Archives GLBT Marriage, Domestic Partnership, and Relationships 


GLBTI Relationships; A Life not a Lifestyle!

End of Gays? Federal Marriage Amendment Another U.S. State Bans Same-Sex Marriage.
EQUAL IN EVERY STATE GLBT Marriage and support
On "Picking The Battles" Response to RK Druen's resonse to "Picking The Battles"
RKDruen response to "Picking The Battles"

Vermont Civil Unions Bill Becomes Law

Vol. III Issue 3 January 2002



Subject: Ban on Gay Marriages Bill Now in Congress

Proposed BAN on GAY MARRIAGES right now in congress.

There is a Constitutional Amendment being proposed that will ultimately ban homosexual marriages/civil unions and possibly domestic partner benefits in the future. It is being pushed through Congress quickly so as to make as little noise as possible. There's so much else in the news right now, that the amendment is not being noticed.

This petition is being organized (it's not an "add your name to the bottom and forward" kind of thing) by a second party.

Go to the site itself in order to sign the petition. Please pass this along to your friends and family. If you do not wish to sign, but know people who would want to, please pass this message along to them. By doing so, we can convey the message that the Constitution is about human rights, not just religious rights.


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Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001

GLBTI Relationships; A Life not a Lifestyle!

In today's world of diversity in just about everything, there is little available to address specifics. You can find very general books on GLBT sex, GLBT spending, and even a few on GLBT relationships. However, after reading the few I have found it seems that many questions are left unanswered. Possibly because the books are based on "research" and "subjects", also not always by a GLBT author. Especially in the area of relationships, the field is very weak indeed. Although I don't know that it would be possible for one book to address all the possibilities. What we hope to do here is offer some information on our panel, and from there you will send in your questions. This way we all can learn from each other, as well as get varied answers to questions. No one here is a trained counselor. The panel consists of volunteers who are in long term relationships. We offer our experiences, combined with your input, we will be able to gather information which will serve as a benefit to all. The information will appear first here in Equal Pride, then be added in a permanent location in the SWS site. This makes our learning experiences available to all. We start with a self written introduction from each panelist. 

Jon Gilbert Leavitt Kadie O & DJ Len 

     Submit your questions/comments to If you wish to be answered directly and not have your questions/comments posted in this section just include that information in your email. Feel free to direct your questions/comments to the panel or to an individual panelist. 

Jon Gilbert Leavitt

Although I am an only child, I always felt a great support from my parents and my family, as well as friends in high school. Coming out to me wasn't as ground breaking as I thought it would be, or maybe even wanted it to be; there was no drama- I came out to my parents and friends at age 18, and it was simple-just be happy, we support you, we love you. No high drama, no 'what did I do wrong, what did you do wrong' pitfalls. Still, an 18 year old is not a mature adult, and I had to come to grips with the fact that just because another guy was gay, didn't automatically make him a prospective boyfriend. Sort of like that
scene from the movie "Edge of Seventeen," where the teen starts to come out, has a one-night stand with another guy, and thinks that's the start of a romance. It isn't and I had to learn that the hard way too- falling for guys who were just interested in a one night thing.

I have had a couple of relationships before my current 15-year one. The last one was a long distance relationship, which was too hard to keep going. I met my partner over 15 years ago, and I knew at that point it was the "one." Of course in a decade and a half there are hills and valleys, but as long as both people realize nothing is that devastating that love and togetherness can't overcome, you just go on day by day and enjoy each day.

One of the problem with relationships is that when a difference comes up, people can either butt horns or compromise. Sometimes it's not easy, but compromise definitely is better than fighting or worse, not talking. Ego is another factor- men have egos, and two men together double the diva syndrome. Sometimes we just have to stop, take a breath, and think before we say something hurtful or incendiary. It's just common sense in relationships with lovers, friends, family and people in general.

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Kadie O

Who would have thought that falling in love could last for 19 years? Not that we didn’t have our ups and downs because we have….but we never let our circumstances get mixed up with our commitment to each other. It has been through our commitment that we have been able to over come many challenges in raising 2 sons, dealing with drug addiction, the IRS, the break up of a 10-year relationship with the original Acoustic Souls and day-to-day living. Communication has been the most important part of our relationship. We have always tried to remain open to each other even in the toughest moments. When the times where the hardest and I would give thought to maybe this won’t work out, I would ask myself how would I feel if I woke in the morning and know that DJ would never be by my side again. That very thought would always bring me to tears…I would think of all the things that I love so very much about DJ and the things that upset me seemed so small. It is very important to keep the reasons why you are in love with someone in the foreground. Everyone has personality flaws. So trying to find someone "new" will only take you down a lonely road over and over again.

Making Love with the same person for 19 years is different then we thought it would be. We think that a lot of couples get scared when the passion starts to change. That maybe they are not "in love" anymore. We went through that stage, we all do. The difference is in the commitment. We found couples that had been together longer then we had…and still had that spark…and ask questions about how they handled the transition. What we found is, as love changes so does the sex. It is really nice to be comfortable and natural with someone. Not to have to pick your words out…just being yourself. That is what is really great about being in a long-term relationship. Sex becomes that way also. The passion is all still there but the added element of knowing that this person will be with you know matter what happens makes it possible to really give into the intimacy. This is something deeper and so much more rewarding. You really become as one person. You know the look of any emotion. You are able to comfort, tease, laugh, love and know the true feeling of joy.

After the boys were raised we did find the "empty nest" syndrome to be real. Thank you God that we had other goals left to fulfill in our lives. One thing that we learned is that in order for our relationship to work we needed something bigger outside of ourselves to focus on. Music has played a large part in our lives. We had put that pretty much on hold while raising the kids. We started putting more and more energy into the music and now that is thriving for us. We travel a great deal in our ministry and find great enjoyment in giving concerts and meeting so many great people. We both write, sing and play guitar. We both want each other to succeed. There could be competition between us but there isn’t. That must come from how much we love each other. When you love someone you always want what is best for them. Sometimes I think raising the boys together taught us about unconditional love. We loved them no matter what they threw at us…and at times they pushed it hard…but we did not weaver. We are like that with each other…thank God we don’t push that hard.
We also have a strong foundation in God. We find God to be a very important partner in our life together.
Each day is a new day of choice…we could choose to love each other or not.

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Like many I have had several, actually a total of four, "relationships" in my life. Three of which failed for various reasons. Some my doing, some a mutual effort, and one (the current) a 21 year success. I would say I have learned the most from my current relationship. Not just because of the time involved, but because of the interaction we have developed. Of course the failed ones do offer growth as well, so in that I guess all have merit. The first three were four years, one year, and seven years, respectively. 

     Frequently I hear friends and acquaintances say things like, "It would be so much better with a partner or lover.", or "This would  be easier with someone." I agree with both statements, however being in a relationship is not necessarily the "easy" way. You are always working on it from some standpoint. I am not in favoring of over analyzing, just dealing with the daily issues is more than enough of a challenge. Getting into the "10 things I don't like about you" is in my opinion a very negative approach. It turns into more of a hurt each other trade off.

I believe the basic foundation for all relationships is open communication and honesty. We all rush to share the "good news", but hang back on the bad. It is the combination of both which build a stronger relationship. Trust is established through communication processes which are open to any topic and all involved being honest with their thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Respect for your partner, your relationship, and yourself are very important aspects, if you don't respect then you won't appreciate either.

In our twenty-one years we have dealt with many issues. Alcoholism, fidelity, varying sex drives, family pressures, financial pressures, career pressures and interferences, as well as a host of others. I don't feel we or I have all the answers, just the ones that worked for us. If that information can help anyone else, that is great. 

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Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001

End of Gays? Federal marriage Amendment

To:  Our Elected Officials

On Thursday, July 12, 2001 the group, Alliance for Marriage, announced their proposal for a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT entitled "The Federal Marriage Amendment." The purpose of this amendment, according to the AFM, is to strengthen American families and reintegrate the role of a strong father figure. Realistically, though, this is a thinly veiled attempt to federally ban gay marriages in the US. According to the Alliance for Family, this Amendment would add the following two sentences to our Constitution:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

"Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
This would eliminate Vermont's Civil Union bill and the future that ANY states have to institute a similar bill. This could also leave the door open to the abolition of domestic partner benefits in the future.
NOW is not the time to take steps BACK in reinforcing and embracing diversity in our country. Nor is it the time to give in to groups who are trying to hide behind the wall of "Family Values" when they are undermining the very root of it. They are not only seeking to destroy loving couples and families, but they are asking you to be the enforcers in violating basic human rights of your gay tax payers and voters.

So, please DO NOT give in to such a blatant attempt to discriminate against EQUAL citizens of this country.

The Undersigned

To sign this petition, and you SHOULD! Follow this link!

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Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001

Another U.S. State Bans Same-Sex Marriage.
Missouri is  the 35th state in the country to pass legislation specifically banning marriage between same-sex couples. Gov. Bob Holden actively campaigned for gay financial backing and the gay vote. However, he told reporters he had no choice but to sign the law passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a veto-proof majority in the state's House of Representatives.

"It is the public policy of this state to recognize marriage only between a man and a woman," reads the new law. "Any purported marriage not between a man and woman is invalid. No recorder shall issue a marriage license, except to a man and a woman."

"I really wanted to spare the state the battle and discussion over this issue, so I signed it into law," said Holden. "My personal desires don't matter. It's now the law of the state of Missouri." 

Supporters of the legislation said the state needed protection against laws from other countries and states, but others said it was unnecessary.

"There's no place in Missouri where two men or two women are going to get married," Jeff Wunrow, executive director of Personal Rights of Missourians, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The real aim is to make it very clear to gays and lesbians that we're not as good as straight people."

Taken from on article by Barbara Dozetos, / Network

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Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001




Simon Cantlon and I (Shane Snipes) wanted to let you know about our website and campaign We are working to help raise awareness of marriage equality. This issue has become more of a centerpiece in lesbians, transgenders, and gay men's lives as they commit to each other and fight for true equality. As the story below illustrates, we are nowhere near equality.

"After 40-year-old Lois M. Marrero's coffin was lowered into the ground, Police Chief Bennie Holder presented the folded flag to Marrero's partner of 10 years, Detective Mickie Mashburn.

"According to the Tampa Tribune, if Marrero had left a husband, he would have been paid a monthly sum equal to about half her salary in spousal benefits. But although Mashburn was recognized as a spouse at the cemetery, she will not be eligible for the lifetime pension under Florida law.

"After 19 years on the force, Marrero was about a year shy of retirement when she was shot through the neck and side by a fleeing bank robber on July 6, 2001." --by Ann Rostow, / Network

There are thousands for people living in long-term relationships that cannot receive any of the national rights of civil marriage. The state and company specific benefits given to lesbians and gays are sometimes given, sometimes not given. Citizenship, hospital visitation, and adoption are just three of the more than 1000 rights we are denied or granted after much debate. As
Simon and I embark on our wedding plans, we are becoming more and more aware of what we cannot do even after we exchange our vows.

You can help in several ways:

- tell your friends and family about this issue, visit for information on the the campaign and the issues;
- introduce us to people you know who can help with publicity, writing, or being an advisor (check 
   for more ways);
- talk to other gays, lesbians or transgenders who you may know about this campaign;
- volunteer (visit our site);
- forward this email on to friends;
- come to the site and join in our discussions.

We currently have several couples committed to being married on April 27th, 2002. We are working toward 100s of couples and 1000s of supporters for the campaign. The couples' stories will be highlighted on the web site. Already, we have support for the campaign which was started for four weeks ago. Currently, we have volunteers helping us in Florida, Louisiana, Las Vegas and Colorado.

Come join us in our fight for equality!
Shane Snipes
Simon Cantlon
"100s of couples, 1000s of advisors"

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Vol. I Issue 18 April 30, 2001

GLBT Marriage and support

From a Letter I received, a great way to support our community and general community awareness!!! Codi

Shane and I are planning on getting married in 2002. We are looking to plan a wedding that would raise awareness and bring attention to the issues of legalizing gay marriage. We have decided to make our idea a little more widespread and coordinate a gay wedding in every state on a particular day (to be decided) in June 2002 (Gay Pride Month). This day would feature a national petition for legalizing gay marriage that would be distributed in every state through cooperation with gay and civil rights organizations. We would be looking at getting visibility from the media both national and local for coverage of the weddings and the issue behind them.

Shane and I would be getting married in New York, New York as that is were we live but would like to have a gay or lesbian couple in all the remaining 49 states. We will be seeking coverage of this national event through the internet, television, radio and paper press. We will also be encouraging couples marrying to hold the event wherever they choose in their state and to invite their family and friends as well as celebrities and politicians who are both pro and anti gay.

Even though we aren't celebrities or well known we believe we have a right to take our relationship to the next step of marriage. We are looking for your help with any ideas or information and if you are interested in participating in this. Any couples that are interested in participating by getting married please contact us and let us know.

For any gay and civil rights organizations wanting to get involved we are asking for your help by letting us link to your site, help us distribute this petition and publicize the event through your members and mailing lists. Any help, feedback and involvement you can give will be greatly appreciated. We really feel strongly about this and want to make this work.

Thank you for your time.

We have set up this website  giving you a little more insight into our relationship, our lives and our background.

You can reach us at 

Simon and Shane

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Vol. I Issue 14 October 16, 2000

On "Picking The Battles" (see Article)   

Hey Codi:   Thanks so much for your kind note the other day.    I was just going through some old articles that I had printed.  In my business you get allot of Email and articles sent to you, so it's hard to get through them all.    I just wanted to let you know that I thought your article on Picking the Battles was excellent.  You hit the nail right on the head, just because they have it do we have to have it.  I firmly believe in equal rights for all not special rights for anyone.  I believe that as long as we continue to push for the word "marriage" we are never going to see unions made legal.  It seems rather ridiculous that the gay community as a whole hasn't realized it is "the word" that is causing problem, not the actual legalization that is at issue.  We here in Canada are very fortunate that "partnership" are recognized under our tax and spousal laws.  We only have the hurdle of the Federal Government changing the laws to include same sex unions.  That is to say .. if a same sex couple is living in a common law situation they have all the rights that an opposite sex couple do.  They can share community property .. they can claim tax status together .. they share fully in all aspects of their relationship without government interference.  They just want the right get a license's for it.   Anyway .. enough rambling ... Keep up the good work.   Peace and Joy to You Pastor John Burtch 

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Vol. I Issue 11 June 3, 2000

From Member Mountman  (see Article)

In response to RK Druen's response to the Marriage VS Domestic partnership Article.

I agree wholeheartedly with RK! I am a Gay Male. If I tried to 'go straight', that would be a lie. I feel that I would burn in hell if I tried. We were brought up to be honest. Well, trying to act straight goes against my true self. The Bible was written by men in the name of God. As with anything that man does there is a margin for error. That's why there are so many different beliefs about the teachings of the Bible. A lot is left up to interpretation. We seem to pick and choose what we want to use from the Bible. As in 'Common Ground', yes, in Leviticus it says Man should not lie with man.... But a few pages before it says man should not eat pork or shellfish... It also says An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth..... Does this mean that if someone steals from me, I can steal from them?????? I think not!     Now my views on Same-sex 'Marriage'.... We need to do the same thing that Vermont did, 'Civil-Unions'! It's the word 'Marriage' that is putting up the roadblocks! You might say that this is just semantics but, using the word marriage is what's causing the religious groups the problems.     Now that it is a law in Vermont, the true test will come when a couple tries to apply for insurance. Will all the insurance companies honor the law?? If the insurance company is from another state will they have to honor the law? We shall see. Mountman

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Vol. I Issue 10 May 5, 2000

Response to "Picking The Battles" by StoneWall Society Member RKDruen (see Article)

In our world marriage between two people has always been religiously based. That's fine for religious people, but just because you go through a ceremony with a minister or priest does not make you legally married. Paper work must be sent in to our State government and processed. This practice is obviously not separating church from state. Is it? Most Christian based religions will never accept same sex marriage because it is clearly in the bible that its wrong to lay with same sex partners. But who really said it, God, or Man? The bible has a lot of things written in it that do not make sense to me.  

     For instance, Christians teach us that God loves us unconditionally but teaches us that God will strike us down, kill us and send our souls to eternal hell. Does that sound like unconditional love? Should I follow this example and strike down my children for being disobedient or gay? I think not, I love my children too much to ever hurt or kill them. Another point is God never makes a mistake. So when my son was born gay, did God make a mistake? Not on your life, God does not make mistakes so therefore my son is perfect, just as he should be, just like all of us are. We are all different. Some of us, Me for example were born with physical handicaps, Should I go to hell because I don't fit someone's Idea of perfect? The translation of the bible and the input of power hungry leaders who wanted to make us bend to their wills has sadly twisted the true intentions of God.

I believe that God has a plan for all of us, that will lead us back to him were we started. There are as many different plans as there are people.  Right and wrong are only concepts. Right being the path that leads you closer to God and wrong being the path that leads us away from God. Only God can judge which is which. What you and I see as wrong could very well be the opposite of what God sees. I did not mean to push my beliefs on you, I would never assume to know all the answers, but what I feel in my heart is the bases of my beliefs on the original subject of Same sex marriage. Making Same sex marriages legal should not be done through the church but instead over and around it. It is a shame that legislation that is clearly motivated by love has to be done this way but until we have all as a people evolved to true love and not constricted by rules set forth in our religions, I don't see how else we can possibly go about it. Write your congress,  attend rallies and marches, make your voice heard and someday if we are lucky we may just see our goals of ending the hate and separatism in our life time.

It will happen. How do I know? BECAUSE GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES, does he?

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Vermont legislators passed and Governor Howard Dean signed into law HB847 on April 25, 2000.

Vermont's Civil Union law went into effect July 1st, 2000.

Vermont Civil Unions Bill Becomes Law

Gov. Howard Dean has signed Vermont's landmark civil unions bill into law. ``The healing process now begins,'' he said Wednesday.

The law, first of its kind in the United States, will allow same-sex couples to form civil unions beginning July 1. That will entitle them to all of the rights, privileges, benefits and responsibilities of civil marriage, including a formal divorce procedure. Gov. Dean signed the bill privately in his Statehouse office Wednesday.

Some lawmakers were disappointed. ``I think the press, everyone in the room, all would like to witness the historical event, but it's the governor's call,'' per House Judiciary Committee Chairman Thomas Little. ``The bill is law. That's the message.''

The Legislature's only openly gay member delivered the same message.

``I think the story needs to be that gay and lesbian couples in Vermont had a historical day today,'' said Rep. William Lippert, D-Hinesburg. ``Gay and lesbian couples in Vermont have more rights and benefits than couples in any other state. I would have preferred there was a public ceremony,'' he said. ``But in the deepest part of my heart, I'm filled with appreciation.''

Editor's Notes:

How quietly our lives are changed. A Huge congratulations and THANK YOU to Vermont!!!! The issue of legally protected same sex relationships has finally taken a positive turn. Unfortunately 30 states and the U.S. federal government have passed laws denying recognition to same-sex marriages. Hopefully we can learn from the good people of Vermont. The issue is equal protection under and by the law, not a particular word or established system.

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