Podcast: Featured Guest Jon S. Cardin

Original Air Date: June 4, 2012

Photo Jon S. Cardin, Esq.Delegate Jon S. Cardin is in the second year of his third term representing the 11th District of Northwest Baltimore County in the Maryland House of Delegates. Delegate Cardin has served as Chairman of the Election Law subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee since 2007. The Ways and Means committee areas of jurisdiction include gaming, taxes, children & youth, education, and election reform. He previously served on the Tax & Revenue and Education subcommittees. The Delegate focuses his legislative agenda on election law, the tax code, education reform and environmental policy. Read more on Jon’s website.

Delegate Cardin has represented the House of Delegates on several taskforces. These included the Taskforce to Study Elderly and Retiree Migration Into and Out of Maryland, the Taskforce on Comparable Testing Methods for the Maryland High School Assessments, and the Taskforce to Implement Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance Education. He also served on the Special Committee on Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility. He presently serves on the Student Health and Fitness Taskforce and the Legislative Technology and Data Information Committee. Among other awards, Delegate Cardin received the 2008 Legislator of the Year Award from the National Humane Society, Maryland Chapter for sponsoring legislation that reduced unnecessary cruelty to animals.

When the House of Delegates is not in session, Delegate Cardin practices law at Law Offices of Jon S. Cardin, P.A. in Baltimore, one of whose clients is RTI, International. Delegate Cardin participates in a wide range of activities in our community including serving as a member of the Board of Directors/Advisors The Camp Shohola Scholarship Fund, Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson Univ., UMBC Hillel, The American Council of Young Political Leaders, Institute for Progressive Leadership, and the Maryland Public Interest Law Project. He is Chair-Elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Election Law Committee.

Delegate Cardin earned a Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2001. Upon graduation from law school, Delegate Cardin worked as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable William D. Quarles in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, during his successful confirmation process to sit on the United States Federal Bench for the District of Maryland.

Delegate Cardin received his Master’s degree in Policy Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and his Masters degree with Honors in Judaic Studies from Baltimore Hebrew University, both in 1996 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from both institutions in 2009. He was recruited as executive director of The Project Judaica Foundation in Washington, DC from 1996-1998.

Jon was hired as a faculty member of The Mercersburg Academy (1992-1994). Before teaching Spanish and coaching lacrosse and basketball at Mercersburg, Delegate Cardin obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University in 1992. He is a 1988 alumnus of The Park School.

Since 1990 Delegate Cardin has competed in numerous triathlons, marathons, and adventure races. He has honored to visit more than 40 countries and has also gained valuable perspective from his travels to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Morocco, Taiwan, Israel, and across the United States in his capacity as a legislator.

Delegate Cardin sits in the seat formerly occupied by his uncle, Senator Ben Cardin, great uncle, Delegate Maurice Cardin, and grandfather, the Honorable Judge Meyer Cardin demonstrating a multi-generational commitment to public service. He is married to Megan Homer Cardin and has one child named Dorothy Maya Cardin.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Mark F. Scurti

Original Air Date: May 28, 2012

Photo Mark F. ScurtiMark F. Scurti is a partner with Pessin Katz Law Office, P.A. headquartered in Towson Maryland where he heads the Same Sex Law practice group handling estate planning, adoption, name and gender changes, divorce and dissolution and custody matters. Mark was the lawyer for Jessica Port, who along with her wife, Virginia Anne Cowan appealed the denial of their uncontested divorce in PG County and won. His practice area also includes representation of debtors and creditors in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings as well as debt restructuring.

Mark received his JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1991, and received his MBA and BA from Loyola College in Maryland in ’87 and ’85. He is Past President of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Baltimore Bar Foundation, LGBT Bar of Maryland, Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, and past Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association Consumer Bankruptcy Section. He has served on the MSBA Board of Governors, the National LGBT Bar Association board and chaired the Free State Legal Project, a clinic for low income LGBT individuals across the state of Maryland that is opening in July 2011.

He currently chairs the MSBA Local Specialty Bar Liaison Committee, serves on the executive council of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and as a Trustee on the Baltimore Bar Foundation. In his free time he serves as an adjunct professor at both the University of Baltimore and University of Maryland Schools of Law teaching Sexual Orientation and the Law.

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Podcast: Obama, the NAACP and Rev. Jesse Jackson Support Same-Sex Marraige

Original Air Date: May 21, 2012

Photo hands with rings in front of rainbowBob and Lori Hollander discuss President Obama, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Reverend Jesse Jackson’s support of same-sex marriage.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Jane Sims

Original Air Date: May 14, 2012

Photo Jane Frankel SimsJane Frankel Sims is the founder and managing attorney of the Law Office of Jane Frankel Sims, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Jane practices in the areas of Estate Planning, Estate and Gift Taxation, Estate and Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. She is admitted to the bar in Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia.

A graduate of The Park School of Baltimore, Jane completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, obtained a Masters of Education degree from Stanford University and received her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before starting her own firm, Jane practiced in the areas of estate planning and taxation at Miles & Stockbridge and DLA Piper in Baltimore, as well as at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Zach Wahls, Author My Two Moms

Original Air Date: April 30, 2012

A RESOUNDING TESTAMENT TO THE POWER OF FAMILY AND A REASSURANCE THAT THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO BE WHO YOU ARE.

Book cover My Two Moms Zach WahlsMY TWO MOMS

Lessons of Love, Strength,

and What Makes a Family

ZACH WAHLS

WITH BRUCE LITTLEFIELD

“He lit up the Internet when he delivered a passionate plea to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of gay marriage.  Take a look at him…a hero.”Ellen DeGeneres

In YouTube’s #1 political video of 2011, 19-year-old Zach Wahls bravely stood up in front of the Iowa House of Representatives and defended his family. Now, Zach is speaking out again.

His new book MY TWO MOMS: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family (Gotham Books; April 26, 2012; $26.00) is “a response to all those who say I am ‘different.’” It is an exploration of the values his two moms taught him, values driven home by his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout – the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. Zach is a resounding testament to the power of family and reassurance that there is no wrong way to be who you are.

In many ways, Zach’s upbringing was very normal—he played sports, was active in Boy Scouts, and led his high school speech and debate team—yet, growing up with two moms, he knows what it’s like to feel different and to fear being bullied or worse. In heartrending detail, Zach recalls the defining “different” moments in his life: watching his parents’ public commitment ceremony as a young boy, not being able to understand why their union, “a commitment that has endured much adversity,” was not considered legal. He shares the experience of learning “how to shave from my best friend’s dad and how to tie a tie from an article in Playboy.” He had to carefully explain to an Indian visa officer why he left the ‘Name of Father’ space blank on his visa application—he didn’t know it and “Donor 1033” hardly seemed like an appropriate answer. Zach’s biological “tall mom,” Terry, suffered from MS, while his “short mom,” Jackie, had no legal medical rights to take care of her; yet, she was so committed with love that she stood by her anyway.

Despite these challenges, his two moms were there to help him learn how to overcome those obstacles, as any parent would: “Yes, I can certainly see my family’s differences…however, I am unable to actually feel those differences,” Zach says.

Zach’s message will hit home with anyone who has ever been made to feel “different.” He hopes that when reading MY TWO MOMS, people will open their minds because as Zach explains, “How can we hope to understand each other if we aren’t willing to engage each other? And how can we hope to engage each other if, when we see somebody who seems slightly different from us, we look away? If you do take the time to stop and ask questions…you’ll learn that there is far more that binds us, more that unites us, than separates us.”

Zach Wahls did not have to be the kid to write MY TWO MOMS – there are over two million children of same-sex couples in the world – he just happens to be. As Zach says himself, “This is the story of only one family and the thoughts and recollections of only one person —though I hope this inspires other kids to share their stories.” Zach is lending a new perspective on an issue that has already begun to define the 2012 election cycle – but he’s also speaking to a larger population on the universal feeling of being on the outside. He doesn’t expect his story “to convince every [skeptic] that being gay isn’t a ‘choice’ or that same-sex marriage should be legal, or even that I reached adulthood undamaged by the sexuality of my parents.” He does, however, dare you to pick up MY TWO MOMS and put it down unchanged, your preconceived notions of what it means to grow up with gay parents firmly intact.

You might have more in common with the boy who has two moms than you thought.

www.zachwahls.com

@ZachWahls

** Available in hardcover and as an E-Book**

About the Authors:

Photo Zach WahlsZach Wahls is a writer, speaker, civil rights advocate, entrepreneur, Green Bay Packers fan, and a sixth-generation Iowan. He is the founder of Iowa City Learns, an educational service dedicated to elevating academic achievement, and the CFO of the Eastern Iowa Renewable Energy Coalition, a solar financing start-up. His writing has appeared in The Daily Beast, The Des Moines Register, and The Daily Iowan, and the video of his testimony before the Iowa House of Representatives about his life growing up with two moms was YouTube’s most-watched political video of 2011. He lives in Iowa City. Visit him at www.zachwahls.com.

Bruce Littlefield is a bestselling author and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, People, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He lives in New York City. Visit him at www.BruceLittlefield.com.

About Gotham Books:

Gotham Books, a nonfiction imprint of Penguin Group (USA), was launched in 2003 by industry veteran William Shinker. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Gotham Books, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Penguin Press, Philomel, Riverhead Books, and Viking, among others.  Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.

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Podcast: The Bible, History and Homosexuality

Original Air Date: April 23, 2012

Many conservatives and religious fundamentalists condemn homosexuality based upon their literal reading of Scripture and the “Word.” But which Scripture are they referring to, which “version” of the Bible, and which “Word” – the Oral Word that existed well before the written Word? In this broadcast we take on what conservatives and fundamentalist fear most – the years of scholarship that reveal Scripture and the “Word” to be the product of an “evolutionary” process over the course of 2000 years, and the apparent absurdity of attempting to read the Bible literally, as if it fell out of the sky in Elizabethan English.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Elbridge James

Original Air Date: April 16, 2012

Photo Elbridge JamesElbridge James is President of the Board of Progressive Maryland, an affiliate organization of US Action. He is also the Political Action Chair for the Maryland State NAACP; and a co-founder and director of the Maryland Black Family Alliance, a coalition of Black leaders, families and individuals of many faiths. Elbridge works to build coalitions of religious, labor, and community leaders to defend the interests of working families against the special interests. Under his leadership, Progressive Maryland continues to grow as a strong statewide organization capable of enacting big reforms, such as our bills to raise the minimum wage, support tax fairness and strengthen public education and health care in our state.

For more than a decade, Elbridge has served, in Annapolis, MD as the chief lobbyist and legislative advocate for the Maryland State NAACP. He has worked on legislative issues for the ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland and Progressive Maryland. Elbridge has a proven track record of passing civil rights and pro-worker reforms in Annapolis. He was instrumental in banning racial profiling and expanding voting rights, among other issues. Mr. James is retired from the University of Maryland; he lives with his wife Debra in Rockville, they have three grown children.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Akil S. Patterson

Original Air Date: April 9, 2012

When he’s not training with his mat partner, Akil S. Patterson is advising up-and-coming wrestlers or competing for the New York Athletic Club’s wrestling team, with his eye on representing the U.S. at the Olympics. His life is all wrestling, all the time. But that’s not always been the case. After making the All-American football team in high school, Patterson went on to play ball in college. But while he excelled in the sport, school itself was largely a dark period in which he avoided dealing with his sexual orientation. A trip to Europe changed all that. After seeing gay men live their lives openly and happily, Patterson came out of the closet to his friends and family and finished his education. Then, after a quick stint in Montana playing semipro football, Patterson was ready for another change.

He returned to the wrestling mat — and shed 110 pounds. “I look at those people on The Biggest Loser, and I just think they’re a bunch of crybabies,” he jokes. “I did it through wrestling. It’s goal-oriented, and you’re constantly being challenged.” In one of his first matches, Patterson faced a Pan American Games champion — and won. Now, when he’s not training, he counsels teenagers and young adults in Washington, D.C. “I try to keep them involved in activities,” he says. “I’m filling their world in terms of athletics. Sports helped me, so it can help them too.” (The Advocate Magazine “40 Under 40”)

Now Patterson is ready to take on a new challenge. The multi-award winning Greco-Roman Wrestler is coming off the mat to take on bullying and its affect on athletes on and off the playing field. Patterson not only plans to fight for the rights of LGBT athletes but the growing community of LGBT people seeking equality across the board. Through the formation of The Patterson Project, Patterson hopes to bring forth change. The goal of the Patterson Project is to become a voice and advocate for LGBT athletes across the globe. The project will aide and educate students, staff, coaches, and their family members on how to support athletes who may be LGBT or be working with LGBT community members.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Fred Karger, Presidential Candidate

Original Air Date:April 2, 2012

Lori & Bob Hollander, and Pastor Larry Brumfield originally had no guest scheduled and were instead going to have a factual discussion about the confidential documents recently released from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) which describe their “strategic goal to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key Democratic constituencies.” At the last minute Fred Karger agreed to be our guest for the show. Karger is the person who filed the lawsuit against NOM in Maine which led to the release of these documents and thereby exposed NOM’s strategy.

Photo Fred KargerFred Karger was the first to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on March 23, 2011. Throughout his career, Karger has worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant on campaigns for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. He retired after 27 years and has since become an activist for gay rights causes, including his organization Californians Against Hate (now Rights Equal Rights) to investigate the LDS Church and the National Organization for Marriage in their campaigns against marriage equality in California and Maine.

Karger is the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history.

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Podcast: Featured Guest Michelle Willis

Original Air Date: March 26, 2012

Photo Michelle WillisMichelle Willis, LCSW-C has worked in the child welfare field for over 12 years in many different capacities, including a direct staff foster care worker, supervisor, and as a trainer. In her current role with the Woodbourne Center, Ms. Willis is focused on recruiting foster parents who are ready, willing, able and excited about making a difference in the lives of children and teens in the Maryland area. A focus of this recruitment is identifying families who are equipped and prepared to support LGBTQ youth in the foster care system.

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