Category Archives: Personal

Long Time Gone

I have to wonder if anyone’s still reading this.  It certainly wasn’t our intent for it to go so quiet around here.  But as it frequently does, life happened and here we are a month after the last post.  Summer has been a whirlwind and before you know it, school will be starting up and tht part of life will happen.

Today has been kind of a discouraging day for me on the marriage equality front.  I have found that I am really not a good phone banker.  Not only am I uncomfortable and handle rejection quite poorly, I just don’t have what it takes to whip people up into a frenzy about marriage equality.  And honestly, that kind of sits with my personality.  I am not flashy, I don’t draw attention to myself (usually) and would prefer to fly below the radar.  We hosted a phone bank here today that was very sparsely attended and really didn’t get much accomplished.  I called probably 15 numbers, the vast majority of which were not at home and the two people I actually got bitched me out.  I suppose I can understand that.  I hate the phone as much as the next person, but I try really hard not to be mad at people who call for causes because 1) they really believe in them and 2) they are human beings with feelings.

It’s going to be a shit-fight in January when the legislature reconvenes.  I have been trying to talk myself out of believing that, but it will happen. Even if the people by and large have stopped caring about it, the legislators and politicians have found a hot button issue to rally the troops in an election year.  It WILL be an issue, no matter how much I want to delude myself that it won’t be.

People always ask me why I care.  I’m not gay, I don’t have any gay relatives and didn’t really even know any gay people until the last few years.  I don’t have an easy answer – probably because the answer is complicated and steeped in a lot of my own life story.  But when it comes right down to it, I think the reason I care about LGBT issues in general and marriage equality specifically, it’s because we’re all people.  And while people can be real shitheads sometimes, most of the time, they’re not and they just want to live their lives.

Musician Darren Hayes posted on his myspace blog a picture of him and his husband in Paris last November.  It was right after Prop 8 passed and as a gay man, he was emotionally affected.  He wrote the following which, while not entirely accurate (there was no attempt to change the U.S. Constitution), the sentiments still ring true.

We’re married.
Some folks in California decided to change the American Constitution to legislate
that this right should not be given to gay people in California.
Presumably because of what gay people will do to the definition of marriage.

Just so we are clear, this is our definition of marriage:
We want to grow old together.
We love each other so much that we want to share our lives together, forever.
We are monogamous. We’re faithful. We’re in it for the long haul.
Sometimes we argue over who’s turn it is to make a cup of tea, but for the most
part we are soul mates.

If, God forbid, one of us should fall ill, one of us will take care of the other one.
If,, God forbid, one of us should pass away suddenly, we would want our estate to go
to the one of us who survives.
We’d like other stuff too, like, you know, the same tax breaks as other married couples
and the civil rights you would extend any other committed couple in the free world.
And to be able to be respected and receive the same rights that everyone else has.

But mostly, we just want to grow old together.

We’re really lucky that the country we live in allows for same sex partners to receive
all of these things. But some folks in California recently decided that some Americans
did not deserve this same respect.

So for those people who voted to ‘ban’ gay marriage; to take away a right and permanently
discriminate against a minority group – I wanted to share this picture of Richard and I.
It’s us, tearing down the fabric of good society and the sanctity of marriage in Paris.
Lock up your children!

paris

I have always loved that picture and meant to blog it on my other blog but then the ship sailed and it seemed stupid to do so.

Today, it seems worth repeating.

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Why marriage matters

I know that I promised on May 5th (wow, 11 days ago) that there would be more posts here.  If there’s any one thing I hate, it’s blogs that go for weeks without getting updated, and then there’s the post that says “sorry I haven’t updated in a while, life has been busy!”  I don’t know how many readers we have , but this blog is important to Heidi and me.  We will attempt to be a bit more diligent in our writing.

Now having said that, life has been a whirlwind around here.  There have been the standard things to get caught up in – the school year is winding down and we’re also getting ready to take a vacation.  But it’s been more than that.  Over the last 10 days, we have witnessed a dear friend of ours go from being merely sick, to being hospitalized, to being moved to ICU and finally put on a ventilator.  The reasons for this are not entirely clear, and after a tense week, she is well on the road to recovery.  Youth (she is significantly younger than me) is definitely on her side and she has a fighting spirit that will see her through this and the path to a complete recovery.

It was during this time that I realized why marriage really matters.  Her husband is considered next of kin, and with that came the authority to make medical decisions for his wife when she was unable to make her own medical decisions.  Not even her own mother could override the decisions that he made.  Legally, he had the final say.  It got me to thinking about how were he her boyfriend or even her fiance, that assignment would not immediately fall to him.  Without the legality of  a marriage, he could have easily found himself on the outside looking in, while decisions regarding the woman he loved were made, possibly without his input.

Now, of course that is overdrawing it for effect, but is it?  What I was really surprised by was how much those of us who have been afforded the luxury of being married before April 27th really take all that for granted.  Because the history of HIV and the ensuing AIDS epidemic is of such interest to me, it made me think about how many gay men were denied the right to simply be with their dying partners because they were not family, at least not in the legal sense.

So to those who would deny the LGBT community these simple rights, I would ask them to honestly think about how they would feel were they were overruled by their spouse’s immediate family in making health care decisions.

In the meantime, marriage equality will have been the law of the Iowa land for three weeks tomorrow.  Miraculously, the sky is still there.  Life has gone on.  But don’t get complacent.  Things may be quieter now, but this is but the eye of the hurricane.  With 2010 a gubernatorial election year, the entire Iowa House and half the Iowa Senate up for re-election, you can bet that this is only the beginning.  Keep on fighting and most importantly, walk the walk.