Listening to Ted Olson and David Boies on Bill Moyers’Journalgave me great hope that our cause for marriage equality was in good hands. Like many in the LGBT community, I had to evolve to this position. Olson’s role in the Bush administration gave me great pause in jumping to trust him. The presence of Boies made me believe that I ought to be open-minded.
If they are successful in challenging Proposition 8 with the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, Olson and Boies may win marriage equality for LGBT people in 45 states. This would be a major sweep for civil rights. It would also make those of us in the five states and one jurisdiction that have marriage equality feel more secure. There are, however, possibilities that the outcome of the case may have downsides for the LGBT community.
Matt Coles, head of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, has given us some scenarios on Huffington Post of what the decision of the Federal District Court may be. Well worth reading.
Jerry Sanders, the Republican mayor of San Diego, has testified in the Prop 8 federal court case in support of marriage equality. Sanders stunned the nation two years ago when he came out in favor of marriage equality. Now, according to the Bay Area Reporter, he has taken another bold step and added his voice to the chorus of luminaries supporting the case against Prop 8.
On a day when we’ve heard that Cindy McCain and daughter Meghan McCain have come out against Prop 8 on the NO H8 website, it’s beginning to feel surreal. Of course Papa John McCain maintains his troglodyte views.
Meanwhile, I have a chance tomorrow to go down to the Hawai’i legislature and see if the Senate can muster the courage to pass civil unions. Check out what Equality Hawai’i has to say. I wish that all of the opponents of civil unions in the Hawai’i legislature would read Ted Olson’s piece in Newsweek. He lays it out pretty clearly: religious bias is denying full civil rights to LGBT people.
It took Nixon to open relations with China. Maybe Olson, the Republicans favorite conservative lawyer, will open up our civil rights.
Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis represent one of the most compelling stories in the California civil rights struggle for equality for all people. Gaffney’s parents are of mixed heritage so once upon a time in California, they could not marry. Gaffney and his partner of over 20 years also could not marry because they are a same-sex couple. They decided to fight for civil marriage for same-sex couples in California and eventually became one of the plaintiff couples.
When the historic CA Supreme Court decision came down on May 15, 2008, Gaffney and Lewis made their wedding plans for June 2008. They are one of the lucky California gay couples that is married. Their story is historic. Check them out:
On March 5th the California Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Opponents of marriage equality will have the infamous Ken Starr representing them and arguing in essence that the 18,000 same-sex couples married in California must divorce. The Courage Campaign brings us a touching video on what Starr’s assault on marriage will mean.
Hey Finally somebody in California got the idea that putting real gay people in the public relations materials might be a good idea. Dianne Feinstein, the Governator, and the rest of the abstract blatherers about our civil rights didn’t work. Now some folks with courage and common sense are presenting the gay and lesbian families whose civil rights have been voted on by the majority. And whose civil rights have been taken away by a slim plurality.
Patricia A. Gozemba
For those who doubt the efficacy of nation-wide rallies like last Saturdayâ€™s about Prop 8, I have two words: Wanda Sykes. It was worth dragging thousands of us out from Honolulu to Portland, Maine to have Wanda Sykes show up at a Las Vegas rally and come out to the world.
Â Married for just 10 days before the Prop 8 vote torpedoed marriage equality in California, Sykes and her wife are in marriage limbo along with 17, 999 other couples. Hopefully Sykesâ€™s public reflection on being in the closet will resonate with those in the LGBT community, still not ready to come out.
When Sykes told the crowd, â€œYou know, I donâ€™t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didnâ€™t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know Iâ€™m gay. But thatâ€™s the way people should be able to live their lives. Now, I gotta get in their face.â€
Yeah, Wanda, we all have to come out. We can assume that people who voted for Prop 8 didnâ€™t know that you were gay. Maybe that would have shifted opinions. I can imagine a great 30 second ad with you and your wife. California could have used some gay people in their ads for sure. The elegant logic in â€œWanda Sykes on Gay Marriage,â€ is a winner. â€œIf you donâ€™t believe in same-sex marriage, then donâ€™t marry someone of the same-sex.â€
Okay, Wanda, now that youâ€™re out, I want more. You were right â€œour community was attackedâ€ by the vote on Prop 8.Â Your logic, â€œWe shouldnâ€™t have to be out here demanding something that we should automatically have as citizens of this country.â€ Wanda, tell the world. Feel free to get in the face of those who donâ€™t believe that you are as good as they are. It will make a difference. Everyone’s coming out does.
Last week, America voted for hope, not fear. For peace, not war. For love, not hatred. The election of Barack Obama represents what is best in the American spirit—fairness, equality, respect for hardworking people, a belief in a better tomorrow. It has been a long time coming. As Obama has said again and again over the last 21 months, America is a nation defined by its continued desire to form “a more perfect union.”
Unfortunately, for the LGBT community, voters who went to the polls in record numbers on Tuesday, voted their fears on the issues that matter to us mostâ€”respect for our families. We lost votes on marriage equality in three states: California, Florida and Arizona. And in Arkansas, voters banned unmarried couples from serving as foster or adoptive parents. This measure, clearly aimed at gay families, is perhaps the most damaging of this year’s initiatives in that it so blatantly carries the message that gay people are harmful to children.