Showing posts with label California Prop 8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California Prop 8. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

Archbishop-Elect Salvatore Cordileone (Co-Creator of CA Proposition 8) Arrested for DUI

What a fascinating development!


When Father Peter Petroske was recently arrested in Michigan for a DUI, he was immediately suspended from his duties.  (He also happened to be driving naked.)  It will be interesting to see if +Cordileone is suspended from his duties and sent off to detox or whether bishops on the fast track to cardinal, who author anti-gay constitutional amendments, get a free pass.  

ABC reports that Archbishop-elect Cordileone was arrested at 12:30 AM Saturday morning in the College District of San Diego State University.  Why was a drunken +Cordileone cruising at that hour?  I doubt he was canvassing against gay rights.





Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plural Marriage, Racism, Homophobia, and Armageddon for "Big Love"

     Tonight is the series finale of HBO's polygamist-family drama Big Love.

     Here's a clip in honor of Bill Henrickson and his "true" Mormons:


     Because the other "true" Church of Latter Day Saints knows about the sanctity of marriage:


      Some LDS claim plural marriage is an immutable pillar of their faith.  Others have spent millions of dollars on smear campaigns against same-sex couples in an attempt to prove the Mormon church believes marriage is, has been, and always will be, as their God commanded, between one man and one woman.  But they are hypocrites.  LDS teachings are mutable.   

     Or do they still believe the once-immutable teaching that African-Americans and other persons of color are the cursed descendants of Cain?  Polygamist Brigham Young did. Here's a Young quote from a Utah State University Secular Humanists, Atheists, and Free Thinkers article, entitled, "Why I Don’t Believe: Racism in Mormon History and Doctrine:"
     Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110)
     Tonight, as I say goodbye to the Henricksons, I can only hope that someday the Mormon church will say goodbye to its homophobia as it did to its racism.
Image via Entertainment Weekly

     PS.  If gays were as dominant in football as African-Americans, would the LDS drop its teachings condemning homosexuals to improve BYU's chances of winning a national championship?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Live Telecast This Morning: Oral Arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger

     From Chad Griffin, the American Foundation for Equal Rights:
     I’m about to enter the courthouse with AFER’s lead attorneys, Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, where the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments in our challenge to Prop. 8.
     Witness this historic moment. Visit afer.org for broadcast information including special coverage of today’s event. Whether you watch the hearing online or on TV, listen to it over the radio, or follow it over our Twitter-feed, this is an extraordinary opportunity to hear our legal team make the case for equality.
     The hearing is expected to last about two hours, and will address two questions. Starting at 10 a.m. PST, both sides will first address the issue of standing. David Boies will face off against the proponents of Prop. 8 and Imperial County, arguing that they lack the requirements necessary to appeal the Federal District Court decision.
     After the hour allotted to the standing question, there will be a short recess, followed by arguments on the merits of the case. Theodore B. Olson will argue that marriage is a fundamental right, denying that right to gay and lesbian Americans harms them and their families, and that Prop. 8 violates our nation’s promise of equality for all.
Watch it live on CSPAN or the California Channel.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Olson and Boies' Appellate Brief's Conclusion

     Here is the conclusion of the brief just filed by the plaintiffs and their attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies, in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger appeal.  Once again, I applaud the plaintiffs and their counsel for fighting the discrimination and hatred that fueled and is California Proposition 8.

     The entire document can be found here.  It's worth reading, but if you don't have the time, here's the conclusion to the 134 page document:
     Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay. A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay.  Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society. And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility.  The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.
     Proposition 8 was promoted as necessary to protect marriage and children, but its unmistakable purpose and effect is to isolate gay men and lesbians and their relationships as separate, unusual, dangerous, and unworthy of the marital relationship. By definition, such a law stigmatizes gay men and lesbians, and that kind of stigmatization leads, often indirectly, but certainly inevitably, to isolation and estrangement.
     What can the Supreme Court mean when it says that our Constitution “neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” if a majority can so stigmatize a small, visible, and vulnerable minority and in the process cause such wrenching anguish? The American promise—and dream—of equality surely means at a minimum that the government, before “drawing a line around” some segment of its citizenry and designating them unworthy of something as important and socially meaningful as the institution of marriage, must have a legitimate and factually tenable rationale for doing so. Proposition 8 fails even this most basic level of scrutiny.  It advances no legitimate purpose.
     The judgment of the district court should be affirmed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kathy Griffin on "Trickle-Down Homophobia" that Fuels Bullying and Suicides

Mormons, Catholics, & Fundamentalist Christians in the Crowded Marriage Bed

     Mormons, Catholics, and Fundamentalist Christians continue their unholy alliance to block and/or strip same-sex couples of their civil marriage and/or domestic partnership rights.  Their cooperation continues to baffle me as for centuries these groups have disdained one another.  They have conflicting theologies that indicate they don't even believe that they're all going to the same place after they die.

     In the videos embedded below, the President of the Church of Latter Day Saints "spake" to the Mormon General Council about the "wickedness" and "Satan's [inaudible] substitute and counterfeits for marriage," meaning civil same-sex marriages.  He traces his authority from Jesus to St. Peter to Joseph Smith and then through an unbroken line Mormon male elders that have the "power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases" and to tell everyone else how to live their lives.   Mormons believe that the "priesthood keys of authority" were restored by Joseph Smith after nearly two millennia of Catholic and Protestant failure known as the "dark centuries of apostasy."  But when it comes to opposing civil same-sex marriage rights, those apostates make great bedfellows.

     One of those apostate bedfellows, the Catholic Church, has a different explanation for its divine authority.   The Catholic Church believes the myth that the authority/keys of Peter have been passed in an unbroken line from pope to pope and that the true church of Jesus Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church.  Mormons are the apostates.

     The other bedfellow, the Fundamentalist Christians, think the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon and Mormons are morons.  For fundies, authority comes directly from Jesus to each individual believer through the Bible.  But, don't go getting ideas different from your fundamentalist preacher, or you'll be shunned as ignorant, willful, and heretical.  BTW, for these true Christians, the ones who historically have been hated the most are Jews, Catholics, Mormon, and Muslims.  Fundamentalist Christians used to denounce black Christians because they supposedly didn't have souls (Mormons also believed in the "Curse of Cain").  Today, homosexuals trump all these evil-other groups.  Fundamentalists are sleeping with anyone who will vote against the gays. 

     If Mormons, Catholics, and Fundamentalists Christians believe in the same concept of marriage, then surely they must believe in the same concept of becoming Christian.


     Most Catholics see Mormonism as an adolescent religion that is based on the psychotic breaks or drug-induced visions of young boy who believed special underwear would keep him safe from harm.  Mormons aren't Christians.  Ten years ago, when I was in Catholic seminary, one of the common slippery-slope arguments used against giving same-sex couples even domestic partnership rights was that then we'll have to give polygamist Mormons the same and before we know it the gays will have paved the way for the legaliszation of polygamy.  The Mormons were the enemy.

     Fundamentalist Christians think both Mormons and Catholics are full of sin and going to hell because they haven't "accepted Jesus as their personal savior."  They re-baptize Catholic and Mormon converts.  In some circumstances, they even re-baptize other Fundamentalist Christians from slightly different one-true-churches.  

     But they all agree on marriage.  Right?

     Not exactly.

     Mormons believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, unless you were Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, in whose case marriage is between one man and thirty three females, including girls as young as 14 and 15.  Mormon marriage was between one man and multiple women and girls until it was necessary to ban polygamy in 1890 so that Utah could become a state in 1896.  So for Mormons, marriage is a never-changing institution, unless throwing out the beliefs of your religion's founder favors the political relevance and aspirations of the current church leadership.

     Catholics believe that marriage is between one baptized Christian man and one baptized Christian woman, who may or may not have been previously married.  If they were previously married and their previous spouse(s) is not dead then they have to go through the annulment process, in which those previous marriages are declared invalid, meaning they never really took place even though there might have been hundreds of witnesses and a priest who signed off on the wedding.  But if the previous marriage(s) was in the Catholic Church, it took place after the couple swore that they were entering the marriage of their own free will and that they would have children and raise them Catholic, and they got married in a physical Catholic church/building, unless they got the proper dispensations.  Catholic marriage does not include marriage between one baptized Catholic and one non-Christian.  These marriages are allowed to take place with a dispensation by the local bishop, but they are not sacramental marriages, they are civil marriages.  Which is an interesting distinction that Catholics pretend doesn't exist when they are arguing against same-sex civil marriages.  And by the way, if you were married in the Catholic Church before 1983, when the Code of Canon Law was revised, you couldn't marry your second cousin, but today you can.  So much for the never-changing institution of marriage.

     For Christian Fundamentalists, there are no annulments.  So if your spouse beats, tortures, and rapes you, you are stuck, unless you can prove that your abusive spouse commit adultery.  If you get a non-adultery-induced divorce and get remarried to a really nice person, who doesn't beat/torture/rape you, then you are going to hell.  Of course, you also must marry within your own sub-denomination of Christianity; if you don't you are disfellowshiped (i.e. excommunicated--a value which all these churches share) and are shunned from the community and your family.  Oh, and all of this is determined by the whim of your local pastor, who may or may not answer to a higher human authority, but has a direct line to the mind of god.

     So, while all of these (pseudo-)Christians have different tenants for what defines a marriage, they agree that marriage is a never-changing, sacred/sacramental, infinite bond between just one man and one woman, unless any of the above exceptions apply.
     
     The Mormon, Catholic, Fundamentalist Christian theological orgy must be kept out of the civil marriage bed.  

     Postscript: 

     This is the "logic" undergirding Mormon opposition to civil same-sex marriage.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

California Supreme Court Denies Prop 8 Proponents Attempt to Force Schwarzenegger and Brown to Appeal

     There's been another small victory against the anti-gay Pacific Justice Institute's attempt to overturn Perry v. Schwarzenegger.


     Metro Weekly Reports:
     On September 1, the California Third District Court of Appeals refused an attempt by lawyers with the Pacific Justice Institute on behalf of Pastor Joshua Beckley to require California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) to appeal the ruling of the federal disctrict court in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challenge to Proposition 8.
     Today [Wednesday], Schwarzenegger and Brown filed papers in the California Supreme Court responding to an appeal of that ruling that was filed on September 7, with Deputy Attorney General Tamar Pachter writing for Brown that Beckley's attempt "is too little, too late."
     Click here for Brown's letter and here for Schwarzenegger's.  They are pretty clear concerning the power of elected officials and the separation of powers in our government.

     Last night, the CA Supreme Court denied PJI's petition.  Yey!

     California's highest court on Wednesday refused to order Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state's attorney general to appeal a federal ruling that overturned the state's gay marriage ban.  The state Supreme Court denied a conservative legal group's request to force the state officials to defend the voter-approved ban.
     Flex those gubernatorial muscles, Arnold!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Good News in CA Marriage Equality Battle

     A California court has refused to order Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal a ruling that overturned the state's gay marriage ban.
     The 3rd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday denied a conservative legal group's request to force the officials to defend voter-approved Proposition 8.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

NOM Is Lying for their god to Discredit Judge Walker

     The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), not to be confused with this NOM, recently released an ad attacking the Federal Court's decision in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger that declared California Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  NOM's ad is full of lies.

     I often feel helpless in the face of these lies.  It's overwhelming to see these lies treated as valid argument in television commercials, news reports, and on the internet.  NOM has already claimed that it is their god-given right to take away others' civil rights.  This Christian group believe that since their god is for them, no one can be against them.  This delusion is the basis of their entitlement, the illusion that feeds their belief that lying for their version of their god's will is holy.

     The Federal Court's decision, authored by Judge Walker, systematically, legally, and constitutionally dismantles these lies.  The lies don't hold up in court.

     As a response, NOM released the new ad, full of homophobic lies, trying to discredit Judge Walker.

     Here is a succinct response from the folks at Stop8.org that confronts and disproves each of the lies in the NOM ad.  Thank you, Stop8.org.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Closeted Crist & Out Ashburn on Homo-Mehlman & Same Sex Marriage Bans


     In the wake of former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman's coming out party, other gay Republican politicians are making their voices heard.  Of course, there's quite a disparity between those in and out of the closet.  (Those of you who watch the fair and balanced news rhetoric on FOX wouldn't know anything about this story.)


     Outgoing California State Senator Roy Ashburn, who came out only after getting caught with a boy-toy in a government-owned vehicle after getting wasted at a gay bar (MWM. GOP. DWI. LGBT. OMG.), said the following to On Top Magazine in response Mehlman's post-anti-gay-Republican-career coming out party:
     “I'm pleased for him,” Ashburn said, “because knowing what I've been through in trying to keep a secret for so many years and in trying to hide my secret, doing things that were hurtful to gay people, coming to the realization that you can actually admit who you truly are, and to stop the hiding and the actions around that which are hurtful … I mean that's a big breakthrough and I'm happy for him.”
     Then Roy took it one step further:
     “I would argue that the Republican party, because of the principles underlying Republicanism, really is the party that should be championing equal rights for gay people, for all people." 
     Roy, I'm not holding my breathalyser.  There are still more self-hating closeted Republican politicians in office and positions of power far greater than outgoing state senator that are doing far greater harm than which you and a handful of other openly gay Republicans could ever atone.

Image from Wonkette
     For example, take Florida Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist.  Here's what this well-groomed governor had to say to Ed Henry on CNN's State of the Union:
ED HENRY, HOST: You have previously said in your gubernatorial campaign, you supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now that you're trying to occupy the political center, are you still in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?
CRIST: I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that...
HENRY: But governor, doesn't it sounds like you having it both ways [Jesus Crist!] by saying live and let live, but I also support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. If it's live and let live, why would you ban same-sex marriage?
CRIST: Well, everything is in a matter of degree, Ed, and when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it's just how I feel.
     Sorry, Charlie, but our constitution isn't based upon feelings.  Courts rule on findings of fact and conclusions of law, not on how one group feels the rest of the country feels or should feel.

     Perhaps, Charlie the Crist, needs to brush up on his civics, by reading the federal court's decision that California Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.  In it, he would find the eighty findings of fact and additional conclusions of law that form the spine of the court's ruling, not feelings.

     On the other hand, David Blankenhorn and Kenneth Miller, the only two witness produced by the Yes on 8 proponents, gave testimony that did not hold up in court.  The Yes on 8 proponents did such a miserable job that the court found "the opinions of Blankenhorn to be unreliable and entitled to essentially no weight in court" and Miller's to be "entitled to little weight."

     Those of us fighting for marriage equality are thankful that the federal court's decision was not based upon an opinion-poll-election and political commercials overflowing with false witness, but was instead based upon the facts and testimony of the plaintiff's seventeen witnesses.

     Basing rules and laws on opinions and feelings might work in church, but they don't hold up in a court of law.

     Charlie Crist is a disgrace to the gay community.  It's time he follows Mehlman and Ashburn's lead by forsaking his homophobic, bigoted feelings.  Come out, for Crist's sake!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Grants Appellant's Motion for Stay of District Court's Order.

     Here is the text of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to grant the proponents of California Proposition 8's stay of the district court's decision to allow same sex marriages to take place in California starting this Wednesday.  There are no reasons stated for why the stay was allowed, which is infuriating considering that the proponents were unable to prove argument against same sex marriage during the trial.

Case Name: Kristin Perry, et al v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al
Case Number: 10-16696
Docket Text:
Filed order (EDWARD LEAVY, MICHAEL DALY HAWKINS and SIDNEY R. THOMAS) Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of August 4, 2010 pending appeal is GRANTED. The court sua sponte orders that this appeal be expedited pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 2. The provisions of Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a) (pertaining to grants of time extensions) shall not apply to this appeal. This appeal shall be calendared during the week of December 6, 2010, at The James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco, California. The previously established briefing schedule is vacated. The opening brief is now due September 17, 2010. The answering brief is due October 18, 2010. The reply brief is due November 1, 2010. In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. See Arizonans For Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 66 (1997). IT IS SO ORDERED. [7441574] (JS)

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Stay Same Sex Marriages in California

     Once again the Christian right has taken a big crap on the backs of gays and lesbians.  The proponents of Proposition 8 didn't produce one credible witness in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger (see the court's decision).  They didn't prove that same sex marriages will harm opposite sex marriages, children, or the state.  Nor did they prove that allowing same sex couples to marry immediately would cause the state harm, but nonetheless, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the right wing Christian's plea to revoke same sex couples' right to marry as ruled by the California Supreme Court in 2008 and the Federal District Court two weeks ago.

     Weddings that were to start on this Wednesday are off.  SHE and I were going to get married, but now it's off.  Two weeks in a row, California same sex couples have been knocked over the head by the other's god-stick.  It is seriously time to consider moving out this backwards country to Canada or Mexico.

     Here's part of an email that I just received from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center:
    Today, the forward march toward marriage equality was halted when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker overturning Prop. 8.
     In light of Walker’s ruling, and with his temporary stay set to end on Wednesday at 5 p.m., the Center had made plans to offer free weddings with cake and champagne at a Wedding Day celebration on Thursday. Sadly, the appellate court ruling means that these plans won’t be moving forward. The appeals court won’t hear arguments in the case until December 6, which means wedding bells are unlikely to ring for same-sex couples in California this year.
     News of the stay is a terrible blow right on the heels of Walker’s historic ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. 
     Mercury News reports:
     The three-judge 9th Circuit panel did not elaborate on either Walker's ruling invalidating Proposition 8 or the issue of allowing gay marriages to proceed right away. But the judges asked the ballot measure's lawyers to offer arguments on why they have the legal right to appeal when the state's top two officials, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown, refuse to defend the law and say it is unconstitutional.
     On Monday, backers of Proposition 8 made one final plea to the 9th Circuit to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in California until higher courts resolve their appeal of Walker's ruling. In court papers, Proposition 8 lawyers urged the 9th Circuit to reject Walker's findings, saying the voters in November 2008 had sound reasons to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, such as to encourage procreation in society.
     If you read Judge Walker's decision and the various motions for and against a stay until appeals are heard, you will find that during the arguments of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the proponents of Prop 8 were unable to to prove their "procreation" arguments for marriage.  I wonder if the Ninth Circuit will invalidate the marriages of opposite sex couples who are unable to conceive children?

     This is a blow against justice and equality.  Once again, the Gospel According to Hate has prevailed over liberty and justice for all. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

LGBT POV Article on Yesterday's Prop 8 Stay Roller Coaster Announcement

     Here's a link to the full article that I mentioned yesterday, where SHE and I were interviewed by Phillip at Unite the Fight for a collaborator at LGBT POV.

     Phillip Minton left for the Beverly Hills courthouse right after taping the cheering reaction. I called him to tell him the bad news. I could feel sadness wash over him. He interviewed Tom Rastrelli (who blogs at The Gospel According to Hate) and his fiancé Bruce Mayhall, who have been together for three years [32 months to be exact]. They were the first to make it to the courthouse that day anticipating that Walker would lift his stay, allowing the couple to get married.
This picture of us waiting for Judge Walker's announcement was taken by Adam Lau of the AP and is making the internet rounds.

Is Catholic Archbishop Kurtz Lying About the Contents of Judge Walker's Proposition 8 Decision?



     If this is the best the Catholic Church has to put forward then they have truly made themselves irrelevant in this "argument."  It's obvious that +Kurtz has not read Judge Walker's decision, which does not make the conclusion that opposite sex marriage is unconstitutional.  
+Kurtz imitating Christ's simplicity.

     That which Judge Walker ruled unconstitutional includes Prop 8's denial of due process and equal protection under the law to same sex couples and that the Yes on 8 campaign was a religious campaign seeking to codify private moral/religious beliefs as law in a nation where we have freedom of belief and a separation of church and state.  

     Walker also painstakingly explained how the proponents of Prop 8 were unable to prove any of their claims that state recognized marriages between same sex couples will in any way harm previously existing or future opposite sex marriages, children, or churches who refuse, under their freedom of religion, to perform same sex sacramental marriages.

     +Kurtz is either ignorant of Judge Walker's decision and the Constitution, a moron, hateful, or all of the above.

Because this "celibate" life according to +Kurtz is natural.
Image Credits:  St. Luke; the Ursuline Sisters

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Denied Marriage, SHE and I Ended up the News

     The Los Angeles Times reports:
     Bruce Mayhall and Tom Rastrelli were the first in line Thursday morning at the Beverly Hills Courthouse, ready to get a marriage license if good news came down from Judge Vaughn Walker.  They dressed in matching pink shirts and waited.

     As the hours passed, they watched heterosexual couple after heterosexual couple -- decked out in suits and white dresses -- pass them in line to get married. They waited off to the side for their turn. CLICK HERE FOR THE REST
     Here's a short interview of SHE and I after we were denied a chance to get a marriage licence today. The interview was done by Phillip of Unite the Fight, and will be part of an article on LGBT POV.

Judge Walker Lifts Stay, but Imposes a New Temporary Stay -- WTF?

     This morning, SHE and I went to the Beverly Hills Municipal Court building in hopes of getting married.  We arrived shortly before 9:00 and were the first same sex couple in line awaiting Judge Walker's promised announcement (between nine and noon) that would possibly lift the stay from enforcement of California Proposition 8.  If he lifted the stay, as Governor Schwarzenegger (Republican) and Attorney General Brown (Democrat) proposed, there was the possibility that a window would be opened in which same sex couples in California could be legally married.  The question was how long the window would remain open before a ruling from a higher court slammed it shut.  SHE and I weren't going to miss a possible chance to marry.

     We sat and waited, while an endless stream of opposite sex couples passed us, approached the clerk's window, and received their marriage licenses within a matter of minutes.  After an hour of waiting for Judge Walker's decision, we'd watched about four or five opposite sex couples be whisked off into a private room by a justice of the peace and emerge less than ten minutes later happily married.  The clerks were kind and supportive of us as we waited, constantly pushing refresh on our smart phone's Google search "Judge Walker Stay."  County workers hopped on and off the elevators across the waiting area, smiling and giving us thumbs up, hoping for the best.

     More same sex couples arrived, each hoping to have their unions recognized by the state as marriages, hoping to have their loving commitments affirmed and backed up by the law.  The news media arrived.  First just a few stations, then the newspapers and more networks all wanting interviews.  SHE and I were dressed in khaki shorts and matching pink t-shirts.  We hadn't thought ahead about the possibility of being on the news when we were getting dressed.  We just wanted to get a marriage license so we could be married.  Now, I was wishing I had on a tie or at least a button down shirt and a nice pair of jeans, thankfully I'd taken the time to shave and trim my nose hair. (Having been on the road for the past month, the trim was much needed.)

     The news interviews began in full force.  ABC, CBS, NPR, LA Times, LA Weekly, NBC, LGBT POV, KMX 1070, etc.  FOX was absent.  

     The questions were similar:  "Why now?"  "First in line, you must really want to get married?"  "Why not wait until you can have a large wedding with family and friends?" "Why not wait until you are sure that your marriage won't be declared invalid by a higher court?"  "What does marriage mean to you?"  Etc.

     Our answers followed:  "We don't want to miss a window, if there is to be one."  "Time is not a luxury.  If the opportunity to be married arises, we're going to take it before the other side has a chance to take it away again."  "We're getting married because that's what two people who love each other do."  Etc.

     More same sex couples arrived, sat on the bench or leaned against walls, eyes fixed to their Google searches, hoping for the chance to be married.  More opposite sex couples arrived, walked up to the windows, got their marriage licenses, and left to be married.

     As tensions mounted in the same sex couples, news reporters, and courthouse staff, adrenaline pumped through my body, the physical manifestation of my emotions, my hope for the chance to marry the man that I love.  The small waiting area overflowed with same sex couples as opposite sex couples navigated the crowd to get their licenses.  

     11:00.  Nothing. 11:15.  Nothing.  11:45.  Still nothing.  11:55.  Nada.  12:00.  I felt like I was going to vomit.  12:01.  Still no news on the internet.  12:03.  Couples squeezed into the waiting space, wall to wall.  12:05.  News reporters asked us if we'd heard anything yet. 12:10.  The courthouse staff apologized that they had no information yet.  Then the news: on the cell phone of couple dressed in white named Tim and Floyd, Logo News reported that Judge Walker had denied the stay.   

     The room erupted in cheers.  Couples embraced one another and then split to hug the strangers next to them.  The news reporters' cameras flashed, pressed against the windows from outside.  We lined up, ready to join into the succession of opposite sex couples that had been receiving their marriage licenses.  SHE and I were first in line.  Smiles.  Tears.  Exhales.  EQUALITY!  This was the moment we'd been waiting for since November 2008.  More news reports flashed on smart phone screens informing us that Judge Walker had denied the stay.

     We stood and waited.  And waited.  The court workers apologized.  There was still no official word from the county.  Then, a text message on someone's phone informed us that Judge Walker had issued another temporary stay.  Jovana Lara (who BTW is absolutely gorgeous and a sweetheart to boot.  Ryan Owens is very hot.) sadly relayed the news from her smart phone that the AP was reporting that Judge Walker released the stay but then issued an additional temporary stay.  There were to be no marriages for our kind today.

     Shoulders dropped.  Tears fell.  Couples embraced.  We all stood.  Depleted.  Motionless.  At a loss.  

     Then, one of the clerks asked all of us to move to the back of the waiting room, so that the opposite sex couples could come to the front of the line to receive their marriage licenses.  We surrendered our spots in line.

     Same sex couples trickled out, quietly.  Reporters asked for reactions, comments.  More TV cameras, flashes, confusion, anger, loss, sadness...  

     Opposite sex couples trickled in, some in tuxedos and white dresses.

     SHE and I were the first couple to arrive and we were the last to leave.  We arrived with hopes of equality.  We left those hopes still in tact, but hit once again in the gut with the reality that we are still second class citizens.


SHE and I at the Beverly Hills Municipal Court awaiting the announcement.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop 8 Declared Unconstitutional (and All Those Nasty Stereotypes and Religious Claims Concerning Same Sex Couples Don't Hold up in Court)

    Perry v. Schwarzenegger is over.  California Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  Read the landmark decision by Judge Walker by clicking here.

     Here are some clips from The Rachel Maddow Show last night concerning the ruling.  What is evident is that one's personal religious and homophobic stereotypes don't hold up in a court of law as reasons to deny minorities their civil rights.




     Here's Rachel on Rentboy.com customer Pastor George Alan Rekers' role in the the Proposition 8 trial and ruling.

Friday, June 18, 2010

NOH8 Campaign's New PSA, "I AM HUMAN"

     As a follow up to the closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, here's the latest PSA from the NOH8 Camppaign, entitled "I AM HUMAN."  The PSA utilized nine different languages.  We are all human beings.