Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We have a date for the nuptials to start

The sound you may be hearing from California is shouts of glee and jubilation, we can start getting married June 17. Or it may be the panties of the fundies getting suck up into a bunch.

State: Gay marriage will begin on June 17 in California

By LISA LEFF - Associated Press Writer
Published 2:04 pm PDT Wednesday, May 28, 2008

California counties can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning June 17, the state said in a directive to court clerks issued Wednesday.

The state Office of Vital Records said it chose June 17 because the state Supreme Court has until the close of business on June 16 to decide whether to grant a stay of its ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Gay rights advocates and some clerks initially thought couples would be able to wed as early as Saturday, June 14 - exactly 30 days after the court's May 15 ruling. Supreme Court rulings typically become final after 30 days.

But a group opposed to gay marriage has asked the court to stay its decision until after the November election, when voters are likely to face a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Passage of the initiative would overrule the Supreme Court.

Under the court's regular rules of procedure, justices have until the end of the day on June 16 to rule on the stay request, according to the memo sent by e-mail to the state's 58 county clerks. Lawyers involved in the marriage case have said the court could grant itself an extra 60 days to consider the stay.

The guidelines from Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, also contain copies of new marriage forms that have lines for "Party A" and "Party B" where bride and groom used to be. The gender-neutral nomenclature was developed in consultation with county clerks, according to the memo.

"Effective June 17, 2008, only the enclosed new forms may be issued for the issuance of marriage licenses in California," the directive reads.

The amended forms also contain a change to accommodate same-sex couples who already have registered as domestic partners, a category created in 2003 that bestowed the legal rights and benefits of marriage to gay men and lesbians without the title.

The previous marriage license applications stated that people in domestic partnerships were barred from getting married, a prohibition based on the fact that same-sex couples could not legally wed. The new forms say domestic partners don't have to dissolve their partnerships if they are marrying the same person.

The guidelines were sent out on the same day a poll was published showing that more California voters now support allowing same-sex marriage than oppose it.

The results marked the first time in over three decades of Field Poll surveys that a majority of voters approved of extending marriage to gay couples than have disapproved, said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo.

"I would say this is a historic turning point or milestone," DiCamillo said.

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents backed legalizing same-sex marriage and 42 percent opposed it, DiCamillo said.

In 2006, when participants were asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?" 44 percent said they approved and 50 percent objected. In 1977, the first year Field Poll posted the question to voters, 28 percent approved and 59 percent were opposed.

Field Poll surveyed 1,052 registered voters over the phone from May 17-26, in the days after the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling. A smaller percentage of respondants- 48 percent - said they agreed with the court's decision and 46 percent disagreed.

DiCamillo said the jump in support for same-sex marriage indicates that voters were "influenced in some way by the judgment of the high court."

Voters were similarly divided on the subject of the proposed ballot initiative to put a gay marriage ban in the state constitution. Field Poll asked respondents about it two ways: once referencing the specific measure a group is seeking to get on the November ballot and once talking about a marriage amendment more generally.

Fifty-four percent opposed the amendment when presented with the issue generally, a figure that dropped to 51 percent when respondents were told they might have the chance to vote on a specific measure in November. Support for the amendment stood at 40 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

The Field Poll's findings conflict with a Los Angeles Times/KTLA poll of 705 voters released last week that found 54 percent backed the proposed gay marriage ban and 35 percent opposed it. The Field Poll survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points on the general amendment question, and plus or minus 5 percentage points on the more specific question.

Andrew Pugno, legal adviser for the coalition of religious and social conservative groups sponsoring the measure, said the Times poll is more consistent with his group's internal polling.

"We could acknowledge there has been increasing acceptance of the idea of gay relationships over the last 10 or 20 years, but we think when it comes to marriage there is still a solid majority who want to see it reserved for a man and a woman," Pugno said.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An answer somewhere

I just spent a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It wasn't a pleasant week but it wasn't really bad, either. there are a number of people there who I really love, Julie Endresen is at the top of that list. She took care me, to the point of sending me to her therapist because I couldn't stop crying while I was there.

I finally figured it out, why all the tears. I had been suffering there. The altitude, the weather, the sadness so prevalent in New Mexico washed over me and I drowned in all of it. I lived for ten years and made some major contributions to the welfare of the state. Transgender people are completely protected by law now even though I had to fight through the prejudices of the many gay and lesbian people. We were both ostracized and treated as outcasts for sticking to our principles and making sure everyone in our communities arrived together at the finish line.

The suffering I was feeling was for the life I had lost. The "community" which was really an illusion in the high desert, the friendships, the sense of home all evaporated in a very short time. I tried to see an old friend and the conversation turned ugly right away. I decided to skip any attempt at reunion.

When I told my Buddhist teacher about the exchange he said, "Oh she is suffering." At that moment my vision of the world opened up. People are cruel because they are suffering. People say mean things because they are suffering. Friends stop being friends because they suffer.

This is the essence of Buddhism, to end suffering for all sentient beings. But I must start with myself.

How do I end my suffering of ending my portion of my life in New Mexico? How do I end the suffering caused by my physical pain in my feet? How do I end my suffering? I don't have an answer yet but I hope to find a clue soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Here come the brides

Things are falling into place! We have almost all the people who will be our witnesses agree to be there for us. Got the flower girls and ring bearer. We are going tomorrow to the county to get a wedding appointment, hopefully, June 20th. A reception will be held the next day at the Municipal Rose Garden, hopefully. Actually it will be a good ol' fashion lesbian potluck. I have asked our supervisor to wed us. Then we can prove to all the bigots who don't even know us that we have not ruined their lives nor their marriages.

But of course the rat bastards have asked for a stay until their constitutional amendment goes up to a vote. See the Chronicle article here. The Alliance Defense Fund must have their panties in a collective knot. Gas is $4 a gallon here, more soldiers die in Iraq every day, this administration has broken everything possible not just in this country but around the world and they are worried about us making the four dogs and two cats legitimate children. OH wait, that goes to their wild eyed tales of beastiality and polygamy. I couldn't help but notice that the real polygamists live in Texas and Arizona. Maybe they will see an opening and settle here in California. The polygamists certainly do not threaten my relationship so do they bother the Alliance Defense Fund?

Heehee, we're gonna be June brides! Bring on the lemon poppy seed cake!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mary Tillman

I finally got to meet Mary Tillman tonight. I have been reading her book about her son Pat Tillman. It is called "Boots on the Ground by Dusk-My Tribute to pat Tillman" When I was flying home from New Mexico on Monday I was reading it and doing my best not to sob out loud.

I have written about this story before. I still find it disgusting the way the military has treated her and her family. I find the story vile and the behavior of those in charge of our soldiers to nothing less than traitorous and corrupt.

To recap briefly, Pat Tillman was a star football player here in San Jose. He then became a star football player at Arizon State, drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. After 9/11, he and his younger brother Kevin enlisted in the Army and were stationed in Afghanistan where they believed the real war should be fought in response to the events of 9/11. Pat Tillman was shot and killed in Afghanistan. The initial stroy to the family was that he died a hero's death, making up some frigging story about charging up a hill to save his comrades in arms.

Turns out this was another lie told to all of us by the Bush administration. But first they told the Tillman family this fantasy. Several weeks later the rat bastards finally confessed what was known by many in the military, while Pat Tillman died a hero, he was shot by his own men. American troops shot him multiple times.

During the question and answer period tonight, I asked mary Tillman if they had ever determined the distance between the other Americans and Pat. She replied that they have finally figured out that they were about 35 meters apart. So let's see, about the length of a football field. These highly trained soldiers could not make out one of their own.

There are so many horrible facts surrounding this story, it is really important for us as Americans to never let people like this ever rule this country again. Pat Tillman, his family deserved so much better than what they got. A silver star doesn't bring him back. The lies don't bring him back. But voting these disgraceful people out will honor Pat Tillman. We all deserve that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am equal

The impossible has happened. And, as usual, I missed it.

I am in Santa Fe, New Mexico right now and today in California, where I live and where I grew up, the state Supreme court declared that not allowing same sex couples to wed makes us second class citizens.WOW!, this is impossible. I saw Kate Kendall from the National Center for Lesbian Rights pronounce that this is a new day. Amen, sister.

Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin can get married in their lifetimes. Damn near impossible they had told me. Apparently not, my godmothers, apparently not. You had better be the first ones to get married in SF.

Jo went tot he gathering in San Jose tonight and said she was very verklempt. It is emotional for me to think that we could get married in California, go to the Rose Garden and have a picnic with all our friends and family there. I am equal today even if I am in New Mexico. I a an equal human being, a full citizen of the United States with the right to marry my partner. Time to go cry with joy.

Friday, May 02, 2008


In years past, I have always looked forward to October. My birthday is that month, the baseball playoffs and World Series are played then so there is loads of sports on the toob. But the Bay area baseball and football teams have become so awful I gave up on them. Now October is the start of the long hockey season. And now is the Stanley Cup. My Sharks are killing me. They are playing total Sybil hockey, tired and listless for the first part of the game and then they come alive suddenly. They have two personalities. We are now in the second round playing against Dallas. We lost the first three games and are still on the verge of elimination. Lose one more game and we are done. But the last two games we have won in total heart stopping fashion. I almost can't stand it. People on the Sharks blog are reaching for heart medication. I will confess, I gave up, walked off in the middle of the second period, behind 2-0. But my cousin Steve always reminds me that anything can happen in the third period. Tonight we scored two in the second period to tie the game. My friend Winnie Lee texted me from LA to scream about the game and I wasn't even watching. BAD FAN!!! We win it in overtime, 80 seconds into OT. I can't stand it. So now we go back to Dallas for a game on Sunday. If we win, we come back here for the 7th game. I can't stand it. I am sure there is a political analogy in there somewhere but I don't care, we won! This is a picture with Jeremy Roenick, the old man of the Sharks. I love JR, he brings passion to the game always give every bit of effort for the team. I was a bit of Sharks groupie during this layoff and would go to their practices once in a while. I would come home with sticks, autographs and pictures like this. WE won, my foot is feeling a bit better, it is sunny in California, I am going to Santa Fe in about 10 days and get to see my best friend, have my feet worked on, eat green chile and watch the Sharks in a sports bar. Life is grand.

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