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 My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS

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Posts : 3098
Join date : 2012-12-02
Age : 46
Location : Fox, Alaska

PostSubject: My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS   Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:53 pm

My old, dear friend Nora, her partner Lara and their girls will be at the White House and will be on the below live-stream broadcast this afternoon (1700 EDT / 1600 CDT). Their twin daughters Luna and Zea will be introducing President Obama.


Quote :
Pride at the White House

Every year since taking office, President Obama has invited members and allies of the LGBT community to celebrate Pride Month at the White House. Tomorrow, the President will host this event for the fifth time, to bring together national leaders, elected officials, faith leaders, members of the military and veterans community, and local advocates and organizers to reflect upon the progress we’ve made and recommit to the work that lies ahead.

This year, the White House invited nine Americans from across the country to attend the White House LGBT Pride Month Reception on Thursday, June 13.  All of them are members or allies of the LGBT community who wrote letters to the President to express their thanks and to share their hopes, ambitions, and concerns for the future.

Check out a video of White House staff inviting the letter writers to the White House Pride reception, and then watch the President’s remarks live at the reception on Thursday, June 13, starting around 5:00 PM EDT.

Gautam Raghavan is an Advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement


Their family story is a heartbreaker, and regardless of an individual's convictions about gay marriage, the below article about their fight to save baby Luna's life when she was a wee-one is extremely touching.

Quote :
And the babies make four / Lesbians take time away from infant in hospital to marry
Erin McCormick, Chronicle Staff Writer
Published 4:00 am, Sunday, February 22, 2004

From where they sit at their baby's bedside, under the blinking monitors and beeping alarms of UCSF's neonatal intensive care unit, Lara Weiss and her partner, Nora Wynne, have hardly had time to think about getting married.

A month ago, after a torturous pregnancy, Weiss was airlifted to San Francisco from their Humboldt County home in Arcata for the premature birth of their twins. One of the tiny baby girls had a birth defect that meant she had to undergo major surgery before she could take a breath on her own.

But when a friend called last weekend to say he had gone to City Hall and gotten them a number holding their place in line to join the historic parade of same-sex couples getting married in San Francisco, they had to do it.

Last Sunday, they took their other twin, Zea, for her first outing and pulled themselves away from Luna's bedside briefly to make their 10-year partnership official in the eyes of the state.

"For us getting married was just the dessert," says Wynne, as she huddles over Luna's bed, reaching through the tangle of ventilator tubes and monitor wires sustaining the infant to cradle the baby's head in her hand. The main event for the couple continues to be fighting for the life of their sick baby, while learning to nurture their healthy one.

"I was told to prepare that I might lose (Luna,)" said Weiss. But now that the baby has come through her surgery and is starting to wiggle her fingers and toes, and blink her dark eyes at her parents, Weiss said she doesn't know how they'd handle it if Luna didn't make it -- even though her survival is still no certainty.

"If we lost her now, I don't think I'd be prepared," Weiss says, her eyes welling with tears.

The couple's story is exactly the kind of example newly elected Mayor Gavin Newsom had in mind when, a month into his term, he kicked off a national furor by allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, according to his spokesman Peter Ragone.

"It's a beautiful story," Ragone said. "That's been the mayor's point all along: This all about human beings having the right to be married."

Since the city began issuing the marriage licenses two weeks ago, the exhausted Weiss and Wynne have been just one of more than 3000 gay and lesbian couples married in a revolving-door wedding celebration that has taken over the City Hall rotunda. Conservative groups have challenged the weddings in court, and both President Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have called for them to be halted. But so far courts have refused to shut the procession of weddings down.

It wasn't as if Weiss and Wynne needed a piece of paper to confirm their commitment. Four years ago they said their vows in a ceremony under the redwoods near their home and, shortly thereafter, began trying to start their family with sperm donated by a friend. After a miscarriage and several failed attempts at in vitro fertilization, Weiss finally became pregnant with the twins.

But when Weiss was six months' pregnant, a Eureka sonogram technician spotted a hint that something was very wrong with one of the babies. Weiss and Wynne were sent to UCSF, where expert doctors were able to diagnose the birth defect from the womb. Luna's birth defect -- known as a diaphragmatic hernia -- means a hole in her diaphragm has caused her organs to shift upward into her chest and prevent one of her lungs from developing. Historically, a defect as severe as Luna's has proven deadly to newborns more often than not.

But the medical team at UCSF Children's Hospital has developed a series of lifesaving measures, including surgery to fix the diaphragm, that doctors felt offered Luna a strong chance of surviving to live a healthy life. It meant starting treatment the second the babies were born.

So when Weiss went into early labor in her eighth month of pregnancy, she had to be airlifted to UCSF, with Wynne rushing to follow her in a car. Doctors managed to hold off the deliveries for a week, then had to do a cesarean section because both babies were bottom down in the womb.

At birth, Luna's condition was so fragile that even the slightest movement could have stressed her malformed organs. So doctors put her on a ventilator and kept her immobilized with muscle relaxants for the five days before surgery, while a nurse stood constantly beside her to monitor any change to her tiny, swollen body.

Even Zea, who was healthy and strong for a baby who was delivered six weeks early, had to spend three weeks in the hospital.

Luna's surgery went well and, after two weeks of recovery, she is doing better than either mother had allowed herself to hope for. Doctors have started trying to slowly wean her from her ventilator tube, in hopes that soon she'll be breathing on her own.

"It's all about whether the lung is big enough for long-term survival," said Dr. Sam Hawgood, the head of UCSF's intensive care nursery, who has followed Luna's case since the defect was diagnosed in the womb.

He said so far he is optimistic about her progress, but, he added, for some babies, the answer to that pivotal question doesn't become clear for months.

In the meantime, for Weiss and Wynne, life in the neonatal nursery is an emotional roller coaster ride that can change direction in a second. "I never expected to the first month of motherhood to go like this," says Weiss, cradling Zea at her chest to nurse.

Long before they had their official California marriage certificate, Weiss and Wynne said they received all the respect and privileges a married couple could expect from the doctors, nurses and social workers at UCSF Children's Hospital. They've also received tremendous support from their employers and community members in Humboldt County. But there is no federal law guaranteeing it had to be so.

"This is a sensitive hospital in an enlightened community. In other parts of the country, Nora might not even be allowed into the nursery to bond with her baby," said Jeff Westergaard, a longtime friend of Weiss and Wynne. It was Westergaard who masterminded the couple's marriage.

On a whim, the teacher, who is straight, stopped by City Hall on his way home from visiting the hospital and got in line for a marriage license. He had only been there an hour, when someone handed him the number B-230 and told him to come back for a wedding the next day.

Zea had just been released from the hospital, when Westergaard called and popped the question. "He said, "I got you a number," Wynne recounted. With Weiss still aching from her cesarean section and sleep a distant memory, the two were reluctant to even attempt the trek to City Hall. But Westergaard -- and the chance to be part of what they feel is a historic protest -- finally convinced them, Wynne said.

"He told us, "Come on. It will be good for the kids to know you're married."


Photographs from SF Gate article above

I would like to share more with you all about these two phenomenal ladies but I am late getting to town right now. Hopefully I can do so later. I also hope that you all can appreciate and share in their joy, particularly in Luna's presently relative good health.

I love you
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Location : Hoover, AL & Pensacola when I'm lucky

PostSubject: Re: My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS   Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:05 pm

I like a happy story, Ricey.  Keep us posted, please.

Ideas are funny little things, they won't work unless you do.
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PostSubject: Re: My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS   Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:15 pm

Keep us posted....
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PostSubject: Re: My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS   Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:37 am

What a wonderful story, Riceme. They look so happy! Do let us know how little Luna is progressing.
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PostSubject: Re: My friends invited to "Pride at the White House" today; daughters to introduce POTUS   Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:23 am

Sadly, I missed the live-stream because I have been frantically trying to deal with getting the property clearance done at my place and got stood-up / screwed by no less than six guys who'd committed to do the work for me. The deadline was on Saturday and it is still not done. I have two young men scheduled to come out tomorrow to do the work, but should they also flake on me, I got in touch with my first boyfriend and first love (from when I was 15 ("Awww!")... and we lived together from when I was 18 - 20) tonight and he's going to come out and do the work for me. I know that I can rely on him and he won't screw me over.

ANYHOW... back to the subject.

My sister sent me the below article, which includes a photograph of the girls with President Obama and a YouTube video of them introducing him. It is *very* sweet.

I am positively BEAT, just got home from the market in town, need to put up the groceries and hit the rack. I've been experiencing terrible sleep deprivation due to sky-high stress levels and all the work I've been doing around my property. Just wanted to post the update for you all real quick... Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Watch Two Kids From McKinleyville Make Gay Marriage and Gun Control Appeals to President Obama From Two Feet Away (VIDEO)

Andrew Goff / Thursday, June 13 @ 9 p.m. / Community


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