Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The agony of waiting

The California Supreme Court decided today that it will hear the issue of constitutionality of Prop8, probably in March. So many lawyers think this is a reach, that I am not hopeful. Six months of joy and euphoria, now we enter six months limbo, waiting for a crash.

Unexpectedly, the justices have also requested arguments on the legitimacy of the approximately 18,000 existing marriages, which had not been directly brought up in these suits.

I find myself in unexpected tears at my desk. I feel completely violated and dehumanized. Lawyers in court will argue whether or not our marriage is "real" or "valid", over our protests. People who do not know us, or care about us, will presume on the "validity" of our marriage.

Are we slaves? Are we comatose? It's degrading, as though we have no say about this. Are we people, human beings? Apparently not. We are mere objects that bigots will revile, and our fundamental humanity denied. The clinical distance and detachment of the judicial process makes us things, not real loving people.

It feels like that Youtube ad I posted before, where the two men force their way in the home to tear up the marriage license of two women. It feels violating. It really does.

This isn't getting any easier.

Update: Cross posted at TPM Cafe (link fixed)


James said...

IT, regarding the "legitimacy" issue, it could be that the courts want to hear every possible bit of this whole issue so that when they rule, no one on the YES side can say they didn't have a fair hearing.

I can't imagine in my wildest fantasy that the court would invalidate something they said was legal in the first place

What we have to do it just pray, a lot.

You and BP are on my daily list and at MP and EP you are remembered.

Anonymous said...

IT, I wish I could do something to assuage your anguish. I did do something on Sunday, a blog post, and I leave a link here in case it might help you to know that even on blogs like TPM some of us are trying to address this issue, which for you is so personal, but for me is an issue of community and hospitality. I'm sorry that don't know how to embed the link here or make it work automatically. But if you care to read the blog, you can copy and paste:

May you have peace. I'm so sorry.

Leonard said...

Dear IT, I´m sorry you´re feeling the painful outcome of being persecuted by the fearfilled, emotionally/spiritually insecure and generally ignorant LGBT´s exactly´ve said it well, named the ¨violators¨ and that´s the reality of what´s coming down and has been imposed on people like us for lifetimes...I suppose it would seem annoying and untimely for me to suggest that you PLEASE be glad for the many blessings in your life...but, my dear IT, there are many wonders that I can see (first of all you´re quite brilliant good friend and help many of us with sorting issues and facing our difficult circumstances at The Anglican Communion) and there are many exceptionally good aspects in my life too...imagine the love that exists between and your beloved...think of all of your family and your friends, both face-to-face and online, who think of you, pray for you (yes) and wish you well in your married life but most of all STAND WITH YOU (fret as we may) married or´s especially upsetting when one listens to the folks from the otherside of decency RAGE ON about OUR personal lives and difficulties, as if they knew shit. I hate it as they prance about acting smugly/righteously as they attempt to punish us for ¨being¨ and for ¨being in love¨ too...what a shocking situation they´ve found themselves in...well, you know they have very vivid imaginations when it comes to sexual stuff. They continue to try, and often insist and demand that we, and our loved ones, GO AWAY! They think we are sinners and they are ok!

It won´t work, and fear/hatemongers are dead wrong about people like us and they will eventually be forced to face their fears, hate and grim actions against us.

Lucky for them that we´re not going anywhere. They may have a opportunity to GET WELL! LGBT are here to stay...we´re not surrendering, we´re building self-esteem and pushing for standards of integrity for ourselves (and those like us who will come later and join into everyday society without being despised and marginalized)...the excluders are going to have to be responsible/accountable for their own actions and within their own families as WE are their children, their brothers and sisters, extended family, best friends, parents and coworkers...we are here and we won´t be going away because they can´t FACE is they who will be dealing with feeling violated, demeaned and intruded upon...that is, until they get well and realize that life is different than they demanded that it ought be.

Anonymous said...

The Benedictine way is Ora et Labora (Pray & Work): remembering that IT can't do the former (and doubts its efficacy if we do it on her behalf), let's pull together to do the latter, too?

We've GOT to keep going. Keep thinking. Keep dreaming. Keep fighting. Keep organizing. Keep blogging&commenting. Keep connecting (across the State, Nation, Planet). Keep strategizing. Keep coalition-building. Keep the pressure on. Keep love-making, in EVERY sense of term.

And we WILL win. BELIEVE it. No court, no proposition, no bigot (or a few million) can stop us.

We will win.

(I'm gonna keep praying, too. Because *I* must.)


Cany said...

TheraP, I read the post at TPM (one of my fav blog) and compliments. Well written.

IT means the world to us, lgbt and straight. She is family. This cuts to the bone for all of us that care for her, so thank you for being one of us.

IT, I agree with all the comments here. We HAVE to keep going and it will come out alright. We stand, we fight, we just keep plodding along just like all others have that came before us. We never, ever give up.

And for those of us who believe that the love of God who loves will help, we pray.

We're all on your team. And there are millions more just like us. We just have to continue to make (a joyful) noise.

You have no idea how much I wish I could just wave a wand and make this better. And I don't know WHY, in this day and age, we have to fight about things like this other than to say that traditions, religious and otherwise, are hard to unspin. But unspin we will.

Fran said...

I can only echo what others have said, especially JCF's words.

We stand together on this for justice and equality.

IT, that said, I cannot possibly imagine how this all feels deep inside your heart. While this is so important at large, your place in it with your BP touches and drives me forth profoundly.

No matter what I type it sounds empty and I am so sorry for that.

No we are not giving up and we are not done as your graphic says.

Mike in Texas said...

Let's just hope they remember what they wrote last spring on page 6 of their marriage decision.

From page 6:

"..under this state's Constitution, the constitutionally based right to marry properly must be understood to encompass the core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral to an individual's liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process."

David said...

Are we people, human beings? Apparently not. We are mere objects that bigots will revile, and our fundamental humanity denied.

No, to the religious "right" and other, social conservative wingnuts, you're not. That's why I'm behind JCF's post above. Gotta keep working (and yes, for me, IT and her BP are in my prayers as well).

We ultimately didn't let the bigots win on race in the 60's or sex in the 70's, and we're not going to let them win here, either. Time for everyone to get behind the arc of history and push, dammit!

Counterlight said...

Michael and I are right there with you, IT.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Me too, IT.

I trust that line from Psalm 30: "Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning." I have seen the truth of that, and I believe your own morning of joy will come.

Until then, I'll pray with JCF, Fran, David, and the rest, and we'll all keep working.


Anonymous said...

One, not terribly Christian (I'm afraid) consolation in all this is that Focus on the Family spent so much money on Prop. 8, it now must lay off 20% of its work force -- More layoffs at Focus on the Family. (Hat tip to Mad Priest):

"Focus on the Family is poised to announce major layoffs to its Colorado Springs-based ministry and media empire today. The cutbacks come just weeks after the group pumped more than half a million dollars into the successful effort to pass a gay-marriage ban in California.

"Critics are holding up the layoffs, which come just two months after the organization’s last round of dismissals, as a sad commentary on the true priorities of the ministry."

Maybe Californians should put marriage for same-sex couples on the ballot every year. How long do you think it would take for the average pew-sitting Fundamentalist or Mormon to revolt from their leadership's demands that they keep pumping thousands of their hard-earned dollars into fighting this?

Anonymous said...

IT, it might be beneficial - for the world at large - if you were to post this at TPM. Should you choose to do that, I would be glad to assist in making sure it gets on the rec list. Or, if you prefer to keep your privacy, I'd be glad to embed your words in a blog on your behalf. (or someone like Cany could do that, if you prefer) Though there are some trollish commenters there, and at times I myself have literally felt "stalked" by one or two whom I choose to ignore, just yesterday TPM came out with a button to "report abuse" (and I'm hoping that will act as somewhat of a brake in itself). (FDL is another option - at Oxdown. But I'm not as known there. Or to cross-post.)

I'm going to perfectly honest here now and tell you that we have interacted before - and I have posted on these blogs as "fear not." But when I wrote my comment last night and decided the post the link, I had to make a choice of "who" to post under.

So now I say: fear not!

Think of yourself, as I'm sure you do, as like Rosa Parks. This issue has become so crucial - because it is bigotry being used as a political battering ram. (whether in churches or society) Just the same way they battered Obama with the Muslim smear, regardless of how it affected Muslims, they are battering you with this smear - as a political ploy, to dupe (supposedly religious) voters - regardless of how it rips apart your own personal life, your family, your very heart.

So, believe me, I thought of you, when I wrote that post. Indeed, one of the things that brought me to "these blogs" has been this very issue - and how it harms/undermines/warps community.

I think I'm right, however, that "hospitality" - as a virtue - is at stake here. Or if someone has a better word - let's find it.

Erp said...

Reading the CA Supreme Court is like reading tea leaves, and, the pain the wait will have on you and others is heart wrenching. However the tide is coming in. How many people not directly affected put up 'no on prop 8' signs? How many straights came to the protest rallies? I know I attended a couple. At the first were at least one straight couple where one spouse had called up the other that afternoon and said we have to go and they brought their kids with them. Even if the Supreme Court rules for prop 8, I suspect they will do it in such a way as to show the law is an ass (possibly by leaving existing marriages intact but not allowing future marriages). And the next time in California, if it comes to that, the vote will be for gender/sex neutral marriage. The 'traditional' marriage people poured their money, their pressure, their expertise into this race and they still only got a slim victory and far less than last time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your kind remarks. I'm usually a pretty tough broad, being in a pretty tough profession, so I am stunned at how emotional I am over this.

TheraP/fear not, I have taken your advice and cross posted at TMPCafe:

I have also registered for a dailykos diary, although it takes a week for that to come through.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, IT. I love that you've used the "marriage is love" image! And I've already put out the "word."

Anyone who wants to, give it a boost!

We all have our breaking points. And sometimes the raw emotion of one person speaks volumes. And is more convincing that any argument.

I honestly feel on the verge of tears myself. Just being part of this.

Bless you, my dear.

The only other thing I can think of is to spread the word on the "blogbadge" - either in a comment or at the end of the blog. Many people may be willing to assist - it gives them something to do.

Anonymous said...

Following my own advice, here's what I posted at the end of my comment:

PS - if you follow IT's link, you'll notice a "blogbadge" to the right of her post - that can be downloaded. (Let's make it viral!)

You're already on the Rec List at TPM!

June Butler said...

IT, my prayers and sympathy are with you and BP. I feel as if someone had died, which is, I expect, somewhat like what you feel, except that you and BP still have each other.

Your deep and abiding love for each other is the reality, IT, and no one, NO ONE, can take that away from you. I know that you are in pain. We'll see how this comes out. The wait and uncertainty will be unpleasant, but hang on to the reality of your love for each other and your family and your precious life together.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, that latest logo (link to the No on Prop8 Store) NEEDS some Rainbow coloring. Otherwise, it could just as easily be adopted by the (hateful!) "Protect Marriage" crowd. :-(

Anonymous said...

yes, JCF, and the other thing: while they have magnets and t-shirts, no bumper stickers!

They haven't learned a thing.

(Although my campus' GLBT ally program tells us the "kids" don't identify with the rainbow any more; hence the "ally" sticker on my office door is devoid of any visual design that make it apparent that it's, well, about gays. I think "they" should just ignore the focus groups. They may not identify with it but you can be darn sure they know what it means.)


James said...

I agree, IT, the rainbow is not the symbol for the GL movement as it once was. It is certainly an "age thing" with those of us who were alive in the 1970s instantly recognize.

I'm not sure of the community needs ONE symbol any more, or even wants ONE symbol.

Anonymous said...

I just read where Nepal has now said yes to same-sex marriage.
The power of religion here is our main stumbling block. Religion is this country is far too powerful maybe in part because of tax exempt status. Religion has caused the Untied States great damage on a variety of fronts on everything from stem cell research to issues around birth control and overpopulation to equality.

I understand how you feel IT. I have felt very depressed and exhausted after having to endure all the negative Prop 8 garbage. Especially the notion that we are not fit to be around children ... horrible. I just hope one day everyone wakes up to the lies and abuse organized religion (superstition) has caused and move in a different direction to an era of enlightenment and spirituality instead.


Anonymous said...

OK James, let's all feel old-ish.

Remember the Greek letter lambda as a symbol? How about the pink triangle? For lesbians, the labrys (ancient Cretan double-headed axe, a key icon used by that supposedly matriarchal society)? Also for lesbians, the neolithic goddess sculpture, and some variation on a stylized vulva? The old favorite, zodiacal paired male signs and paired female signs? The color lavender?


Mike in Texas said...

I remember all that stuff, Nancy. And I have to admit that I still like most of it.

I suspect that the young who supposedly don't identify with those things may have a change of heart. Many of them have just gone through an experience that has energized them like Stonewall energized my generation.

Today, BTW, is our 38th anniversary. We met just a few months after Stonewall. As I posted on my blog, time certainly passes quickly when you're busy destroying traditional marriage.

James said...

I, too, remember all those symbols. My favourite really was the lambda.

I think you're correct Mike. For the first time in the lives of young GLBT people, they have witnessed overt and well organized hatred.

They grew up in a time of relative freedom and acceptance from their peers. Now they have seen the face of hate -- hate of them.

I suspect that they may develop their own symbol for the struggle or adopt one of the former symbols.

Mike in Texas said...

I hope they keep the rainbow and the pink triangle.

One of these days I'm going to do a blog post about pink triangles with a photo of one from my small collection of Holocaust items.

I'm continually amazed that some people still don't know the significance of the pink triangles.

June Butler said...

One of these days I'm going to do a blog post about pink triangles with a photo of one from my small collection of Holocaust items.

Mike, you should do that.

James said...

I opt for the pint triangle, Mike. We are seeing, here in California, hysteria such as was seen in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany. The pink triangle is a symbol of what can happen when people refuse to stand up for what is right.

I think I'll dig out my pink triangle buttons.

Counterlight said...

Our symbols have histories, folks. They should not be discarded lightly even if the kids fall asleep in history class. We all know about the Pink Triangle, but the Rainbow Pride Flag has a history too, one that involves the murder of Harvey Milk.
The Lambda began here in New York. It was created in January of 1970 by a young graphic artist named Tom Doerr as a symbol for the newly founded Gay Activists Alliance. He chose the lambda because it is a sign in chemistry for a catalyst. He colored it chrome yellow (after the title of a novel by Aldous Huxley that was a favorite of the Stonewall Era activists) on a blue ground. It quickly became a universal symbol for gay political activism.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, counterlight. we bought our first rainbow flag this weekend and BP is looking for a rainbow cross lapel pin.


Anonymous said...

Today, BTW, is our 38th anniversary. We met just a few months after Stonewall.

You and your partner, Mike?



[Flintstones' chorus voice, to the tune of "The Lone Ranger"]

Happy Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary!
Haaaappy Anniversary!


James said...

Mazel Tov, Counterlight!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Change will come - eventually, but surely.

Counterlight said...

Thanks, but Michael and I have been together 5 years. Mike in Texas and his partner deserve the Mazel Tovs after 38 years.

James said...

Mike in Texas is not old enough to have a 38th year anniversary. We need to get to the bottom of this!:)

Mike in Texas said...

James ... I am shocked, shocked, shocked! ;)

Leonard said...

I´m shocked too...and with NO OFFICIAL WEDDING CEREMONY...if they only knew what the tame everyday reality of what scares the demented fu**s to death!

Anonymous said...

Today's Los Angeles Times had a good article on the continuing fight over Prop. 8, including a probable re-run in 2010 - Both sides in California's Prop. 8 battle look ahead to 2010: The gay-marriage ban issue could be back on the ballot in two years. Regardless, backers and foes are organizing supporters, waging a fierce public relations campaign and considering their next moves.

The article says in part:

Instead of settling the question of gay marriage in California, the election merely ushered in a new, and in many cases more heated, phase of the campaign, with both sides looking ahead to 2010, when the matter could be back on the ballot.

This could happen no matter how the state Supreme Court rules. The court announced this week that it would review the legality of Proposition 8 in response to several lawsuits filed by cities and gay couples.

If justices uphold the proposition, gay marriage backers plan to put their own measure before voters perhaps as soon as 2010 to re-amend the state Constitution to allow the marriages.

If the justices toss out Proposition 8, some gay-marriage opponents have talked of putting something on the ballot themselves, either to again ban gay marriage or to oust Supreme Court justices or both.

Counterlight said...

Although it's so very unfair, it looks like it's going to take winning an election to drive a stake through the heart of Prop H8.

Brother David said...

I still have among my treasures the Seattle Gay Pride Banner designed by David Ti of SoundWinds/AirArts. Roberto and I brought it back with us after living there in the mid 80s.

Unlike the current version in the link, the one I have is David's original design which has a pink triangle with a lavender border.

During the month of June these were hung along the commercial district of Broadway on Capitol Hill, the route of the Pride March.

Anonymous said...

IT, here's at least two lapel pin choices for BP, a rainbow cross and a rainbow "Christian fish" symbol.


James said...

Mike, just call me "the Shocking James" from now on. I had to read your post three times before I saw anything funny.

My friend, Matthew, attended the Sacramento rally today and sent me a few pictures which I have posted.

I agree that the fight for equal justice is going to take while.

Yesterday, I had sent, via, a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird to each for the California supreme justices. As I watched the movie yesterday, I was gobsmacked at Atticus' summation to the jury. I'm trying to find the text of it to post.

Madcap said...

The Inequality of Homosexual Relationships

Anonymous said...

Your arguments are unsound
Gay (civil) marriage is completely equal

Madcap said...

I think not. If you could give me a link to where a man and a man were able to have children?

I, me, mine, now. That's what this is all about. You should be more specific. fell free to do so.

The Inequality of Homosexual Relationships

The article you gave does not cover my arguments. Try again. You should use your own thoughts and should actually read what I posted before responding.

I want you folks to have rights.

Anonymous said...

I read enough of your blog to see that you are making the same arguments as everyone else, madcap. That you accuse us of mere selfishness and immorality. That you don't grasp the concept of equal protection under the law, but think your religious morality (even if you don't call it such) trumps civil rights.

Did you even see what I said about the procreation canard at votonmarriage?. And yes, those are my words. I will state it again here so perhaps you will grasp it. Civil marriage has separated procreation from marriage. We do not limit marriage to fertile people, and we do not have fecundity tests. Moreover, gay families are also raising children. So straight marriages may not have children, but gay partnerships may. therefore raising children has nothing to do with civil marriage. If you want to protect families raising children, then you should let gay couples marry. We're going to be raising the kids regardless.

You are in favor of giving us SOME rights, as long as they are not EQUAL rights. Grudgingly doling out rights, as though I am not a complete citizen, as though I have to beg for the scraps from the table. Sorry, I disagree. My passport doesn't have an asterisk saying I am 3/5 of an American, and neither does my tax return.

I too have a family. I too am raising children. I too want to be a strengthening part of the fabric of society. You don't want me to. Fine, I get that. But don't expect me to agree. To be satisfied with the scraps.

So you come to this post on this blog to gloat at the pain of someone whose legal marriage may be forcibly annulled, and rent apart, by a majority voting against a minority.

I am not going to reiterate what I've posted previously. . I'm tired, so very tired, of being kicked and insulted for the simple act of wanting equal rights under the law and to take my place equally in our society.


Madcap said...

Not one time did I mention religion.

You have no idea what was, and is, meant by "rights." You did not read my article, so you do not know what I am getting at.

I have never seen anyone use the works of Ken Wilber to illustrate a point on gay marriage. Never. Not once.

I think you simply dismissed my post out of hand without taking the time to see what I am getting at.

The way you characterized me in your comment is not in alignment with my post. You must have me confused with some other blog.

Madcap said...

"Civil marriage has separated procreation from marriage. We do not limit marriage to fertile people, and we do not have fecundity tests."

You need to follow through with this argument.

It is in the "nature" of hetero to produce offspring. If not, it is because of a privation of the fullness of this nature; not that it is lacking in the nature in totality, like it is in homo.

There is no way to get around the fact that the natures of these two relationships are not equal. It's just the way it is.

I have links to some of the things gay activist have been doing to other people. I thought it was the gays that were getting bashed?

Calling people niggers?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I took one for the team and *did* read Madcap's scribblings, so you don't have to. I wish I had the time I spent reading back---it's just the same tired arguments rehashed...nothing new and certainly nothing convincing.

I got a headache in the bargain--he really should learn a few basic rules of web design.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dox.

I skimmed it, the procreation argument is all there is. Tab A into slot B, regardless of all the other ways there are families, whether straight or gay.

Here's a hypothetical.

A woman (say a widow) with two children, who doesn't want (say, can't have) any more children.

Wants to marry the person she loves.

Does it make a difference if her would-be spouse is male or female? A step-parent for her children. A partner for her. It's not like she is going to go find a man if her female lover is unmarriageable. They will still be together, but unprotected.

Say that in three years she dies of metastatic cancer. Does it make a difference if she could marry her beloved, or not? Who REALLY cares about family values?

There is no rational civil reason to treat her relationship with her partner differently on the basis of gender.



Anonymous said...

By the way, Madcap: I spent the runup to the election being called a "pervert" and worse by people on the street. I don't accuse you of those words.

I marched with 25,000 people in San Diego for gay rights. The only arrest was a counterprotester. I don't accuse you of his words either.

So don't paint a movement by a few individuals, and we won't assume your view of marriage is the same as Britney Spears or Liz Taylor.

Madcap said...

"nothing new"

So you know of spiral dynamics? Tell me about it since it's the same old. You should know all about it. Give me a brief run down.

"I skimmed it"

"Tab A into slot B,"

If you would do more than "skim" you would see that I cover quite a bit more than that. I give resource links to AQAL that I'm basing my perspective from. (Ask wormwood what that means)

What do you think about what I said about the nature of distinction and hierarchy, equality at all levels, hierarchy between levels.

You also did not respond concerning what I said about the nature of the two relationships. They are distinctly different no?

"It is in the "nature" of hetero to produce offspring. If not, it is because of a privation of the fullness of this nature; not that it is lacking in the nature in totality, like it is in homo."

"being called a "pervert"

I have done no such thing.I have gay friends.

Madcap said...

I'm also placing these comments on my blog to show what I said in the post about Gnostic Liberalism to be correct. Feel free to enter the arena of ideas.

Madcap said...

Just in case I'm not being clear on the nature question;

Using the ENTIRE history of mankind, can you cite one time, just one time, where a man and a man have produced offspring? Why not?

Please answer the question.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

First, it's DOXY---the way I sign all my posts, if you can read for comprehension. Thanks.


Using the ENTIRE history of mankind, can you cite one time, just one time, where a man and a man have produced offspring? Why not?

I don't accept that this is THE question---and I doubt anyone else here does either. I don't believe that procreation is the be-all and end-all of marriage. If I did, I'd still be with the father of my children. Unfortunately, he forgot the unitive and affective aspects of marriage...

So that leaves me nothing to argue with you. It's not a refusal to "enter the arena of ideas" (ROFLMAO!)---it's a refusal to grant that YOUR idea is so earth-shatteringly brilliant that it demolishes the case for same-sex marriage.

It isn't.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

And guys, he's now quoting NARTH on his web page to bolster his "argument."

Do. Not. Feed. The. Troll.

Madcap said...

My Invitation to Homosexuals

Anonymous said...

Yup, we're done here.


Anonymous said...

Ew. I just referred Pagan Sphinx to this thread, above, and hadn't realized it had been trolled! :-X

Anonymous said...

Nevermind, if he's not gone, he might as well be. We're ignoring him.

I prefer to let crap sit out there in the sunlight so it can be sterilized but if it's too repulisive I'll delete it.