The email took me by surprise. Sean Strub, the founder of POZ magazine, asked if I would write a few words about our friend Mario Cooper. “What happened to Mario?” I wrote back obliviously. Before Sean had time to respond, I called my friends Maurice Franklin and Phill Wilson and found out for myself. Our mutual friend Mario had passed away.
As we await rulings from the Supreme Court on four marriage equality cases, it is no coincidence that so-called "religious freedom restoration" acts are popping up across the country to sanction discrimination by businesses, employers and public officials. Echoes of the civil rights movement serve as an important reminder that marriage is not a fix-all.
The year was 1985. I had graduated college the year before, and had just started to come out as a gay man. The son of a Lutheran pastor, church had made up a big part of my world. However, because of the growing awareness of my own sexual orientation, those years growing up were filled with shame, fear, and isolation.
My grandmother’s Bible is in remarkable shape, considering it’s spent almost 20 years shuttling between cardboard boxes, garages, and basements, and traveled more than 1,000 miles from Florida to New York.
Its soft leather cover is free of cracks, its maroon handles show no strain, and its zipper opens smoothly.