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America's Most Wanted - TONIGHT [13 Dec 2008|02:13pm]
We learned yesterday that America's Most Wanted will again be featuring the case of my missing aunt, Joey Lynn Offutt, who has been missing since July 2007. Tonight's segment is supposed to be a shorter synopsis of the segment that originally aired last month.

Tonight's show airs at 9 p.m. Eastern on FOX.

You can get more info, and view the clip from the November broadcast by going to http://www.findjoey.org
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Updated AMW Clip [25 Nov 2008|12:47pm]
Since they took the other clip down, I made my own:

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America's Most Wanted [22 Nov 2008|09:22pm]
Below is a clip from the America's Most Wanted show that featured my missing aunt, Joey Lynn Offutt.

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Prop 8 [22 Nov 2008|09:16pm]
So last weekend there were hundreds of protests nationwide that happened simultaneously. Here in Ithaca, I was asked to speak, because Jason and I were plaintiffs in the "Ithaca 50" marriage lawsuit in New York several years ago.

Jason suggested that others may want to read the speech I gave. So here it is below.

Beyond the cut...Collapse )
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[06 Nov 2008|11:39am]
[ mood | hopeful ]

We are happy to report that America's Most Wanted plans to feature a segment on my aunt, Joey Lynn Offutt, a single mother missing from Sykesville, PA since July 2007. The air date for the segment is currently set for Saturday, November 15 on FOX. The air date is subject to change, due to late-breaking stories or recent captures.

Joey's family is hopeful that this national exposure will help generate new leads in our search for her.

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It's been a year. [11 Jul 2008|01:10pm]
[ mood | drained ]

How do you commemorate an anniversary you wish were not true? Joey is still missing - and we still miss her. This has destroyed our family, and has no doubt forever changed two innocent little girls who have to live every day without their mother. And we also of course grieve for the life of an infant boy who was taken from us. What happened to him? And what happened to his mother? Who did this and where is she? How does one truly "move on" from such a devastation? We have not forgotten. We cannot forget. Her children are daily reminders that she is still not here with us - and we are no closer to any answers. One year later, and no closer to finding any kind of closure or resolution, let alone answers that make any sense.

http://www.findjoey.org

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Disappointed [17 Nov 2007|09:20pm]
[ mood | disappointed ]

Disappointed that she wasn't on the show. I hope that they decide that this case is worthy enough and it deserves attention. Our family needs answers. We want closure and resolution. Where is Joey? What happened? Is she alive? Is she hurt? Is she in a mentally deminished state? Will her children ever get to hug their mom again?

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America's Most Wanted [17 Nov 2007|01:16pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

Last month, America's Most Wanted featured Joey in the missing persons section of their website. The direct link is here: http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/case.cfm?id=48408

Yesterday, we found out that Joey was featured on AMW's daily syndicated radio show. The radio show aired on Wednesday. http://www.amw.com/show_archive/past_radio_shows.cfm?thisdate=2007-11-14

I'm going to try to see if there is any way I can get an audio recording of that broadcast. It's a shame that we didn't know that they her story was going to be featured.

I read on another website that the story about Joey's disappearance MIGHT air on TONIGHT'S television broadcast of America's Most Wanted. I'm not completely sure if she will be featured on the TV show, but just in case, you may want to watch it. America's Most Wanted airs at 9 p.m. on Saturday on FOX.

We really hope that Joey's disapperance will finally get some national exposure that will help our family find some answers.

As of this morning, AMW's website does not list Joey as being one of the missing persons that they plan to air on tonight's episode. But I'm still holding out hope that they will air her story -- if not tonight -- then maybe next week. If we hear anything, I'll be sure to pass it along.

In the meantime, you can always visit http://www.findjoey.org for any updates (though unfortunately, there have not been any lately) or to contact the family with any information you may have.

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[29 Jul 2007|10:09pm]
It's been a while, yes I know. I'm posting today to try to bring as much attention to this as I possibly can.

My aunt has been missing for over two weeks now.

I want to post the website I created to help generate leads.

I'd like to ask that all my friends help me by also posting something in their LJs, and to ask that all YOUR LJ friends to do the same, etc., etc., etc. down the line. Some will, some won't. And it may not even make a difference in the end... but I have to feel like I'm doing something to help find her. So I'm doing what I can. And I am humbly asking for your help.

MISSING: Joey Lynn Offutt

FindJoey.org



Post it on your LJ:




THANK YOU ALL!!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY YGS!!! [31 Jan 2007|01:06pm]
Actually, more correctly, Happy Birthday to the YOUTH Lists, which are owned and operated by Youth Guardian Services.

On this day, a whole ten years ago, we launched the YOUTH13-17 and YOUTH17-21 lists.

Wow. A whole freakin decade!

And in that time we've helped about 9,000 gay youth! Holy cow! We still currently provide assistance to just over 600 young people on a daily basis.

Lots of things have changed over the ten years -- including four different servers in five different geographical locations. Of course we've had lots of volunteers come through the ranks, first as listees then as staff, and some even went on to be on the Executive Staff or even the Board of Directors of YGS. I've personally witnessed countless literally acts of life-saving by our dedicated volunteers or the other list subscribers. And most telling of our growth and sustainability, we are now on our third Executive Director in ten years. Not bad at all.

Of course one thing has always remained the same ... providing gay youth with a safe place to just be themselves. And that YGS has always been, and always will be, completely run by youth.

Honestly, I never thought that we'd still be at it ten years later... but here we are.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)
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Commentary: Barbara Lifton NOT Standing Up For Our Families [05 Nov 2006|07:57pm]
"Standing up for our families" reads the campaign mailer from Barbara Lifton. But Assemblywoman Lifton is not standing up for my family and other families like mine.

In 2002 my partner and I moved to Ithaca. The largest factor in our decision to move here was the knowledge that we would be accepted and welcomed by our community. In 2004 we joined 24 other same-sex couples in suing the City of Ithaca and the New York State Department of Health for denying us the right to be married. In May 2006 our case made its final stop at the New York State Court of Appeals, and in July they ruled that the New York Constitution did not compel the state to recognize our commitments and our families. The court's majority said that only the state legislature has the authority to decide whether or not we and our families deserve equal treatment under the state's Domestic Relations Law.

As devastating and shockingly insulting as the 4-2 ruling was, we still knew we had the backing and support of our community, including our local government. The mayor, the entire Town Board, most of the Common Council, and a great deal of the County Legislature, all have come out publicly in support of our families and have declared that denying us the state rights that come with marriage is blatant discrimination – it's wrong, unfair, and contrary to our society's ideals of equality.

The day that the high court issued its ruling, coincidentally Barbara Lifton held a press conference announcing her re-election campaign. She was asked what she thought of the court's ruling, and if she would back a marriage bill in the Assembly that would finally apply the marriage law equally to all New Yorkers.

In that moment Ms. Lifton had a great opportunity to join her colleagues in the city and county government, as well as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer, and clearly state her public support for the many gay and lesbian families in her district.

Instead, Lifton essentially said that she would not stop us from trying to obtain equality – but that she would not do anything to help us get there. "I certainly wouldn't want to be one to be an impediment," she said. But she would not declare her support for a marriage equality bill. "I haven't come to that decision yet."

Well what is she waiting for? This issue certainly isn't a new one. The country, and even specifically Ithaca, has been discussing marriage for same-sex couples since at least 1995, with an obvious increase in intensity since 2004.

Aside from perhaps New York City, Ithaca is the best place in this state where a politician could proudly declare public support for LGBT issues with absolutely no fear of losing an election.

In fact, Assemblywoman Lifton has been a friend to the LGBT community, and we certainly appreciate that. But she failed us – and our families – that day, and every day in the four months that have passed since.

Though I was initially livid by her comments, I was calmed down by others more familiar with Lifton's history. They assured me that she was probably just caught off guard by the question at her press conference. Perhaps she just needed some time to smooth out the language she uses. I was repeatedly told she is on our side.

Four months later, the only thing she has been able to come up with is to voice her support for a doomed bill in the Assembly sponsored by Deborah Glick that would remove access to marriage for everyone and make civil unions its inferior replacement. This is Lifton's idea of equality: Take away what we've been working for years to obtain – but take it away from everyone – including currently married heterosexual couples – and naively declare us equal.

Let there be no mistake, this bill is WRONG and is FLAWED. If the Glick Bill were to become law, anyone who is currently married in New York would suddenly not be married. They would no longer be recognized as being married by the federal government. They would lose some 1,049 federal rights and benefits that come with marriage, including tax benefits, immigration rights, spousal social security and veteran benefits, and a whole slew of legal rights and protections. They would only have access to state level benefits – and their union would not be recognized by any other state.

Who would want to trade in their marriage for that?

We are not trying to take anything away from anyone. We believe strongly in marriage – not just for us – but for everyone. If "civil unions" is not good enough for us – why would we expect that it is good enough for our straight friends?

Lifton knows this bill has no chance of going anywhere. But it's her little clever way of claiming that she's on the side of equality. The gesture is empty and hollow, and extremely misguided. In reality, it is her way to avoid the entire topic altogether. So I seriously doubt her sincerity in supporting this bill. Is she REALLY prepared to strip away the 1,049 federal benefits from every married couple in this state? Are the people of this district really prepared to support someone who would deny them all these marital benefits that they currently have?

This doesn't sound like a woman who is standing up for our families.

If she really wanted to stand up for our families then she would stand with us and publicly support our efforts. All she is doing right now is undermining the years of work we've done in educating people why marriage is so important and how we are being treated differently every day and how this inequality actually hurts ALL families.

Lifton's once good name and almost untouchable reputation now means very little, and her word now means absolutely nothing. If you're going to put your name on a bill then you should be serious about it. She isn't serious about this bill. And she isn't serious about seeing that gay and lesbian couples are treated equally under the law.

When she had the chance to stand up for all families she chose to stay seated and put her name behind a measure that takes away the very thing that our families need.

Lifton may be on "our side" on many issues that are important to the gay community, but when it comes to marriage, and "standing up for families" – she has made it very clear, she is not standing up for OUR families.
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On this day, eight years ago... [31 Oct 2006|11:21am]
[ mood | loved ]

On this day, eight years ago, I fell in love. I was sitting on a park bench in the famous Dealy Plaza in Dallas, just steps away from the "grassy knoll", and directly across the street from the old Schoolbook Depository building.

We were just 21 at the time. Eight years later, I can now say, at that age, we knew very little about how the world really worked. We were just a few years out of high school, just starting to make our own way. Our paths crossed... and from the magical night on, we have been virtually inseparable.

I knew that he was in deed my soul mate and that he would be the love of my life forever while sitting on that park bench. I know the exact moment I felt it for sure. We were killing time between our dinner at TGIFriday's (I still remember what we ordered!) and the movie we were going to see. We stopped and sat on this park bench, having no clue at the time the historic event that had taken place there. We were essentially unloading our life histories up to that point onto each other. We stopped counting how many times each of us had said, "ME TOO!" ... We had just concluded our work history -- each of us listing the various jobs we've ever had. His list was longer and more diverse (partly because many jobs he only worked for a few days or a few weeks)... we had both worked in a photo lab and talked about that. He showed me a picture of him with one of his parrots. He was putting his wallet back into his pocket, and there was this quiet pause. The first one of the night. We both turned and looked at each other. It was just a moment. But it was in that very moment that my soul said, "yes, he is the one." And so I let go. I let go of all my fears and guilt. I let go of all the what-ifs... I let go of the worry... I let go of the questions of what happens next, how is this going to work... how will this fit into my current "real life" ... and I surrendered myself to that moment.

I am forever changed because of that very special magical moment.

Eight years later, I still feel the magic whenever he walks into the room. Eight years later, I love him more today than ever. Eight years later, I cannot imagine my life being any other way, and I certainly cannot imagine a life without him.

Sure, he may not cook me dinner as often as I may want... and yeah, I complain that he could do the dishes a little bit more often too. I'm the first to admit that while we share so much, we could not possibly be more different from one another. But somehow, the magic takes over, and it works. The daily life routine has not worn us out. Our wonderful communication does not allow for us to become bored with each other.

My man is not perfect. But he's my perfect man.

He is randomly sweet and loving. I often find short random love notes on my chair or taped to my monitor at my desk. He surprises me with gifts of my favorite candy. He calls me during the day to see how my day is going. He tells me, and more importantly, shows me, how much he loves me every single day.

Today we celebrate eight wonderful years together. And my wonderful, sweet, loving man left me a love note on the bathroom mirror this morning. He more than makes up for the fact that he could cook dinner or do the dishes more often. Because he's cute. :)




"I love you forever my sexy wonderful lil man

Happy 8 years together... Here's to next 88..."



I'm damn lucky to have someone like him. May you all be eternally jealous. :-)
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Any web developers out there? [07 Aug 2006|08:00pm]
Looking to hire free-lance web developers. Prefer developers familiar or comfortable coding in classic ASP. If you know .NET that would be good too.

Essentially I need someone to help me out on some of the projects I'm currently working on and have coming up in the near future. If I like working with you, I will continue to use you on an as-needed basis.

Please email me with some basic info about yourself, stuff you've done, stuff you're comfortable doing, pay range, etc. Links of sample work would be great. Email it to jh @ blue argo . com

If you know of someone who might be interested in this type of work, please pass this along. I really don't want to go searching on like Craig's List or something...
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NY Court Rules Against Marriage Equality [06 Jul 2006|01:42pm]
[ mood | disappointed ]

Today the NY Court of Appeals (the state's highest court) ruled 4-2 that the "New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

To read the entire 70-page ruling, including the beautiful dissent by Chief Judge Kaye go to:
http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/decisions/jul06/86-89opn06.pdf




Speaking for myself personally, I'm beyond disappointed with today's ruling. I'm angry, and frankly, a bit surprised that the court ruled this way. It essentially amounts to court-sanctioned state-sponsored discrimination, in a state that prides itself in embracing equality for all and for posessing progressive attitudes and for having a long history of demonstrating ultimate fairness and common sense justice. Today's ruling goes against all of that.

The court, which is supposed to be the protector of civil rights and personal liberties, has instead, left our rights under the Constitution vulnerable to a mere vote by a few hundred legislators. My rights should not be left up to a vote.

While our fight for marriage equality has ended with the judicial branch, it will continue with the legislative branch. But I personally have little faith that the legislature will do the right thing, at least not any time soon. It took the state 30 years to pass SONDA, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act... frankly, I'm not going to wait 30 years for the legislature to decide that I should be given equal access to the rights that are conveyed with marriage. These are the same people who fail, year in and year out, to pass a state budget -- even though they know they must do this rudimentary task after each fiscal year. To be blunt, I wouldn't trust these people to watch my neighbor's dog for the weekend, much less trust them with ensuring I am treated equally and fairly and that my rights are protected. No, that is the job for the courts. And today, they failed us miserably.

This fight was not just one of principle or a bunch of activists doing what activists do. Quite the opposite, especially for those plaintiffs in the Ithaca 50. We're normal, ordinary, every day citizens who each day are denied basic rights that most people just don't even think about. We are taxed unfairly, we are treated differently in hospitals and medical offices, many of us fear for our children's safety, or fear our home could be taken away should one of our partners die. These are just a few things. There are literally hundreds of rights on the state level, in addition to thousands of rights on the federal level that are routinely denied to us.

Today, the court said that that was OK. Today, the court said that it is up to the legislature to make things right for us. Today, they said equality and basic fairness in New York is subject to debate and a vote by a bunch of mostly out-of-touch people in Albany.

Yeah, disappointed is hardly the word I'd use to describe today's ruling.
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Ithaca 50 Media Coverage [17 Feb 2006|09:53am]
For those who are interested...

Ithaca Journal (a very good write-up)
News 10 Now (a local 24-hour cable news channel) [Windows Media file]
WENY - News Channel 36 (ABC affiliate out of Elmira) [text of aired piece]
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Good Guys: 0 / Bad Guys: 2 [16 Feb 2006|02:31pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

The ruling from the Appellate Court FINALLY (after waiting nearly four months for a decision!) came down today... and not on our side. I really thought that we would have at least one, possibly two dissenters see it our way... but that was not the case. The entire five judge panel ruled against us. Ain't that just grand?

We're supposed to say: "We're disappointed, but this was not unexepected."

hmprh.

Is it so much to ask that I be treated equally under the law?

Our ruling is in two parts... Our ruling is four pages, but then you have to read the 18-page ruling in the case brought by the ACLU on behalf of 12 other couples from Albany. Their case was heard the same day as ours... and rather than repeat all the same reasons in our ruling, they just referenced the other ruling in the ACLU case.

I found the 18 page ruling fascinating... because many of the quotes they used from other prescedent-setting cases could have also been used had the court ruled in our favor... it just didn't make sense.

I found it a bit surprising that we didn't get even one dissenter, given the fact that during the proceedings the whole room, including some of the judges, LITERALLY LAUGHED at the attorney from the Attorney General's office and his illogical reasoning on why the law is justified as is.

Anyway... on to the next, and final round...

Ithaca 50 ruling: http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/ad3/Decisions/2006/98204.pdf
ACLU (Samuels) ruling: http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/ad3/Decisions/2006/98084.pdf

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[26 Jan 2006|11:17am]
You are an inspiration on how to deal with adversity, whether it be illness, or addiction, or personal demons that must be overcome. I have always admired your positive outlook on even the worst of situations. I, like so many other people, was drawn to your sparkling, outgoing personality. You were fun to be around, had a great sense of humor, but most of all, your compassion toward people -- friends and strangers alike -- it's at a level that all of us should aspire to reach. I will hold with me the memories you have given me. From our first interactions at the photo lab, to my first naive attempt to enter real estate, to the phone call I made when I was so scared, because this time I really was going to buy a house. I remember that phone call. I wasn't sure you would remember me, but you did instantly. I remember coming out to you, and it being not a big deal at all. You made sure that anyone else who dealt with us also made it a non-issue. I appreciate that protection you provided us. I am forever grateful for the guidance you showed us as we navigated that scary journey. I guess it's only scary because it's the biggest financial transaction of one's life... but you made it not scary at all. I put all my trust and faith in you, and you never let me down. Of course I knew you wouldn't. Perhaps one of my fondest memories, you might find this odd, was when we spent the afternoon in Occoquan. I had never really been there before, other than passing through on I-95. For me, it was the concrete signal that ours was not just a business relationship, but truly a friendship. I will miss so much our political discussions. I will miss those random afternoons in your office, helping you with a computer issue, but staying for hours for the conversation and good company. I didn't know you as long as many of your other friends, but I am grateful for the time I did have with you. You have left a print in my heart. One that will not be forgotten. I hope that wherever you are, you are happy, and at peace. Yours is a good soul, that will continue to do good things, and touch people's lives.

I'll miss you Haidee.

Haidee M. Adkins, at peace January 25, 2006

FDA Pulls Cylert from Market [09 Nov 2005|12:38pm]
[ mood | anxious ]

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/InfoSheets/HCP/pemolineHCP.htm

I'm freaking out.

Called my doctor.

Waiting word.

Fuck.

There has got to be some way around this. I know the risks... I am monitored for those risks... and IT'S A RISK I'M WILLING TO TAKE!!!! I should be allowed to be exempted or something.

Apparently Abbott stopped making it in May of this year -- I hadn't heard that before.

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Preparing for life ahead... [26 Sep 2005|04:07pm]
[ mood | I don't know ?? ]

This is probably going to be a long one. I know some things I want to say. But, as these things usually go, once I start, I just let the words flow from my fingers.

If you can't handle it, please move on. I won't be offended or anything, honest. This entry is really just for me... to get it out... so you are hereby absolved of any guilt for not clicking the link below.

Read more...Collapse )

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Ithaca 50 Update [26 Sep 2005|03:53pm]
An update for those who are interested in the Ithaca 50 marriage equality lawsuit in New York.

The New York Third Judicial Department Appellate Court will hear our case (appealed from the lower court's negative ruling in February) on October 17 in Albany. The court will also hear appeals from two other marriage equality lawsuits earlier that same day.

The New York City case had its appeal heard before the First Judicial Department Appellate Court earlier this month. I had heard from people in the know in that case that they do not expect a favorable ruling from the Appellate Court, but they do expect a favorable ruling from the Court of Appeals (New York's highest court).

For those of you who have no clue what the "Ithaca 50" is... go to the Ithaca 50 website or reference some of my past entries on the subject:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/26302.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/25074.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/24743.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/23639.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/20362.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungerme/18700.html
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