Today, the Supreme Court struck down some of the ugliest and most mean-spirited legislation in recent memory.
The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defined marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman" only, prevented the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and denied spouses in same-sex marriages the 1,100 Federal rights and benefits married couples enjoy.
The Supreme Court ruling tossed DOMA out on the grounds that it existed solely to deny "the equal dignity of same-sex marriages." In other words: it was nothing more than bigotry and hatefulness dressed up as law.
With DOMA gone, Clyde and I now live in a very different country. While our state still does not recognize same-sex marriage, we could now go to a state that does, get married there, and guarantee each other many important rights:
- Should something happen to one of us, the other will enjoy inheritance rights, including the right to receive the other's Social Security benefits.
- We can file joint Federal tax returns. (Whoo hoo! Behold the wanton licentiousness of the Gay Agenda made manifest!)
- Should we adopt or fall ill, we're protected by Federal family and medical leave laws.
- When we travel abroad, we can re-enter the USA as spouses, going through Customs and Immigration together. (That may be a hard benefit to appreciate if you have never been separated, searched, questioned, and denied information about your spouse's whereabouts, as we have been in previous years.)
Because some Federal benefits are tied to a couple's state of residence, getting the full benefit of the ruling would require us to move to one of a handful of states that recognize gay marriage. (I fully expect Georgia, along with Mississippi and Alabama, to be one of the last three states to repeal discriminatory marriage laws.) Even so ... even here ... we're better off than we've ever been.
I'm thankful for every single person who has written letters, signed petitions, demonstrated, discussed, debated, prayed, and advocated for us, always with an eye on a day when People Like Us could enjoy the protection of legal marriage.
I am proud of and grateful to the five Justices of the Supreme Court who were bold and brave enough to recognize DOMA for the hatefulness it really was.
I am humbled by the love and support so many friends have shown us over the years. I am doubly thankful for the family members who support and honor my partnership with Clyde by celebrating our anniversaries with us, embracing who we are for each other, and understanding all along that our love, like all love, is a gift from God.
And, especially today, I'm prouder than ever to be an American. It's been frustrating to see "The Land of the Free" fall so far behind the thirteen other nations that recognize same-sex marriages. Maybe the death of DOMA will remind us of our proud heritage of being the champions of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
And ... someday very soon ... I am looking forward to being able to look at Clyde, who I've loved and lived with for more than twenty-one years, and call him, with the full force of the law behind me, "my husband."
1. One place for all our books, music, and videos, accessible from anywhere. I don't want some books in iBooks and some in a Kindle app. I don't want some music from Spotify and some on Google Player and some in iTunes. I don't want to have to remember whether I rented a movie on Netflicks or rented it from Amazon. I want one media library that consolidates every piece of media I've ever owned. I want one app that opens or plays them all.
2. One place for everything I want to share. I don't want to have to log into Facebook, log into Instagram, log into Google+, log into Everpix, log into Twitter, log into Tumblr, and log into any and every other sharing service out there just to put stuff out for my friends or the world to see. I want one place where I can share stuff without worrying about rights, being bombarded by ads, or having to fiddle with confusing privacy controls.
3. One easy way to follow someone. I don't want to have to figure out whether I should follow you on your blog, on Twitter, on Google+, or on Facebook. I don't want to follow you in multiple places, only to discover you're sharing the same thing in all of them -- or to find you sharing different things in different places, and then have to decide whether or not I want to join all of them just to see what you have to say. I want your entire online presence associated with one unique identifier -- your email address, perhaps. By following that, I should see everything you make public.
4. One place for everything I want to see. I don't want to have to check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Reeder, a USA TODAY app, and fifty other apps. I want one stream -- one -- that pulls everything and everyone I'm interested in into one space that is quickly and easily browsed.
5. One place I own. I want an ad-free experience. No worries about a company going out of business and my content vanishing with it. I want this place to be mine, to be something I buy and pay for, so that I have no worries about giving up my privacy or my rights ... a place where I am not the commodity being sold.
I'm Mark McElroy, a writer and multimedia producer living in Atlanta, GA. I'm on Google+ to connect with other professionals in the multimedia production, employee communication, and travel writing industries.
By day, I conceive, script, and produce multimedia for a large financial institution, helping internal clients define their message, audience, and communications goals. Then, working with a team of world-class photographers, video editors, and graphic artists, I produce compelling stories using text, graphics, animation, voice-overs, podcasts, and videos. My team is fast, fun to work with, and we have a remarkable ability to scale the magic we do to match our clients' time and budget.
Outside the office, I'm a prolific writer and passionate traveler.
In the early 2000's, I became an expert on using Tarot and divination as creative brainstorming tools. I wrote a half-dozen books on Tarot (including Putting the Tarot to Work, Taking the Tarot to Heart, What's in the Cards for You, and the classic Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot) and designed several popular tarot decks, including the Lo Scarabeo Tarot and the Bright Idea Deck, which I like to call "the best brainstorming tool you've never heard of." I've written other non-fiction books on topics from Apple computers to lucid dreaming.
As a traveler, I've visited more than 40 countries in the last 20 years. I specialize in writing about "comfortable, affordable destinations" and connecting people with good resources that will help them make the most of their limited travel time.
I'm creating a job in the travel writing industry for myself, planning to use my skills as a writer and multimedia producer to carve out a niche there. The ultimate dream is to be writing and traveling full-time.
Since November of 2000, I've been finding my path, telling my story, and sharing what works at my personal blog, MadeByMark.com. Feel free to drop by and visit me there!
- Jacksonville State UniversityEnglish, 1981 - 1983
- The University of Southern MississippiCreative Writing - BS, 1983 - 1984
- The University of Southern MississippiCreative Writing & Comp Theory- MA, 1984 - 1986
- Anniston High School1978 - 1981
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