Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wedding bell blues

Big news here in the Golden State. The state Supremes are going to review the case for same sex marriage next year. The SJ Merc has an article detailing the upcoming legal battle.

In this story, the writer quotes the fabulous Shannon Minter from the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Shannon did an incredible job arguing our case in the Appeals court earlier this year. We lost that one and that is why the Supremes will be hearing the case.
Shannon summarizes this situation:
"Every day that goes by,'' he said, ``our couples are hurt in so many different ways by not being able to legally marry.''
Amen brother.

Shannon talked about how some of the litigants are in their 80's. That would be our lesbian godmothers, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, otherwise known as just Phyllis and Del. They were the first couple married in San Francisco and have been together for over 50 years. I adore those two women. I love listening to their stories and the fights they have won for us over the years. As far as I'm concerned the lgbt movement is nothing without them.

So now how about lgbt Latinos and marriage. I am on the board of the National Latino Coalition for Justice, NLCJ. We are working on bringing the conversation about marriage into the Latino community in the same way the Black Justice Coalition has done in the African American community. Here's that key piece of organizing successfully. Have the right outreach people. Send Latinos to the Latino communities and send African Americans to the black churches. It's that simple. We can construct the right messages for our communities, we look the same as the people we are speaking with and share much of the same history.

The hard part for the lgbt community is getting us to the table at the beginning of the efforts. We always know when we are added as an afterthought. That doesn't help the trust needed to be successful.

I personally think the key to this whole battle will be the successful organization of our friends in the faith communities. This will be the front line of public debate. The biblically correct will bring out all the cannards about Adam and Eve vs Adam and Steve. How quaint, how stupid, and unfortunately, effective. I think we have to be very supportive of getting every ordained person we all know to come out righteously for our equality. Only then can we shift the conversation to equality and away from bumper sticker sayings.

The case probably won't be heard until fall of '07. The final word will come 90 days after that hearing. Until then, buckle your seatbelts and don't repeat any bumper stickers.


konagod said...

I read about that this morning. Fingers crossed. Maybe after New Jersey, if we can get one more state on board, things will start to shake loose.

Kathy said...

Thanks for posting this. It's amazing and inspiring to hear about a couple who has been together for 50 years and fighting for equality all that time. And good for you for doing your part!

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