domingo, 20 de septiembre de 2009

Selected Essays: On Gay Marriage

Love and Marriage

Written shortly before the California Supreme Court decision rejecting the challenges to Prop. 8 in California, which banned Gay Marriage, but maintained legal the marriages before the passage of that electoral initiative

May 24, 2009

On Sunday May 17th, four days after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia my brother-in-law’s sister, Jamie, died in an Oakland CA hospital, just after celebrating Mother’s day and making holiday plans with my nieces. That Sunday she felt weak, and on Monday entered the hospital from which she would not leave, felled tragically in the middle of her plans for life by a previously undiagnosed and asymptomatic ailment. She was 38 years old and is survived by her five year old daughter Phoenix and by her wife, Michelle. Jamie loved poetry, worked at a bank, graduated from UC Sta. Cruz, played music, loved her family.

In the Summer of 2008 a brief window opened in California that allowed long time life partners to marry each other. Jamie and Michelle took advantage of this opportunity and legally and socially sealed the bond that they already had personally. After 11 years together they could now be treated equally under the law, as a married couple. In the tragic circumstances of her death, this legal treatment allows for a better resolution of the burdensome reality now overwhelming her closest ones.

The modern US family incorporates all sorts of types, including divorced parents, step-parents, grandparents, and same sex couples with children, but our society should not put obstacles in the love that binds with the purpose of creating strong relationships and upbringing. As the California courts reconsider this week the constitutionality of Prop 8, we should all remember that the doctrine of “separate but equal” has long been shown for what it is: another form of discrimination. Equal protection under the law can only be truly equal when there is only one law for all who want to be bound by it.

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