Same Sex Marriage

With President Obama declaring today that he has decided to support same sex marriage, it prompted me to finally get my thoughts on the subject down on paper... err, internet.

Basically I see it this way.  The United States of America was founded with the separation of Church and State as one of its principles. Marriage has been defined using a religious and classical social view; between a man and a woman. It was with a generous heart that married couples get any benefits, be it tax breaks or other benefits. Think about it. This was to help out families with single incomes, historically, and to my best guess. Having only one income with children, tax help and other benefits made this financially feasible. The economy has shifted, however. Cost of living has gone way up, and one income hasn't really been enough to raise a family. Now both parents have to work. So in the classical sense, these families with two incomes are now cheating the system!  In some sort of twisted logic. They are still getting the tax benefits of being married, but they have two incomes so they really don't need it anymore.

In this sense, with the classical definition of marriage according to the US tax law, marriage has already changed.  Leave alone any religious definition of marriage at this point, mind you. Religion and the classical social definition lead to the US Laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Religion pretty much condemns homosexuality, according to some interpretations.  Religion also condemns eating certain foods during certain times. However, with the separation of Church and State, marriage can be defined in its own, new, context. A Federal context. Religions and their followers are free to keep marriage between a man and a woman, and same sex couples would probably opt to not get married in a religious ceremony, due to the condemnation and overall unchanging view of their lifestyle. While through the government, anyone could marry anyone else. 

To really buy into this argument, you have to respect what the founders of this country were trying to accomplish with the separation of Church and State.

This is also pretty easy to imagine when thought about it this way: In this country we have the freedom of religion. I could found a religion tomorrow and be free to practice it, as long as I'm not breaking any federal or state laws.  For instance, ritual sacrifice of douchebags would land me in the slammer.  With as many religions as there are already, we could have this discussion without making up one. For a quick example, let's look at the interpretation of Sunday being the day of rest and worship for Catholics. I use Catholicism because I am Catholic. If the federal government were to enforce this as a law, it would be illegal to work on Sunday, and it would be illegal for any company to be open on Sunday. While a lot of us have normal 9-5, Monday through Friday jobs (those of us that are lucky enough to have jobs), places that we depend on, specifically government agencies like the police and fire departments, are staffed 24/7. Not to mention hospitals.  According to classical Catholic definition, this is an abomination. Maybe slightly exaggerated, but imagine this was just as important as the concept of marriage between a man and a woman. Pick anything else that shows up in the bible or other religious texts and apply it to today. The world has changed. So if a religion were to allow same sex marriage, right now it would be a crime to perform this ceremony, or it would not be recognized by federal and state laws. This due to the classical definition of marriage according to classical religions and their ancient ways.

In a similar light, would we need to make laws for every religion's specific laws. Mormons, according to my limited exposure, don't drink alcohol. The government tried that... I guess what I'm getting at, is there are differences between religious laws and government laws. Yes, it's illegal to murder according to federal laws and religious laws. However, according to federal laws, you could be defending your property and kill an intruder, and go free from prison, but are you condemned to hell in this situation? Are religious laws that specific? Does religion condemn drunk driving? Of course not, since at the inception of most religions, driving wasn't a thing, unless you count chariots. So, would you follow religion as closely on these situations as you do on marriage?

I could get more philosophical about it... what is marriage anyway?  I am a married man and in no way look down on marriage. It's a commitment. (I'm not going to talk about the divorce rate, but it is worth a quick mention!) What made people decide that there should be a ceremony that joins a man and a woman for life? There are animals that share one partner for the rest of their lives when they find each other, so since we are highly evolved, it would make sense that humans would come to this conclusion. But that's just staying with the same person for the rest of your life. Marriage seals the deal in a religious and social sense. To record keepers, it's just a piece of paper, less tax returns, kids sometimes...

In many historical instances, religion was tightly integrated with law. Philosophy, the beginning of law, was very much integrated with mystical concepts. Nearly every civilization used their religious beliefs as the foundation of their federal law system. However, our founders made it clear, our laws should be separated.

In conclusion, we should really stick to this separation of Church and State since it works well in other situations. We should allow federal laws to evolve away from their religious underpinnings if society deems necessary. I'm confident that in the future, this will end like other discrimination attempts. I'm confident in the process, and the history of America's evolution beyond (arguable...) social discrimination gives me hope.

Genevieve Naomi Connell

I wanted to get this all down before "today" turned into "yesterday", and "yesterday" turns into "last year", etc.

Today, your Mom and I welcomed you into the world, beautiful baby girl! You were born by Cesarean Section at 13:14 on April 30th, 2012, weighing 8 lbs 8 oz, and 19.5 inches long.

Where to begin. I suppose Wednesday.


This was the day before your due date. We had an appointment at the Dr's office. I will butcher the spellings, but we met with Dr. Heinzel. He and Dr. Laveran are really nice and very good doctors.  He measured your Mom and there was absolutely nothing going on. Dr. Heinzel set the cutoff point. If nothing happened by Sunday night, they were going to induce labor that night, and it could take a day or two for you to be born. This was due to the fact that your Mom had a bit of extra amniotic fluid in her sac, which you didn't mind at all!  It's warm and sound proof from the high pitched squeal of Beaker barking at horses on TV. We apologize for any spoiled naps caused by this same crazy dog, by the way. We can't control it!

Sunday was also the unselfish call for Dr. Heinzel, since he would like to be there to deliver you, but he wasn't in until Tuesday. He wanted to get the process started earlier, giving the pleasure of delivering the most beautiful baby in the world to his colleague, Dr. Laveran. What a guy!

The Flyers had just beaten the Pittsburgh Penguins on the previous Sunday to advance to the second round of the 2012 NHL Playoffs, which were set to begin that same Sunday we were going to the hospital.  This was fine, since the game started at 3pm and we weren't due in the hospital until 8. You will come to learn that Daddy loves his Flyers hockey! Mommy had taken off of work that week, her leave started on the Friday before, and she needed a week of doing nothing.


After a long week of work for Daddy, I wanted to surprise Mommy with some flowers and another little gift that, as of this writing, I hadn't given to her yet.  I had taken Beaker for a walk that morning, and we hung out with Mommy in the bed. I wanted to go get Dunkin Donuts before I went shopping, but before that I decided to take Beaker for another walk. This would prove to be a bad move.  Taking Beaker for his second walk, we went up a street where a big dog lived behind a weak gate. This time the owner wasn't there to tell the dog "NO!". It busted through that gate like Black Friday shoppers at a Walmart!  I picked up Beaker and tried to fend off the dog, but he got a pretty good hold of Beaker. I dropped to my knees, bloodying them in the process, and was reaching into this dog's giant-teethed-germ-filled-mouth, trying to get Beaker out. I ended up with some bloody fingers. I nearly passed out from the shock I just went through! You might witness my wooziness or fainting first hand if you ever get injured!!

Your grandpop, and the cop that we called, suggested that I go to the emergency room to get my hands checked out. I really didn't want to! I had to go shopping for your Mom's flowers and surprise gift!  I fought this like a kid not wanting to eat vegetables. I had other plans with a 4pm deadline, and it was 1 o'clock!


Sunday was game time!  The Flyers started their series against the New Jersey Devils.  Your Uncle Billy and Aunt Mara (Aunt and Uncle MOFAS) came over with your "boyfriend" Ryan, and his big sister Rayann. We watched the Flyers knowing we would be going to the hospital that night. Of course, the game went into overtime, and we didn't have time for overtime!!  I ran out at the intermission between the third period and overtime to get some last minute supplies, like Pop Tarts. Hearing the radio, a goal was scored by Danny Briere on my way back, but it was called off. I ran into the house, but in the time it took to go from my car to the house, Briere had scored an official goal, and the Flyers had won!  Oh well!  A game winning goal is something I can miss, Sunday night and Monday were not something I would ever miss.

Sunday night we were getting a little hungry, and decided to go to Casey's for dinner. We finally left the house around 7:15 PM, after getting absolutely everything we own packed up!  Just kidding, we just packed what we need, which for me didn't include extra underwear, although your Mom insists she packed it!!  Haha. I checked that bag twice, but didn't see it. I wouldn't say that they definitely weren't there, but I didn't see them :)  Casey's that night was terribly understaffed, and we ended up getting to the hospital at around 8:25, 25 minutes late.

It started to get real. The months of feeling you kick, baby showers, purchasing expensive camera equipment, painting and decorating your room... all of these things were about to have a purpose. In the delivery room, Daddies are given just about the least comfortable chair, or most comfortable torture chamber, to sleep on. Mommies are not comfortable either. Neither of us got a lot of sleep. Your Mom had to wear a monitor to measure your reactions to her contractions, and when she shifted in the night, the monitor would not hear your little heart beating, so the nurse would come in and adjust it, waking us both up. We got there at 8:25pm and I was awake for the day at 5:30am. The excitement and anxiousness coupled with trying to sleep, but not being able to, made this out to be the quickest 9 hours I have ever experienced in my entire life. I knew it was going to catch up with me. Right now as I write this, it's 1:49am on May 1st, and I can barely see straight.

At around 9 or 10 on Sunday night, the nurses had given Mommy her first dose of medicine that's supposed to speed up this whole process. At 2am they checked her again and gave her another dose. It seemed to be going well. At 5:15 am, her "water" broke, making for a very wet bed! Our nurse, Erin, was very excited for us. She was very nice. The medicine was working!!


A new nurse was on the shift. Ruth. The shift change is an experience that you wish you don't have to go through when you have an excellent nurse. You just wish you could have the same nurse forever!

Ruth had asked us what we think we're having... "Boy".  "Boy".  "Boy too". We were all pretty convinced, as much convinced as you can be with zero evidence. It's pretty much academic! Ruth said "I think Girl."  "What an idiot", I thought.

In the morning, another medicine was started that would hopefully move the process along further.  More Drs and nurses checked, medicine doses were upped, more checks and larger doses; Mommy was not progressing.  You were sitting high above where you needed to be, however still head down like you were supposed to be. Dr. Laveran gave us our options at around 11:30 or 12pm, the exact time to me is now fuzzy. We could sit around for another two hours and see if you had dropped lower in Mommy's belly to see if you would come out without surgery, or we could do the Cesarean Section. The Dr. was not impressed with the likelihood of a birth without surgery. After some emotional exchange, Mommy and Daddy opted for the surgery.

This all moved so fast! There were a set of twins being born in the Operating Room (OR) in the meantime, which means we would have to wait. Your Dad was a total wreck. Your Mommy was emotional, but knew what had to be done. This was in no way an emergency, but we would have the operating room in no time! After Mommy signed a few forms, she was whisked away in her bed. The nurse had dropped off scrubs, a hat, booties and a mask, all for me. I put them on, and was pacing back and forth, just very very nervous. Will I faint? Mess up somehow? Afterall, I have no idea what I'm doing. The lack of food I had that morning would have guaranteed a faint, so I wolfed down a bagel that your Grandmom Bullwinkle brought me that morning. After what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn to join your Mom in the operating room.

As I got in there, your Mom was already being operated on! I started the camera, recording a video of pretty much audio, since I was just pointing it at the ground and keeping close watch on your Mom. I sat next to her, talking to her. She was very quiet. I would try to peek over the curtain, and your Mom knew I would get queezy, saying "DON'T LOOK!".  Each time.. "STOP LOOKING!"  I felt a little bit like a faint coming on, but reminded myself that I had to breathe! The most anticipation I had felt (the good kind anyway) took place from about 5 minutes to 10 minutes in, because the Dr. said previously, "We'll have a baby out in 5 minutes, then take 30 minutes after to do the rest." Ok, five minutes had passed on the video I was recording. Six minutes, doctor...  Alright, we're at 8 minutes, I'm starting to get nervous! It was around 10 minutes in, when I heard you cry. Tears were coming from me too. I looked at your Mom and she was just ecstatic. We were awaiting SOMEONE, ANYONE to tell us the sex. Then I heard, "Dad, what is it, tell us the sex!!"  Oh man. I peeked over the curtain, saw some blood, and then I saw you. Now, I have seen woman privates and man privates in my life, but I don't remember ever seeing a newborn baby girl's privates!  So, I was a bit slow on my analysis, only because I didn't want to be wrong!! I said "It's a .... " and your Mom prepared herself for the next word, but she was not prepared for this. "Girl?" I asked. "It's a GIRL!!!!"

Oh my goodness!!!  A precious little girl. Our precious little girl!!

A nurse had called over to me, "Dad, can you come over here for a sec?"  I, having never been called "Dad" before, ignored her completely. "Dad. Jason." OH ME! I told her, "Sorry, I'm not yet used to being called that", it being the first time.

Dad. I'm a DAD! I'm your Dad!! My favorite title! I love you Genevieve Naomi Connell!!

Love Always,