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What if You Do Nothing 

And Propostion 8 Passes?

By: Karen J. Allen
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

California's Proposition 8 is in serious trouble. How serious?  Hard to say. Lots of factors are in play here: young voters, black voters, millions of dollars funneled in by religious conservatives from all over the country, big names like Ellen, Barbra Streisand, Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg finally getting on board.

Proposition 8 supporters --- on their mission to strip the right to marry from gays --- have launched a very deceptive advertising campaign. TV ads loudly proclaim that under the new marriage laws, churches will be fined if they refuse to marry same-sex couples, and children will be at risk because schools will be forced --- at great expense --- to revamp curriculums.

Lots of money equals lots of air time and it is having an impact on the polls.

Is What Happens in California That Significant?

If you don't live in California, you may think it doesn't have a direct impact on you. You could not be more mistaken. I am convinced that losing in California --- California! Of all places! --- will significantly set us back. Losing will embolden the "other side" in ways that I don't even want to think about.

Why is the right to marry so important? Why not push for equal rights through domestic partnerships or civil unions? Or any other legal vehicle that doesn't have the effect of a red flag in front of a bull --- a means to achieve separate but equal rights?

The Other Wall

Until recently, I was fairly blasé about gay marriage.  But one night, my views changed.

I was out of town and my partner was calling me for our nightly catch-up. The instant I heard her voice I knew she had been crying. Now, you need to understand that this was undoubtedly the most emotionally balanced person I have ever known. She was a therapist --- an excellent one --- and rarely did something catch her off guard enough to make her cry.

She had been at her parent's house visiting with family from out of town. Somehow, the subject of pictures came up. Her mother's walls were filled with family photos, including her gay son and his partner and her grandson and his partner. She said she wanted a picture of the two of us --- so that she could put the three couples over there on the other wall. When my partner asked why a separate wall --- why not with her other brothers and their spouses --- the response was, "Well, it's not the same as being married." Other family members chimed in to agree.

And so began a very emotional exchange that ended with my partner leaving in tears and the rest of the family horrified at what they had unwittingly done.

These are wonderful, open, accepting people. And they adored her --- she was the heart of the family. I was welcomed without hesitation. The entire family traveled to San Francisco for her nephew's commitment ceremony.

What does it say that this family, in all sincerity, believes that our relationships are not the same? That we belong on the "other wall?"

Separate is Not Equal

Simply, it says that separate is not equal.

Does anyone remember separate but equal water fountains?  Bathrooms?  Entrances?

Writing for the majority, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote, "Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice. To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others."

That "inevitable conclusion" was a 4 to 3 decision.

This is no time to be taking the inevitability of anything for granted.

I've always regretted being out of town that night. And now, I do not want to look back and wonder if I could have done something to prevent the same thing playing out in someone else's life.

Which side is ahead in the polls?  It's hard to say.  But clearly, money will decide this issue.  The 2008 campaign season has made it blatantly obvious that the side with the deepest pockets is practically guaranteed victory.  Sounds a lot like the state of our legal system....

I know that you are bombarded, daily, with pleas for donations. Which you choose to respond to is, of course, your decision.  But, for me, this one is personal.  I can't just talk the talk.  My support goes to California.

Protect the Freedom to Marry in California - Help Defeat Prop 8!


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Reader's Poll: Do you have "other wall" stories that you would like to share with OTGH readers? Do you believe the GLBT community will have equal rights in your lifetime?

Tell us what you think at admin@onthegayhorizon.com.

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37 Seconds Well-Used is a LIFETIME! 

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

Have you seen the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium? While waiting for a prank to unfold, his cohort says, "Okay, now we wait --- exactly 37 seconds --- "

To which Magorium replies incredulously, "Wait???  NOOOOO!!! .... We breathe! We pulse! We regenerate! Our hearts beat! Our minds create! Our souls ingest!  37 seconds well-used is a LIFETIME!"

37 seconds. But honestly, you say, what can I do with 37 seconds?

Hmmm. If we only consider health and fitness, you can:

·       Hold your navel to your spine, for an isometric crunch...or use the time to do 3 or 4 of them for reps! You can do this sitting in your chair, driving your car, waiting in line...

·       Read the ingredients on that package you're considering eating...is this clean food? Ask yourself if you really want this in your body. If so, commit to it. If not, put it back.

·       Give yourself a back-of-the-neck rub --- or give one to someone else.

·       If you're sitting at work, stand up and stretch your body. Reach your arms to the sky, lengthen your spine (you can always squeeze your ab here!), and take a deep breath. Release your breath slowly, bring your outstretched arms down, let your vertebrae settle in where they belong, and then if you have 15 seconds left, do it again!

·       Get a glass of water and drink some. Put the rest nearby to sip on.

·       Look away from your work. Focus on a distant spot for a few seconds. For the rest of your time, move your eyes around as much as possible. Blink. A lot.

·       Make a list of things to do next time you have 37 seconds to use.

·       When you can think of nothing else to do, take a deep breath. Through your nose. (This activates nerve endings in the nose which calm the brain.)

Okay. That should get things started.

Now, what would you do with 37 seconds? Send us your list.

The 37 seconds it takes us to read it will be well-used!


[Editor's Note: Ann-Marie Giglio, besides being a professional writer and the co-publisher of On the Gay Horizon, is the owner of a fitness studio focused on improving quality of life through the mind/body connection. She is a certified ChiRunning and ChiWalking instructor, AFAA certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor and SCW certified Pilates reformer instructor. She is currently working on a new book for GLBT baby boomers --- Lighten Up!  How to Exercise Safely and Effectively After 50]


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 Need Another 37-Second Suggestion?

Oddly enough, it just so happens that it takes exactly 37 seconds to read the latest blog post --- if you don't sing the song.....

  On the Gay Horizon Blog


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