osodecanela: (Default)
...yet it feels so hollow.

Two straight friends have called this morning, to offer their congratulations and their reassurances. Congratulations? I guess that I'm still married is something of an achievement.

Don't get me wrong. That I'm still legally married is something I am relieved about. There was a gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach for the past month, that my marriage and our legal protections as a married couples would simply go *poof* this morning. However, that no other same gender couples who had not already done so prior to the election last November, can go ahead and marry leaves me heartsick.

I thought I had equal protection under the law of this state, yet our civil rights can be put up to a majority vote. Religious groups can fill the airwaves with hateful lies about me and other gay people, and yet our community has no recourse?

This is just plain wrong. It needs to change. But how?

So we go back to the ballot box in 2010 or 2012, and perhaps the next time around we win. Great. I will work to see that it happens.

But, won't that be just another popular vote? It we can legislate this stuff in or out based on it's popularity, how will we ever know with certainty it will not get changed again? Hemlines go up, then they go down again. Societies have been accepting of minorities in their midst in the past, then scapegoated them when it was socially expedient. (Just ask any Nisei or Sansei who lived in the US thru WWII.)

My heart remains very heavy today. Very heavy indeed.
osodecanela: (Default)
It's been a week since the legislatures in both Maine & New Hampshire approved same gender marriage. Maine's governor promptly signed it into law, but Gov. Lynch (D-NH) did not.

Now I've read that in NH the governor has 5 days while the legislature is in session to sign or veto; if not vetoed in that period, the bill becomes law without his signiture. I've been scanning the newswires this AM, but none seems to have anything about NH.

Anybody out there have any word? Is New Hampshire state #6??

MAINE!!!!

May. 6th, 2009 02:22 pm
osodecanela: (Default)
This boy, who was once a downeastah, is proud to see that Maine is now state #5 to legalize same-gender marriage and the second to do it via their legislature, only this time the governor signed it, doing so within an hour of passage by their legislature. (http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/105356.html)

Now I'm keeping my fingers ever so tightly crossed that our California Supreme Court sees their way to over-turn prop 8.
osodecanela: (Default)
I was only semi-wiped after a half nights sleep. The 4 am call to come catch a baby did get me there in ample time to play catcher and when all was said and done, I decided to get myself the supplies I needed to make a new pair of leather suspenders. It seems that most dress slacks don't have a center belt loop, put a pair split on either side of the center seam. Moreover, I wanted a more slender brown leather with brass fittings to contrast olive and khaki slacks, rather than the black leather ones that look like an accessory to a harness worn to Folsom St.

Tandy's had a store front outlet in Rohnert Park until a few years back. Now there is only a store in the west county south of Sebastopol which carries some of Tandy's goods in addition to their own leatherwork (which is rather pricy). I found what I needed and in about 20 minutes had all that I needed for my project. The young woman at the counter, a late 20-something who was patiently stiching herself a leather purse, had been very helpful pointing me to where the findings I wanted could be found. As I paid, she commented on the two amulets I had hanging on my neck.

"How beautiful! What are they?"
"The first is a Chamsa or the Hand of God; it's one of the few symbols common to both Islam and Judaism. The other is a quote from the Song of Songs by King Solomon"
"What does is say?"
"Ani le dodi, v'dodi lee; I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. I've worn it since shortly before we got married."
"Oh, that's wonderful! When did you get married?"
"Last summer, but we've been together for 27 years."
"Finally decided you were ready?"
"No, it finally became legal."

I saw the wheels turning as she wrinkled her brow. Clearly a WTF look. Then the light bulb switched on and she understood. Her wrinkled brow gave way to a smile. My sexuality had caught her off guard. To my pleasure she made it clear she had voted against 8.

"Is it still legal?" she asked.
"My marriage?" She nodded.
"The Supreme Court hasn't ruled yet. I suspect they'll let the 18,000 marriages stand, but I also think they'll let Prop 8 stand as well."
She frowned. I decided I liked this woman.

"I don't get it. You guys love each other. How the hell does you're being married threaten me and my relationship?"
"No, you do get it!"
"Huh?"
"You do get it. My marriage doesn't threaten yours. It's fear and bigotry just like other minorities have suffered."

We then got into a discussion of the bans on inter-racial marriage. She had no idea that there had been states that banned that as recently as 1967. She had no idea what the Loving Decision was. Don't they teach anything in the schools any more?

I left for home and for bed feeling a bit lighter and a bit more hopeful than I had. It had turned into a lovely day.
osodecanela: (Default)
As I was walking out of the house this morning, I stopped to kiss my husband goodbye, and it delayed me long enough to hear CNN announce that Vermont just legalized same gender marriage.

This is historic as it's not only the 4th (or 5th, depending on how you count) state to legalize it, but it's the first one where it was the legislature and not the courts to do so. Moreover, it was vetoed by their governor, and then his veto was overridden, by both state houses. Fait accompli!

To my surprise, as I drove off of our hill, to the valley below while I listened to the details on NPR, I found tears gently rolling down my face. (If any one mentions Sally Fields accepting her second Oscar, I will forget my testimony on non-violence and shoot you!)

I can only hope that the actions in Iowa and Vermont resonate with the justices of our state Supreme Court.
osodecanela: (Default)
Iowa. Who would have thought? And by unanimous decision of their Supreme Court no less!

I was driving into work this morning when I got a phone call from a friend who very excitedly told me about the Iowa court decision. He was absolutely effervescent. So now there are three, Massachusetts who paved the way, Connecticut and now Iowa. I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted that our rights, civil and human, has been recognized in the heartland.

What has happened here in California however, still weighs very heavily on my heart. Within the next two months we'll know if the Supreme Court will nullify my marriage. While I suspect the legality of my marriage will stand, the likelihood that Proposition 8 will also be left standing leaves me with little joy. In the eyes of the federal government, I am not married. Our household will not be counted as a married couple in the next census, but rather as unrelated adults living in the same abode. My husband will receive no Social Security benefits from my income, should anything happen to me. What do I tell the young people in my practice who are just in the process of coming out? How can I support them, help them feel as equals in our society, if our own Supreme Court might tell them that they are not. Somehow telling them they could move to Iowa or Connecticut sounds a bit hollow.

I had been seasoning requests our Meetings to take our marriage under their care, but right this moment, as long as it's illegal for new same-gender couples to marry, it just doesn't feel right to me. Maybe I'm confusing religious marriage with civil marriage, but if a same gender couple cannot legally marry at this time in California, the thought of us having a religious ceremony celebrating our marriage just goes against my testimony on equality.

So I sit with all this, grateful that Iowa has 'seen the light', but so anxious with what will happen in our courts.

On an unrelated note, a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video earlier today. Those of you who know YouTube are well aware that one video links to another and then another. What I saw today had to do with the native Jewish populations in Mumbai and in Tsaifeng, China. Both videos dealt with these Jews aliyah to Israel and both featured scenes of these religious people, praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Seeing such clearly Asian faces, their men wearing tallit and kippot, some even bound in tefillin, finally able to pray at Judaism's holiest of holy places was inspiring. One man of the b'nai Menashem from India, was photographed from behind, deep in prayer, his left hand stretched above his head touching the wall, his right clutching his infant son. Seeing something which was for them so clearly an issue of spiritual devotion was moving; I found myself surprised as a single salty tear fell from the corner of my eye and meandered its way down my cheek into my beard below.

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