I’m still in the lovely state of Tayhas, but those of you who live in California know what I’m talking about.
There’s a referendum on the ballot on November 4th to reverse the right of gay people to get married, legally, in California.
A few months ago, the California Supreme Court concluded that not allowing all its citizens the right to marry was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Everyone has a right to marry who they want, even if the person is of the same-sex. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and in most of the Western world (Canada, Europe, etc.) and, currently, in our great state of California.
Proposition 8 would reverse the California Supreme Court decision and invalidate all the same-sex marriages that have been performed here.
There are benefits to marriage: tax benefits, estate benefits (being able to inherit your partner’s money without paying taxes or running into weird estate laws), laws like…who can come into the ICU when you’re sick, because it’s “family only”. Or who can decide what to do if you’re brain-dead…your partner, your husband/wife, should be the one making these decisions. But if you’re gay, your partner isn’t “family” which, when I think of this, I am about to burst into tears—can you imagine???? Mike and I aren’t family because we are not related to each other. But that’s what it’s like for gay and lesbian couples.
My dear friends Paul and Matt, have been together for fifteen years. Matt laughed wryly and said that all his brothers and sisters are divorced, but he and Paul have been together for much longer than any of his siblings. They own two houses together, and yet, they are not “married”.
Another of my best friends, Tom Dolby, with whom I co-edited the anthology “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” is planning a fall wedding next year with his fiance, Drew. It just about destroys me that the government has the ability to tell people who can be “married” or not. When Tom and Drew got engaged, we received a beautiful engagement announcement from their parents. Friends have feted them at parties from coast to coast. I am really looking forward to a fabulous wedding. Tom and Drew are really upset about Proposition 8, as you can imagine. They have been looking forward to making it legal.
What is a wedding after all, than a chance to celebrate with your family, your community, to be able to declare, in public, that the two of you are pledged to each other? And legal status MATTERS. It just does. Everyone should have a right to be a “Smug Married”. EVERYONE!
NO ON 8!!!