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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Did you feel the ground move Tuesday night at 12:01 am???

Contrary to all the predictions from opponents we didn't even notice when we finally ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  None of the warnings about how this will affect the military will come to pass. Fear mongering that was done by those opposed to the change will be shown to be unfounded.  As one of the last western countries to accept gays in the military we again have been aligning ourselves with such countries as Iran, Somali, Syria, North Korea, Yemen, Uganda and Saudi Arabia until Tuesday.  Ending discrimination of gays is the civil rights issue of our times.  As gay marriage moves to the top of Gov. O’Malley’s legislative agenda hopefully Maryland will join the parade of states finally recognizing that denial of marriage rights for gays is an injustice whose time is up.

There has been a great deal of argument made that civil unions should be enough and why does marriage have to be granted to gays. But according to a 1997 General Accounting Office report over 1,000 rights and benefits are granted to married individuals not to civil unions.  The wording in many federal statutes and programs use the word “marriage” and not “civil unions.”  Even though gays are now allowed to openly serve in the military their partners or spouses are not eligible for benefits or rights granted to married heterosexual spouses because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed in 1996 and signed by Bill Clinton.  The Act requires the federal government not to recognize the legal marriage of gays. Someday DOMA will be repealed---it is only a matter of time before young people today who favor gay marriage are in a position to repeal the Act.

A great way to celebrate this sign of progress is to attend the PFLAG picnic this Sunday. PFLAG Howard County/Columbia’s mission is:
To promote the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through:
  • SUPPORT - to cope with an adverse society
  • EDUCATION - to enlighten an ill-informed public
  • ADVOCACY - to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

Join Us!
on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
from Noon until 5 P.M.
for our 11th annual family picnic

Summer's not officially over until we say it is!

At Cedar Lane Park West
Off of Route 108
Directions on our website



Labor Day is over, school has already started and everybody is getting ready for Fall.

But not us!  There's still plenty of warm weather left and it's still daylight savings time, so let's come out for the picnic and have a great day outdoors with our friends and families.  Good times!

This is one of our favorite events of the year.  So put it on your calendars and make a point of coming by for a bite to eat, or spend the whole day.  We do!  We're going to have lots of fun.  Be a part of it.

Sincerely,
PFLAG Columbia-Howard County Picnic Committee 

The PFLAG Family Picnic
Where we eat, drink, play games, talk, meet new friends and old and have a great time.

Bring something to barbeque and a dish to share.  Dogs on leashes are welcome.  We provide the grills, the charcoal, cooking utensils, plates, cups, soft drinks, condiments, ice and napkins.  This event is for everyone - parents, kids, gay, straight, transgender, allies.........everyone!

A donation of $5 per family is appreciated. 

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 from Noon until 5 P.M.
if it's raining and you're not sure,
call 443-977-9757
(this number valid the day of the picnic only)

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