Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More family weirdness

So today my sister-in-law told me that my niece(not her daughter) had seen my profile picture on Facebook and asked her parents why I had my friend(actually it's Kip) in my picture with me. Her parents said they didn't know. Anyways, I found out that my niece is no longer friends with, I believe her parents have access to her account and deleted me as her friend because she was asking questions about me and Kip. If it's true that her parents defriended us, it's just sad that my only contact with my niece has now been severed. Did I mention my niece is 14? My sister-in-law also said that my brother(to clarify, not her husband) told her he needed to start having a relationship with me and have a talk with his family. Maybe this defriending is only temporary until he tells his daughter. Who knows?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Letter to a "friend" about health care

An old high school friend sent me this email:

This is the first time I've ever done a mass email stating my opinion and asking someone to do something, but I really feel like this is important and I hope that if anything, this helps us all become more politically aware and active in our communities, whatever our opinion.

I don't know what your feelings towards President Obama's proposed health care plan are, but I am not for another government run program. I think it would be great if everyone had health care and was able to receive medical services as they needed, but I do not feel it is governments role to dictate that.

For the most part, we are a smart people and we have the right to think for ourselves, make our own choices and be accountable for the consequences. We also can be and often are a charitable people. Government should not have the right or power to make our choices or our charitable contributions for us.

I urge you to sign the following petition not against health care for everyone, but against government taking over our right to choose.

I responded with this:

There's really no other way for everyone to get health care coverage other than the government to take a stand and ensure that every American has health insurance. So if you truly believe that "it would be great if everyone had health care" you would support President Obama's plan. Anything else is being hypocritical, unless you can honestly think of any other way that this can be accomplished. One thing I am sure of is that we can't rely on "charitable people" to solve this issue unless you are referring to President Obama and the other leaders in Congress who are trying to help those less fortunate who aren't able to afford their own health insurance. That seems pretty charitable to me.

As a doctor I see first hand what it means for people to not have access to health care because they can't afford health insurance. That's why I'm so passionate about this issue. Though it may sound cliche, the health care system is truly broken and President Obama has proposed a way to fix it. If anyone else would step up and offer another solution, I'd gladly listen, but no one has, and I'm not willing to wait any longer.

If you really understood the issue, you would realize that under Pres. Obama's plan if you're happy with your own insurance you can keep it. Your right to choose your health care is not affected. If you are one of the millions of Americans who can't afford insurance, the government will help provide you with an affordable plan. Other insurance companies will have to end their selfishness(they really are only out for money, after all) in order to compete. This will help us all in the end. Besides the obvious positive that everyone in the country will be able to have a family doctor, thus preventing disease as well as preventing complications from disease, in addition taxpayers will no longer bear the burden of uninsured patients going to the ER for non-emergent cases and not being able to pay for their hospital bills. Another likely effect is that more doctors will be encouraged to go into primary care, an area of medicine facing a desperate shortage.

Hope that helps,

So readers-why is it that Republicans always speak of relying on the charity of others to solve the nation's problems while not realizing that their party is not the charitable one? It's so ironic. They also do not realize how many programs the government does run. Medicare and Medicaid are a complete joke, I realize, but I blame that more on the insurance and pharm companies hijacking them more than the fact that they are government run. There's no reason to fear a well-run government program. We just need to be vigilant that special interests don't take over the government-run health plan.

These were just some of the reasons I thought of to support health care reform. I know there are many more. There are also negatives but I think the positives outweigh them. Things need to be changed and President Obama has proposed a real solution. He deserves our support for that.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No longer a MoHo

It is with great pleasure that I write this post. As of today(or within the next few days) I will be recognized by the LDS Church as no longer a member! A while ago I sent a letter to Church Headquarters telling them I was resigning from the church at which point legally I understand I was no longer a member, however, they sent me a letter shortly after that saying that it was a local ecclesiastical matter and that the bishop in the ward where I lived would be contacting me to discuss the matter. Well a lot of time passed and I didn't heard anything further when finally tonight a missionary and his local Mormon companion for the night came knocking on my door. They said they were updating the records and asked if I was still a member of the church. I said no and they asked if I had my name removed from the church. I said yes and they said they'd update the records. They asked if I wanted any visits and I said no. After a little small talk they were gone. The whole motivation for me to finally resign was the church's involvement in getting Proposition 8 passed in California. I could no longer stand to have my name associated with the Mormon Church and at last it no longer will be.

Me on my mission during P-day(we got to wear normal clothes since it was our day off of proselytizing)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wisconsin domestic partnership

I can't believe it's been since November since I've posted. I apologize to all those who used to read my posts. I hope there are still some of you out there who'll read this! Facebook definitely stole the spotlight over the past few months and most things that I wanted to talk about I posted there and failed to post on here. Here's to turning over a new leaf:

Kip and I give Milwaukee a hard time because we liked Columbus so much but there are exciting things happening in Wisconsin for our family. :)

Last Saturday the Wisconsin Assembly passed a new budget that includes domestic partnerships. Now it has to pass the State Senate(where Democrats hold an 18-15 majority) before Governor Doyle can sign it. (And he will as he's the one who put it into the budget in the first place). The Senate is expected to vote this week.

Some excerpts from the budget bill:

Declaration of policy:
The legislature finds that it is in the interests of the citizens of this state to establish and provide the parameters for a legal status of domestic partnership. The legislature further finds that the legal status of domestic partnership as established in this chapter is not substantially similar to that of marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as inconsistent with or a violation of article XIII, section 13, of the Wisconsin Constitution.

If a hospital has a policy on who may accompany or visit a patient,the hospital shall extend the same right of accompaniment or visitation to a patient’s domestic partner under ch. 770 as is accorded the spouse of a patient under the policy.

“Member of the family” means spouse, domestic partner under ch. 770, child, sibling, parent or legal guardian.

I already sent an email to my representative who voted for the budget thanking him for his vote and an email to my senator encouraging him to vote for it. Now all I can do is wait for the vote and start dreaming for the day we can enter into our domestic partnership!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prop 8 Protest in Milwaukee

I stood out in the cold on November 15th to join in the protest against Prop 8 and discrimination(Wisconsin has an amendment that bans gay marriage and civil unions). Unfortunately Kip had to work so I had to go alone, but I did put our picture on my protest sign that said "Our Love is Stronger than Your H8".

The organizer said there were 400 people there. I estimated about 200 and the article in the newspaper said "more than 200". There were a few speakers and we did some chanting.

The protest didn't last too long though because of the temperature(40 degrees) but after the bulk of the crowd had left 20-30 of us stayed after to stand in the median of the street for a couple of hours. We got a lot of supportive honks and I only saw one driver do a thumbs down sign and one driver slowed down and held a Bible up to the window. We all had a good laugh about that one. Interestingly two missionaries drove by. I found it fitting that they had a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on their car. Someone called out after them, "They lost!"

It felt really good to be out there with other people supporting the cause. I really want to be able to marry Kip legally one day. I hope I don't have to wait too long.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election results

Let's start with the positive-Barack Obama is the new President! I am so happy and can hardly believe that we actually have a Democrat back in the White House. I'm confident that things will be better in this country, generally and for GLBT people. I'm hopeful for an end to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, passage of ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Act. Ad what a commanding victory! Indiana? Are you serious? I'm happy that it was Ohio that made it clear that Obama would win.

Other positive things as reported by HRC-A Democratic majority in the New York state senate bringing the possibility of same-sex marriage in New York. Connecticut didn't approve a constitutional convention(which could have made same-sex marriage illegal) and same-sex marriages begin next week. The Democrats have made major gains in the U. S. House and Senate as well.

Now for the negative-Obviously the biggest disappointment is that although No on 8 hasn't conceded it looks like Proposition 8 will pass. What was half of California thinking? Did No on 8 supporters stay home and not vote because Obama was clearly going to win? I am so angry with the Mormon church for what they did to help this pass. They need to stay out of political issues or at the very least not help spread lies in order to get their agenda passed. Constitutional bans on same-sex marriage were also passed in Arizona and Florida. It leaves me sickened that we still live in a society filled with such hate and discrimination. I'm tired of being marginalized by society.

Unfortunately my dad lost his Utah state House of Representative race by 60% to 40%. He was the best candidate by far and he worked so hard to get support. The only reason why he lost is because he was running as a Democrat in Utah County and the majority of people there think that voting Democrat is evil I'm convinced(again the fault of the Mormon church). My dad did get 4500 votes though so that's pretty impressive. Can you believe Chris Buttars was re-elected? I guess I shouldn't be surprised...after all it is Utah.

Maybe now I can get back to my normal sleep habits.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Another Word Perfect co-founder donates...unfortunately to Yes on Prop 8 reports that Alan Ashton of Utah recently donated a million dollars to Yes on Proposition 8. He was one of the co-founders of Word Perfect. I've been in his house when he lived in my grandparents neighborhood. His daughter was in my high school class. It's disgusting that this man would donate all this money to promote discrimination.

Another Word Perfect co-founder Bruce Bastian who is gay donated a million dollars to No on Prop 8. He lives in my parents neighborhood. I bet Ashton just wanted to negate his former business partner's donation. What a terrible person.