Monday, March 9, 2009

LGBT and Weddings and Fighting Discrimination

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that we are legally married because took advantage of a loophole in the system. Since I hadn’t legally changed my name we applied for a marriage license in our birth names, and walked down our little path in our back yard as two women two years ago and have been very happy ever since. 4 months later I walked into County Court to change my name.

There is a legal battle being fought now in California to protect the marriages of the 18,000 couples who were married and to again extend the rights and privileges of Civil Marriages; we are fighting to keep the rights for civil marriages for all. As I wait with the rest of the world, hoping for the overturn of Prop 8, I reflect on the two recent experiences where Kay and I were asked to join with families and friends as each of the couples celebrated their wedding vows. Our sense of being welcomed at either wedding could not have been more opposite as night and day. It is obvious that it was my Nephew’s wife who insisted that we join them as they said their wedding vows, as she writes in the gift thank-you note, “I am so glad you both were able to make it.” But, I felt almost there was a curtain of angst hanging over us for fear by my sister that we would embarrass the family by interacting with the others guests or if they suddenly knew that I was a trans woman attending this happy gathering with my wife.

On the other hand, being so positively welcomed by Kay’s relative was a steady breeze of fresh air. As the only previous interaction with her family happened to be during times of sadness, I didn’t comprehend the honor it was to be asked to help out at the reception serving the tea and lemonade as part of the family. We saw everyone and got so many thank-yous and hugs; to be given a huge gracious welcome from the bride’s family was the sunshine of acceptance.

Although our marriage is different, we are perceived as a lesbian couple, our world has not come crashing down around our heads, and we are loved by the children who surround us. We haven’t been struck by lightening, or swept away by angry storms winds; the collapsing of the economy CAN NOT be blamed on us---we had nothing to with that!!! Our legal system should carefully weight each argument that is argued before the Court. Every loving couple, every person has the same rights and privileges by married in Civil Court, as it is written in the Constitution of the United States of America.

The complex question is that throughout the United States there seem to be great variance as to what the majority it takes to changes the governing laws in individual states. Is it 51%, or 60%, and why do we allow one vocally loud group to dictate their beliefs to the rest of the community. It is time to stand up and recruit those willing to hear the message of inclusion to fight along side us; because we do not know what will be their next target.

--Martin Neimoller, "First They Came"
English Translation:
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 was not a Jew.

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

The universe is driven by the complex interaction between three ingredients: matter, energy, and enlightened self-interest.