Eyes on the Prize

I want to write some words of encouragement to my friends in California and across the world who experienced, like me, the very personal defeat of the passage of Proposition 8 last week. While I am disappointed in this result, I remain encouraged in the overarching victory of the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. While we may have lost some battles that night, including Prop 8, Obama’s election bodes well for LGBT folks. Let’s take the long-term view.

Prop 8 succeeded in large part because of the final ugly push by the pro Prop 8 bigots that preyed on people’s basest fears and prejudices. The Prop 8 folks organized a last-minute effort of robocalls aimed primarily at African Americans and some Democrats who they knew would be supporting Barack Obama. I received one of these calls on Election Night on my cell phone which has a 415 area code (they must not have had in their notes that my wife and I were the second couple married at San Francisco City Hall in 2004). The calls featured an audio quote from Barack Obama where, in his own voice, he says that marriage is between one man and one woman, followed by another voice urging voters to vote yes on Prop 8.

Obama did not give permission for them to use his quote for this purpose, and he adamantly opposed Prop 8.  In response to the robocalls last week, Obama issued this statement:

As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law…And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states. For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.

When has any other candidate seeking the Office of the President came out with an unequivocally supportive statement of gay rights like this? And for the first time in history, a President Elect said the word “gay” out loud in his acceptance speech.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It is a new day, and I am ever hopeful that we will have equal rights one day soon.

Happy Loving Day!

Gillian & Sarah, June 2004

Today is Loving Day, the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision of Loving v. Virginia, which made all miscegenation laws (banning interracial marriage) unconstitutional. Mildred Loving died on May 2nd this year, just two weeks before the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry in that state, making that decision and the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia all the more poignant. In recent years, Mildred Loving was an outspoken supporter of the same-sex marriage, seeing the connection to her and her husband’s case forty years prior.

I think it is wonderful that people celebrate this day. I hope that someday soon the organizers of the Loving Day celebration will see the opportunity and clearly articulate the civil rights connection between the marriage equality movement and the Loving decision, as Mildred Loving did.

Meanwhile, I hope anyone reading this blog acknowledges this day with love in some way, our greatest gift to the world.

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.