The Good Fight
You can read the article I was quoted in yesterday here, and the short essay of sorts from which it was pulled is posted below in full if you'd like to read it. Helpful informational links can be found down at the end if you need any of those!
My wife and I tied the knot back in San Francisco in 2008, and while we're "safe" in terms of having gotten our nuptials in under the gun then, I think we both feel very attached to the outcome this week. It's been a battle that's lasted as long as our marriage, and that's sobering - and also nothing compared to the fact that couples much older, and together for much longer than we've been, are still being denied this basic right back home. (We've since found greener pastures in Massachusetts, where we enjoy a legally recognized marriage, superior schools, and prime affordable real estate.)
The path doggedly traversed by Proposition 8 has been long and ugly. Following and fighting has, at times, felt like a kind of emotional abuse. You invest time and energy and money where you can, you hope — you triumph, even — and then just as you start to get up and dust yourself off, you get kicked down again. It's been brutal, it really has. There hasn't been a single time when a step forward hasn't meant setbacks as well, so this week is obviously crucial. The buck's gonna stop here.
The optimist in me feels very strong and positive where Prop 8 is concerned, however. We've handily won at every legal juncture so far, and our side's been unstoppable, breathlessly so. The likely wait through June is going to be agonizing for many. Our hearts and happiness, our rights are off the table until someone decides if and when they're back on the table. That's dehumanizing, and it's shameful. It affects all of us. "Better late than never" will never feel as good as it surely must come June.
As for DOMA, there have been times when it's felt like this week would never come. When you're married for five years and every tax season means confronting your inequality neatly itemized in black and white, feeling that sucker punch of how your life, your kids, are impacted by the financial aspect alone that year, that's really hard. It's a feeling of anguish and powerlessness that doesn't compute when you've done all you can, like my wife and I have, going above and beyond to be good, hardworking people, to raise a spectacular kid, to follow the rules. Federally you don't exist, and it's a very real way of lessening someone's fair shot at the American dream.
It's bone-chilling to consider our future here if DOMA is upheld, but it's easy enough to see that the odds are slightly in our favor. I've had to distance myself from thinking about this week as tossing a Supreme Court coin that'll land on the right or wrong side of history, and see it more as two closely related orders of business being handled concurrently. The former is too emotional and large to process.
In love + solidarity,