Thursday, December 18, 2008


Okay, so I've had experience dealing with insurance companies before.  But never, ever have I had to deal with a company that is as conniving, lying, and scandalous as Aetna.

I am on the phone with them a couple of times a month to question a claim decision or to follow up on something I've appealed before.  I don't think I submit a large amount of claims, but it seems that every single thing I submit is denied or short paid for one reason or another.  Usually it takes awhile to get it figured out but eventually it's just super annoying and a HUGE waste of my time.

An example.

Last year I saw Dr X.  His office submited the charges.  Aetna refused to pay because they said that Dr. X was not covered under their plan and that if I would just look under the docFind link on their website I could find a huge list of everyone who is covered.  I told them I had looked there.  The woman told me to look again.  

I hung up and looked again.  

There he was.  

Listed as covered.  

So I called back and talked to some man who told me to look under the docFind link.  I told him I did.  I even walked him through the steps I took to find Dr. X.  He put me on hold forever and came back and said he would resubmit it because it did indeed look like Dr. X was covered.  A couple of weeks later I got a letter from Aetna saying the claim had been reviewed again and was denied.  


So I called.  


The woman told me to use docFind because Dr. X wasn't covered.  I asked to talk to a manager who told me Dr. X wasn't covered.  I walked the manager through the steps and he said it was a mistake.  I told him that his company's mistake shouldn't cost me.  He told me to appeal the decision but that there was nothing else he could do.  

So I appealed.  

Aetna denied the claim.  


So I went online to the docFind and printed off the pages showing Dr. X's name.  That's right.  Dr. X was still listed as in-network even though supposedly his contract with them had expired well over a year prior and I had been talking to them about this claim for over 6 months (which one would think would be plenty of time for them to update/correct their website - in fact, just for fun I went in tonight to look one more time.  Sure enough 15 months after this all started Dr. X is STILL listed as in-network).  

Then I appealed.  


I sent in 20 pages of documentation.  This time the appeal went to my employer.  A few weeks later I received a letter from my employer saying that my appeal was approved and Aetna was responsible to pay.  They paid 10 months after the charges were incurred.  It had taken me hours of time spent listening to hold music and hours of time gathing information, but I swear when that letter arrived I thought I was going to run through the snow naked I was so happy.

So several weeks ago I started going to a new chiropractor (Dr. Y).  He was recommended by someone I know, and before I made my first appointment I went to docFind to make sure he was covered.  Sure enough, there he was.  

So I went to my first appointment and second and third.  Each time I happily paid the copay.  And today I received the first notice of the claim.  They told me I would need to pay 30% of the total bill - not just the copay.  WTF?  So I emailed Aetna and asked for clarification of why I had to pay 30%.  Their email back to me:  

Dear Ms. Cmuser:

Thank you for using the Aetna Navigator website to contact Aetna Member Services.

This is in response to your claim question on yourself for 12/03/08 from Dr. Y for $XXX.

We have processed this claim according to your
non-preferred level of benefits because this provider does not have a contract with Aetna.

Search for Aetna providers by logging in to Aetna Navigator and selecting Find Health Care in DocFind.
Blah, blah, blah.  
You have got to be kidding me.  This cannot seriously be happening to me again.  But it is.  I went online tonight and there is Dr. Y listed as in-network.  
This isn't the only type of problem I've had with Aetna.  Everything from them saying I couldn't have two physicals in one year (I only had one - they paid for it after I faxed them proof) to them saying blood tests couldn't be covered because they weren't medically necessary (they were ordered by their in-network PCP, but I guess that doesn't qualify - or at least it didn't right away.  They paid for them after I sent them paperwork and a letter from my doctor).  
So, tomorrow I will call Aetna.  I will start all over again.  Then I will report them for being the lying scoundrals they are.  What's the point of having insurance if you have to fight them all the time?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday Dinner

Last night we went out to dinner at Benihana's with friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a great night - and was so good to see everyone again. Thanks to everyone who came - you made it an unforgettable night.

Kristin and me at Benihana's

Our chef, Moises, doing his stuff

Moises and me

Jehn, Michele, and Heather

Beth and Lisa

Michele and Heather


Birthday cake fun with Lucy (the guinea pig)

Me with Bear, an awesome birthday gift from Kristin

Popcorn Trains

So when I was little we would make these things called popcorn trains. I don't remember making them every year, but I know whenever we did it was good times all around - popping the popcorn, forming the trains, getting the frosting ready, and, the best part, getting the candy opened and poured into bowls.  Within minutes all of us would be hunched over our box car or train, trying to get it to look just right.  There was never a shortage of candy chomping, laughter, or "oh crap!" going around.  

Making popcorn trains is one of my favorite holiday memories, so every Christmas I think about it and consider making one.  I've never done it because I never knew what we'd do with it, but this year I told Kristin she should make them with her 3rd graders. She agreed, but only if I would come in and run a "station" (no pun intended) at her holiday party on Friday. They have 4 stations where 6 kids come for 20 minutes and do an activity. So my station will be making the engine car of a popcorn train. 

I pulled out the recipe a few weeks ago and have been mulling over how this is going to work. This weekend I went out and bought a bunch of stuff to try - the key is going to be ease since there will only be 1 of me and 24 of them (in groups of 6, but still!).

So this morning I made a 3-car train. I had limited candy resources (because I only wanted to use what I was going to have there for the kids to use) and tested out a new frosting (in a can instead of the homemade stuff). I'm still not sure if the canned frosting is going to work. I really need a frosting that is going to set up and get hard in a short amount of time (like before the kids have to take them and run out to their buses)...and I'm not thinking the canned frosting is going to work for that. If it doesn't I'll be going to a candy store to buy a ton of decorating bags and tips and spending all Friday morning making frosting (we're going to be making a ton of train cars Thursday night if anyone is interested in helping :)).

Anyway, the final product is below. It's not done very well (I totally blame the canned frosting), but what can I say - I did the best I could with what I had this morning :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jon Stewart with Mike Huckabee

Thanks to Justin for this -

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Haul Out the Holly

I like to try to get the Christmas decorations up shortly after Thanksgiving. I've been a little slow this year, but today I finally got to it and started setting things up. Kristin cleaned out the tree corner (there were stacks of books she needs to take to school) and even helped unpack a few nativities.

A short explanation of the nativities - once when I was like 12 I saw a news story about a woman who had like 300 nativity sets. I decided I wanted to have more than her and so the collection started. Seems like every year I get another one. I'm not such a huge collector anymore (realized they take a lot of time to set up, a lot of time to take down, and a ton of room to store), but I still get a set from people occasionally when they see a great one or travel to some far off land and score me a really cool one.

I'm not sure how many I have anymore - most of them are still stored at my parents' house in Utah, but I had a few (5) here that I brought when I moved and my mom knew someone who was coming out this fall and sent an additional 12 in their U-haul. So now we have 17 nativities set up in our living room. Kristin says it's her own personal hell, but I think it's festive.

The tree (Bianca) is patiently waiting to be unpacked and decorated and then I need to get the mess of boxes and bins and other stuff packed away so that in 3 weeks I can get it all out again to pack up everything for another 11 months. I love the holidays.

And now some pictures for your enjoyment (or so you can sympathize with Kristin):

When I first unpacked this one Mary was missing. It came with two guys who looked similar and I wasn't sure which was Joseph and which was the we decided this could be our gay-friendly nativity. I did find Mary later...but I kind of like this one just the way it is.

The one on the left is from Mexico, the one in the middle is a candle holder, and the one on the right is one I received from my sister, Cassi (and also one of my favorites!).

I don't remember where this one came from, but it's snowmen.

The one on the left is from a friend, Lisa. She got it for me in Israel (thanks, Lisa!). The one on the right plays Silent Night and is indeed the one that can be heard in the infamous "Danette Dancing" video which is probably still floating around out there somewhere.

I received this one from my parents - it's from The Music Box Company.

The top set is a bunch of bears. Under that is a tea set - the sheep are the cups, Mary is the tea pot, Joseph is the cream, and the camel is the sugar. Weird, I know.

The top set was also given to me by my sister. It's another favorite of mine and Kristin's very favorite. It's called "S'mores Nativity." You can't see it very well, but the people are made of "marshmallows" sitting on "chocolate" and a "graham cracker." Super cute although everyone seems to think it's sacrilege. Under that is another tea set. I think was obsessed with those when I was 15.

On the top left is a Willow Tree set. Another favorite, and a gift from my parents. On the right is a white ceramic set I got as a hand-me-down from my grandma. On the bottom left is a small Precious Moments globe. In the middle is a cute set I got from my friend, Michelle, and on the left is a patchwork set I think I got from my parents (?).
PS - Going to take better pictures of these later...something to look forward to, right? :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Untouchable Face

I saw this on a friend's blog and thought I'd steal it.

1.  Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2.  For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3.  You must write that song name down no matter how silly it makes you look.
4.  Title this email what the answer to your last question is.

Here we go!

1.  If someone says "Is this okay?"  You say:
Things Can Only Get Better (The Best of Howard Jones)

2.  How would you describe yourself?
Get it on Tonight (Montell Jordan)

3.  What do you like in a guy/girl?
Borderline (Madonna)

4.  How do you feel today?
Twist and Shout (The Beatles)

5.  What is your life's purpose?
Are You Lonesome Tonight (Elvis)

6.  What do your parents think of you?
Funky Cold Medina (Tone Loc)

7.  What do you often think about?
Only Women (Alice Cooper)

8.  What do you think of the person you like?
What About Now (Lonestar)

9.  What is your life story?
How Do You Like Me Now (Toby Keith)

10.  What do you think when you see the person you like?
Is There Life Out There (Reba McEntire)

11.  What will you dance to at your wedding?
Holes in the Floor of Heaven (Steve Wariner) 
(even though we really danced to Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts)

12.  What will they play at your funeral?
Vogue (Madonna)

13.  What is your biggest fear?
Love the One You're With (Steven Stills)

14.  What is your biggest secret?
My Bionic Eyes (Liz Phair)

15.  What do you think of your friends?
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong (Spin Doctors)

16.  What are you going to name this post?
Untouchable Face (Ani Difranco)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mormon Church Doctrine

I will try to write more about this later - but for now, I had to post this.  This is taken from the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture used/taught/followed (supposedly) by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Doctrine & Covenants 134:4

We believe that religion is institued of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or prive devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crim, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

Special Comment by Keith Olbermann

This was Keith's 'Special Comment' on November 10, 2008.  Written transcript is below if you would prefer not to watch it.


Posted: Monday, November 10, 2008 9:01 PM by Countdown
Filed Under: 

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8.  And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics.

This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble.  You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage.

If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling.  With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person...

Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge.

"It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

"So I be written in the Book of Love;

"I do not care about that Book above.

"Erase my name, or write it as you will,

"So I be written in the Book of Love."

Monday, November 3, 2008


I am urging everyone to go out and 
I don't care which candidates you are supporting 
or what issues are important to you - 
just get out to the polls tomorrow 
and let your voice be heard.

Great Article

I read this article online today and thought I would share.  It was an editorial from The Christian Science Montior.

My wife made me canvass for Obama; 

here's what I learned

By Jonathan Curley

Charlotte, N.C. – There has been a lot of speculation that Barack Obama might win the election due to his better "ground game" and superior campaign organization.

I had the chance to view that organization up close this month when I canvassed for him. I'm not sure I learned much about his chances, but I learned a lot about myself and about this election.

Let me make it clear: I'm pretty conservative. I grew up in the suburbs. I voted for George H.W. Bush twice, and his son once. I was disappointed when Bill Clinton won, and disappointed he couldn't run again.

I encouraged my son to join the military. I was proud of him in Afghanistan, and happy when he came home, and angry when he was recalled because of the invasion of Iraq. I'm white, 55, I live in the South and I'm definitely going to get a bigger tax bill if Obama wins.

I am the dreaded swing voter.

So you can imagine my surprise when my wife suggested we spend a Saturday morning canvassing for Obama. I have never canvassed for any candidate. But I did, of course, what most middle-aged married men do: what I was told.

At the Obama headquarters, we stood in a group to receive our instructions. I wasn't the oldest, but close, and the youngest was maybe in high school. I watched a campaign organizer match up a young black man who looked to be college age with a white guy about my age to canvas together. It should not have been a big thing, but the beauty of the image did not escape me.

Instead of walking the tree-lined streets near our home, my wife and I were instructed to canvass a housing project. A middle-aged white couple with clipboards could not look more out of place in this predominantly black neighborhood.

We knocked on doors and voices from behind carefully locked doors shouted, "Who is it?"

"We're from the Obama campaign," we'd answer. And just like that doors opened and folks with wide smiles came out on the porch to talk.

Grandmothers kept one hand on their grandchildren and made sure they had all the information they needed for their son or daughter to vote for the first time.

Young people came to the door rubbing sleep from their eyes to find out where they could vote early, to make sure their vote got counted.

We knocked on every door we could find and checked off every name on our list. We did our job, but Obama may not have been the one who got the most out of the day's work.

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the "big things."

It's not about taxes. I'm pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It's not about foreign policy. I think we'll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don't want us there anymore.

I don't see either of the candidates as having all the answers.

I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hopeand the old people who have been forgotten. It's about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don't know what it's going to do for the Obama campaign, but it's doing a lot for me.

Wilderness Way Take 2

Recently Kristin and I celebrated our 5th anniversary by heading back to our favorite camping/cabin spot – Wilderness Way.  It didn’t actually start as an anniversary celebration trip, it was just a ‘one last trip before the snow falls’ with Michele, Heather, and Jehn.  So, we headed to Wisconsin the weekend of MEA (which also happened to be our anniversary weekend) for some fall relaxation.

Kristin, Jehn, and I left Friday around noon.  The drive took much longer than usual as we seemed to stop in every town  and at every store for something.  I was happy when we finally arrived.  This time we got a bigger cabin closer to the lake, and I loved it!  It was so beautiful and the cabin was a little nicer than the last one we were in.  We settled in, unpacked our $130 worth of groceries (stopped at a VERY overpriced grocery store along the way) and enjoyed the scenery.  We started a fire that evening and were excited when Michele and Heather finally arrived.

The next day was fairly low key.  We were going to go to a meat raffle at the Golden Chipmunk, but missed it after some misunderstandings.  Oh well.  There’s always next time, right?  :)  We basically just relaxed all day and then headed over to the Golden Chipmunk for dinner. 

We ended the night by joining some other lesbians at the fire pit – Michele especially seemed excited to meet and converse with them.  The weather was beautiful, so Kristin and I decided to go for a walk.  We went down by the lake, and I was struck by the number of stars in the sky!  I remember sleeping outside when I was little and trying to count the stars.  My parents live out in the middle of nowhere, so I could always see millions of stars at night.  I had kind of forgotten what that was like – but there they were – all still there!

We had lots of fun adventures with animals there as well – a flying squirrel (yes, they do exist), chipmunks (unfortunately ours didn’t sing, Alvin….Alvin….ALVIN!), spiders, loons, and more.

The next morning Michele cooked us all a great breakfast and we packed to leave.  Last time we stayed for one night and I found myself wishing we could have stayed longer.  This trip we stayed for 2 nights and once again I was wishing we could stay for another night or two.  It is so peaceful there!!

I’m thinking of ringing in my 30th year there in December.  Not sure how it would be if it’s really cold and possibly snowy, but I really can’t think of any place I’d rather spend my birthday!

2nd Annual LSC Bonfire

The beginning of October we had a bonfire at Como Park fire rings!  Kristin and I showed up a few hours before the event was going to start thinking that would be plenty early.  But when we arrived all of the rings were taken.  We then spent the next 2 hours on the phone with Heather and driving all over Saint Paul trying to find other available rings.  

After about 1 ½ hours we realized that all of the rings had been removed – seems the Parks Department removes all of the fire pits in September.  Which makes no sense to me.  October typically is the perfect month for bonfires – so why they remove the pits in September is beyond me.

Anyway, so after 2 hours of driving to all sorts of different parks (I was frustrated by the end, but the drive was so beautiful, I didn’t mind too much!) we decided to head back to Como and hope that a fire ring opened up.  We were able to get a grill near the rings, so we cooked up our hot dogs and waited.  Eventually we basically built a fire in the grill (totally illegal) so we could make s’ mores.  Then someone noticed that some people were packing up to leave.  

Heather and Michele, being the brave souls that they are, headed over to ask if we could have their ring.  They said yes, and we pounced! 

It was great because the fire was already going and we were able to just sit and enjoy.  At some point we commenced the annual meeting of the LSC.  I agreed to induct all bonfire attendees (Heather, Michele, Emily, Lara, Kristin, and Jehn ), and we agreed that the annual meeting should be held around a bonfire. 

That was about it.  Oh, there were lots of s’ mores and a slight confrontation with some guys (which Kristin handled like a super star) but otherwise it was just a nice, relaxing evening under the stars!  I keep thinking maybe we could squeeze one more in before it gets too cold, but not sure that will happen!  Oh well, I guess there’s always next year!

Pictoral Proof

Pictoral proof that SA actually does have Obama cookies.  Now the question is just what is the ratio and why are the Obama ones so hard to come by???

School Update!

The trimester is over half-way done.  For some reason the amount of work is crazy this week and then it seems like it will kind of die off a little again after that.  I have a presentation and journals on Friday and a presentation and booklet due on Saturday.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it is.

I am still really enjoying Philosophy.  I don’t get some of the stuff we read, but I love the teacher and the discussions.  My fieldwork class is also going well.  It’s a little frustrating because it’s only 2 hours long and I feel like all we do is spend 1.75 hours “checking in” and then the last 15 minutes saying goodbye.  I wish we would spend more time discussing our placements and assignments and less time just talking…but it is what it is, I suppose.  I’m liking my Human Behavior class a lot more than I was before, but it’s still relatively boring and repetitive.  I think I’ll like it a whole lot more once this presentation on Saturday is done. 

Overall it’s been a good trimester.  I’ve definitely enjoyed not having Spanish and am looking forward to next trimester when I will only have classes every other weekend instead of having one ever week (I currently have Philosophy every week). 

Speaking of next trimester,  I register for classes tomorrow – will be in another fieldwork class, a research class (this will be my area for complaint next trimester!), and an interviewing/communications class (beginning therapy class, basically).  I will have class on Friday nights and then all day on Saturdays which will kind of suck, but I’ll survive :).  I’m definitely looking forward to a little break over Christmas!

Monday, October 13, 2008

4th file, 4th picture

Appropriate that the photo would be a picture of Dory, my deep-thinking, fat, fabulously smart cat.

Who is Barack Obama?

A touching look behind the scenes of the Democratic National Convention.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Prop 8

Proposition 8 is an issue that will be voted on in November in California. I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I am disturbed by the news I have been hearing about it lately.

Proposition 8 would basically turn over a decision made by the voter-elected judges of the California Supreme Court which ruled that according to the Constitution marriage is a basic human right to all people.

Why am I upset? A couple of reasons – both extremely personal for me.

The first is that I’m a lesbian. The decision that is made in November will affect my life. Yes, it’s in California and I’m not, but it could continue a precedent of ignorance and discrimination. As most gay people go, I’m fairly laid back about this issue. I don’t care if anyone calls what Kristin and I had last year a commitment ceremony, a union, or a marriage. I know what it was, and that is what is important to me.

I do care, however, that we don’t share any of the same rights that heterosexual couples share. I am just as committed to Kristin as any straight person is to his or her spouse. We were married (or committed or unionized or whatever) last year. We live together. I do the dishes, she scoops the cat poop. We sleep in on Sundays and write silly love notes to each other. Our paychecks are deposited into a shared account. We plan to buy a house, raise a family (which will include children, if we are so blessed), and grow old together. We have the same hopes and dreams for our lives and future as any straight couple has. We are just people. Just plain, ordinary people. This proposition is basically saying it doesn’t matter. Because I don’t fit into this certain mold, I am not worthy of being treated as an equal – and that disturbs me.

The second reason this is so disturbing to me is the Mormon Church and its active role in getting this proposition passed. I know they are not accepting of me and others like me. I have known that my whole life. What disturbs me is that they can use millions of members’ tithe dollars to support this, still be tax exempt (seriously?!?), and threaten members' memberships if they question the Church's involvement.

What is it about me that scares the Mormon Church? What is it about me that is so bad, wrong, and defiled that they feel they need to step in and defend an entire state from me?

The Church has always preached loving acceptance of your neighbor, but all that their support of this proposition does is show discrimination and hate. It flies in the face of everything I ever learned sitting within the hallowed walls of the building I worshipped in week after week growing up. They are preaching love and acceptance of those, and only those, who are willing to follow their rules and live by their laws.

I have thought, perhaps naively, that somehow the Church would change. That over time they would come to see and understand that homosexuals are not out to ruin families or destroy communities. But today I realized this change won’t be coming. I don’t think they will ever understand that I’m okay just the way I am and that I am a person worthy of all of the rights and privileges they enjoy.

One last thing I would add: How quickly they forget.

How quickly they forget about the persecution their ancestors endured a mere 150 years ago. How quickly they forget how early Mormons were driven out of their homes and denied their own basic rights. How quickly they forget that all those early members wanted was to be left in peace to live their lives in the way they saw fit. How quickly they have gone from being the persecuted to the persecutor.

I have done nothing to them. The marriage to my wife has absolutely no effect on the Church, its leaders, or its members. I am not here to recruit their children, break up their marriages, or ruin their economy. I am simply trying to be left in peace and to live my life in the way I see fit.