Just(ly) Married

Just Married

Originally uploaded by silly.goose

This week we celebrated a victory. The CA Supreme Court ruled that we have the right to marry and form a family bond, and that is protected by the California Constitution. We have taken a big step away from second class citizenship!

We are indeed blessed for so many reasons. Mildred Loving was smiling down on us.

I am so grateful for all of our friends and family who have supported us, and to the attorneys at NCLR, the ACLU, and the City of San Francisco.

And most of all, I’m grateful to my wife. I’m so proud to be married to her.

Freedom of Expression

My dad sent the following letter to Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern last week:

Representative Kern.

I just heard your remarks about gays. I am a 76 year old successful business executive who has known many gay persons at work and in society. All of them have been very productive and loving and kind. None of the deserve the hate that you are broadcasting. This is the trouble with this nation. People like you become misinformed and believe what they hear and become divisive. You are in a position of trust where you are supposed to represent all of the people. Gays make up over twelve per cent of the population and their friends and relatives expand that to at least twenty five per cent or more.

Do you feel responsible in your representation when you bash over one fourth of your constituents?

I ask you first to reconsider you hateful position and then become informed so you can represent your constituents properly. I can guarantee that you will be a much happier person as well.

My dad rocks. He’s one of my greatest role models. I thought this was an incredibly generous and hopeful response. My sister wrote to her, too, expressing her love and acceptance of gay people, and expressing her concern about Kern’s views (or more accurately her ignorance) about Islam and Muslims.

I can’t remember exactly what I wrote when I submitted my signature to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund open letter to Kern, but the general point was that I believe that Kern must know that her views are prejudiced, ignorant, and shameful. Otherwise she would not have expressed herself in a private audience where she believed her views wouldn’t be exposed.

My beloved pointed out that Kern is simply exercising her freedom of speech, and she has every right to her opinions. I couldn’t agree more, and I hope that more of her ilk come out into the light and expose themselves as the hate mongers that they are, especially if they are educators and hold public office as she does. People who hold office have a responsibility to represent and protect the rights of all people in their communities, even they don’t like them.

Freeheld Wins!

So, as usual, Gillian and I watched the Oscars as we always do, feeling really out of it this year because we just haven’t had the bandwidth to keep up with the movie season. We’ll get there with our Net Flix subscription, but we just haven’t had the time, energy, or money to keep up with the contenders.

Or so we thought. Sure, we missed Juno, but we managed to watch Away From Her before the show yesterday afternoon. And a few weeks ago we got out to see There Will Be Blood. I love the Coen Brothers, but I have to be in the mood to see something like No Country for Old Men (it looks scary!). Oh, and earlier in the fall we got to see Michael Clayton (I heart Tilda Swinton).

So, as they were announcing the best documentary short subject, I turned to Gillian to ask “How do we get to see the shorts?” to which she replied “Film festivals, of course.” And then Freeheld was announced the winner. We were just assuming that we hadn’t had the opportunity to see any of the films, so we weren’t really paying attention. But then the winners started talking about same sex couples and inheritance rights and stuff, and we realized that we had indeed seen this film! We saw Freeheld at the Reeling Film Festival during our first weeks here in Chicago.

Freeheld is the story of Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester, who, after a 25 year career with the Ocean County, NJ police department learned she had terminal lung cancer. She was denied the right to leave her pension to her partner Stacie Andree, a right she would have had if she had been in a heterosexual marriage. I don’t need to go into the details. See the movie. It’s amazing and inspiring and hopeful.

In one moment I felt so many emotions: Smug that I had actually seen the winning short documentary; sad at remembering the tragic story of love and loss that the movie told; grateful that Lieutenant Hester was brave enough to fight and generous enough to open her life during the last most intimate and painful moments of her life to fight for her partner and for the rights of others; proud that the battle for civil rights for same-sex couples has been brought to the forefront of popular culture in another way; and delighted that this important film won the Oscar.

It’s cheesy, I know, but this is why I watch the Oscars.

Top Ten Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Should Not Be Allowed*

  1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
  2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
  3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
  4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
  5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
  6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
  7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
  8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
  9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
  10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

*I blatantly stole this from another blogger, who had copied it from somewhere else.