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Marriage Equality arrived in California as of 5:01 PM yesterday, June 16, 2008. Historical civil ceremonies are going on up and down the state, with happy couples exchanging simple vows to share their lives and take care of each other.

Sinister forces, some from within the state, most from outside, are backing a ballot initiative to have Californians vote to take the right of marriage away from those who just received it. Of course, those of us who understand that human rights cannot be withdrawn once bestowed-- once the basic humanity of someone is recognized, it cannot be un-recognized-- are fighting tooth and nail to defeat these religious nutjob jerks.

And gays and lesbians are now rushing to beat that November 4 deadline and get married, just in case.

My fiancé called me at work.

I couldn't pick up the phone, as I was helping a colleague in my office. But I called him back as soon as I could.

"'A' asked me if we're going to do it," he said after our usual greetings.

'A' is the niece of my fiancé's late partner of over 20 years (who was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam and died of a rare form of lower-GI cancer seen in other exposees), and she's very supportive of us.

"Well, we've said we would, we've promised we would for four years now," I noted.

"But maybe we should go ahead and get all legal NOW, you know, before November and all that."

[Background: We've been together since New Year's Day 2003, and we've been discussing having some kind of commitment ceremony since early 2004 at least. I only came out to my family a year and a half ago, mainly to let my dying sister meet my fiancé before she passed away. My mom has warmed up to the whole situation, but me marrying is still a bit foreign to her. We're going to do it regardless, but we're also remodeling our respective homes in hopes of selling them and combining our households under one bigger, more stylish roof (hey, we ARE gay, after all!).]

"Well,... OK. Why not?"

"We can go make it all legal now and have the big party LATER."

"Sure," I replied, while a recent remark of his played in my mind:

Don't make me remodel this house AND plan a wedding, I'll go insane!

We're relatively young and 100% healthy. We are financially secure. We have our lives ahead of us.

And seriously-- I never really thought this day would arrive in my lifetime. I never thought the simple act we're going to undertake COULD occur in my lifetime. And we may only have a brief window of time to do it.

We're going to get married. We joked about getting Kathy Griffin to officiate, but we're racing against the Fundamentalist Hordes of Scum. No time to get cute.

I'm not fishing for congratulations. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

The fight is now completely personal, and THE RIGHTWING PIGS WILL NOT WIN. Donate to these organizations, if you can:

Equality California

Equality for All

Marriage Equality USA

Please send good thoughts our way. Maybe all the good vibes will defeat the fundies. And maybe-- just maybe-- Federal recognition will follow in short order. Please please please PLEASE.

If you're gay or lesbian and want to come and get married-- hell, even if you're straight!-- come play in our big, beautiful, welcoming state! Let's show 'em how it's done!

Originally posted to CajunBoyLgb on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:20 PM PDT.

Poll

Is the threat of the Hate Initiative passing making you rush to get married before November 4?

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4%5 votes
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13%15 votes
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5%6 votes
24%26 votes

| 108 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  it won't pass (8+ / 0-)

    Most Californians are against a constitutional amendment.

  •  Congratulations!! (5+ / 0-)

    Our country is healing itself.

    P.S. Are there any other available Cajuns? I biked through Cajun country once and stayed at a campground where families went on the weekends. Some guys took me around in the back of a pickup to sample food at all the other campsites. I've never met such friendly people, and such great cooks.

  •  Congratulations and Best Wishes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nokkonwud, Louisiana 1976

    for many years of happiness, fulfillment, and cherished shared times.

    For heterosexuals I and much of society can simply say to them, "Why not just live together?"  For you this new Age of Legal Enlightenment (no matter how long or short it lasts) is an opportunity to enjoy the rights that heteros have had -- even without benefit of matrimony.  Doors have opened for them without question in the same way they've opened for man and wife couples.  All they had to do was utter a simple lie: "I am the spouse."

    Here's to the same doors opening for you.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:45:24 PM PDT

  •  if the proposition passes, marriages won't count (0+ / 0-)

    If you thin that the proposition will pass, then there's no point to get married, I doubt they will refund your fees after they retroactively annual all the marriages. I don't see how they wouldn't annul them, there would be a bunch of married gay people in a state which forbids gay marriage in its constitution. If, on the other hand, the proposition gets defeated, then you have all the time in the world. So relax, don't hurry, and go get Kathy Griffith, your crazy fool, somehow I'm pretty sure her days are wide open and she'll do anything for some gin.

    An optimist sees plus signs even when he is at a cemetery.

    by Marcion on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:46:31 PM PDT

    •  Are states allowed to pass ex post facto (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, Rex Manning, Louisiana 1976

      laws?

    •  wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, Cassandra Waites, nokkonwud

      The proposition will only effect marriages going forward from the date of passage.

    •  Disagree. (4+ / 0-)

      While the bigots attempting to revise California's constitution would no doubt like to retroactively invalidate existing marriages, the amendment would likely be invalidated if it tried to do so, and the amendment that will be before the voters this fall is silent on the issue (SFGate.com:

      If my partner and I get married and then California voters in November approve a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, will my marriage still be valid?

      If the measure is approved by voters, it will supersede the state Supreme Court's ruling. The measure, as currently written, does not say whether it would apply retroactively to annul marriages performed before the vote.

      •  it's an intersting issue, maybe it'll get diaried (4+ / 0-)

        If the bigots are so stupid as to leave specific retroactivity language out, that's going to make it easier. Still, there's going to be litigation going for years over this issue if the proposition passes.

        See below, from FindLaw

        Possible enactment of the CMPA in November raises more complicated federal questions, however. Suppose the initiative passes. Going forward, California would no longer issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But what about those same-sex marriages that are sanctioned by California this summer and fall, before the initiative is approved? Will those same-sex marriages continue to be respected?

        That depends on a few things. First, it isn't clear (to me at least) that the CMPA by its own terms will, if enacted, affect already-existing California same-sex marriages. Initiatives in California are presumed to apply only prospectively unless they themselves provide for retroactive application. There is no explicit wording in the CMPA concerning its applicability to already-existing marriages.

        Yet some gay marriage opponents may assert that the CMPA's ban on recognizing or treating as valid same-sex marriages (remember, the CMPA says "only [opposite sex] marriage. . . is valid or recognized") will prevent the State from continuing to recognize or treat as valid any same-sex marriages for any state law purpose going forward.

        It's not clear today what "continuing" in-state validity or recognition would really mean (since California's domestic partnership laws conferred tangible benefits on registered same-sex couples even before last week's ruling on whether the label "marriage" should be extended.) But to the extent that it matters whether couples who marry this summer continue to be able to use the term "marriage," federal constitutional law may prohibit the retroactive application of the CMPA.

        Under the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment, states are limited in their ability to upset settled expectations about important property and liberty interests. And for the California constitution to tell same-sex couples that they are free to marry (as it currently does), and then tell them (after the constitution is altered in November) that their decision to marry is no longer honored by the State may unfairly disturb their reliance interest, and upset their reasonable expectations.

        At the very least, the possibility of a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment should leave California courts (which will interpret the CMPA) inclined to read it narrowly and to deny it any retroactive effect. Such a narrow reading will avoid the need to resolve the federal constitutional problems with retroactive application, and courts often say that avoiding questions like those by reading state law narrowly is a good thing – since courts should not decide important constitutional questions unless reaching such questions is absolutely necessary.

        An optimist sees plus signs even when he is at a cemetery.

        by Marcion on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 05:11:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I heard the interview with the two men (4+ / 0-)

    planning to get married, who were disagreeing - one wanted a big wedding and the other didn't - and trying to work out a compromise, I laughed.  These people sound way too normal.

    Congrats!

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:51:17 PM PDT

  •  Personal choices, public acceptance (4+ / 0-)

    People should get married if that's what they want to do, but not rush into it if the time isn't right.

    All these individual choices add up to an impact on public consciousness of the issue, however.

    In Canada, I noticed this when the process moved from the courts to the Parliament. The courts in three big provinces--Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec--ruled the same way, and opened up marriage to same-sex couples immediately. Other provinces gradually started to follow suit.

    This meant that we started to see the news coverage of happy newly-weds (same-sex).

    Parliament took its time coming up with legislation that reflected the new reality. The people who were opposed to same-sex marriage continued to fight what was, for them, the good fight. They still thought Parliament should--might--effectively overturn what the courts had done.

    But by that time, as I recall, about five thousand couples had been married legally. There had been enough newspaper photos of a happy couple kissing on the front steps of the church for the new situation to really sink into the public's awareness.

    The sun still rose in the east. Heterosexuals still fell in love, got married and started families. As it turned out, marital happiness isn't a zero-sum game after all.

    The five thousand couples who married legally were going to have their marriages legally recognized, permanently, even if somehow Parliament did something to end same-sex marriage. So why get into conniptions about it? Same-sex marriage was obviously here to stay.

    The legislation doesn't affect me personally--I live in Canada, I'm  straight, and CajunBoyLGB hasn't found anyone for me.

    But if it affects you, then I'd say perhaps you should consider, as one small factor, the influence on public consciousness of adding one more legal marriage to the discussion that precedes the vote in November.

  •  Congrats (3+ / 0-)

    My brother and his partner live in Palm Springs;  I haven't talked to him yet to see if they are going to take the plunge.

    John McCain: Vowing to connect real leaders with real bowels

    by chicago minx on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 05:13:29 PM PDT

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