Today Doug and I will be celebrating our 18th anniversary. It is hard to believe it has been 18 years!!! It is good to see that over these 18 years many things have changed in this country. We were there at U. of M. when the Regents allowed benefits for couples. We registered as domestic partners in 1994 in Ann Arbor Michigan, even though we knew it was purely symbolic. We were still living in Michigan when President Clinton signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and he promptly received a letter, in the largest font I could get on a page, telling him that I was gay and to don’t even think about calling me up in case there is a war. Doug finished his Ph.D. in Algebraic Geometry in 1997 he joined me in Berkeley where I was working on my M.A. in early Christianity. We also signed up as Domestic Partners at City Hall in Berkeley even though it was still symbolic. We moved to Sydney in 1998 so I could do my Ph.D. at Macquarie University. We moved back to San Francisco in Sept. 2005 and registered as Domestic Partners. This time it actually meant something. Then on July 18, 2008 we got legally married in California. It was pretty amazing. I wanted to get married on the first day that the State Supreme Court would allow, but luckily Doug talked me into waiting so we could plan out the wedding.
Then we had a very up and very down night in Nov. 2008 when the federal election was held. President Obama won but Prop. 8 also won (by a very slim 51%). We didn’t know if we were even married at that point. We had to wait a couple of months to hear that the State Supreme Court said that religious bigotry could be acceptable and that a majority of people could vote to take away the right they had given us. Luckily the State Supreme Court also said that those of us who got married would remain married.
So here we are. Still fighting for our rights. We are still hoping that Prop. 8 will be thrown out at the Federal Court level. My guess is if that happens, a stay will be issued which means other gay and lesbian couples will not be able to get married until the case goes to the Supreme Court (with the way the Court is made up, I am not looking forward to that!). But who knows. Support for gays and lesbians is growing by leaps and bounds each year. Federal Hate Crime Legislation is now the law of the land. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be overturned in the next year or two. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will hopefully be passed as well. And then, in the not too distant future, it will be the law of the land that states cannot discriminate, AT ALL, against gays and lesbians and transgendered people. The way I see it, state and federal discrimination against GLBTs is the same as state and federal discrimination against African Americans in the past.
Anyway, have a nice Valentine’s Day!