Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time To Stand Up

When K and I got married, we wrote our own vows.

As we wrote them, we were conscious of the fact that some of our wedding guests would watch us take our vows all the while cognizant that they themselves were legally barred from making the same commitment to their own partners.

Some of our friends do not posses the basic right to marry who they love.

Knowing this made K and I both uncomfortable and indignant.

We wrote a prayer into our ceremony asking for the dawning of the day when all couples could enjoy the legal right to wed.

The other night, K came home and wanted to talk about donating money.


"I heard a story on NPR," he said. "The recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage is being threatened by a referendum to amend the state constitution. The
referendum would overturn the ruling and would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman."

[I took a deep, frustrated breath...]

"Money is going to pour into California from conservative sources all over the country. I want to contribute funds to the other side of the fight," he said.

I agreed.

We wrote to a good friend in California who is celebrating his sixth anniversary with his partner to ask where he thought our donation should go in order to achieve the greatest impact.

He recommended Human Rights Campaign.

[HRC also has a petition you can sign.]

K and I are on it.

True love is hard enough to find in this world. I don't understand why we have to make it harder on folks.



First They Came
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

60 comments:

GBK Gwyneth said...

Wow. You certainly gave me a jolt to stop just assuming what is right is right and to make sure that I add my voice.

WILLIAM said...

All these people fighting to get married need a good talking to...marriage is not all it is cracked up to be. :)

Avitable said...

Thank you for the link. That is an excellent idea!

Trotsky said...

OK. I have so many strong opinions about this here...

1) Thank you. I have a multitude of bumper stickers featuring a yellow equals sign on a navy background that will complement the ones you will no doubt be receiving.

2) 1 used to think that the opposition to same-sex marriage had much more corporate funding from the health care industry, but more and more I am amazed to find it's just fueled by fear. And I don't know what people are so afraid of. It's not like we could screw up marriage worse that the straight folks. Is it because gowns will get more expensive? Banquet hall space will be tougher to book? Because there will be no more capable wedding planners, because they are busy planning their own weddings? I dunno.
It all makes me sad. Not for me, even, but for the people who spend countless hours fighting over something that's so stupid. Seriously, you want to protect the sanctity of marriage? Start in Las Vegas, then maybe you can go to San Francisco.

Not Hannah said...

Right on, lady. Thank you for adding your voice.

Kevin Charnas said...

Thank you, my friend...

Your email brought tears to my eyes the other day. And you and K's compassion to write your own vows to leave no one excluded destroyed me.

How extremely fortunate for me to know you and K. And honestly, how much better off this world is with the two of you in it...raising two more.

Thank you again, my friend. I don't think I know two better.

yummysushipajamas said...

Thank you so much for this. I feel so confused by all of the fighting on this. Why is it not alright for two people who love and care about one another to be together, given the same legal rights as others? What harm could it possibly do you, even if you don't agree, to let people live the way they choose?

Interestingly, I went to sign the petition only to discover I already had! Hee hee.

I just wish people could open up and see that man/woman or man/man or woman/woman makes no difference. I know a lot of "traditional" couples who have terrible relationships, and several same sex couples who love each other more every day.

If it's about procreation, which some religious people argue, then does that nullify the rights of those who are infertile or choose not to have children?

AAH! So frustrating... sorry for the rant, and thanks for getting good thoughts and proper support out there. Beautiful.

Kareer Woman said...

Great post!!!

HW said...

As a conservative Republican, I hope my view on this will plesantly surprise you. I tend to agree with you.
I believe marriage is a civil right and should not be denied to anybody, even if SOME think they are living an immoral lifestyle. We all, afterall, have immorality in our life somewhere; so if that is the issue, people would be losing their civil rights all over the place. Please note I said "SOME" think it is an immoral lifestyle. I am not included in that. And yes, I make my views known to my other conservative friends.
This takes me to the issue of adoption and how some states forbid gay people to adopt children. Why on God's green earth, do THEY think it's better for a child to remain in the system than to be placed with two people who would love and cherish that child...?

furiousBall said...

further confirmation, you be good peeps

TX Poppet said...

I signed the petition.
TX Poppet at Canned Laughter

not-so suburban momma said...

In Toronto and other amazing cities in Canada we are free to marry whomever we want-male or female. My minister performed the first legal gay marriage (although it was because the government people in charge of the paper work read one of the women's names as a male name and passed it through!). I think that once the gov't realized how good it was for the economy to support gay marriage they jumped all over it! I hope you win this fight-it can only bring good to the world. Peace.

Laura said...

It is time to stnd up...thank you for posting this and getting people to take action.

Heather said...

Amen! I am proud to be a Californian. I spent yesterday in happy tears. I truly hope that everyone realizes that allowing people to marry who they love is no threat to anyone else. Last time I checked, allowing women to vote didn't devalue the vote of men.

Michelle said...

Excellent post. I hope you won't mind if I post the petition and link on my own blog. Also, that peice of poetry has always given me chills. I hope it has the intended impact.

Natalie said...

As someone who grew up in the San Fran Bay area, the whole "debate" has always baffled me.

These humans/women/men/people love each other. Let them marry. I have had two failed marriages,so it seems to me that *I* should be the one who needs to be stopped at the aisle. They aren't getting married in a church (and if some church's decide to do it, too; good on them), they are getting married in a civil ceremony. Right?

This is not only an issue about basic human rights, but an issue about separation of church and state.

Something we are severely lacking in this day and age.

I hope that came out right. PMS is taking away my brain power.

I will gladly sign that petition. Thank you for putting this out there.

Jen said...

I signed! I know it's just a small thing but this issue really matter to me. I can't wait for the day that my surro-son's dads can get married here in Minnesota. That used to seem impossible but now I have faith that times are changing.

Oh, and you and K? You're good folk.

T. said...

I am thankful to live in a country where this can happen (Oh! Canada).
California is on the right track...

Ravedogg said...

Way to be proactive! I've said it before and I'll say it again: your family ROCKS!
It is one of my greatest consternations: situational prejudice.
Someone(s) with money/power get the masses all riled up and sway them with emotion, preventing rational, intelligent discussion. And when the Someone(s) are done beating down one lifestyle choice, they just move to another.
Thanks for spreading intelligence.

zellmer said...

"True love is hard enough to find in this world. I don't understand why we have to make it harder on folks."

This is so true, and as a fellow friend of the gays, I'll gladly sign.

On a lighter note, I hope this means we can look forward to lots of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys at your Blogher party.

:)

kittenpie said...

I'm with you - anyone who is willing to love antoher human truly, with all their flaws, should be applauded, not shamed or denied. Why not spend money to SUPPORT people in their relationships of all kinds, instead? It's one of the things that makes me proud of my country that we took a stand on that.

Little Nut Tree said...

powerful..

Lisa said...

Right on sista!

colorbox said...

Thank you. So well written... Thank you.

Rachael said...

Thanks for the link, I'm hopping over there right now. It is important, thanks for putting it out there.

Joie said...

THANK YOU!

I will sign the petition at the very least. I love that you and K wrote this into your service. Some of us Episcopal clergy would love to either not perform wedding ceremonies until all can marry as this is a justice issue or at least not perform them on behalf of the state -- states like my own which have such a constitutional referendum. Someday, justice and mercy will be poured out upon all. I hope that day comes soon for our LGBT loved ones.

an-gee-la said...

Hell Yeah.
I am so on board.
Kudos to K.

Bon said...

hear hear.

Shannon said...

Great idea. Done and forwarded....

LindaJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carrie said...

I am so glad you posted about this so that more people can be aware of what is going on.

I signed a few weeks ago, after visiting Kevin and I tell you - I have never been so happy to put my signature down (although I wish it weren't necessary).

I will not raise my children in a country that is afraid of anything that threatens the conservative mindset, I will not. This is one tiny step, which I can only hope will make a difference if enough people speak up. We must, it is the least we can do.

Someday . . . I believe that someday it'll be right.

Magpie said...

Great post.

I had reservations about getting married at all, for similar reasons.

Jan said...

YES!!

Woman with kids said...

People amaze me, constantly. That we strive to have the freedom to make our own choices at the same time as trying to stifle others choices... baffling. Signed the petition, thanks for the link.

Amanda said...

Clearly I need to stop being incredulous that it is even an issue and stand up and holler until it no longer is.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Since I live in Massachusetts, I have the privilege to live in a state that has already legalized same-sex marriage. It makes me proud to live here but also, I get sad to think that this same right may someday be taken away by narrow mindedness and fear. Thank you for the link---my name will be on that petition for sure.

Candygirlflies said...

Right on, girl, RIGHT ON.

With all the hatred in this world, how could anyone be against the legal union of two people in a loving, caring, committed relationship? It has long boggled my mind.

I'm a proud Canadian, and am simply thrilled to see same-sex marriages becoming legal in other countries, as well as my own.

Thank you for this, OTJ. A perfect post, without a doubt.

xo CGF

Stella said...

Kudos to you.

And thanks for the suggestion...

Corgimom/Tish said...

Thanks for being active in making this country better for all of its citizens. I have a bit of a tear in my eye.

Tish and Michelle, together 19 years in September, and our son who will be 3-and-a-half in September.

Major Bedhead said...

I signed this a few weeks ago, when Kevin posted it. I'd sign it again but they won't let me. :D

I don't understand the flap about gay marriage at all. It doesn't matter who you love, only that you love.

GoteeMan said...

Well, yeah... I was recently watching comedian Lewis Black...
who had a hilarious spin on this, illustrating the current administration's view and how priorities, reasons and statements are made as if they are fact, but are never explained...

excerpt below...
WARNING - EXPLICIT - ADULT CONTENT - IF YOU ARE RELIGIOUS (ie. dogmatic, legalistic, judgemental, NOT to be confused with SPIRITUAL) and certain WORDS make you CRY, STOP NOW! Ok, you have been warned...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-id4GKsaQk&feature=related

Enjoy!
J/

GoteeMan said...

and one more thing - back to yummysushipajamas' comment (which was part of a great response I thought) about some saying the issue is procreation - uh, is it just me or should the folks who say that crap wake up and realize the planet is pretty damned procreated at this point... it's not like the human race is gonna die off because two of the same sex don't partner up with another same sex opposite couple to procreate...

that's the problem with DOGMA, it replaces THINKING... DOH! Anyway, my Karma ran over my dogma, and he died...

L8R, Y'ALL -
J

Elizabeth said...

AMEN sister :)

I love that poem...It was on one of my History Prof's walls in college and it was very eye opening to me.

stepping over the junk said...

I agree. I have childhood friends in California who have been married and I am overjoyed at seeing form families, legally, that are more settled than many heterosexual marriages I know. Same goes for friends, men and women in same sex marriages, here in massachussetts, my new home state. Bravo for your post.

apathy lounge said...

I'm behind you all the way.

Moi said...

Fantabulous. I have signed and forwarded.

Reading these comments, I look to the future with hope. Thank you for your post. It made me happy today.

Denise said...

SIGN IT!! sign it sign it sign it!!! Everybody needs to sign it! With all that is wrong with the world more intolerance is the last thing we need. And that last poem tears me up every time I read it, it's a very scary concept.

Dental Marketing said...

I live in Missouri and our lawmakers made sure to stress that they would not recognize the California marriages of same sex couples. Some people are so closed minded! You love who you love, and nobody should control who you marry.

JCK said...

Great idea to add our voices and money to the cause.

On the flip side of this, it's been really exciting to see the couples pouring in our Episcopal church this week to get married.

The Joys of My Boys said...

With a 50% divorce rate among man/woman marriages and the high number of battered spouses, I find it hard to believe people see that bond as "sacred."

I attended my first gay wedding last fall and it was more beatiful and heartfelt than any church wedding could ever be.

Any committmented couple should have the right to the benefits given to straight married couples.

It's scary that the conservative coalition is so well organized. Thanks for providing the information.

First Rough Draft said...

Thank you! It's always so heartening to hear support from straight allies. Even more heartening, when those allies are located nearby. I think for many of us in the deep south, we expect at least some support in liberal areas like California, but on the Georgia homefront we hold our breath and hope not to be skewered. I hope that the nationwide support will flood into California...and that the same support will lead other states to think twice about their positions.

Deana said...

What a wonderful heartfelt post. When we married we too had guests who were not able to legally do the same. One of my best guy friends jokes that he is glad he can't marry his partner 'cause he would drive him nuts but I know the joke is just a way to avoid hurt.- Then they came for me is a great wake up call and reminder to us all.

Ashley said...

If people could love more and fight less, this world would be in a much better place...

Good for you for being that voice.

-Ashley

www.bosssanders.com

atlmalcontent said...

I appreciate your concern for equality, but as a gay man who's followed the issue closely, I would recommend against donating to HRC. They are lobbyists with no real influence, now that their candidate (that other HRC) has been defeated. They threw all their support behind her, despite no real record (Bill signing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, for ex.). Otherwise, they've accomplished little, save to provide comfy, well-paid positions for former Clinton staffers. Has there been any established movement to overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell, for ex.? They ask very little of politicians who say they support equality, but do nothing to further it. The results, or lack thereof, speak volumes.

Grass roots groups that fight these battles on the ground are more deserving of your time and money than the bloated, ineffective Human Rights Campaign.

ShannanB said...

I think it is great that you are supporting this. It is a shame that in this day and age we are still dealing with this issue.

Ruth Dynamite said...

I just signed the petition.

Rapunzel said...

Having just celebrated my own daughter's fabulous wedding, it breaks my heart to imagine the couples who are not fortunate enough to experience the same.

Chantelle said...

Thank you for sharing this. I just added my name to the petition and put a link on my blog.

A said...

Beautiful post. I feel as strongly as you do so thank you for the link so that my husband and I can follow suit.

Shelly said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have so many different thoughts about this subject that I will just have to blog about it instead of post a lengthy comment. Thanks for sharing and getting me thinking about this issue.