Victories Big and Small

You might think that any self-respecting blog with emphasis on LGBT rights and such would have posted by now about the Prop 8 decision and the victory for equality, the so here it goes…

Ashley and I have been watching the issue closely and I even had a little ‘text me when the decision is posted’ thing set up through the Human Rights Campaign on my new phone (read next week’s Weekly Update for more information about the awesomeness that is my new phone).  Because we live on the East coast, the decision was set to come out after 4pm and we were headed to a pool party at my in-laws house.  I got my text when we were just getting there and we had a little celebratory moment with the in-laws.  Then the pool party began.  Our friends from England, Bob (who officiated our wedding ceremony) and Jean, were here with their daughter, Justine, and two grandchildren, Amy and William.  They even stopped by the dollar store and got party hats and crowns for everyone to wear.  It was a perfect and unplanned way to celebrate the Prop 8 decision.  I played in the pool with the kids and had a great time.   Amy who is seven, and William who is three, are both cute and friendly.  Ashley was chatting at the table (with the adults), and mentioned to Justine, that we are planning a move to Vermont.  She asked why and Ashley said because we couldn’t be married in Florida. Justine seemed to think this was a totally acceptable reason to be moving. I think that spending the evening with the British friends and wearing party hats was the perfect way to celebrate the ruling.

After the ruling and over the following couple of days, I was approached by several of the volunteers at the hospital (most of which are over the age of 60, if not in their 70’s or 80’s) to acknowledge the ruling and how exciting that it was.  I must say that most of these women were surprised when they first figured out that I was married to another woman, and some were not so friendly about it at first.  Now, having worked with me for over a year and having a personal interest and investment in my life, they are actually happy for me.  This seems to me to be a victory in itself. Most people’s approval rating of the LGBT community increases dramatically when they realize that they know an actual person that has ‘the gay’ (as Rachel Maddow would say).  My point is this: we have to approach our strive for equality with both the big and the small.  Big victories like this ruling on Prop 8, are amazing and joyous and celebrated.  Small victories should be celebrated, too.

Some favorites quotes from the ruling:

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and women.”

“The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent.

“That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as ‘fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.'”

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

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