Sara Whitman

We Lost... For Now

Filed By Sara Whitman | May 26, 2009 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: California, legal system, LGBT, LGBT equality, LGBT rights, marriage equality, Prop. 8

I have never been a graceful loser. I have, however, learned a few things about patience and strategy in my life that has made losing a little easier to take.

The California court ruled to keep some marriages, take away the right of any others to get married in a decision that leaves us once again facing another costly ballot fight.

To be honest, we would have had one anyway.

I truly believed, though, that the Justices would rule to strike down Prop. 8. It was the justice system in this country that first gave me a glimmer of hope, of equality. When my first son was old enough, my wife and I went through a second parent adoption process. I remember the great unease I had with trusting a system that had traditionally been geared to deny my rights.

This was about our child. Would they take him away from us? Would the judge take one look at us and toss aside all the affidavits we had from our families, declaring us fit, and worthy parents?

In fact, the judge was a delight. She signed, posed for a picture with us and wished us the best of luck. My faith in the system of justice in this country shifted. There was hope of being treated equally, always.

In 2003, the courts in my state ruled again, that marriage was a civil right, and LGBT people deserved to be treated equally. The Goodridge decision was a stunning, brave moment in history I will never forget.

Today, no bravery or bold stands were taken. We will move on to another ballot fight, where the rights of a minority will be decided by a majority vote, something the founding fathers of this country tried to clearly avoid. We will ultimately end up in the Supreme Court of the United States, from one direction or another.

We will prevail. And not simply on marriage rights. We will not be denied jobs, housing, the right to serve in the military, to adopt children, to have our families legally recognized as equals. We will not be denied health care, a safe environment for education and when we are victims of hate crimes, there will be more than the book thrown at the perpetrators because it will be decreed by law.

We will prevail because we are fighting for our dignity. We are not asking for more, we are asking for the same. Those who oppose us want to strip up, take away, create different classes of citizens. In every battle for equality, throughout history, those who have been oppressed ultimately win.

Today was a single court case. It was painful to see, and moves us back, if ever so briefly. It does, however, set the stage for when we do win at the ballot- and we are very close- to uphold that change, too.

We lost today. I lost my faith in the judicial system to set a standard of fairness. But I did not lose my dignity nor my drive to become a full and equal citizen in this country.

We will prevail.

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David Phillips | May 26, 2009 9:14 PM

I married my partner the day after Thanksgiving 2003 in Toronto, knowing full well that our home state of Virginia would not recognize the union. Still, when anyone asks "married or single?" the answer is always "married," to show my defiance for laws that limit my ability to form the most important civil contract available to adults. With an inclusive federal ENDA within political reach--while local and state non-discrimination laws remain subject to mob rule--demanding civil marriage equality is a priority for restoring economic justice--why do our "widows" and our partner benefits get uniquely shafted for taxes?--and demonstrating that same-sex couples are horribly ordinary with the same troubles and celebrations as their opposite-sex-married neighbors.

Going for marraige in a hick State like California was moronic in the first place. It's the usual victim complex gay politics. Ask, no demand more than you can get. Then complain that every one plays unfair. Please.
Between that and the self righteous pose, there's no hope the movement will ever get a successful strategy.

This too shall pass! In time, God will forgive them all. Fear, hate and intolerance has been directed at the GLBT community, because we are the only group left that they can do it to without fear of reprisal. Actually those who speak again our rights are celebrated for it!

Speaking against OUR rights usualy gets moderated to a degree. No major religious leader is likely to say anything about "filthy cock-sucking faggots" as they used to some yearsa back.

The part of our communty that gets the worst verbal treatemt are the trans people.