Sunday, January 15, 2012

The World in Black and White

I don't often voice my political or religious views on this blog, it's something I'm just not comfortable doing.  I believe that each of us is entitled to those views, to live our lives in a moral and just way, but sometimes things seem a little bass ackwards to me.

I had planned to chat about my new dining room chairs that I got for a steal yesterday at the Restoration Hardware outlet.

Regale you with tales of how, after a 3 hour drive each way, I lucked into a Pottery Barn outlet closing where the already reduced merchandise was another 40% off.  How I bought a beautiful ticking striped duvet cover and this pretty white platter for a song.

I wanted to tell you how delicious these organic honey crisp apples are, and how they are totally worth the long trip to Whole Foods to buy them.

I planned to go on and on about these pretty white napkins, also found at the Pottery Barn closing sale.

How I've been looking for some nice white napkins at a good price and how these were like a match made in heaven for my new dining room.   But...

Last night, as I sat down to catch up on the day's emails, do some blog reading, and skim through the online news sources, I was confronted with something that makes all of my great purchases seem more than just a little insignificant.

You see, sometimes we like to paint the world as black and white, but there is so much grey area in this world of ours.  Sometimes black and white is a good thing, like in these two photos of Misty Belle and Mr. Quinn, but sometimes, when it is used in a way that is hurtful, it's anything but beautiful.

As a blogger, I now have a sense of fellowship that only other bloggers can know.  Especially bloggers who use their blogs to share a little bit of themselves with each of us.  Those who put their heart and soul on the line for the world to see, the good, the bad and even the ugly that comes with living a real and authentic life.  So when one of us is having issues, I feel like we need to all step in and help out, even if that just means moral support.

Such is the case for Mark and his blog, entitled Our Simple Lives.  Kind of an ironic name for his blog, because life has been anything but simple for Mark and his partner Fred, and their 4 children.  You see, Mark and Fred are a gay couple who have adopted 4 children.

Now, some of you may be running for the hills right now, and that's your prerogative to do so, I surely can't, nor will I try to stop you.  But if you have a moment I'd like to say what I think about their current situation.

You can read much more about it on Mark's blog, and on CNN, where it made front page news yesterday.  Fred is a French Citizen, while Mark is an American citizen.  The two fell in love, got married when it was legal in the State of California, and have adopted 4 beautiful and thriving children.  They have been together longer than many couples seem to be able to make it these days, I believe it's 20 years, and the love they share for their children is undeniable and real.  As in the life is messy kind of real.

Because they are a gay couple, Fred now faces deportation, because even though they legally married in California a number of years ago, and Mark is a US citizen, our federal government doesn't recognize their marriage.  So now Fred must return to his home country after living her for 2 decades.

To those of you still reading, those who haven't unfollowed me, or made snap judgements, or turned away in disgust at the thought of a non traditional family, thank you.  You see, I would much rather see a family like Mark and Fred's, one which has contributed to society, worked hard for everything they have, and given 4 beautiful and innocent children the chance at a wonderful life, than I would half the people I see in what is deemed an appropriate marriage, dragging their children around Walmart at 11 pm.  Cursing at them, threatening them, but given the rights denied to Mark, Fred and their 4 children.

You have to ask yourself, why is it that our society rewards people who misbehave like Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardasian with multi million dollar contracts for doing nothing to help society, while it penalizes people like Mark and Fred who kept 4 children from possibly knowing the instability and often horrors of the foster care system?!

As a magazine writer for beautiful homes, I have lots of gay friends, it just comes with the territory my friends.  So I can say that my world is a richer and more wonderful place because of those friendships.  So while you peruse the latest designs and heap praise on many notable designers, who just happen to also be gay, but then turn your back when you see the injustice of it all, well I would have to say that in my book that would be the definition of hypocritical.

You don't have to support gay marriage, or want marriage redefined, but when people like Mark and Fred's family will be torn apart because the world doesn't operate in black and white, I would hope you would at least try and support them so that our society could have one more stable family to help keep this country's future bright!

If you would like to learn about more ways you can support Mark and Fred, please go here.


  1. Thank you for such a moving and honest post. You've reduced me to tears as I feel as strongly as you. Bless you for this post. Bless you!

  2. Having taken care of dozens and dozens of patients who were gay in the 80's who were abandoned by their families I had my eyes opened to the horror of bigotry against gays. Joe and I have friends who are gay and are proud they tolerate us. People want much the same out of life, to have satisfying relationships, happy and healthy kids. I pray this gets sorted out and am surprised it is happening in the west.

  3. It is shameful in this country that our gay citizens can be discriminated against legally. Like you, I travel in circles where I am blessed to have made many gay friends ... it doesn't matter whether a person chooses a partner of the opposite sex or their own. A person's character has no bearing on their sexual orientation. (whoa, I'm getting dizzy up here on my soapbox.)

    I'm off now to check out the link to Mark's blog and to see what's going on. Perhaps there is something we can to do help.

  4. I've been following their blog for a couple of weeks now and saw their story that CNN did. Everyone should visit their blog and offer their hopes that all goes well for them. The six of them make such a lovely rainbow family. Nice people... and I thank you for mentioning them today on your blog, Kat.

  5. i hope i word this think immgrents are here for yrs and yrs taking jobs from citzens thriving off the americans yet we as a society still have not accept the *gay* people....we should have no right in telling these people who to love.....i also have gay friends and they are wonderful loving people who are hard workers, teachers and own business's.....i am just the kinda person when i look at someone i don't see color....or gay....i see what a person is from there heart......shoot have no clue if this even made sense but Kat...great post....HUGZ

  6. No petition to sign so I posted it - anything to help. What does the DHS think 'family' means?

  7. Great post, Kat! This is just plain WRONG! I can't imagine how this would feel...I am a libertarian and believe in personal freedoms and live and let live. Thanks for sharing the story and link with us!

  8. This was such a well written and honest post. My heart goes out to them and their children.
    I will keep them in my prayers. So glad you spoke what's on your mind.

  9. I am so sick and tired of right wing politics, and uptight Americans ... I better stop now before I get in trouble!! LOL!!!

    I'm sorry for their troubles and I will visit their blog and support them!

  10. This is more than tragic. I cannot even seem to think straight when I read things like this happening to good, decent people like Mark & Fred not to mention what it will do to their beautiful children. It makes my heart hurt.

  11. I too have been following Mark's blog for some time. You said it very well and I especially agree about the part on parenting/'appropriate marriage'/media trash. Why does so much attention and tolerance go to the Kardasian types etc. and yet good hard working family people, in this case two men, have so much intolerance and unfairness because of their sexual orientation? I'm not an expert on rights, but I know that here in Canada the laws are much different.

  12. Kat, you said it beautifully. I lost 2 followers after posting my bit about Mark and Fred. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say. And like you say, they have kept 4 kids out of the foster care system. I am confident that Fred will be allowed to stay. America is a good country and someone of importance will recognize the need for the laws to be changed.

  13. That is so sad that that is happening to them. I love the peek of your new chairs. I saw those at our RH outlet a couple of months ago. I started to just get two of them, but I have more than enough chairs. PB outlet closing? I sure hope mine isn't.

  14. I am new to your blog, and I want to take a few moments to thank you for this essay, and the link to Mark's blog. I watched the CNN piece, and I hope that things turn out in favor of this wonderful family. It sounds like INS has some discretion in these issues, but it is shameful that Mark and his partner and their children have been put through such stress. It is shameful that gay marriage is not recognized in this country. That is the real shame.

  15. I support their right to live their lives however they feel is right....those children are probably more loved than man, as you said. Thanks for letting us stop to realize that at times it's about more than tea and crumpets. i will think of them as I fall asleep tonight.

  16. Kat, you are a total stranger and yet you did this for me(for us).
    I've been receiving so many comments and personal emails that I can barely keep up these days with all of them. I love to respond to comments but it's a little overwhelming right now.
    Sorry that you lost some followers. As soon as I finish this comment, I'm signing on. So, you're only down one.
    Thank you for finding me and taking the time and space from this beautiful blog. I feel so honored. And thanks to all your Readers for visiting me and letting me know that they came from over hear.
    Fred and I will be together for 22 years come this April. Separating our Family could prove to be devastating to the children. But, I am hopeful that common sense will rule in this matter.
    Thanks again for everything.
    Your New Friend, m.

  17. here here and amen... Chania clued me in and as soon as I have time ( Tuesday) I plan to call or write whomever I need to...
    well done my friend

  18. I hope things work out for this family , so sad that the fact they are a gay couple is a hot topic .

  19. Well said total agreement of the rubbish of the Kardashians and others like them at the expense of the innocent children.

  20. Bravo Kat-I love this post!! I agree with all that you posted!! I hope and pray that everything works out for that wonderful family!

  21. Kat,
    I might have tried...but I couldn't have said it better. I'll only say two things. rock.
    Two...what can I do to help?

  22. Kat, Thank you so much for such a wonderful post. I have been away and trying to catch up will some of my favorite blogs. I am so glad this post did not escape me. Most of us do not want our lives to end up front page news, we only want to be given the chance to live our lives. In a time marriage is not taken very seriously, I applaud these two gentlemen. I pray no one stopped mid post. Thanks! Bonnie

  23. From my experience I believe this will all work out too. I know of several straight couples that are going through the same process....can't think of another word to use. Two are from England and one is from Canada. I also have several signal friends that have gone or are still going through the process to live here. As a matter of fact my own daughter and her husband are working their way through this too. They plan to be able to move back to the States in Aug. I have to say it wasn't exactly a cake walk for my daughter to have permission to move to England and be allowed to fine a job. I think we all dream about escaping to a beautiful romantic country but actually it's not so easy if you need to find employment. Another friend moved to Italy planning to stay....all her relatives still live there. Her father was from Italy anyway they never did her her permission to stay, due to the shortage of jobs. I think with a lot of time consuming work they'll through this. And yes what would have been considered gossip news is now national news. I don't think people want to do the hard reporting of just plain old facts and not juicy dirt. Kathy

  24. That is just sad that our government would do that and it breaks my heart that nay family would be torn apart. After all, don't they say that it is the strong family that makes up our country? It should be any family, not the "typical" family because you are right, they have been together longer than most that I know and to separate their family would be hypocritical as well. I could go on but I won't. I hope that something good comes through this and they can stay together where they choose.

    BTW, love your new purchases.

  25. Oh my goodness, I hadn't heard anything about this Kat, but I'm so glad you are sharing this with us. I'm off to visit the link you provided. And that is so cool that you got a comment from Mark on here!! I love your new chair and napkins too! xo ~Lili

    1. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

      Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  26. Thanks for the great post, Kat. I hadn't seen this glad you brought it to my attention. I share your outrage over the situation and also join in hoping that the INS makes the right decision on this case: allowing this family to remain in the U.S.!

  27. Also praying INS allows this family to stay in U.S. heartbreaking to say the least. I"m NEW to your blog and LUV IT. Subscribing by email and eager for more. Warm Regards

  28. I know this is several weeks after you posted this but I am commenting to let you know I agree completely! I have many gay friends who have had better and longer 'marriages' then I have! I will go and check on their blog and try to catch up with what has happened. I am just now catching up on some blog posts but this is too important to not acknowledge!


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