Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Talk Thursday: Beautiful Release

Now there's a topic that could go a lot of different directions, some of which are kinda not appropriate for a religious-type blog. But just when I was thinking what the hell and wandering over there anyway, a Federal Court in San Francisco dropped a great big surprise into my lap.

I am still married.

Yes, I realize that's not the sort of thing that surprises most people. You don't often wake up in the morning, look around, assure yourself of the continued existence of the roof and the cat and your significant other, and then ask yourself, "I wonder if I'm still married." But then, as far as that goes I am not one of most people. I am one of the approximately 36,000 men and women who got married in California between June 17, 2008 and November Something Or Other of that same year. The few. The proud. The married same-sex couples, who despite the passage of Proposition 8 that November were deemed to Still Be Married by the California Supreme Court. Something about what the State of California joined, a 52% majority could not put asunder. So, in other words, we were married, as were our 35,998 close friends, but no other women who wanted to marry women or men who wanted to marry men could join our elite little fraternity.

There's so much wrong with that I don't know where to start, but as I said on this very blog some time back, the California Supreme Court essentially said, "That's not our problem" when presented with the many logical issues they had just created. "Ya gave us something to rule on, we ruled on it, you guys deal with the consequences," said Ronald M. George and the Supremes. Like how married gay couples, domestically partnered gay couples, and married straight couples would all need different joint tax returns for the state of California. Like one kind of couple could get a divorce where another could only get some kind of separation agreement. I mean, the implications were staggering. Certainly the anti-gay marriage crowd was staggering, which was why when a few couples decided to sue in Federal Court on the grounds that the whole Prop. 8 thing violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, they decided to throw into their briefs the notion that I, and my 35,998 gay brethren and sistern, should be summarily declared not-married whenever the gay couples lost the lawsuit (which was what they must have fully expected would happen. Certainly I expected it would happen; nobody was more stunned than me when the tweets started rolling in yesterday about four o'clock.)

One thing that has always bothered the piss out of me is that legal decisions get mentioned in two sentences on the evening news, maybe with one singular quote of the judge or justice highlighted in some nifty graphic on CNN. So everybody who heard the thirty-second story thinks they know what actually happened and don't realize that just the court's decision, which is generally the end of several YEARS' worth of work, can run to hundreds of pages. Take the Federal court's decision yesterday, for example. 139 pages. That's actually kind of short for a Federal court opinion. But I strongly encourage you to read it, because it is a wonder. The anti-8 crowd came across as incompetent, their experts were plainly idiots, and half the time you get the idea that the judge was just letting them talk to see what in hell they'd say next. Honestly, it's not often you get an entertaining court decision of any kind.

Anyway, I could go on but it's late and I have to run to an OA meeting. But back to my premise. Beautiful release. Joan and I have been on this train since 1999, the chaos and mayhem in San Francisco, the "domestic partnership law" and God alone knows what else. It sure as hell was nice to wake up this morning and still be married.


Cele said...

I keep waiting for all the hetero marriages to fail and dissolve; or as prophesied by Ha8ers the end of marriage as an institution. I mean, that's what they all said right? Legal same sex marriages would be the destruction of the institution of marriage, or some such smuck. Heck, I've wrecked more marriages than that, and they were mine.

Congrats on being .... still married.

And really people read all those pages? But wait, I forget you're a paralegal, you understand all that legalese.

Jen said...


Yeah, I actually read those things. Especially when they seem completely outrageous. I remember one where the media was reporting a woman was denied custody of her kid because she was a lesbian - another 60-odd page read. I wouldn't have given this woman custody of a cat. IV drug user, in and out of jail, had never held a steady job, boyfriend after boyfriend before she met the "love of her life," and oh yeah, in the last two sentences it mentioned she was a lesbian, "which is not a basis in the state of Virginia for denying custody." Kinda not the same thing, wouldn't you say? But most people don't have access to court decisions and/or won't read them so they rely on the sound bites. Drives me CRAZY.

Anyway, yes. Still married. And I don't know of anyone who's gotten divorced on my account, but I keep my ears open.

Junkill said...

Congrats to the both of you! I'm glad that some sense finally prevailed.

倪平 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.......................................................................