I’ve been having problems logging into my WordPress account from work for days. The one time I got into it was from home, using my Mac Notebook. So, that got me to thinking this morning and I decided to try Firefox instead of Internet Explorer and, guess what? Here I am….

First and foremost, it appears that a re-showing of “Be Real” with Lisa and I will be on tonight at 7:00 and there will be a couple of other showings as well. Now, because the LOGO website was off by a week for the actual premiere of our episode, I’m making the assumption that everything else is off by a week so, with that said, this should be the remaining schedule:

  • Tonight (Wed) 7:00 PM
  • Saturday 5/24 10:00 PM
  • Monday 5/27 7:30 PM

If this isn’t right, then it’s off by a week and you can add 7 days to the above dates. However, I’m betting that the above will be the schedule.

I have asked the production company for a copy of the show and they have promised to send me a DVD (along with the other stuff I gave them, like pictures and newspaper clippings). I’m going to call them today and ask them for a copy of the speech I gave at the Newly Wed In New York event (which they have on film).

So, a lot has been going on in the past couple of weeks since I last posted (besides being unable to log into my blog). The college’s spring semester is winding down and we were absolutely HAMMERED last week (the last week of classes) and have been steadily busy this week as well. Not only are we closing out the spring semester, we’re gearing up for the first of the two 5-week summer sessions as well. I haven’t had time to think, let alone post blog material and, when I did have some time, as I said before, I couldn’t get into WordPress.

Big news (old news by now) is the California ruling which will allow same-sex couples to marry in less than 30 days now. While there is much cause for jubilation, there is also cause for concern as the right wing fundies have obtained 1.1 million signatures to get a mini-DOMA on the ballot for November — they only needed 670,000 signatures. The last I heard, the signatures were still being validated. But also noteworthy is that the Governator has vowed that he will fight the mini-DOMA.

Now, I don’t mean to insult anyone out there who thinks Ahnald is a great guy but why has it passed over many heads in the California LGBT community that he’s not doing them any huge favors? This is the one thing he has the least amount of control over, and he vows to fight it yet, when TWO bills crossed his desk which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry, he vetoed them. From my point of view, he’s merely posturing — anyone out there want to correct me on that? I’m all ears…

Anyway, I’m proud to say that I’ve read the ruling (all 120 pages) as well as the cuncurring opinions and dissenting opinions. Very powerful language in that ruling. The judges clearly wrangled with their human fallibilities on this one, pointing out that they had to remind themselves that they were ruling on the law, not their own personal or moral value judgments. What’s particularly striking to me is that 6 of the 7 judges were appointed by Republicans and are, in fact, conservatives. However, because they issued a ruling the right wing fundies didn’t like, they’re now “activist judges.” Had they issued a different ruling, the right-wing would be clapping their backs and inviting them to cocktails.

The judges carefully examined not only the state constitution but the fallacy of the arguments against calling it marriage.

“We have no occasion in this case to determine whether the state constitutional right to marry necessarily affords all couples the constitutional right to require the state to designate their official family relationship a “marriage,” or whether, as the Attorney General suggests, the Legislature would not violate a couple’s constitutional right to marry if – perhaps in order to emphasize and clarify that this civil institution is distinct from the religious institution of marriage – it were to assign a name other than marriage as the official designation of the family relationship for all couples.”

And I loved the way they ended their opinion:

“…times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress.”

Amen to that!

On May 4th we were in Buffalo receiving a special recognition at the annual Buffalo Brunch. The Buffalo Brunch used to be affiliated with the Empire State Pride Agenda but, as we’re told, they didn’t bring in enough money so ESPA sort of dropped them. Not to be denied, however, they continued the annual tradition/fundraiser and were extremely pleased this year at the money they had raised and were able to keep in their own community, as opposed to having to turn over to ESPA.

Our hostesses for the day were Madeline Davis and her partner Wendy. Madeline is the keeper of the LGBT Archives in Western New York and took us on a tour of the Archives located at her home. Two rooms full of LGBT materials — books, buttons, magazines, newspaper clippings. It’s amazing!

Madeline also co-authored a book entitled Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community along with Elizabeth Kennedy.

The Buffalo Brunch was a lot of fun and we met some very interesting people there. Many, many thanks to Madeline Davis for inviting and hosting us for the day.

Lisa went to Pennsylvania for a week to do a job for her sister and brother-in-law. While she was gone, I was asked to attend a “social” put on by the Rochester Community Business Forum, a group who is, by all accounts, the “Streets of Pride” organization. They are, in fact, the group that puts on the Pride parade each year.

It seems that the Pride Parade theme this year will be “Happily Ever After” and the planning committee apparently unanimously agreed that Lisa and I should be this year’s Grand Marshals. What a huge honor!

One man told me that each year they start their parade planning meeting off by having everyone on the committee write down their choice for the Grand Marshal. Then they go through the list of nominations and discuss the merits of each nomination. Apparently, with this year’s theme and all that has gone on with our ruling, the committee unanimously nominated Lisa and I for this honor. And, as he told me that he quipped “That was the shortest meeting we’ve ever had, so thank you for that, too!”

This year’s Pride Parade is on July 19th so, if you’re in the Rochester area, come see the parade. Lisa and I are practicing our “Queen Elizabeth wave.”

Last Thursday I attended the Monroe County Democratic Committee Convention with my good friend Jo Meleca, who organized the Newly Wed In New York event, and is a co founder of LGBT Friends of Good Government (LGBT FOGG).

Howard Dean was the keynote speaker and he delivered a powerful, dynamic speech about getting the Republicans OUT of the White House and OUT of the majority in the US Senate.

At that event, I also met State Assembly Members Susan John and David Koon.

Assemblywoman John is one of the best friends the LGBT community in Western New York has. She has not only voted positively for LGBT legislation that comes to the floor for vote, but has also sponsored or co-sponsored bills in support of the LGBT community.

David Koon, whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered in 1993, was the most real and down-to-earth people I have met since we started going to functions with dignitaries. Mr. Koon’s daughter, Jennifer, was kidnapped but had the opportunity to call 911 from the wireless phone in her car. However, the 911 dispatch operator could not locate Jennifer and could only listen for 20 minutes as Jennifer was assaulted and murdered. This prompted Mr. Koon to go into public service and he has, obviously, been a staunch supporter of the integration of 911 with the ability to locate wireless callers.

Mr. Koon, at first, did not give much support to the LGBT community believing that it was wrong, immoral, whatever. But then he met with members of the LGBT community and, as he told me, realized that homosexuality is hard-wired into a person, not a choice and has, since then, been very supportive of the LGBT community, adding his voice to the “yea” votes on the Assembly floor.

Brighton Supervisor Sandra Frankel (D) who had her hat in the ring for the Senate race, after the votes were cast mostly in favor of Rick Dollinger (D) withdrew her name from the race, in the interest of party unity. What a very, VERY classy person she is!

The Empire State Pride Agenda’s Annual Spring Dinner was held this past Saturday night at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. As you can see by the ad below, Lisa and I were given special recognition at that event, too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Rochester, New York
Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Reception 5:45 pm
Dinner and Program 7 pm

Featuring emcee Caroline Rhea
Community Service Award: Keith Powell
Special Recognition: Pat Martinez and Lisa Golden

We were invited to a cocktail party the night before, in order to meet people who wanted to meet us and congratulate us. At that cocktail party we met some amazing people!

Duffy Palmer and his partner Mark Siwiec hosted the event at their fabulous 6,000 square foot, 3-unit mansion. Duffy has served the LGBT community in many ways, serving on the board of ESPA, as well as the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. He’s a warm, personable guy and I can’t say enough about his wonderful dedication to the LGBT community at home and throughout the state.

We met Rochester’s Mayor Bob Duffy that evening. I have admired Mayor Duffy from all the news coverage I have seen on him since he was elected in 2005. He has done a lot of good things in Rochester and has done a fantastic job of cleaning up Rochester’s public image. Mayor Duffy chatted with us for quite a while, not only about our case but just general chit-chat.

Alan Van Capelle, the Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda was in attendance and, while we had met him in Albany on Equality and Justice Day, we were able to spend more time getting to know him. Alan is only in his mid-30s and has had quite a professional career to date. He is very dynamic yet very humble and almost shy. We also met a lot of ESPA’s staff.

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We were both pretty nervous when we arrived at Saturday’s dinner, not knowing what to expect. As we arrived, we saw Alan and some of his staff. Caroline Rhea, our emcee for the evening, was there with Alan and we were introduced to her. She’s pretty cool, too — straight, but cool. There was an ESPA banner on a wall, clearly designed to be for photo shoots. So, we were hustled over to it and had our pictures taken with Caroline Rhea, Alan Van Capelle, Assemblywoman Susan John and others.

This was quite the crowd…elected officals, educators, lobbyists, etc. More than 400 people attended this event.

We also met Keith Powell, who was being presented with ESPA’s community service award that evening. According to the HRC Business Forum web site, Keith “is active in several Kodak employee networks and community organizations, with special interests in anti-bullying initiatives, adult and youth leadership development, education, and civil rights for all.” What a warm and generous person he is!

We found our way to our table, hosted by table captain (and new friend) Michael Hardy. We were also honored to be sharing our table with Susan John (D) whose district we live in. And, in her mind, the icing on the cake is that we live in the town where her biggest opponent at the last election resides and works as a member of the (very dysfunctional) town board.

I was pretty nervous about giving my speech but, when the time came, I was introduced and everyone got on their feet and applauded! I’m dumbfounded by this phenomenon — it’s like I’m watching it happen to someone else. I mean, who am I? Just a nobody in the grand scheme of things. But, I gave my speech, getting laughs (where I had hoped I would) and another standing O when I finished. Even Lisa spoke for a couple of minutes. After the speech, I let myself finally relax.

And I was fine right up until the point when ESPA played a pre-recorded message from Governor Paterson, commending us on our courage, bravery, etc. That’s when I lost it. Lisa saw I was crying and she cried. Assemblywoman John cried at the sight of us crying and, before long, everyone at our table was crying!

We had a little time between dinner and the remainder of the program. I got up and started to walk across the room and, for the next half hour was stopped by more people than I could count, who wanted to congratulate me on my speech, our award, and sometimes to thank us for what we did to make THEIR marriages legally recognized. When I returned to our table, someone said “Way to work the crowd, Pat!” I replied with “I just wanted to go to the bathroom!” and everyone at the table broke out into raucous laughter.

We had a great night but, by the time we got home we were exhausted — especially since I had been up since 3:00 AM that day. Our fame is beginning to dim and, while for the most part we’re happy to go back to our boring lives, we sort of hate to see it dim. My friend Jo, however, has asked a friend of hers that I be placed on the Gay Alliance’s speakers Bureau. That could be fun, I think.

Tomorrow night we will be attending the Monroe County Democratic Committee’s Annual Dinner with another new friend, Tom Ferrarese who is the election commissioner for the committee.Tom and his partner Bill have asked us to join them for a quiet evening of dinner and conversation WITHOUT a guest speaker in the near future.

I think that’s about it, for now.

See what happens when I don’t blog for almost 2 weeks? LOL!

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