians under the proverbial bus. KDFC is the one of the top three radio stations in SF and the most popular classical station in the country. They are a large media supporter of the arts in the bay area providing advertising, in-kind trade, PSAs and calendar listings. But they care more for the money they can get broadcasting the deceitful, hatful, fear mongering lies of the “Yes on Prop 8” campaign. They played the “Yes on 8” ads three to five times an hour. I never heard the station air a “No on Prop 8” commercial. The “Yes” ads call for removal of constitutional marriage rights for a group of California citizens. It denigrated and disparaged a minority group. It promoted intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination. It was commercial hate speech.

KDFC was instrumental in supporting a despicable campaign of lies, misinformation and fear mongering. They approved and aired ads that deceived the public into thinking that same-sex marriage would hurt children and punish churches.

I contacted the station manager and requested that they stop playing fraudulent advertising, the station manager, Bill Lueth, refused. He says although many may find the ad to be “repugnant”, they feel “it is inappropriate for us to filter them in any way”. I responded with the questions: How can you justify accepting money for repugnant and fraudulent advertising? Would you accept similar ads that called for restricting rights for Jews or blacks or of another race or minority? I sure hope not. Why do you allow the bashing of gays and lesbians on your classical musical station?” I have not heard back.

I also filed a complaint with the FCC. They have an on-line form here.

Every arts organization in the Bay Area (symphony, ballet, theatre, museum, etc.) advertises or does promotional give-aways on KDFC, presumably because the station is so cultural. I recommend contacting these arts organizations and their executive directors to let them know that their organization is helping to support a radio station that ran an aggressive "Yes on 8" campaign to take rights away from gays and lesbians. Maybe they can put some pressure on the station to change their homophobic ways. At the very least it could start a dialogue on educating them on the consequences of their questionable decisions and policies.

This is not the first time that the classical station has shown it bigotry towards the gay community. In January 2005, KDFC refused to sell advertising to the gay dating service "8 Guys Out," while taking advertisements for the heterosexual dating service "Table for Six". Wikipedia also reported that: "In March 2007, KDFC pulled an ad critical of the Christian Right. The advertisement for a book by Chris Hedge was tailored to play only in the Bay Area to promote local appearances by the author. Bill Lueth, KDFC's operations and program director insisted that pulling the ad was not a free-speech issue. ‘We don't have any issue with their right to advertise this book. It simply doesn't fit the expectation of our listeners on this particular radio station,’ Lueth said."

Until early 2008, the station use to be owned by Bonneville, which is part of the Mormon Church. They are now owned by a company called Entercom Communications, the forth largest radio company in the US. I don't know why the station is still beholden to homophobic Mormon values.
We use to listen to the station from 6 am until mid-day, five days a week. We have now switched to KQED, a PBS station and to KFOG and KNGY. After being a loyal listener for many years, I refuse to listen to the station anymore.

[Entry revised and updated 2/09.]UPDATE: Local radio personality Michael McGurk and family were contributors ($250.00) to the Yes on 8 campaign to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. McGurk is presently Production Director at KRTY/KLIV radio. He has also been a radio DJ for KPEN, KEZR and KARA.

[Updated again 10/09]
In May 2009, KDFC laid-off their only openly gay DJ, John Evans. He use to be the afternoon drive time host. He is now doing news on KCBS 740 AM.
In September 2009, “Energy 92.7” (KNGY-FM), a San Francisco station that targeted the gay community, was sold. The entire staff including out morning team Fernando & Greg were fired. The gay friendly radio station and its staff were big supporters of GLBT events and non-profits organizations throughout the Bay Area. Fernando & Greg were even listed in Out magazine’s list of top 100 most influential people in gay culture. Their morning show was the first commercially broadcast gay morning show in the US.
[Update 1/10] In November 2009, Fernando & Greg's morning show found a new home at "MOViN 99.7" in San Francisco.

During the weeks leading up to the election, I killed the Google Ads I had running in the right column. They kept displaying a fraudulent “Yes on 8” ad. I don’t know how to change the settings so I don’t get anti-gay ads on my blog.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our pre-honeymoon weekend

Belvedere House B&B in San FranciscoWe celebrated our honeymoon before the official, legal wedding this Sunday. We spent last weekend in San Francisco. Luckily we were able to score a last minute room at a bed and breakfast. We stayed at gay-owned B&B that we have not been to before. Belvedere House was outstanding. It is a 6 room, B&B located in upper Cole Valley within walking distance to Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park and the Castro. It offers a very generous buffet breakfast until noon. Half the rooms have a private bath the other’s share one.

Fernando and Greg at Energy 92.7It was Fleet Week weekend and we kicked off it off by attending the Uniform Ball party on Hornblower's San Francisco Belle presented by Energy 92.7 with gay, morning DJs Fernando and Greg. It was a fun dance event that went from 8pm to midnight. The music and DJs were hot. It was a great mix of people, both gay and straight, all dressed in a creative variety of uniforms and ready to dance. We had a fantastic view of the Fleet Week Fireworks Show on the Bay and ate delicious appetizers.

Saturday we attended The National Kidney Foundation’s Authors Luncheon. It featured a fascinating line up of authors. Speaking were Co-Chair Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club), Master of Ceremonies, Michael Krasny (KQED host, author of Off Mike) Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog), Diane Johnson (Lulu in Marrakech), Jacques Pépin
(Fast Food My Way), Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife), Nancy Snyderman, MD (Medical Myths That Can Kill You) and Tobias Wolff (This Boy’s Life).

Irma La Douce at 42nd Street MoonSunday we attended one of our favorite smaller theater companies in SF, 42nd Street Moon. They make old or forgotten musical sing again in fully acted, sung, and performed in a staged concert format with choreography, minimal costumes and sets, and accompaniment by piano or small ensemble. They did an incredible job with the rarely performed “Irma La Douce”. The musical is 100 times better than the non-musical film of the same name. It is a saucy, sexy, musical farce. It tells the story of a successful prostitute, living in Paris that falls in love with a poor law student.

We saw two other excellent plays this week you should not miss. SF Playhouse is doing “Shining City” by Conor McPherson. It is a suspenseful drama of a man that seeks help from a new therapist, claiming to have seen the ghost of his dead wife.
Radio Golf at TheatreWorksTheatreWorks is presenting August Wilson’s “Radio Golf”. The play tells the story of a charismatic African American politician is running for mayor, caught between the fresh-faced spirit of the future and the soulful voices of the past.

Goldstar: Enjoy Live Entertainment for About the Price of a MovieTIP: Half-price tickets for many select performances, sporting events and family activities are often available on Goldstar Events. Areas include San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago.Goldstar Events is our favorite source of cheap tickets in the SF Bay Area. But it is not the only option. You can also find half-price tickets at: Artsopolis – good for San Jose & the South Bay. And Theatre Bay Area - discount tickets from member theatres available online and/or at TIX Union Square, SF.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

California Proposition 8: Unfair, Unnecessary and Wrong

From a recent No On Prop 8 ad:
It is “a drastic step to strip people of rights” – Los Angeles Times
Pushed by “out of state special interests have pumped in millions” – California Nurses AssociationA “major threat to basic Constitutional rights” – League of Women Voters
It is “an unnecessary initiative” – La Opinión
No person should suffer discrimination” – League of Women VotersCalifornia laws should treat everyone equally” – California Teachers Association
Regardless how you feel about marriage, it is wrong to treat people differently under the law.

What can you do?
Give as much as you can afford. You can easily donate at

- Vote No on Proposition 8 in California
- Vote No on Proposition 102 in Arizona
- Vote No on Amendment 2 in Florida

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

True and important words on gay marriage

I first saw these videos on Towleroad. They come from HOMOtracker, brainchild of a small group of lesbian & gay professionals, seeking to find strength, trust and support as they got their feet wet in the entertainment industry.

Our same-sex wedding is this weekend. We have over 300 guests coming to our congregation this weekend for an afternoon for learning the truth about marriage equality and to celebrate and witness our wedding.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gay Wedding Bells

We recently attended the same-sex wedding of our friends Cristan and Phil. It was a beautiful ceremony and fun celebration. Phil is the Managing Director of TheatreWorks (our favorite repertory company) in Palo Alto. The couple was married by the theatre’s Artistic Director Kelly. Congratulations!

We are deep in the final planning stages of our civil ceremony which will be on October 19th.

NEWS: Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled that the state's same-sex civil union laws are discriminatory and that gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry in that state.

The ruling says: “…because this state’s statutes afford same sex couples the right to enter into a civil union, which affords them the same legal rights as marriage, the plaintiffs had not established a constitutionally cognizable harm. We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm...
We also conclude that (1) our state scheme discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, (2) for the same reasons that classifications predicated on gender are considered quasi-suspect for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the United States constitution, sexual orientation constitutes a quasi-suspect classification for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, and, therefore, our statutes discriminating against gay persons are subject to heightened or intermediate judicial scrutiny, and (3) the state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage.”

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bad Karma on the Kippur


GuyDads send wishes of wisdom, strength, joy, peace and humor.
Wednesday night begins Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. It is a day long fast in which Jews repent and pray for forgiveness and life in the Jewish New Year.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fears and Lies of Prop 8 Supporters

Lie #1. Children in public schools will be taught that both traditional marriage and same-sex marriage are okay. The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890) Therefore, if the definition of marriage is changed, children will be taught that marriage is a relation between any two adults. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

TRUTH: The California Education Code will not be changed by the defeat (or passage) of Proposition 8. The Code already includes the very thing the anti-gay forces are trying to make you think looms on the horizon. You can’t promote bias against anyone in public schools — including, but not limited to, gay people… and religious people.

The radical right and religious nuts hate the fact that gays are legally protected from hatred in California, just like they are.

They also detest the fact that California prohibits forced religious instruction on public school students — while claiming that California is forcing pro-gay “instruction” on those same students, which it doesn’t.

Lie #2. Churches will be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings that are open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

TRUTH: Two points here. If the facilities are “open to the public,” then yes, the owner could be sued for refusing to allow access to same-sex couples — or anyone else for that matter. The bottom line: Whether a church gets sued for its discriminatory practices or not has absolutely nothing to do with Proposition 8.

To require any church to perform any civil marriage is unconstitutional and violates the US Constitution. No church can be forced to perform any marriage. For example, the Catholic Church will not, and cannot be forced to, perform a marriage for a non-Catholic couple, nor for a divorced Catholic. The First Amendment of the US Constitution protects them.

Lie # 3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston has already closed its doors because of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

TRUTH: This is a multiple-pronged lie. Catholic Charities of Boston did not “close its doors” at all; it is still very much in existence. Catholic Charities of Boston chose to end its adoption work in 2006 because it refused to “comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.” Gay couples (and singles) are already eligible to adopt in California. There’s nothing in Proposition 8 that would change that.

Lie # 4. Religions that sponsor private schools and which provide housing for married students will be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if it runs counter to church doctrine, or lose tax exemptions and benefits.

TRUTH: This is unsubstantiated and unprecedented projection. Since the benefits of California’s domestic partnership law were expanded in 2003 (and went into effect in 2005), unmarried couples (gay and straight) registered as domestic partners gained the right to family student housing on public campuses. There has not been a single case of a private religious school being “forced” to house a legally-married same-sex couple.
Proposition 8 will have no effect one way or the other on existing state law (which already prohibits discrimination based on both sexual orientation and marital status) or federal law (which offers no protections for LGBT Americans, and does not recognize same-sex marriages).

Lie # 5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages will be sued for hate speech and could be fined by the government. It has already happened in Canada, one of six countries that have legalized gay marriage.

TRUTH: This is a lie, combined with irrelevant fearmongering. I could sue Pat Robertson for hate speech right this minute (anybody can sue anybody for anything, especially in California), but I wouldn’t win. Robertson’s hate speech (and everyone else’s) is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Lie # 6. It will cost you money. A change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits. Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money, your church contributions – that will have to be spent on legal fees.

TRUTH: This is a lie, combined with unsubstantiated and unprecedented projection.
The fiscal-impact estimate of Proposition 8 is clear. Passing Prop 8 would initially result in “potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments.” Aside from the additional revenue from sales taxes, same-sex marriage is a boon to business and employment — and our critically fragile economy needs the regular and ongoing injections same-sex weddings provide. This could be worth billions of dollars to the state.

In-depth analysis can be found at The Lavender Newswire.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sept. Theatre Roundup

GuyDad out at the theatre
September has come and gone. For us it marks the beginning of the local theatre season. We attended a dozen shows in the last month. A quick run down:

TheatreWorks finished an excellent run of the musical “Grey Gardens”. The presented the first regional production of this interesting musical inspired by real events and the 1975 documentary. TheatreWorks has an amazing track record of presenting difficult musicals. Last year they did a great job with “Carolyn or Change”. TheatreWorks also develops new musicals. In fact, three new productions that were work-shopped and performed at TheatreWorks are being groomed for Broadway with productions at other major theatres around the country. The new musical, “Vanities”, spent the summer at Pasadena Playhouse and now has a February opening on Broadway. “Emma” is performing at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis. And finally, “Memphis” performed at La Jolla Playhouse.

Spring AwakeningOur “Best of Broadway” series in San Francisco finished with the rock musical “Spring Awakening” and the one man show “A Bronx Tale”. We saw “Spring Awakening” off Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre 2 years ago. We noticed that the show re-sequenced and altered several scenes for Broadway and the tour. “A Bronx Tale” was a surprise and better than we were expecting. Chazz Palminteri portrays 18 people in his one-man show about growing up on the mean streets of the Bronx. It inspired the 1993 film of the same name.

New Conservatory Theatre Center opened their season with a weak sitcom type of comedy called “Friends Are Forever”. Also in over their heads with a season opener was Palo Alto Players with the musically challenging “Spitfire Grill”. A pleasant surprise was “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” at Bus Barn Stage Company in Los Altos. It is a jukebox musical of Neil Sedaka songs with a fun “Mama Mia” type love story. San Jose Repertory Theatre had a strong start with the Larry Shue’s comedy “The Foreigner”. As did American Musical Theatre of San Jose with their musical production of “The Full Monty”.

We also attend San Francisco Opera’s first three operas of the season: “Simon Boccanegra” by Verdi, “Die Tote Stadt” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and “The Bonesetter's Daughter” by Amy Tan & Stewart Wallace. They were all amazing: great singing and unbelievable sets.

Coming up we have tickets to see ACT’s opening show “Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Stoppard and San Francisco Playhouse’s “Shinning City” by Conor McPherson, 1960's musical "Irma La Douce" at 42nd Street Moon and August Wilson's final play “Radio Golf” at TheatreWorks.

How to get cheap ticketsTIP: Half-price tickets for many select performances, sporting events and family activities are often available on Goldstar Events. Areas include San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago.
Goldstar: Enjoy Live Entertainment for About the Price of a MovieGoldstar Events is our favorite source of cheap tickets in the SF Bay Area. But it is not the only option. You can also find half-price tickets at: Artsopolis – good for San Jose & the South Bay. And Theatre Bay Area - discount tickets from member theatres available online and/or at TIX Union Square, SF.
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