Home > Family > I gotta have my bite, sir.

I gotta have my bite, sir.

I’m afraid it’s imperative that you read this post, while watching Barbra sing.  So click “play”.  I know it’s cliche, and furthermore, that I’m a bit late on this post.  You’ll have to forgive me, but I was on vacation when the Prop 8 decision came out.

I guess the drumbeat on gay street is 3/4 optimism, 1/4 fear for this ruling.  It’s a beacon of hope, an opportunity to let our guards down, to celebrate.  I can feel it, at least for my own part, this slow roll, gathering steam.  Maybe, maybe, maybe. It feels good to think that, yes, possibly, there is a chance that I’ll get – you know – married with a piece of paper that says so.  Because of my age, I think I’m not even fully ready for the possibility that I won’t get a piece of paper.  It just seems like the arc of the moral universe is bending towards justice and by the time I’m marryin’ age, we’ll meet.

One quarter fear because, of course, this is a reminder of how precarious our marriages, past, present, and future are.  So few people hold responsibility for what happens to our legal statuses in this regard.  At dinner, on my last night in Paris, my parents and I started discussing Perry v. Schwarzenegger.  My dad keeps his ear to the ground on this stuff for me.  He was glad that Walker chose the rational basis test; he was concerned that he’d chose the strict scrutiny test and it wouldn’t hold in the next trial.  But he also said, “I’m sorry.  When this case makes it to the Supreme Court, you will lose.  I wouldn’t hope for this.”

My dad’s a smart guy.  The kind of lawyer who wins most of his cases.  His words are devastating to me.  I’m the marrying kind.  I want to be married.  I want to have a wife.

I started crying at dinner.  Then I collected myself and changed the subject.  I can’t talk about this with people who don’t understand how much I’ve put my hope in the Supreme Court.  So, don’t.  Don’t tell me not to hope for this.  When we get there, if things don’t go our way, we – queers, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, genderqueers, allies, others I didn’t name – we’ll keep doing things the way we’ve always done.  You can’t stop us from doing that, from living our lives.  We’ll create our own meanings for our lives, our genders, our relationships, and eventually, eventually, we’ll get the recognition for them that we want.

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Categories: Family
  1. August 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I may suffer from Wishful Thinking Syndrome, but Walker’s rationale is pretty solid and I am really confident about what will go down when this case reaches the SCOTUS. He repeatedly refers to Loving v. Virginia, which few (if any) officials have mentioned in this debate.

    Further, I don’t know if you’ve read about the “time bomb” planted by Justice Ginsburg in the recent Supreme Court decision over the Christian student group at UC Hastings School of Law: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/us/politics/20bar.html It’s some interesting reading, but overall we’re cautioned not to get our hopes up.

  2. Diane
    August 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I’m curious about your Dad’s legal rationale for his opinion on the outcome of the case once it reaches SCOTUS…

    • August 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

      Oh boy, let me see if I can remember this. I believe he felt that the plaintiffs would be unable to establish the lesbian and gay population* as a suspect class. First, he felt that it would be difficult to prove convincingly that being lesbian or gay was an immutable characteristic, given that even lesbian and gay people commonly acknowledge sexuality as fluid. Second, he believed that it would be difficult to determine that lesbian and gay people did not have political power. I wish I understood strict scrutiny and where it is appropriate to apply, and why my dad (and LGBT activists) think that rational basis is a better test to apply.

      I more or less just heard the part about not hoping and got upset. I wish I had better recall of his argument previous to that point. Then I could go over it and shoot it down; that would make me feel better. Just to be extra clear though, my dad is an ally, and his opinion is that these rights SHOULD exist, he is just not certain that they currently do.

      *I say lesbian and gay population because that is all that is being argued…I haven’t seen much mention of bisexual or trans* people in the docs that I’ve read.

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