Driving home after hearing that the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same sex marriage, I trailed a car that bore one of those simple but poignant bumper stickers: “Sometimes there’s justice; Sometimes there’s just us.”
As the middle child in an Irish-Catholic family of seven, I participated in and honored my siblings’ rites of passage: baptisms, first dates, and graduations. . . and eventually “holy matrimony.” With each wedding, my mother gently inquired if there was a special man in my life.
At the ripe age of 38, I finally had the courage to acknowledge my lesbianism. I also realized marriage wasn’t an option. Since I hadn’t yet dated a woman, I wasn’t troubled. All of that changed in 2007, when I fell hopelessly in love with my wife, Christine.
The following year, the California Supreme Court ruled the State constitution accorded the full rights and privileges of marriage to both heterosexual and same sex couples; a civil rights victory! My time to pledge my respect, devotion and love to the woman who brought so much joy and meaning to my life had come.
October 17, 2008 dawned bright and warm in Santa Cruz, where friends gathered as the sun rose over Natural Bridges State Park. Floating on a bubble of pure elation, I listened intently as Peter, my dear 75 year-old friend and former Catholic priest said: “We have been invited here today to celebrate a sacred ritual and honor a legal right: the joining of two lives and hearts in marriage.”
Now, the same court that validated my right to marry Christine is upholding California voters’ decision to deny other same sex couples what they said was an “equal right” under the law. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. As Kate Kendall, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights noted on May 26, “No minority group should have to defend its right to equality at the ballot.”
Indeed, all of us must be part of the modern-day movement that ensures equality for all. All of us must help to push the margins of discrimination out a little further, widening the circles of human freedom, mutual respect and equality.
"Out for Justice" Read an article co-written by Caitlin Brune in the latest Global Fund newsletter
Watch an inspiring video by the Courage Campaign as part of raising awareness about Prop 8.