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‘Righting a Wrong’: Nevada Becomes First State To Protect Same-Sex Marriage

Posted On: November 24, 2020

It’s nice to share a bit of good news. This article was a welcome sight amongst everything that has gone on in the recent past and the fear of reversing rights for the LGBT community as well as a possible attempt to undo the Supreme Court case permitting lawful marriage nationally between same sex couples. 

I think everybody recognizes Las Vegas as the wedding capital of the world, in that it has been not only a place that people can get married quickly, but is known for its exuberant nuptials and themed weddings.  People have streamed into Nevada from all over the world to get married or “hitched” since the 1930s.  Nevada can now say that it is one of the first states to officially protect same sex marriage in its constitution. 

For years legal marriages were banned for same sex couples.  Nevada had voted a ban on same sex marriage in 2002.  In 2015, the nation recognized same sex marriage by the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v Hodges.  However, there is a looming question whether the two conservative Justices (Alito and Thomas), who have spoken out against this decision, might try to undo and seek to reverse that decision and leave it totally up to the states whether or not to discriminate against same sex couples who wish to marry. 

It is also heartening that the vote in Nevada was passed by a 60% margin.  Getting it to be part of a state’s constitution is not easy.  In fact, in Nevada, it had to go through the state legislature twice, in 2017 and 2019 before it was able to be put on the ballot.  Nevada has long been a swing state with the electorate ranging from cowboys to casino workers and people transplanted from many other states.  It is apparent that Nevada has now been trending more democratic in recent years and the fact that it was called for Biden and Harris shows it is presently a more democratic state. 

At present about 30 states still have same sex marriage bans on the books, though they have been blocked by the courts.  Notwithstanding the Supreme Court decision, these bans still exist, although they cannot be enforced.  Only a few states have actually repealed their bans and some efforts, like in Indiana and Florida, to repeal a ban have failed. 

Another note of interest, Nevada is also a place that people have flocked to undo their marriage in an easier fashion than their own states:  by setting up short residency they are able to get a non-contested divorce.  This has changed in many states, but most states, like New York, have a requirement of residency prior to being able to file for a divorce. 

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This Simple Marriage Hack Will Lead to Happier, More Fulfilling Relationship

Posted On: November 17, 2020

When you plan to spend the rest of your life with someone, or commit to a long term relationship where you are living under the same roof, you have to recognize it is not going to always be rosy and cheerful.  Conflict is inevitable and is going to happen.  How you handle it and how you go about a resolution is what will determine how your relationship fares.  Long term relationships with two people are complicated.  Adding in kids and financial responsibilities can cause conflicts to multiply exponentially. 

If you actually analyze marital disagreements or spats, they tend to follow a negative trend.  Someone is negative to the other person, the other person becomes defensive and things escalate in a negative manner.  This article explores an interesting way to break that cycle.  They have termed it a “Marriage Hack”.  In essence the parties embrace an idea of a third party.  Although figuratively, the exercise involves once you find yourself in a positional argument, for each to take a step back, take a few minutes and write about the argument and disagreement, not from your own point of view or your partner’s point of view, but from a birds eye view of a neutral third party observing your argument. 

The study conducted over a few years at Northwestern University, shows that utilizing this exercise, many times, brings a clear perspective on what the couple is arguing about and what has triggered the argument.  That opens the door to finding a solution.  It was also interesting that they found that the couples that utilize this technique, not necessarily had less conflict, but that the conflicts did not escalate as far and caused less stress and frustration between the couple.  There is nothing more damaging to a relationship when an argument goes too far in the wrong direction.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Jeremy Brown, Fatherly

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9 Things Happy Couples Never, Ever Say to Each Other

Posted On: November 10, 2020

This article really drives home one of the key elements to a good relationship:  respect for one another.  No matter how positive and healthy your relationship is, there will always be moments when you have an argument and are irritable and may say something that you regret.  However, you never want to say something that will do damage to the relationship and becomes an irretrievable regret.  I like the way this article puts it.  “There is a difference between putting your foot in your mouth and pulling the pin on a hand grenade that can completely blow up your relationship.”

This is so very true.  Most people as they grow in their relationship learn what lines are to be drawn and what lines should not be crossed.  If you guide yourself with having true respect for your partner, the regrets should be minimal.  It is so important not to disrespect one another or undermine one another, especially in the heat of the moment or in the company of others.  There is nothing more damaging than disrespecting your spouse or partner in public.  Disparaging remarks or looking to set blame are key items that can undermine any relationship. 

Give this article a read, there are a lot of good points.

Selected excerpt(s) courtesy of Jeremy Brown, Fatherly.  Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

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Experts Say These Are the Seven Things Happy Couples Regularly Do Together

Posted On: November 02, 2020

When getting serious in a relationship, do you look ahead at the possibility of divorce? Do you examine this relationship to really determine if it is right or good for you? Do you ignore red flags when they come up?

This article highlights some easy steps and things you can do to ensure the strength and health of your relationship with your significant other.  In today’s hectic and busy world where everyone has a hand held device that many are glued and/or tied to, it is important to take time and make room for “quality time” in your relationship.  That does not mean sitting together in a room while you are both on a device, not paying attention to one another.  It means spending quality time that creates the foundation of your relationship.  Actually having meaningful conversations daily.

In this article, Dr. Skylar, a PhD a licensed marriage and family therapist, says teamwork is an essential ingredient for the sustainability of a long-term relationship.  Allowing partners to cultivate shared relationship goals and creating a meaningful shared life.  One of the simplest ways is to sit down and truly have a meal together.  That does not mean that you eat in the same room while watching tv and/or playing on your electronic device.  It means having a meal together, sharing and actually talking with one another; having an actual conversation.  Something as simple as making time to go to bed at the same time.  This doesn’t have to end in an intimate sexual interlude; but could be simply cuddling before one goes to sleep and saying goodnight and I love you before going off to sleep.

This is a great read on some simple steps about how to make your relationship stronger and healthier. 

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Jenn Sinrich of Martha Stewart Weddings and Erika Brown Photography.

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Conservative Activists Accused In Hoax Voting Robocalls Ordered To Make New, ‘Curative' Message

Posted On: October 30, 2020

As we get closer to the election...A justice in the Southern District Federal Courts in New York has directed two Trump supporters who sent out thousands of false voter intimidating Robocalls in several major cities and swing states to send out corrective robocalls with a specific script crafted by the judge acknowledging that their prior call was false and deliberately intimidated voters.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Mark Hicks, The Detroit News

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‘You Don’t Belong Here’: In Poland’s ‘LGBT-Free Zones,’ Existing Is An Act of Defiance

Posted On: October 27, 2020

How far have we come, as citizens of the world, when we cannot live our lives in peace and love who we love? I was absolutely stunned, mortified, and actually felt ill when I read this article! I cannot believe what is going on in the world. We had come so far in this country on LGBTQ rights.  While in college I had the good fortune of running the gay and lesbian student union.  I never thought I would see the day that marriage would be legalized for lesbians and gays.  Reading this article, I cannot imagine living in a country or having my own town and neighbors enforcing an LGBTQ Free Zone and constantly have to hide who I am.  I thought those days were over for all of us, but apparently not in some places in the world.

This demonstrates an absolutely backward shift in human rights.  I also fear that LGBTQ rights are being eroded in this country and there is a trend to reverse the strides forward that have been made.  We would ALL be better served with love and understanding, regardless of our personal opinions and choices.

This article shows the rhetoric that has been used in the past to demonize Lesbians and Gays.  Promotion of fear generating falsehoods that lesbians and gays promote pedophilia, child molestation and are the destroyers of families.  The truth and statistics show that these crimes are perpetrated by white straight men more than anyone else!

We cannot let the world revert to the times when people were killed for their religious beliefs or for who they are. We are not back in the Roman times when people were literally thrown to the lions and we should not revisit Nazi Germany. There has been too much hate!  The human race really needs to learn from our past history.  We need to be better people and love one another and move forward with inclusion, diversity and understanding.  Even if you do not agree with somebody then at least have the human dignity and respect to show some tolerance so that we may all coexist and live together in peace.

Story by Rob Picheta and Ivana Kottasová, CNN.  Photographs by Sarah Tilotta, CNN

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What Women Need to Know About Divorcing During a Pandemic

Posted On: October 20, 2020

I know most of you have been seeing the reports, and the reality is that the coronavirus pandemic has brought about an increase in divorce.  Experts are predicting that those numbers will continue to climb as the pandemic continues.  This may not apply to all women, however many times it is more often the rule than not, but the fact is, the majority of the time, due to the disparities in earning capacity as well as choice in child rearing, women are not as financially equipped to handle the devastation of a divorce as men.  As this article points out, it would behoove women to tread carefully and be particularly savvy during this time.  Do not take drastic action but rather plan financially for the dissolution that you see coming.  Again, in this article, a study in the Journal demographic found that both men and women are hurt economically by a divorce, but men recover more quickly due to the disparity of earning capacity and the realities of the business world.  As this article quotes women have disproportionate losses in household income and assets and increase in risk of poverty and single parenting.

Interestingly, the report concluded that for men, divorce is an economic pot hole, and for a woman it can be a cliff.  That is a very clear and visual description of the extreme differences between the economic impact for men and women.

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Upstate NY Fall Foliage 2020: Mountains Are Hitting Their Autumnal Color Peaks

Posted On: October 13, 2020

Oh my god, I don’t know about you, but after all the this quarantining, it’s nice to get out into the fresh air and enjoy nature!  The foliage in New York State is always spectacular and it’s about to hit its peak.  If you have the opportunity, go get some fresh air in upstate New York, maybe pick some apples and have a good time. 

This article shows some of the best places and where the peaks are right now.  It also gives some great ideas on New York State Tourism websites.  Enjoy!

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