Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fatherhood Friday: The best anniversary gift ever!

The traditional gift for a couple’s second wedding anniversary is the gift of cotton, but yesterday we received an amazing anniversary gift, one that we do not plan to return. As I spent the day at the college yesterday, finishing up the spring semester, Tod and I quietly celebrated two years of being legally married. Longtime readers will know that in 2008 we took advantage of the new law in California and flew out there to get hitched on the 7th anniversary of our commitment ceremony in 2001. It was an important step for us as a couple and as a new family (with Anna in the picture) as we felt that being legally married somewhere was an important message to our kid and to our friends and family members.

But after we were married, Proposition 8 was put on the ballot by several groups (I’m looking at your Mormons and Catholics!) in an attempt to “save” marriage and protect families from the insidious threat of Gay Marriage (cue scary music here… ). Election night was bittersweet on many levels, some too personal to discuss here, but the passing of Prop 8 threw a monkey wrench into any celebration of Obama’s victory. It wasn’t until later the next year that we found out that even though the measure passed and new marriages were outlawed, ours was still intact due to a court ruling. It still hurt though that after only a few months, there were about 18,000 of us who did take advantage of the law and put a ring on it but now it was illegal.

The Federal Trial of the constitutionality of Prop 8 was a circus indeed, a circus that I followed intently as it played out on line and in the blogs. And yes, this circus had clowns, LOT’S of clowns. But in the end, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker gave Tod and me the best anniversary gift ever. The gift of justice, the gift of equality, and the gift of recognition as he struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional. I have had many heroes in my life, but Judge Walker gets a pass to the top of my list for his ruling (which is a great read by the way). I am most certain, as are most legal scholars, that there will be an appeal from the supporters of Prop 8, but the analysis that I have read shows that they will have a tough fight with Judge Walker’s findings and rulings. Yes, we’re equal, yes, we deserve every right you have, and yes, dammit, we are as good as you.

Thank you Judge Walker for this wonderful gift.