Marriage Equality Beyond Just Gays And Lesbians
For me, this past weekend was a real marriage equality weekend. My Saturday was spent dress shopping for my best friend Vicki’s wedding, and my Sunday was spent cold calling voters to identify that extremely small percentage of Californians that haven’t yet made up their minds as yet on Proposition 8. Our broad and diverse coalition of fair-minded people want California voters to Vote No On Prop 8.
For simple messaging on these Sunday cold calls, the first question we ask voters is:
Have you heard about Proposition 8 — the Constitutional Amendment that will ban marriage forever for California’s gay and lesbian couples?
And yet, on a personal level, I very much know that marriage equality goes beyond just the G and the L of LGBT. Vicki identifies as transsexual and transgender, and a few years ago had her gender marker changed from M to F on both her driver’s license and birth certificate. So, Vicki’s now legally female in California. Because Vicki is legally female, prior to California Supreme Court ruling sanctioning same sex marriages,Vicki and her partner Lynda weren’t allowed to marry.
Now, of course, they may marry. And, that’s what Vicki and Lynda are going to do on August 23rd — the weekend before the Democratic National Convention. As Vicki’s best friend, I’m the “Party A” maid of honor.
I know first hand that there are trans people like Vicki who also identify as lesbian; I know first hand that achieving marriage equality goes beyond obtaining equal marriage rights and responsibilities for just gays and lesbians.
[Below the fold; more on Vicki’s and Lynda’s wedding, and on the Vow To Vote No On Prop 8 campaign.]So as I stated above, this past Saturday was shopping day for our wedding and wedding party dresses. Lynda will be in a deep maroon dress; her “Party B” maid of honor Stephanie will be in a lavender dress; Vicki will be in a white dress; I’ll be in a deep violet dress.
(I know I’m not supposed to outshine Vicki, but damned if I don’t look hot in my formal! )
On Sunday, I volunteered with Equality For All to make sure California broad, LGBT community will still have access to equal marriage after this November. As the No On Prop 8 website states:
Our California Constitution — the guiding document of our great state — promises the same basic rights and freedoms to everyone. In our Constitution, no one group can be singled out for unfair treatment.
Equal protection under the law is a founding principle of the United States of America. Prop 8 undermines that principle, and singles out a single group of people — gays and lesbians — for unequal treatment under the law.
Like the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society. Marriage allows couples to make legal their lifetime commitment to one another, and gives couples the opportunity to fully take responsibility for each other.
Regardless of how you feel about marriage — for straight or gay and lesbian couples — it’s wrong to single out one group of Americans and prevent them from having access to the same rights and responsibilities as their fellow citizens.
I know I’m supporting marriage equality on the micro level by being a part of Vicki’s marriage ceremony; I know I’m supporting marriage equality on the macro level by devoting time and treasure to preserve the California Supreme Court ruling granting equal marriage rights for all Californians.
Vicki and Lynda can get married now — but what about the Vickies and Lyndas who want to marry next year, or the year after? For LGBT Californians and their friends and allies, continued access to the same marriage rights and responsibilities as our fellow heterosexual citizens is going to take more than just voting No On Prop 8 this November. It’s going to take commitments of time and treasure.