- I am a native Californian, and it makes me feel proud that my home state is taking steps to eradicate discrimination against g/l/b/t/q people.
- California is a trend setting state. By this I mean that historically speaking, what happens in California in regards to civil law tends to have a far-reaching impact; it spreads across the rest of the United States, not necessarily quickly, but consistently, and occassionally with the help of the United States Supreme Court.
- Thanks to dubious efforts by religious conservative groups, California voters are going to the polls to vote on a proposed amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman only. This is happening in Florida and Arizona, as well. Because the Supreme Court refused to stay their decision, Californians will have the opportunity to see the results of same-sex marriage (or as I like to call it - marriage - calling it anything other than what it is contributes to the notion that it isn't equality for a basic civil right we are asking for, but a special right or privilege in addition to the rights we already have, and that is a lie) and recognize that, just like Massachussetts has shown, marriage equality will have absolutely no negative impact on society. In fact, the positive economic impact on the state of California is expected to exceed 600 million dollars over the course of the next 3 years.
- Anyone from any state can get married in California, and perhaps as a result, Massachussetts took steps to open their doors to out of state couples as well. Starting in a couple of weeks, Connecticutt will be the third state to practice true Marriage Equality. It might not be recognized in their own state, but lack of current state recognition does not make the marriage any less meaningful or valid in the eyes of the couple, their friends and family, or to God, for that matter.
I admit that I have not always been much of a marriage equality activist in my lifetime. It was never really that important to me, as I never thought I would truly want to be with someone for the rest of my life. My view of relationships was this - people come into your life for a variety of reasons, stay awhile and then leave when there is nothing more you have to offer each other. Why would you want to muddy the water with marriage, making it more of a hassle to make a clean break? This is how I used to think, until I met Angie, and we started dating. Now, two years later, we own a house together, we share our lives together - and suddenly I find myself looking at her sometimes and thinking things like 'This is the woman I'm going to be with for the rest of my life' and 'What would happen to her if something bad happened to me?' I imagine this is how many people who are considering marriage think - gay or straight. I want her to be protected, the same way I want to be protected. When we bought our house, we made the decision to go ahead and have a lawyer draw up our wills, powers of attorney for healthcare and general decisions, etc...$1200 for some documents that provide us about 1/4 of the rights and protections a straight couple gets just as soon as they sign on the dotted line of their $35 marriage license. When I forked over that money, I recognized what g/l/b/t/q people have been fighting for...equal protection under the law...and I deserve it just as much as my straight counterparts. I'm going to marry Angie next year. We are planning a religious ceremony (the 'Rite' of Holy Matrimony) in Georgia through the United Church of Christ, which is open and affirming, and recognizes marriage equality, even thought the state does not. Then we plan to exercise our Constitutionally guaranteed, basic, fundamental civil 'Right' to Marriage by having a civil ceremony in one of the states that respects our right to marry. Once again, lack of recognition on my state's part does not make my marriage any less meaningful or valid to me or to Angie, and we feel confident that it will be recognized in all states in our lifetime.