The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has lifted the stay that was holding Prop 8 into place. Unless the Supreme Court reconsiders in the event of an appeal of their ruling within the next few weeks, then I suppose the federal case against gay marriage in California is over.
Vern Nelson is available to play at your weddings. And he is fabulous! (I’d have waited for him to say that himself, but we all know how shy he is.)
Congratulations to the happy couples and to everyone else in the gay and lesbian community who won’t be getting married, but will be enjoying an extra measure of dignity.
(And yes, since you asked, I can do simple joint wills and trusts and living wills for married couples of any orientation.)
I choose a picture of Loretta Sanchez to illustrate this story (despite her apparent appalling lack of homosexuality) not only because she is a satisfied Vern Nelson wedding music client, but because of a letter sent around Facebook today by my friend Ed Velasquez, who talks about a stance she once took when he was working for her. I hope at some point to be allowed to print the whole thing, but I’ll make do with one paragraph (which I’m breaking up for readability.)
I found myself working on the re-election campaign of a Member of Congress. Proposition 22 was on the ballot that November (California’s version of DOMA). It was my job to compile her personal recommendations to give voters about other candidates and initiatives. Going in to our meeting, our Chief of Staff pulled me aside and told me not to get my hopes up. Prop. 22 polled well in our district, many of our supporters were Yes on 22, it would be tough for the Congresswoman to take a public position against it.
We sat together on the office sofa as I briefed her on the candidates and propositions up and down the ballot. Most of them were easy for her to answer. We got to 22. I explained that it would allow California to deny recognition to gay and lesbian couples married out of state. As I read through the list of groups and individuals who were for and against it, she interrupted. “Marriage is a good thing,” she said, “We should be encouraging everyone to get married.” “So we can state publicly that you’re against Prop. 22?” I asked, to clarify. “Right, No on 22. Next.”
After completing our work I approached the office door to let myself out. “Ed, one more thing,” she said from behind her desk. “Get in touch with the No on 22 people and find out if they need my help raising money for their campaign, making appearances, speaking on Spanish TV, that kind of thing. That’s going to be a tough one to win.” “Sure, Loretta. I’ll do that.”
I emphasize Loretta today because I’m a political person. I care deeply about politics. This has all changed through politics — primarily agitation from the LGBT community, yes, but also from those mainstream figures who stood with them when they didn’t have to, when timid advisors (among whom I do not count Ed) would remind them of the benefits of not getting too far out ahead of the average voter on a “sensitive issue” like this.
I want those people to look at Loretta, who earned her place in today’s celebration with her courage and grit when she could easily have hidden her views — and I want them to feel a little jealous. Maybe even very jealous. She has earned this honor with political bravery. The rest of you, take note — and go earn your own part in some future celebrations of tough issues by showing political bravery today.