Karen Ocamb

Gay Man Dies Waiting for Courts to Grant Marriage Rights

Filed By Karen Ocamb | December 10, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Alzheimer's, Derence Kernek, Ed Watson, gay marriage, marriage equality, obituary, Prop 8, same-sex marriage

Sometimes in the fury of the fight, we forget that what we're fighting for is the fundamental Constitutional right to publicly love the person we love. The Prop 8 hearing Thursday before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a stellar example of how empty, vacuous and heartless the so-called "defense of family values" has become.

Ed-Watson-and-Derence-1.jpgThe late Ed Watson and Derence Kernek, his beloved partner of 40 years last March.

But what's really at stake - and mortally so - is the re-definition of conscience. In my humble opinion, the preposterous long delay by the California Supreme Court on the standing issue - the outcome of which was obvious during oral arguments - and the flip cruelty of the Prop 8 proponents in dragging out the 9th Circuit's decision on the constitutionality of Prop 8 is the moral equivalent of religious zealots laughing in the face of a dying gay man and his beloved partner of 40 years. What kind of religion excuses this? And where is the outrage of those who say they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ - but allow these hypocritical money-changers to usurp and dictate the definition of love in His name?

You on the Religious Right - watch this loving couple and tell me why it is conscionable to have allowed 78 year old Ed Watson to die before he was "granted" the freedom to marry the love of his life, Derence Kernek, before Alzheimer's claimed his memory of that love and his life. As Derence says, talking in March about how there are more bad days than good while they wait for the right automatically conferred on drunk straights on a one-night stand in Las Vegas: "It's kind of disheartening. ....We don't know many people who have had 40 years of anything."

As Adam Bink at Prop 8 Trial Tracker notes, "today marks 368 days after the 9th Circuit first sat to hear the appeal of Judge Walker's ruling." The LA Times wrote about Ed Watson's passing in this piece. Adam has started a recollection thread at Prop8TrialTracker.com, which Derence is reading. May Derence know that people of good conscience wish him well and will continue the fight in their name.

Video after the break.

(Crossposted at LGBTPOV)

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.