31 October 2008

What Next?

There's an article about me in today's Los Angeles Times. Not me, specifically, but me and the estimated 32,000 gays and lesbians who will have gotten married in California between 15 June (the first day such marriages were legal) and election day (next Tuesday).

After 13.5 years, my partner (Matt) and I drove to California and did the deed (03 July). And now, we're a statistic. Next week we'll still be a statistic, but I don't know which kind: either we will be part of the initial wave that got married or part of the group in legal limbo (will our marriage still be legal?).

You see, California has this thing called Proposition 8 -- known in some circles as Proposition H8 (get it?) -- in which some people seek to "protect" traditional marriage (from what, no one seems to know) by codifying discrimination in the California constitution. It essentially says marriages would only be valid if between a man and a woman.

Everything I have read about the reasons for this "necessity" say it is important to ban same-sex marriages "for the children." How this affects children is never quite explained.

(Interestingly, here in Arizona we have a similar piece of proposed legislation floating around, called Proposition 102. Everything I have read about the reasons for this "necessity" say it is important to ban same-sex marriages "for the children." Again, no one explains just how this affects them.)

Anyway, right now it seems that Proposition 8 will not pass -- but just barely. This means, of course, that in two years the same issue will be before the voters. But it also means more tens of thousands of gays and lesbians will have gotten married and will, just like now, have to live with the threat that their marriages will be rendered invalid by a bunch of ignorant bigots. Oddly, almost the exact same thing happened here two years ago when an enlightened electorate defeated a same-sex-marriage ban. I mean, seriously, what part of "no" do they not understand?

So, for now, Matt and I remain married and ready to celebrate our 14th anniversary next month.

P.S. Last week I was called for jury duty (and did not get picked, damnit!). You know the part of the selection process where you have to tell about yourself, where you work, if you're married, etc? Well, I was listening to all the straights telling about their wives and husbands. So, this is what I said: "I am happy to say I just got married to my partner of 14 years, and HE is a graphic designer." I figured I would piss off a lot of people by saying that. You know what happened? During a break about half a dozen people came up and congratulated me. Can you imagine? Maybe there is hope yet.

You can read the article here.

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