A Social Shift For The Good

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The facts:

– 83% of voters believe same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide within ten years.

– Currently, more than half the country believes in legalizing gay marriage.

– Support for gay marriage has increased 1% a year for the past two decades.

And while facts may tell, stories compel.  Stories like the 40,000 children of gay and lesbian couples in California Justice Kennedy spoke of during recent oral arguments.  “They want their parents to have full recognition and full status,” Kennedy said. “The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?”

Stories like Scott Hamilton and his husband, Wayne Johnson, who moved to Oklahoma after getting married in Connecticut in 2009.  They’ve been together since 1991, but had to come to terms with the fact their marriage was no longer legal according to the laws of their new state. Their taxes are now filed separately, wills have been redrawn, and new trusts have been created to ensure their assets won’t be snarled in red-tape if either of them were to die.  And if Scott or Wayne were ever placed in long-term care, the state of Oklahoma would force them to live in separate rooms.

I recently read an article in a Christian magazine opposing gay marriage. It stated, “Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another.”  But if psychology argues against gay marriage, common sense surely must argue for it. What sense does it make for a man and a women to be married simply because they have opposing chromosomes?  I know plenty of same sex couples who compliment each other quite well.  I also remember a time where “secular psychology” failed to recognize water fountains as being acceptable for all people to drink from.

What is the tradition of marriage, anyway?  Who defines it?  The Bible?  There are many verses addressing homosexuality.  But why can’t you have a Christ-centered relationship and still be gay?  The Bible talks about tax collectors in a negative light.  But aren’t our taxes used for schools, roads and bridges?  Aren’t those good things?  Just because tax collectors in biblical times were corruptible, are we supposed to assume today’s collectors are all evil, too?

“2,000 years of church tradition can’t be wrong!”  I hear people argue.  But the tradition of the church has been wrong many times.  And social pressure prompted the church to change their views.

Today, in the political realm, the GOP defines the boundaries of marriage for us.  According to them, marriage is a contract between God, one man, and one woman.  How then, do they explain Ronald Reagan, the savior of their party who married two women?  Or Newt Gingrich, who walked down the aisle with three.  How about Rush Limbaugh?  He’s on #4.

Marriage isn’t about finding someone of the opposite sex to fall in love with.  It’s about falling in love with the same person over and over again every day, regardless of their chromosomes.

Just as Kennedy’s Camelot was a myth, the white-picket fence with Mom, Dad, and 2.5 kids, is an illusion, as well.  At least in today’s society.  Same sex marriage is prominent on Modern Family, one of the most popular sitcoms on television.  And Ellen Degeneres is the most watched talk show on TV.  Time Magazine is releasing two separate covers with same sex couples kissing, declaring, “Gay Marriage Already Won!”  It isn’t being forced upon us by the so called, liberal media.  It’s being accepted by the entire country.

9 states and counting.

President Obama won the White House twice. And it wasn’t because he had better ground strategies than John McCain or Mitt Romney.  Although, he did.  It was because of women, minorities, and the Latino community.  Those were the voting blocks who not only decided the landscape of two presidential elections, they’re the voting blocks who are currently changing the landscape of this country.

Look at the justices deciding this case.  Never before have we had a court so indicative of what our country looks like: six justices are Catholic. Three are Jewish. There are white conservatives on the bench, a black man, and three women.  One, of which, is Hispanic.  And speaking of that one black man: he’s married to a white woman.  It wasn’t just integrated water fountains “secular psychology” once deemed unacceptable.  Before 1967, in many parts of our country, it would have been his marriage.

R3 APP Goes Global on Twitter

The award winning R3 app, designed to help survivors of domestic violence, is starting to make noise on Twitter. Social Discussion created the @R3app account on Twitter with the goal of spreading the news of a freely available screening tool that can save lives.

The R3 App was created by Carol Wick, the CEO of Harbor House, a domestic violence organization located in Orlando, Florida. Along with Echo Interaction Group, Wick was able to develop an app that can be downloaded, at no charge, from iTunes and the Android marketplace.

R3, which stands for ‘Recognize, Respond, and Refer’, was conceived primarily as a screening tool that could be used by medical professionals and first responders who come in contact with survivors. The app prompts users with a screening process created 13 years ago by Doctor Kevin Sherin, director of the Orange County Florida Health Department. The process named HITS, which has statistically proven to be 91% effective in identifying domestic abuse, is for medical providers to ask four screening questions:

Over the past 12 months, how often did your partner;

Physically Hurt You?
Insult or talk down to you?
Threaten you with physical harm?
Scream or curse at you?

The questions are meant to address all domestic partnering,  regardless of gender, marital status or same sex relationships. Depending on the answers, providers can then refer survivors to the appropriate support and resources specific to their geographic location. Believe it or not, such a seemingly simple tool is invaluable when considering that it has been found that up to 71% of doctors did not routinely screen for domestic abuse. A tragedy in and of itself, when a victim could be introduced to resources that could end the abuse and ultimately save a life.

Within a week of the release of @R3app on Twitter, the app has picked up the following of such notables as the Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Family Homeless Network, MN Senator Al Franken, multiple universities, nation-wide women’s shelters, crisis networks and also abuse centers internationally in countries such as England, Ireland and Argentina.

The R3 app has also received the attention and support of the Institute of Medicine and Avon Foundation for Women. In the Ending Violence @ Home App Challenge sponsored by the aforementioned. Additionally, the R3App received $5000 in a third place finish among entries from over 9 countries.

Following @R3app will be a great way to keep updated and to spread the word of its existence.;

The more people know

The more they download

The more people  use it

The  more lives saved

By following, you join the movement to end the violence and make a difference in the lives of family, friends, and neighbors everywhere around the world.

A Family’s Tragedy, Now A Mission of Hope and Inspiration

In February 2004, ten-year old, Sean Anderson went rollerblading in his neighborhood. Minutes later, he fell victim to sudden cardiac arrest. Although CPR was started immediately, defibrillation wasn’t available for nearly ten minutes. Sean’s heart never regained rhythm.

Today, Sean’s parents, Martha and Andy are on a mission to educate and bring awareness of SCA – Sudden Cardiac Arrest – the leading cause of death in the US. SCA claims more than 300,000 lives each year. Thousands, of whom, are children. Many, of which, can be prevented.

To help reduce SCA in children and young adults, Martha and Andy created, Saving Young Hearts: an organization providing CPR/AED training and emergency action plans. Saving Young Hearts not only helps in the education of early detection, but their advocacy and placement of AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) throughout Central Florida schools is helping save lives.

Thanks to a donation from a local couple, we were invited to spend a day with Martha and Andy at an elementary school in downtown Orlando. Where they installed an AED device, trained some of the faculty, and made a difference in the lives of each and every student, teacher, and parent.

Here’s what we experienced:

If you’d like to get involved, help donate, want more information on how early detection for SAC may be available in your area, or how to get an AED in your child’s school, visit – SavingYoungHearts.org –

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