Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Ed and Robert To Tie the Knot on July 1st at San Francisco City Hall
The right of same sex couples to marry is being, or is about to be, hotly contested in the state of California. And while denial of the right to marry is not on a level with doing jail time, or worse, because of your sexuality it makes LGBT people here in the US second class citizens. So with no burning desire to officially tie the knot, we’ve signed on for a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall, July 1st at 10 a.m. San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano will be presiding. After 21 years of living together, this kind of recognition seems almost beside the point—we don’t need it to validate what we mean to each other—and yet…we have the opportunity and we’ve decided to take it.
Of course, the window of opportunity may be a slim one as voters in November may bring our dreams of matrimony crashing down around our ears leaving us with a worthless piece of paper and some romantic photographs. But we think that if California voters do bring us down with a constitutional amendment, and we're not entirely convinced that they will, something will have been gained. The proverbial line in the sand will have been drawn and it will help raise awareness of this issue on a national scale. As far as we’re concerned, this is an equal rights issue, not a religious one, although I don’t think that our opponents, who seem to believe that marriage is their exclusive domain, care to make that distinction. They’re too busy “protecting marriage,” from what we have no idea. As far as we know, there are no LGBT plans to weaken the institution of heterosexual matrimony. No late night strategy meetings, no fire bombing of wedding boutiques, no overheated direct mail fundraising—“Join now and your pledge of just $10 a month will help end straight marriage by the year 2015!” Why all the fear?
A recent article in the New York Times by Kenji Yoshino suggests that our straight allies can step up their support to same sex couples by entering into what he calls “marriage lite.” This would constitute taking advantage of whatever domestic partnership law is available in their state before actually doing the deed itself. By so doing these couples would be able to experience first hand the drawbacks and advantages of each giving them a better understanding of why this more than symbolic act is important to us and to all people whatever their orientation.
See you at the altar, or should we say at Supervisor Ammiano's office!