Friday, September 5, 2008

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association is holding its annual Lavender Law conference in San Francisco this weekend. I took some time off from conference sessions to do some sightseeing today. Dale Chihuly at the deYoung Museum. A walk along the spectacular coastline. A lesbian wedding.

Nashville lawyer Abby Rubenfeld, a Lambda Legal staff attorney more than two decades ago, was in town for Lavender Law and for the meeting of the National Center for Lesbian Rights National Family Law Advisory Council (I'm on it too). So she thought while she was here she'd take advantage of the opportunity to marry her partner, and she invited all us fellow NFLACers to join her. It took place at 1 pm, in between conference sessions, in blue jeans, at the courthouse, performed by out lesbian judge Nancy Davis. Words were said, rings exchanged, and then most of us went back to the conference.

I don't usually go to weddings. So why did I go to this one? Best I can tell, it was indeed about being a tourist here...a chance to do something I can't do at home...or anywhere else in the country other than Massachusetts. I'm glad I went.

Being here in California does impress upon me the importance of defeating Proposition 8 on the November ballot. If it passes, marriage for same-sex couples ends in California. I don't think of it as a vote on marriage; I think of it as a vote on our humanity. If Prop 8 passes, it will energize anti-gay forces across the country to go after us on any issue they can. If Prop 8 is defeated, it will slow those forces down and inspire hope in gay activists and in gay folks too scared to be activists. The No on 8 campaign needs to raise lots of money and to raise it fast. The vote is expected to be very close. Every dollar will be put to good use. Find out how to donate here. I hesitate to overuse the reference, but when it comes to the fight over Prop 8, we are all Californians.

2 comments:

Heather said...

The author says that this isn't just a vote on marriage, but on humanilty. So, because I support prop 8 and hope it passes,am I some evil hateful person? No. I have many gay friends and I love them. However, I believe that marriage should be between a man and woman. You can call me ignorant or whatever you want if you don't see thing exactly as I do. Just keep in mind I'm not putting anyone down for their beliefs. Only when a male and female unite, can they create a child. Same sex couple cannot and never will be able to do this together. Vote yes on prop 8 to keep marriage between an man and woman.

RJ STRITTMATTER said...

Heather,

You realize that if Prop 8 passes, that fact will be used to strike down domestic partnerships and civil unions as they are approximations of marriage. This will open the door to denial of hospital visitation rights.

How will you explain it to your gay friends, that you claim to love that they are no longer allowed into the ICU to visit the person they love?

My widowed Aunt Rose is in her 90's and well beyond child bearing years. By your arguments she should not be allowed to remarry as they union could not possible produce a child. And what about a woman that has had a hysterectomy? Should she also be barred from marriage along with all couples that cannot produce children?