Herland Sister Resources
2312 NW 39th
Oklahoma City OK 73112
Open Saturday 1–5 pm
Serving the womyn’s
community since 1983
Roman Nose State Park
May 16–18, 2014
Save this date! Just in time to cure your case of Spring Fever, Herland’s Spring Retreat will be May 16th–18th, at Roman Nose State Park, in Watonga, OK. A registration form and details will be in the next Voice issue. If you have an idea for a workshop, please call (405) 550–2312, and we’ll get it going! Also now is a GREAT time to start gathering items to donate for the silent auction, which helps with the costs of the retreat. Herland needs your support. We hope to see you all in May!
by Sandy Ingraham, J.D., M.S.W.
Oklahoma heroes, Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton, Gay Phillips, and their attorney Don Holladay, forever changed Oklahoma law for the better in Bishop, et al. v. USA, 04–CV–848–TCK–TLW (hereinafter Bishop). The parties, through attorney Holladay and his Oklahoma City law firm, Holladay and Chilton, PLLC (along with co–counsels James Warner and Joseph Thai), litigated Bishop in order to strike down Oklahoma’s conservative constitutional provision denying same–sex couples the right to legally marry in Oklahoma and have legal same–sex marriages performed in other states recognized in Oklahoma. Bishop and Baldwin, from Tulsa, have been together for more than seventeen (17) years and were denied a marriage license by the Tulsa Court Clerk. Oklahoma did not recognize the legal marriage of Phillips and Barton. At stake were many legal and marital rights, along with more than a thousand financial benefits for qualified Oklahomans.
Bishop was optimistically filed in 2004, immediately after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman and prohibiting the recognition of same–sex marriages legally performed in other locations. In approving the Oklahoma Constitutional amendment, three–quarters (76%) of voting Oklahomans denied Bishop, Baldwin, Barton, Phillips and hundreds of other same–sex Oklahoma couples the right to marry and receive state and federal marriage benefits.
Without a relationship recognized by Oklahoma law (biological parenthood, adoption, or legal marriage), at least one of the partners in a same–sex relationship is often treated as a virtual stranger by the law. Questions involving property division, inheritance, child custody, child support, and child visitation were answered by looking at strict legal entitlement, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce documents, and adoption papers. The emotions of sadness and betrayal were heightened as families have been forced to navigate the nightmares of death and divorce without legal process. Without legal marriage, Oklahoma same–sex couples, like any unmarried couple, must rely on private legal agreements and documents which are often not recognized by the Courts.
Since Bishop was filed almost a decade before the United States Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many Oklahomans (including me) thought these advocates were going down the wrong path. Not so. I am happy and proud to say that I was wrong. More than nine years after it was filed, in a January 14, 2014, 68–page ruling in Bishop, US District Judge Terrence C. Kern (Tulsa) struck down Oklahoma’s prohibition against same–sex marriage as a violation of the Federal Constitutional 14th Amendment, the equal protection clause. In the ruling, Kern wrote “Equal Protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.” Kern described Oklahoma’s ban on same–sex marriage as “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a government benefit.”
Laws are in the process of improving to better support same–sex families in Oklahoma. On the 26th day of June, 2013, the heart of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was invalidated by the US Supreme Court. The impact of Kern’s ruling allowing same–sex marriages to be performed in Oklahoma and to have same–sex marriages legally performed elsewhere recognized in Oklahoma will be delayed pending an appeal to be heard before the 10th Circuit Federal Appeals Court in Denver, Colorado, where it will be heard along with Utah’s similar case, Kitchen v. Herbert, No. 2:13–ev–217, 2013 WL 6697874 (D. Utah Dec. 20, 2013).
The Denver Court has agreed to expedite their review of the Oklahoma and Utah rulings. The Utah matter is set for oral argument before a panel of three appeal judges in Denver on April 10, 2014; the Oklahoma matter is set for oral argument before the same panel of three appeal judges in Denver on April 17, 2014. The identity of the three judges on the panel hearing for these two appeals has not been announced.
Legal marriage for same–sex couples is now recognized in fifteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay) and parts of two countries (Mexico & the United States). The United Kingdom (England & Wales) will allow same–sex marriage beginning on March 29, 2014. Scotland will allow same–sex marriage in October 2014. Legal marriage for same–sex couples is recognized in sixteen US states (CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NH, NM, NY, RI, VT, WA) and the District of Columbia. Illinois (IL) will allow same–sex marriage beginning on June 1, 2014. Oklahoma (OK) and Utah (UT) must complete their appeals prior to granting same–sex marriage licenses.
At least eight tribal jurisdictions recognize same–sex marriage: the Cheyenne–Arapaho Tribes (OK), the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (a group of 12 tribes in WA), the Coquille Indian Tribe (OR), the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (MN), the Suquamish Tribe (WA), the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (MI), the Pokagon Band of Potawatomie Indians (MI), and the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel (CA). Several tribes specifically deny recognition to same–sex marriages (Cherokee, Chippewa, Chickasaw, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Muscogee Creek Nation, Navajo Nation). This list may change after the Oklahoma and Utah appeals are complete since tribes typically adopt the position of the state in which they reside.
Several states have domestic partnerships, civil unions, or some type of limited recognition. Many states have nothing or anti–same–sex marriage provisions in law or their state constitutions. Courts, agencies and legislatures in state and federal governments are rapidly changing this picture, and the information written in this or any article may only be accurate the day it was written.
Nothing in this article creates an attorney–client relationship or constitutes legal advice for any particular family or partnership. For such advice, consult with an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma about your specific situation.
Sandy Ingraham, J.D., M.S.W. may be reached at Ingraham & Associates, P.L.L.C., 333629 E Kickapoo Valley Rd, McLoud, OK 74851; Tel (405) 964–2072; Fax (405) 964–2058; e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, March 15th at 6:30 p.m., we hope you’ll join us for a night of entertainment, supporting Herland! We’ll be showing the 2013 movie Cloudburst. “This hilarious foul–mouthed road movie co–stars Oscar®–winning actresses Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis as Dot and Stella, a crackerjack lesbian couple on the run from a nursing home heading to Canada to be legally married.” This Canadian–American adventure comedy–drama film won 30 Best Picture Awards all around the world. At 6:30, we will have pizza & soda for donations, and at 7:30, we’ll start the movie.
For this event, we will be across the street from Herland, at the Expressions Community Center, 2245 NW 39th Street. There is plenty of parking and plenty of room! Come early for dinner and plan on having a fun and relaxing evening!
Beginning in February, our building hours will change. Herland will now be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. In addition, be sure to check Herland’s Facebook page for additional events, such as games and crafts. We would like the building to serve as both a great place for women’s literature and as a place just to hang out on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, April 12, 2014,2–11 p.m.
I–540 & MLK Jr. Blvd., Fayetteville, AR
The 2nd Annual Amazon Music Festival will feature 6 nationally–touring all–female Acts: Holly Near (headliner), Emma’s Revolution, Big Bad Gina, Ginger Doss, SJ Tucker, and Summer Osborne. In addition, Drum Elder, Wahru Cleveland ”Drum Mother” at National Women’s Music Festival, will lead an Afro–centric hand drum workshop for all skill levels.
This all day line up makes a powerfully, energetic well–rounded event which will include political and environmental activism, humor, spirituality, imagination and muse: A true collaboration of sounds, styles, and community! Doors open at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome. Kids under 10 are free. Tickets on sale now at: www.bigbadgina.com/amazon–fest!
Al–Anon or Alateen may be able to help; information at http://www.al–anon.alateen.org/ or locally in OKC (405) 767–9071 and http://okcalanon.org/
Who We Are
The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in 300 local associations in the United States. More important than the numbers, is our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
We provide safe places for women and girls, build strong women leaders, and advocate for women’s rights and civil rights in Congress. Women come to us in times of crisis, as survivors of rape or domestic violence. They come for job training and career counseling. They come for childcare. They come for health and fitness. They come for a variety of reasons. But they come. And they leave with a renewed spirit, new skills, and stronger lives.
What We Do
The history of the YWCA is the history of progress in America. Established in 1858 as a voice for women’s issues, we opened the first employment bureau for women several years later. That was only the beginning of more than 150 years of active advocacy and programming for women’s rights and civil rights.
We continue to evolve to meet today’s challenges in eliminating racism and empowering women. We’ve shifted to a bottoms–up, grassroots structure. We’ve launched a revitalized brand that reaffirms the mission of working aggressively for women and people of color. And we’re engaging women 18– to 34–years old to carry on the YWCA mission for years to come. The YWCA advocacy issues reflect our mission and the values of our organization. We promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country.
The YWCA Oklahoma City office is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call 405–948–1770 for more information or see http://www.ywcaokc.org.
Herland continues to support YWCA programs and publishes needs on their wishlists. The items listed are needed for their Sexual Assault Programs:
· New underwear (Size 5 &6 only)
· New sports bras (Sizes 34–40 only)
· New or gently used yoga pants (S, M, or L only)
· New or gently used sweat pants
· Travel size shampoo and conditioner
· Travel size body wash
· Travel size face wash
· Travel size soap
· Space saver bags
Hosted by OCU
Oklahoma City University will explore systemic approaches to peacemaking in education, networking, and advocacy during the Creative Peacemaking Symposium March 7 and 8 in the Kramer School of Nursing, located at N.W. 27th St. and Blackwelder Ave. Focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing students, community leaders and social and cultural organizations, the symposium will explore effective ways for creating community–based programs and partnerships to address issues related to peace. Speakers include Robertson Work, adjunction professor of public administration at New York University; Ernesto Cortes, founding organizer of the Industrial Areas Foundation; Neal Christie, assistant general secretary of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society for Education and Leadership Formation; and Nathaniel Batchelder, director of Peace House Oklahoma City. The symposium is sponsored by Oklahoma City University, Oikos Scholars Program, the Social and Ecological Responsibility Initiative at Oklahoma City University, VOICE Oklahoma City, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the USA. Registration is $75 in advance or $80 at the door and includes lunch on Friday and Saturday. Friday banquet dinner only registration is $25. For more information or to register, contact Joseph Meinhart at (405) 208–5704 or email@example.com or visit www.okcu.edu/creativepeace.
on April 5th
Every spring, over 5,000 students, faculty, and staff from the University of Oklahoma go out across the Norman and the Greater Oklahoma City metro area for one day of service. For the past thirteen years, students have participated in this event to show their appreciation to the surrounding community by completing service projects such as painting, yard work, and visiting with the elderly. This event is a completely student–run service project and allows them to do their part for the community.
This year Herland hopes to be a part of The Big Event and get student help to put up a chain link fence, replace deteriorated fascia boards, re–deck the ramp, paint trim, clear out brush, and plant flowers. While we haven’t yet received confirmation that we’ve been selected, we’re making plans that can be carried out by students or our own volunteers. Do you have a few hours to donate on April 5th? If so, we really need you! Please join us any time after 10 a.m. to help with our Big Event! And bring any paint brushes, trimmers, hammers, or other tools you think might be needed for these projects. Thank you!
2014 Pride Week festivities will be held June 20–22. Pride Week will kick off with a block party on Friday, June 20th, with live performances and events on the strip at 39th & Penn. In addition, there will be an Arts Festival on Saturday, the 21st, and the Herland Pride Picnic on Saturday evening with live entertainment. The Pride Parade will be on Sunday the 22nd.
As always, the Herland Pride Picnic is a family–friendly event. We serve burgers and dogs starting at 5:30 p.m., and the music kicks off at 6 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on, and a side dish for the picnic is always welcome. We ask $7 donation per person.
The Diversity Business Association is a collective of LGBT–owned and allied businesses. Together they are supporting business and advancing equality.
The Diversity Business Association began in 2005 as a professional networking group of Metropolitan Oklahoma City business professionals and community members. As a program of Cimarron Alliance, the Diversity Business Association has a mission to support educational efforts that validate personal identity, promote public enlightenment, and advance equality for LGBT Oklahomans.
The Diversity Business Association is working to achieve fairness in economic opportunities, while working to create a just work environment for all Oklahomans. Herland is proud to be a new member of DBA. Watch for our events on the DBA calendar!
AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, we have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families. For information, contact
Jessica Martinez–Brooks, OKC Branch President @ Oklahoma City Community College; Office: (405) 682–7859; Fax: (405) 682–7848 or through the website: www.occc.edu/coe.
The Welcoming Project will commemorate its 3rd Anniversary on May 3, 2014, from 2–4 p.m. at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Norman, OK. We will party and celebrate our past achievements, look ahead to the future, and award our two scholarships! [We’re excited to announce that The Welcoming Project will again offer a $500 scholarship to an undergraduate student and a $500 scholarship to a graduate student who make outstanding contributions to LGBTQ activism! The application and information can be found on The Welcoming Project website: http://www.thewelcomingproject.org/. Applications are due March 1, 2014] Featured party music will be from The Flaming Tassel Pipes and Drums! The Welcoming Project began in 2011 to encourage local businesses, health care/service providers, organizations, and congregations in Norman, OK, to display welcoming signs for the purpose of making LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) individuals and allies feel welcomed as patrons. The Welcoming Project is available to communities throughout the United States. Donations and inquiries for more information are always welcome to our mailing address: The Welcoming Project, 780 Van Vleet Oval KH 331, Norman, OK 73019.
Since 1912, millions of women’s lives have been positively influenced–sometimes even transformed–by their Girl Scout experience. Whether you are one of the millions of women who were Girl Scouts, including Brownie Girl Scouts, or you were a volunteer or staff member who worked at the national or local level to help Girl Scouts reach their full potential, you are forever connected to a rich and vibrant movement.
Evidence of the positive and life–changing experience Girl Scouting has had on women can be found long after their days of selling cookies has passed. Whether they’ve grown to become a doctor, teacher, mother or judge, we all share a common influence–the lessons we learned at an impressionable young age, as taught by Girl Scout role models.
Western Oklahoma Girl Scouts Alumnae Association will have the annual meeting and luncheon on March 8th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (catered meal so reservations needed by 3/3/14) at the Mary Nichols Family Center, 6100 N Robinson, OKC, OK. Besides the fun and social time during the luncheon, awards will be presented as needed. Anyone interested in the alumnae group or luncheon may contact the current chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: http://www.gswestok.org/alumnae/.
Greetings sisters! As you know, our monthly supper club is a perfect place for old friends to reconnect and also is a perfect opportunity to welcome new members. This spring we will enjoy some classic American cuisine and brick oven pizza courtesy of B.J.’s on Memorial Road on March 8th. On April 10th, our gathering will be at Lido’s on Military Avenue near NW 23rd and Classen. The Lido specializes in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Rounding out the spring on May 12th will be a date at Cattlemen’s on SW 15th and Agnew, this “most famous” steakhouse. If you have ideas for other restaurants, please let one of the board members know. We are always looking for new places to try!
January 22 marked 41 years since the historic federal Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion throughout the United States. The ruling was a tremendous victory. Yet the fight over women’s ability to control their own lives continues to get hotter and hotter.
More abortion restrictions were enacted 2011–2013 than in the entire previous decade. Twenty–three states essentially banned abortion from plans offered through the new health insurance marketplaces, according to the pro–choice Guttmacher Institute. Debates also rage over access to birth control like Plan B. Lack of reproductive care has a devastating impact on the poor, who don’t have resources to buy “extra” health services or navigate all the roadblocks to obtaining an abortion.
The rightwing continues to push an agenda that defines women’s value primarily as baby–makers, while slashing desperately needed social services including food stamps, childcare, and housing. Frankly, it is both Republican and Democratic Party politicians who pass these abhorrent funding measures.
Nevertheless, resistance continues. Feminists took action, like the women and men in Albuquerque who defeated an anti–abortion initiative and those in Texas who took over their state capitol to protest anti–abortion legislation. In another case, the ACLU is tackling the issue of Catholic facilities that refuse to provide women legal, safe, and simple medical procedures.
Winning that lawsuit, and the rainbow of needs required for full reproductive justice, will take bold, visible, multi–racial, radical organizing in legislatures, courtrooms, and the streets. Hope we’ll see you in this struggle! In solidarity,
With the passing of Marilyn Sebek, Herland has lost a piece of the herstory. Marilyn was an eager participant in activities during the early days of Herland. She was passionate about the rights of women and the well–being of our community and lent her support both physically and financially.
As an example while serving on the OKC Pride committee in the 90s, Marilyn asked why we should pay the Oak Lawn Band to come up from Dallas to play in our parade. Surely, she offered, “We have enough musical talent to form our own band.” The group that met at Marilyn’s house to form the “Banned in Oklahoma” band was composed of a few musicians and many enthusiasts who had scarcely touched their instruments since high school. With hard work and practice, the “Banned” not only marched in OKC Pride parades but also affiliated with the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America. This umbrella group received an invitation to play for President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in January of 1997, and “Banned in Oklahoma” was there on Pennsylvania Avenue, freezing, but playing “Hail to the Chief” as President Clinton stopped his limousine to listen and give the group a big smile and thumbs up. That was a memory that Marilyn cherished.
Marilyn was an Okie, born in Mooreland, graduating from Capitol Hill High School and working at Tinker Air Force Base until her retirement. She loved her “Green Acres” at 105th and Choctaw Road, where she raised chickens, took in stray dogs, and grew more vegetables than she could use or give away. In 2004, Marilyn sold her property and moved to Houston, TX; then in 2006, she moved to Deville, LA, a little town where she last lived and died.
For the many friends of this gregarious woman, the memories are deep and indelible. They remember her laugh and wide smile, besides her loves–parties, food, cards, gambling, White Russians, travel, and her gold Honda. They remember that she was the champion of the underdog and a helpmate for the friendless and disadvantaged, as well as being politically savvy and well–informed. Not everyone knew that she was also artistic, making small objects d’art from titanium.
One tribute came from Joni Darnell, who wrote, “Marilyn would have these great parties at her house when I first met her in 1979. I was in the process of coming out, and it was great being around such a supportive group of lesbians. I felt honored to be included. Although I was never a very good musician, I joined the ‘Banned in Oklahoma’ band, and I always felt supported and loved by the group and Marilyn. I will never forget Marilyn Sebek as she was a very fun and caring person to be around.”
Another tribute came from Barbara “Wahru” Cleveland, who wrote, “ . . . so much of what I say has to do with how Marilyn helped me before Herland which led to many of my successes with Herland. Marilyn introduced me to the Women’s Music industry by having parties and then slowly changing the music to women’s music. When asked what was playing, she would pull out the record and tape store, acting as a distributor in Oklahoma. She let me have music parties at her place in the country, supplying the party eats and drinks. When I took on Herland Bookstore [its name then], she connected me to the music distribution company and even convinced them to give me business discount credit until I could pay. They picked a selection of records and tapes and shipped them to me in time for Herland’s opening. Marilyn provided a discount on wine to help with two concerts; the concerts were called ”Wine and Cheese and an evening with Gayle Marie.” She supported Herland financially even through the transition from bookstore to women’s resource center. She bailed me out from time to time with loans, etc., especially when I needed up front money to do a concert. She was a business woman, and I was a dreamer. I sought advice from her often. She was/is my friend [edited].”
Creating a myriad of marvelous memories, Marilyn Sebek was a Herland friend and supporter for many years. She is missed.
March 8–B.J.’s, 2425 W Memorial Rd, #4, OKC @ 5:30 p.m.
April 12–Lido’s, 2518 N Military Ave, Ste 101, OKC, @ 5:30 p.m.
May 10–Cattlemen’s 1309 S Agnew Ave, OKC @ HSR 5:30 p.m.
June 14–tentative date
If you have a restaurant to suggest for a future Herland Supper Club, please e–mail us at email@example.com. We welcome your ideas.
Saturday 8th HSR open 1–5 p.m./Supper Club at Caper’s
Saturday 15th Susan B Anthony’s Birthday
Sunday 16th 4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Saturday 23rd HSR open 1–5 p.m.
March–Women’s History Month
Tuesday 4th Special Elections in some areas
Saturday 8th International Women’s Day
Saturday 8th HSR open 1–5 p.m./Supper Club at B.J.’s
Sunday 9th Daylight Savings Time Begins
Sunday 16th 4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Monday 17th St. Patrick’s Day
Thursday 20th First Day of Spring
Saturday 22nd HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Saturday 12th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Sunday 20th Easter/4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Tuesday 22nd Earth Day
Saturday 26th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Monday 5th Cinco de Mayo
Saturday 10th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Sunday 11th Mother’s Day
Friday–Sunday 16–18th Retreat at Roman Nose State Park
Saturday 24th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Monday 26th observed Memorial Day
Fall Retreat 2014–October or November
Thank you to a Herland Angel Elaine Barton for her generous donation.