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Archive for December, 2009

My Favorite Books in 2009

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009


As an avid reader, I search out books that will broaden my thinking, open my heart, teach new ideas, and provide inspiration. I have put together my list of the best books I have read in 2009 (many of which were not published in 2009). Rather than give a synopsis of each book, I am including the book title, author, and a quote that moved me or inspired me. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to recommend books you think I ought to add to my 2010 list.

(PS I will be sharing some of my best inspired lessons, insights, & meditations of 2009 in an upcoming blog~ stay tuned!)

My Favorite Books of 2009:

My Stoke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
“By paying attention to the choices my automatic circuitry is making, I own my power and make more choices consciously. In the long run, I take responsibility for what I attract in my life.”

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
“Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world.”

The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist
“Reciprocity allows us to acknowledge each other in appreciation of our unique gifts. Reciprocity is like the breath we breathe in – no more than we need.”

Radical Forgiveness by Colin C. Tipping
“We recognize that Divine Love operates in every situation and that each person receives exactly what they want.”

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strought (this is the only fiction book on the list)
“Don’t be scared of your hunger. If you’re scared of your hunger, you’ll be one more ninny like everyone else.”

I Need Your Love – Is That True? by Byron Katie
“Your most intimate relationship is the one you have with your thoughts.”

Who Would You Be Without Your Story? by Byron Katie (Yes, she is that good!)
“I have come to see that this mind is seeking a place to rest. It’s seeking peace.”

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
“Love in your mind produces love in your life.”

Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi
“Each of us is responsible for creating the safe place. It is a conscious choice that we make to create the environment that invites others in.”

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
“To “cure” him, in terms of trying to tear the autism out, now seems to me completely wrong. Why can’t he exist between the worlds, with a foot in both, as many neurotypical people do?”

Happy reading! Mary Anne

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1,000+ Reasons for Marriage Equality

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

“What are we really protecting? We have a wedding channel. We are giving away husbands on a game show.” – Senator Savino

1000 reasons for marriage equalityThere is a list of more than 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for an ailing partner, and tax breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.  If you receive a marriage license, it is recognized in any state. If you want to have a Civil Union, then it will only be honored in the state that provided it and does not hold the same protections.

The United States Constitution guarantees equality for all. Marriage and civil unions are not the same. Creating equal access to marriage is the only fair way to ensure equality for gay and straight couples alike.

According to Lambda Legal Defense, more than 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon heterosexual married couples in the United States. On the website, http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/wedding/f/MarriageBenefit.htm, they list twenty-five:

1.   Joint parental rights of children
2.   Joint adoption
3.   Status as “next-of-kin” for hospital visits and medical decisions
4.   Right to make a decision about the disposal of loved ones remains
5.   Immigration and residency for partners from other countries
6.   Crime victims recovery benefits
7.   Domestic violence protection orders
8.   Judicial protections and immunity
9.   Automatic inheritance in the absence of a will
10. Public safety officers death benefits
11. Spousal veterans benefits
12. Social Security
13. Medicare
14. Joint filing of tax returns
15. Wrongful death benefits for surviving partner and children
16. Bereavement or sick leave to care for partner or children
17. Child support
18. Joint Insurance Plans
19. Tax credits including: Child tax credit, Hope & lifetime learning credits
20. Deferred Compensation for pension and IRAs
21. Estate and gift tax benefits
22. Welfare and public assistance
23. Joint housing for elderly
24. Credit protection
25. Medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans

Just last week, my home state of New York, denied Marriage Equality by a vote of 38-24. It seems strange that after 15 years of being in a loving relationship with my partner, I am denied the rights of someone who could apply for a marriage license without hesitation as long as they are heterosexual. Senator Savino said it best in her testimony, We have nothing to fear from love and commitment.”  

Many of us have been made to feel less than at one point in our life because of the color of our skin, because we are women, because of our age. We all have a voice. Now is the time to speak up for Marriage Equality. I am committed to my life partner through sickness and health, for richer and poorer, until death do us part. How committed are you to equality?

If you were denied your right to collect your spouse’s social security benefits, would you sit and do nothing? If you had to pay taxes on your spouse’s health insurance benefits, would you sit and do nothing? If your spouse lay gravely ill in the hospital and the hospital denied you rights to make medical decisions, would you sit and do nothing? If you and your spouse adopted a child, but you were denied joint adoption rights, would you sit and do nothing?

Would you say it was just not the right time for these basic rights to be given to you? Tell me what date, day, and time will be the right time and I will be there. In the meantime, now is my time.

Mary Anne

For a clear picture of Marriage Equality, please listen to New York State Senator Savino testimony.

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