One of my colleagues commented yesterday "we figured you'd be all tense this week with the Prop8 stuff."
Well, yeah. We've been through the PropH8 campaign (and believe me, it dripped in bile--people spit at us). We were fortunate to marry less than 1 month before this hate amendment passed.
We closely followed the trial in front of state court, where they reluctantly held that Prop8 was constitutional BUT that all it could take away was the word marriage. But the word marriage is uniquely powerful in our culture--who dreams of growing up to ask someone to DP them?
Then AFER and the federal case. We endured the press around the trial in district court, where all the opposition could muster was two unpersuasive witnesses (one of whom, David Blankenhorn, later switched to our side), and a sweeping decision pro-marriage. But no celebrations, because it was immediately stayed.
We endured the appeal to the 9th circuit, where there was a more narrowly drawn decision pro-marriage.
Yesterday we went through the SCOTUS hearing, which clearly showed a reluctant court. The tea-leaf readers comment that if they turf the decision on standing, the decision of the 9th will be vacated, and there will be more litigation to determine if or how Judge Walker's finding applies. More waiting for our friends! If they decide that taking the case was "improvident", the 9th decision could stand.
Each one of these cases has been people talking about us, as "other". But we are not "them", we are "us". BP and I sit in a rare place, being married. We constantly have to remind people that, yes, we are still legally married and that marriage is still recognized in CA and 9 states. Prop8 no longer affects us directly, though it damages our friends. This ongoing trial is still numbing and dehumanizing.
So I lift up this prayer from Susan Russell, wise words for those of us still being keelhauled by this experience. I'm sure Susan won't mind me crossposting from her blog.
Coming to the end of the work day
I just want to "put out there"
that for all the drama, excitement,
enthusiasm and analysis
sparked by the political dimension
of the marriage equality debates
there is also a pastoral dimension
that is easy to overlook.
It is what comes up for folks
... who have their internalized homophobia triggered
by the "old tapes" of messages they're hearing again:
messages that they're not good enough
-- not worthy enough
-- to be treated equally.
Only they're not hearing
those tapes in their heads
-- they're hearing them
on the radio or the television.
It is what happens
when children see families like theirs
being talked about in "the news"
with question marks
about whether they're “real” families –
whether they deserve
the same protection the family next door has.
And it is the ongoing indignity
of having our deepest, holiest,
most precious loves and relationships
debated and dissected
in the public arena
as if was OK
as if it wasn’t dehumanizing
and as if it’s not profoundly personal.
So if you find yourself hurting, angry,
anxious, scared or snarky
reach out and let someone you love
remind you that you’re loved
and that no matter what
we’re going to get through this.
And if you know someone
who may not reach out
find them where they are
and remind them that they’re loved
and that justice WILL roll down like waters
and the arc of history WILL bend toward equality
and in the end all will be well
and all will be well
and all manner of things shall indeed be well.
And if all things are not yet well
then it’s not the end. Yet.
La lucha continua.
The struggle continues!