Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban

Exciting news. Thanks to Rep Benfield and Mr. Ford for bringing sharing info on this triumph in Florida.

Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban
By CURT ANDERSON – 17 hours ago

MIAMI (AP) — A judge on Tuesday overturned a strict Florida law that blocks gay people from adopting children, declaring there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state’s arguments that there is “a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children.”

She noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida. “There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting,” she wrote in a 53-page ruling.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Erin Murphy

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Erin Murphy

Because writing is my dialysis and my crack and my church.

Because Laura Ingalls could have been Nellie.

Because Bill O’Reilly dipped girls’ pigtails in ink.

Because Bill Clinton should have done more with his pen and less with his penis.

Because life is not a Hallmark card.

Because we are never out of range but always out of touch.

Because besides Whac-a-Mole, writing is my only skill.

Because thought is the wind and writing is the wave.

Because unchanneled intelligence is a loaded gun.

Because Stringer Bell on “The Wire” was a genius and still died young.

Because my 3rd grade teacher told me never to start a sentence with “because.”

Because every fragment wants to be an independent clause.

Contest Open to Facebook Peeps


If you are a member of the Fans of Denise Duhamel OR A Group of Duhamalites on Facebook, you can participate in a Duhamel Scavenger-Poetic-Hunt to earn a chance to win an autographed copy of KA-CHING!, which is due out Spring ’09.

Below you’ll find lines from four Duhamel poems. You have to identify the name of the poem the lines were taken from. You should notice a theme around the lines selected—-Denise selected the lines in honor of KA-CHING!’s release.

You have to identify 3 out of the 4 correctly to earn a chance to win an autographed KA-CHING! All answers should be sent in the body of an email to dustinvbrookshire@gmail.com with a subject line of “Denise Contest.”

1.
I feel drunk when I spend too much money.

2.
After years of promoting glitzy consumerism,
Barbie decides to repent.

3.
You could stuff envelopes, a penny apiece,
in the privacy of your own home.

4.
but I wasn’t sad that I wouldn’t have the money to go to school tomorrow
or that my diet was shot and I actually remember feeling kind of rich

Happy Hunting!

Sometimes You Can’t Listen


Today, I was thinking about the next entry for THE WHY DO I WRITE series, and I started thinking about an experience from high school, from my sophomore honor lit course. Each year, we had a project that was due toward the end of the semester. The project for our sophomore year was to write a paper on a career we wanted to pursue, and it was mandatory to include an interview with a person currently in the job you wanted.

We had to notify our teacher before we started the paper as to what job we selected. When I told my teacher I wanted to be a writer she reminded me about the interview portion of the paper. I guess I should mention I grew up in a very small town. The most exciting thing in town was the Super Wal-Mart, and since I worked in the Wal-Mart pharmacy, Wal-Mart held no excitement for me. I digress. Since we lived in a small town, I think my teacher thought it wouldn’t be possible for me to interview an established writer. In fact, she recommended I change my topic from writer to journalist and interview someone from the local newspaper. (I think this might have been the first time I vomited a little in my mouth and had to swallow it because of something said to me.)

I don’t remember how I finally avoided the situation and made her think I was going to write about being a journalist, but I did and immediately set to work at trying to reach a writer. At that time in my life I was obssessed with Oprah’s book club selections. I was reading Pearl Cleage’s What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, and I wanted an interview with Cleage. I stayed after school one day– my high school journalism teacher/FBLA advisor/go to teacher let me use the department’s phone to start my quest.

I was able to get in touch with someone at Harper who in return got in touch with someone in the Cleage camp. A couple of days later I spoke with Pearl Cleage, and I faxed her my questions. She mailed her responses back to me and autographed every page. I made an A+ on the paper, and I still have the interview stored away to this day.

You can’t listen when someone tells you can’t.

You can’t listen when someone tells you to set your sights lower.

Mark Doty ~ National Book Award Winner ~ Congratulations!

In honor of Mark Doty winning a National Book Award for poetry, I would like to share the podcast of Doty at the Key West Literary Seminar giving the John Hersey Memorial Address. I was at the festival, and I have to say, the clapping at the end of the speech was edited. The audience applauded for at least three to five minutes. I applauded until my hands were stinging.

Click here for an interview with Doty published on the National Book Foundation’s website.

Congratulations Mark!

***Update***
Click here to read what Doty has to say about his win.