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Prop. H8 (or Why I'm Crying)May 26, 2009

I'm so mad, my friends.

You may have heard that the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8. It sounds nice, doesn't it? But Prop 8 was AGAINST gay marriage: it was the proposition taking away the right to marry that the Supreme Court gave gays and lesbians last June. From June to November, we had the right to marry in California.

Then the popular vote of the people took away rights of a group of people in California.

This court decision was about whether or not what California did, in allowing that vote, was legal.

The court ruled that it was.


Gays and lesbians may not marry in my state. It means that a woman does not have the same rights as a man -- the right to marry a woman (and vice versa).

However, the 18,000 couples who DID get married in those few months it was legal, get to STAY married. I get to stay married.

You know what? I would bet that most of us would give up our legal marriages RIGHT NOW in order to get rights for all. (Besides, then I could just get out that well-used dress and wear it again.)

So there are now two distinct classes within the gay and lesbian community now. There are the 36,000 of us who are married legally, and the approximate million who aren't and who now CAN'T be married legally.

Somehow, this is worse in my mind than if Prop 8 had been upheld AND they took away our marriages. That, at least, would make sense. This makes no sense.

And it breaks my heart. Lala's sick today with a sore throat, but I woke her up crying with the news. We're not going to march this morning because the headache that threatened me when I woke up socked me upside the head with the tears.But tonight, we'll be at the rally: 5pm, City Hall, SF. Find your own rally here.

And somehow, doing the dishes and washing clothes and cleaning the floors is what's making me feel validated right now. Bringing Lala coffee and ibuprofen in bed. Making sure the dogs go out. We're married.


We're married. This is a marriage. Legally, I'm married.

And it's so bittersweet.


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Rachael, you have it right.....the marriage isn't the legalizing piece of paper...it is the looking after each other committedness (is that a word?) that you and Lala have and do everyday. Yes my dear, you ARE married. REALLY!!!

I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!! And my rights weren't messed with. I'm just so sorry that people can't get things right for a change.


translation: blah blah blah blah we're copping out blah blah

it makes me sick sick sick to be in California right now. this is so wrong.

I'm straight, and I support equal marriage rights. There are many people like me quietly cheering you on.

That makes me so angry. Fucking religious douchebags who think that someone else's marriage somehow invalidates their archaic beliefs. (sorry for the language, it just makes me really angry). I don't understand why anyone would want to deny two people who they have never met the right to marry.
Of course, I'm in favor of legalizing polygamy, as well, as long as all parties consent. And I'm a confirmed radical heathen.
It makes me want to go burn my marriage certificate. :(

I just am boggled. Why...why 'gay marriage' threatens so many people and creates such a hubbub. To me, it is about a union that is born out of love, and has legal and binding ties. As someone who isn't religious, I would never get married in a Catholic or Lutheran church. If a particular church doesn't want to marry people unless they fit into their dogma, well, I say that's their choice, but legal unions, marriages, anything that transfers rights in the eyes of the law, that should be open to EVERYONE. Frankly, the fact we file our taxes 'married filing separately' feels more official than the piece of paper we got from the minister in Jamaica. We watched 'Milk' this weekend and I marveled that it all happened in my lifetime, that the struggle for equality is still so recent, that we haven't transcended our adolescent ways as a nation to embrace and love instead of fight and rail against perceived differences.'
And I'm sorry. You are married, whether it's typed or not, and I can't imagine something so deeply meaningful and personal be denied or approved like a zoning issue or by a ballot. It should be a right you are born with. I'm proud my home state of Iowa could at least step up and lead the Midwest in the right direction. May we see this all change for the better in our lifetime.

Now I'm crying too.

I was speechless this morning when I heard. I am so sorry Rachael and everyone else who is having their rights denied. Maybe come live in Canada? ;)

Sweetie, I am so, so very sorry. My heart is breaking right now and I know it's only a fraction of the pain you feel. What the hell are people thinking?

love and hugs to you and yours.


Amen, Sister. See you tonight (hopefully).

Dear Thrice-Married - It's so frightening that one set of people can tell any other set of people who they can love and marry. I'm still glad you got to stay married for any healthcare and legality rights it gives you. Hang on for the rest to get their rights too. It ain't over.

It's only a matter of time. It WILL happen. I live in Canada, so I know it's true!

I remember being so very ticked on election day when Prop 8 passed, and thinking of you. My immediate reaction today was to be glad you're still married, but I totally see your argument against it.

I'm straight, a woman married to a man, but with no kids, and those people who are only able to summon up the lame argument that marriage should be for procreation scare the bejeezus out of me. If that's really what they mean, should my 13+ years of marriage be invalidated, too? What about people who *can't* have children? Do they have to stay single?

'Cuz we know those stupid raving idiots won't ever admit they're just prejudiced.

Love to you and Lala. Damn straight we won't back down.

I was so disappointed when I saw this. Who knew that Iowa would be more progressive than California? It's just not right. There's a groundswell of change occuring. It *will* hit California again and hopefully stick. I just think more and more people are seeing how bogus it is to limit marriage in this way.

I'm so, so sorry.

Rachael: I was already tearing up, when I got an email from Jenn telling me she'd marry me anywhere. Now I'm crying. I will never understand why people are so threatened by our relationships. You and Lala are so married. Good writing, babe!

We were planning on coming to the march tonight either way. When I heard this morning, I thought that it's even more important to be there now.

I have no words to express how this makes me feel, so can only imagine how people who are "actually" affected by this feel.

All my best,

(de-lurking to voice my not-so-humble opinion on this issue)

I still don't get it. So people would rather that couples be promiscuous rather than monogamous? (Not that they would be, but that is where the logic takes me.) It definitely doesn't affect my heterosexual marriage. What a sad day.

I'm so sorry they upheld it honey. We'll keep working at it! We WON'T give up until it is fair for everyone!

When are people going to get this right? Is it so difficult to just let each other live our lives? To believe that marriage is simply marriage, that gender doesn't matter? I'm spitting mad.

The fight's not over by a long shot!!!

That sucks. Hard.

We shall think of this as a marathon, and this race ain't over by a long way. We'll get over these punes and win.

Hang in there girl!

If I could hand to you my ability to marry my SO I would do so. I love him and he loves me but we have no intention of ever being married to one another. I hate that I live in a society where I get to take for granted that we *could* get married but that you and Lala or my best friend and his boyfriend (in Santa Cruz) don't have that same basic right. And didn't the argument used to be that homosexuality promoted promiscuity? *sigh* Do they even remember their own arguments?

I've written many comments to you, but I don't think I've mentioned that I adore you because you are an activist but never shrill or preachy about your beliefs. I love that you are married happily to a woman, but with whom you share your bed isn't the only way you define your life. You are an amazing woman and I am so glad I ran across your blog a few years ago. You have made me a better person. Thank you, Rachael, for being you.

One of the human rights declaration articles states that all human beings have the right to have and form a family of their choosing. I think its completely disgusting that our country is violating a basic human right and need for people to have a family. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry that this has happened to you and my friends who have had laws passed or rights taken away stating that they cannot have what everyone else has without a law. Its disgusting. I wish you both much love and peace. I pray that in our life time everyone will be allowed to marry anyone they wish. Who knows, I never though in my life time that we would have the president we have. I am upset over this but I still have hope. I send you some of my hope. and HUGS!

By the way...one more comment. Yes you sure as hell are married! More married then many couples I know who don't have a law saying they can't be married.

It makes me fucking angry too. It is a denial of civil rights ... and I can't help but blame the Christians. What WOULD Jesus do?

Ditto what Theresa said above. It boggles my mind that this is even an issue, and it breaks my heart to know it's screwing with the lives of good people like you and Lala.

Ya, the boring stuff ... that's married. You know how much I love you. And because you love Lala, well . . . you know that too.

Ever and ever, g

It's infuriating. I totally see your point about the two-class community issue, but think for a second... this makes one heck of a legal mess and the fact that some of you are married and others can't be means that this isn't over yet. There is still hope and something to be won. The fact that other states are legalizing gay marriage means that more pressure is on California now. What scares me about this is that it might force the issue to the Supreme Court, or inspire some of those nutjobs we have for legislators in Washington DC to try for a constitutional amendment. Meanwhile, I'm not going to give up hope that good sense and an awareness of other peoples' right to happiness and legal standing will prevail.

I'm getting married this weekend to my lovely girlfriend. It won't be legal, but I will be married and I will start to say the words "my wife." But I am really sad today and I wonder how anybody could feel like my happiness about this coming weekend could impact their lives in any way. I know it's not the same, but do know that there are plenty of people out here who firmly believe that you are married. We're going to get to the point where all people recognize that (and maybe even kick themselves for not recognizing it more quickly), and we'll support each other in the meantime.

Rachel, I'm so sorry. I voted for 15 years in CA, and am sad not to live there, now, so I could weigh in on this issue. Your entry is making me cry, now.

Argh! I'm so sorry. I think eventually this will go the right way and marriage will be available to all people everywhere, ...but these delays are horrible. Hang in there, remember I'm pulling for you, we're all in this together.

I'm crying too. I don't know anyone in real life that this personally affects, but it still makes me cry an angry, heartbroken kind of cry. I grew up in CA and this is just so the opposite of what the state is supposed to be-- a place where people live and let live. What happened?
This vote caused some major inter-generational fighting in my extended family. I still don't understand how some people think this was okay.

Ugh. I have nothing intelligent to add. I just wanted to add my name to the list of the outraged. I'm so sorry. I wish there was more I could do besides rage from several states away.

What is so threatening about love and commitment? Why do some people feel they can deny others the rights they enjoy themselves? I just don't get it.

I'm so sorry. Now we've finally got gay marriage here in Sweden (after about fifteen years of what was oh-so-romantically called "registered partnerships" and had most of the same legal implications). It's just so weird that one segment of the population is not allowed to sign a legal contract that nearly any other adults can.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Once again our hypocritical state screws up. Gah. We need equality for everyone!
Rachael, there are lots of us straight-not-narrow folks out here, and we're behind you all the way!

I've nothing to say that hasn't been already said, other than you have my support and compasion. Hugs to you both.

how terrible!

why shouldn't couples be able to marry each other if that is what they want regardless of which sex they have!

and how insane to say that it was legal, but isn't anymore!

I really do hope that gay marriages will be allowed in california again within a short time again!

and i'm embarresed to say that it's just recently that gay people in my country are allowed to marry

I hadn't thought about the weird issues that creates for gay/lesbian couples who are married vs. those who aren't. But there is a very large number of us who are bummed out by the ruling and think it's ridiculous. In my mind it is only a matter of time before we're the majority.

Okay, this stinks. There is not another way to look at it.


There is an interesting perspective on the ruling here: http://tinyurl.com/pek7t5

Also, because I am deeply angry on this topic, and because I am ready to take it to the streets, (although the rally last night in Long Beach was sort of a drag) I'm telling everyone I know that gay rights are civil rights. There is only one reason they wouldn't be, and that is that the scum sucking Christians poisoned our consciousness with the idea that sexuality is a choice. And once people get that it isn't a choice for most of us at least, then it becomes obvious that it's a civil issue.

Also, I'm respectfully asking straight allies to support the fight by talking to their people about it. It's time to talk to people and gently help them realize their mistake.

Those Prop 8 folks have some planks to pull out of their eyes before they start looking for the specks in the eyes of their fellow citizens if you ask me. Hey, if you can check out Cure for Love at the Roxie Theatre in SF on June 20 (11:00 am). A friend of mine from Calgary directed it. It's very good, not judgemental and also heartbreaking (well, I found it heartbreaking). It's about the ex gay movement. It's part of the Frameline Festival.
Take care Rachel.

Hugs to you and Lala, you have built a beautiful life and family together, and it boggles my mind that anyone, no matter what idology they are coming from, could have a problem with that.

I never thought I'd be more proud to be a Vermont native than a California transplant, but that day finally came. (It was a culture shock when I moved at 14, and California fits better.)

I like your marriage. I find it inspiring. That you both have lady parts still seems entirely irrelevant and none of my beeswax.

My first marriage included one vagina and one penis. Shockingly, that wasn't the key to lifelong love and happiness. Who knew?

Hell no, we won't back down! This gave me a chuckle, despite everything: http://tinyurl.com/quzm4x

This isn't over. We won't and can't give up. If we have to send it back to the voters to get it right this time, we do that. If we have to get the courts to fix it, we do that.

Not over, by a long shot.

I'm so disappointed and sad. My wife and I were married last year in Mass., then came home to Oklahoma where our employers do not recognize our union. They don't have to because it is not recognized by the state. What will happen in California? Who knows, but the current state of things cannot stand.

I don't understand at all why it's such a big deal if two people who love each other want to make a legal committment.

I'm so sorry some of your fellow citizens of California are so mean spirited.

You know, I feel like I should be more upset at the Prop 8 decision. I think the decision is completely wrong. I did find it interesting that the CA Supreme Court decision was 6-1...6 Republicans to 1 Democrat.

I guess I'm not more infuriated/upset/angry because it was what I expected. As liberal as California can be, there are a number of pockets of ultra conservative republicans and, unfortunately, they're the ones with most of the money and power. And they're the ones most terrified GAYS being allowed to MARRY! *GASP!* Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to be treated like EVERYONE ELSE!!!! Quelle horror!


(I originally typed "Asshates." Freudian slip anyone?)

I have hope, however, that eventually we will get this repealed and anyone can choose to marry anyone they love...regardless of gender.

I AM surprised that they are allowing existing marriages to stay legal. That was a shocker.

And on a more personal front...I ADORE the picture up there of you and Lala. You both look like you're so happy and so in love. I wish you many many years of peace and love and happiness.

Unfricking real. So sorry to read this my dear. CA needs to get their shit together, fast.

Speechless. Love to U and Lala, and hell no, we wont back down, not ever.

I will never understand just what makes my straight marriage of 23 years more "valid" than yours. Children? We don't have any, but some gay couples do. The need for security and financial stability for the family unit? Why would only straight couples need that?

I think that anything that helps stabilize the overall community is a good thing. Why would more stable relationships be a threat to the existing relationships?

Living in the UK I always had the idea of California as the liberal part of the US so I was shocked when Prop 8 passed.
I'm so sorry that these people seem not to want more love in the world, I just don't understand what they're afraid of.
Still, not too long ago my partner (male) and I would have been a disgrace for living together (18 years) without the benefit of marriage. Attitudes change eventually, too slowly admittedly but eventually.
Keep fighting the good fight, whether they choose to admit it or not you're married in all the ways that matter.
Love to you both.

I hate Prop 8. I'm about to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary to my husband and it breaks my heart that so many people in our state are unable to do the same with their loved ones. Because the people who get drunk in Vegas and get married by Elvis on a whim aren't ruining the institution of marriage. It's the long term committed relationship homosexuals. Assholes. I'll keep hoping.

Tears, that was beautiful

It's not related to Prop8 but have you seen this website?


I am appalled at Prop H8; I thought California was a liberal state? Same sex marriages are legal here and I did one of the readings at Tim & Paul's wedding in 2007. It was one of the most moving ceremonies I'd been to, precisely because so much thought and effort had gone into it. Heterosexual couples have a tendency to take things for granted. I have been with my husband for a mere 20 years. Tim & Paul have been together longer. Like all marriages they need work to work well.

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