Making Fantasy Reality: THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER and Marriage Equality

As you’ve probably heard if you pay attention to the news or spend a lot of time on Facebook, the Supreme Court is taking on the question of gay marriage on Tuesday.

The case stems from a suit in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which coincidentally happens to be in my home state. A gay couple was married in Maryland and returned to Ohio. A year later one of them died, and his husband wanted his name listed on the death certificate as spouse. Ohio doesn’t recognize gay marriage, so there’s been a protracted legal battle over it that has finally landed the question in the Supreme Court. The outcome may result in overturning the remaining state bans on same-sex marriage (including Ohio’s) and making it legal nationwide.

I’m a happily married straight man. I’ve got three kids who all (as far as I know) are straight.

And I’m hoping SCOTUS will find in favor of the plaintiffs so that marriage equality is the law of the land from henceforth.

In my view, it’s a very simple civil rights issue. LGBTQ+ couples want to wed. The state conveys certain privileges and advantages (tax and estate) to married couples. Therefore, it’s discriminatory to deny some citizens access to those benefits.

So I’ve been campaigning in my personal life among friends and associates for support of the issue of gay marriage. I’ve made myself an ally wherever possible and encouraged my children to do the same.

I believe in the old saw of “put your money where your mouth is,” so I also have been donating to Freedom to Marry — a national organization that has been battling for marriage equality. Since publishing my novel, The Sword and the Sorcerer in December of 2013, I’ve been donating a dollar from every sale of the book to Freedom to Marry.

Sales from THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER benefit Freedom to Marry.

Sales from THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER benefit Freedom to Marry.

The Sword and the Sorcerer features a gay couple. It’s set in a fantasy world with wizards and dragons, but the protagonist is gay, and his boyfriend is a soldier turned courtier. The two are drawn into a quest involving the murder of the world’s most powerful sorcerer (the protag’s father) and the struggle to reset the balance of power in the world that ensues.

It’s not the sort of thing one might think of as “gay literature.”

But among the things I wanted to accomplish with this novel is to imagine a world where the sexual orientation of the main character is of no consequence, even if he’s homosexual. Throughout the story, everyone knows Calibot and Devon are gay and involved. That never matters to anyone. It’s just accepted as fact.

When the bad guys try to kill them, it’s because the couple threatens the evil scheme. When they acquire allies, it’s because people think they are in the right.

But no one stops to wonder why two men are in a romantic relationship.

Indeed, the duke they serve values them both for what they bring to his court. He wants Calibot for his skill as a poet and Devon for his military wisdom.

The Sword and the Sorcerer isn’t really about gay marriage. It just has a long-term, same-sex relationship that is central to the lives of the main characters, and everyone sees it as normal.

So to help create that sort of reality here in the U.S., I’ve been donating a portion of my sales to Freedom to Marry. This week, I’ve put the book on sale for 99 cents. I’ll still donate a dollar per sale, so I’m basically giving it away for free in exchange for a one-dollar donation to Freedom to Marry.

I invite you to help me make fantasy a reality for LGBTQ+ couples. Click on the link below to get a copy of The Sword and the Sorcerer. You’ll get a 4.5-star fantasy novel and help Freedom to Marry win the fight to secure marriage rights for all Americans.

Click here to purchase The Sword and the Sorcerer from Amazon.com.

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