Friday, March 29, 2013

America Ready for Gay Marriage; Free Excerpt; The Virgin Billionaire's Littlest Angel



Here's another post about Freedom to Marry, an organization I've talked about before. I'm on their mailing list, and I pass on the info from my inbox as I get it for those who aren't familiar with them. This time they get into whether or not America seems ready for Gay marriage.

Even before the SCOTUS hearings this week, I've been seeing studies and articles about how things are changing in America and how even some of the most unlikely are now thinking differently about gay marriage. I think it's partly because so many now have gay friends, relatives, employees, etc... And they are seeing first hand that gay marriage isn't going to hurt marriage as we've always known it.

 While the world watched, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on Prop 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and the country talked non-stop about marriage, freedom, and gay couples. While no one yet knows what the Court will rule, this week made it clear: America is ready for the freedom to marry.

The Court is likely to announce its decisions in June, and no matter what exactly the rulings are this time, all of us at Freedom to Marry feel great confidence, pride, hope, and determination. We know we have the momentum and the winning strategy. We know we have our goal of marriage nationwide within reach and will get there -- in June or in the next round. And we also know it will only happen if, together, we keep doing the work.

Continuing the momentum we built by winning marriage in nine states and Washington, DC -- with more underway -- and growing public support to 58% is how we create the climate needed to embolden the Supreme Court to stand on the right side of history.

The biggest thing we can do to maximize our chances of good rulings in June is to keep winning more states. There are four states we could win while the justices are still writing their opinions, and Freedom to Marry is playing key roles in the campaigns to pass marriage bills in Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island.

Will you help make a difference when and where it counts? Make a donation to Freedom to Marry today and we'll put your money to work right now.

http://freedomtomarry.org/SCOTUS-Donate

Free Excerpt: The Virgin Billionaire's Littlest Angel

This is an excerpt that has never been pubbed for free before. It's from the final book in the VB series, and it gets into a topic I've always felt strongly about: infant abandonment. The big argument between Jase and Luis is that Jase wants to adopt or do surrogacy. Because Luis is still so heavily involved in charity work for infant abandonment, he's waiting to find an abandoned baby. Is it realistic? No. But this is what he believes. And he believes it so thoroughly he's willing to risk his marriage with Jase.

What I find amusing is that I talk about a new coffee maker in this chapter. It's really K-cups. At the time not many were using them. And this is only a few years ago. Keep in mind this is from the raw version, before it went to copy edits, as I submitted it to the publisher. I think it's also a good example of how a book should be submitted to a publisher. I rarely have many copy edits come back to me.

After the shower, they dressed fast and went down to the kitchen. While Jase brewed two cups of coffee in the new coffee brewer Jase’s grandmother, Isabelle, had brought for them this time, Luis bent down slowly and picked up his little dog, Camp. The dog had been sleeping beside the huge stone walk-in fireplace in the kitchen. The old sprawling stone house dated back to the 1700’s and Luis and Jase had remodeled it from top to bottom few years back. The large fireplaces and wide pumpkin pine floors were just a few of the features Luis loved about the house.

But he wasn’t smiling that morning when he picked Camp up from the pillow on which he’d been sleeping all night. His body seemed listless, and he groaned a little when Luis cradled him in his arms. The only reason Camp was now sleeping by the fireplace instead in Hunter’s bedroom was because he couldn’t climb the stairs anymore. Luis wasn’t certain exactly when this had happened. It seemed to happen overnight. One day Luis’s little angel was running up and down the stairs with Hunter, and the next day he couldn’t make the first few steps. Since then, Luis carried him outside every morning, until his legs started working on their own.

            Camp was a bald Chinese crested Luis had found in an alley in Manhattan before he’d even met Jase. The little dog had followed him home one night and he’d never left Luis’s side. He’d been with Luis during his single days, during the days when Luis and Jase started to get to know each other, and he’d been at their wedding in Alaska. Camp had welcomed their son, Hunter, into the family as if he’d grown up with him. But Luis was never quite sure hold old Camp was. Luis could have found out but he didn’t really want to know. Luis couldn’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without Camp. He was just as much a member of their family as any of the humans and Luis imagined Camp in his life for the next fifty years.

           Jase popped a small plastic container of coffee into the machine and pushed a button. He turned to Luis and said, “How is he?” His tone went down; his expression turned somber.

            Luis opened the back door and kissed the top of Camp’s head. Though he was bald all over, he’d always had a long, shaggy mop of hair on top of his head. “I think he’s okay.” The vet had recently told Luis that Camp had leg problems due to his age. He wanted to do more tests in the future. Luis didn’t want to hear this; he didn’t want any testing done. He ignored the vet and the details about Camp’s problems and pretended Camp was still the quick, spry dog he’d always known.

            “Maybe you should give him a baby aspirin before we leave,” Jase said. “He looks like he’s having a rough time of it this morning.”

            Luis clenched his jaw. He didn’t want to deal with this. He held Camp closer to his chest and said, “He’ll be fine. He just needs to get his legs moving, is all. I have mornings like this myself sometimes.” He knew, intellectually, he didn’t sound rational. He also knew, in his heart, he couldn’t begin to think about Camp being sick.

            When Luis was outside, he didn’t tell Jase about the way Camp stumbled and fell sideways when he put him down on the grass. When this happened, Luis went down on his hands and knees and righted the dog to a standing position. “Please walk for me,” Luis said. He didn’t even realize he was begging. “You have to be okay. You’re going to be okay and that’s that. Please walk.”

            Camp licked Luis’s wrist and slowly stretched his hind legs, almost as if he understood. He groaned a few times; he almost tipped over again. But he managed to start walking on his own and he relieved himself. It made Luis frown to watch him. He’d stopped lifting his leg a month ago and now he was squatting like a female.

            By the time Luis went back into the house, Camp followed him through the back door and went to his water bowl for a drink. Jase set a mug of coffee on the counter for Luis and said, “How was he out there?”

            Luis smiled and lifted his chin. “He was great. He only needed a little help at first, and then he starting walking around as usual. He’s just getting a little older. There’s nothing wrong with him.”

            Jase sent Luis a blank gaze. But Luis didn’t acknowledge it. He knew what Jase was thinking. Jase had grown up in Alaska and he’d been surrounded by animals all his life. He didn’t believe in seeing animals in pain. He believed that humans had to be smart enough and wise enough to know when they were in pain, so they could make the right, humane decisions. Luis didn’t want to deal with it that morning. So he turned and said, “I’ll go out and get the truck started. Hunter, Justin, and your grandmother will be down here at any minute and we’ll never get to the airport on time if they see us still here. You leave a note on the counter.”

            Luis and Jase were not religious. But in the same respect they wanted Hunter to grow up knowing some kind of religion. So whenever Isabelle visited from Alaska she took Hunter to church on Sunday mornings. She went with a dear friend of theirs, who lived in, and rented, the small cottage at the end of their long driveway. He was a retired minister, and his name was Thomas von Klingensmith…with the accent on the first syllable in THO-mas. He was over eighty years old, had written hundreds of books on spirituality that weren’t very popular, and was openly gay. When Isabelle was in Alaska, Thomas von Klingensmith took Hunter to church on Sundays in his big Cadillac.



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