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Monday, June 16, 2008

Gay History will be made In West Hollywood Tomorrow! One More Step Won in the Battle of Achieving Civil Rights For ALL!

I am so thrilled that history will be made tomorrow Tuesday, June 17th 2008 in my hometown of the City of West Hollywood! The city will begin the historic issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples now that the recent California Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriages has gone into effect. In May, the California Supreme Court granted same-sex couples in California the right to marry. It is a big day for gay folks here in California!

For those of you who don't know, I am an educator but I really consider myself a historian and a scholar on many human rights issues; particularly the Civil Rights Movement. In terms of progress made by this country in the last year, I never thought I would see an African American man compete for the Democratic ticket against a women. Now, if that wasn't enough, gay marriage will begin tomorrow in West Hollywood.

Today when I read an article today about a lesbian couple who could finally be married after 55 years of commitment, it brought tears to my eyes! The women were 87 and 84 years of age. The women were finally pronounced "spouses for life." and were among the first same-sex partners to legally exchange marriage vows in California today. Marriage licenses for gay couples were officially issued after the state supreme court overturned a ban on such unions. I mean, there are people who are fighting to appeal the decision and put an "anti gay marriage" bill on the ballot in November. I have high hopes that people are going to just let love rule.

I am so happy that I will be able to see my dear friends who love each other dearly get married at the end of the month. Not only do they want to get married because they love each other and want to spend the rest of thier lives together but also because my friend is very sick and has to pay a ton of money for health insurance. As a spouse, she will finally be able to be able to qualify to be on her partners medical insurance plan. For her, it could be the difference between life and death, bankruptcy and just getting by financially. She pays over $400 a month just for insurance not to mention the cost of the medication she needs to survive.

On a lighter note, if I could just find my soul mate, all would be good...actually, at this point I would settle for a nice dinner out and a movie!



maggie's mind said...

We live in amazing times, and I am thrilled. Aside from the emotional aspects, it simplifies things to allow people to choose who they legally marry. For example, at a place I worked a gay or lesbian employee could have a partner covered under their insurance (good), but a straight person could not do the same. While I understood the reasoning that the straight couple could get married while the same sex couple could not, it still seemed a bit strange. Allowing same sex marriage just makes things so much simpler when it comes to legal issues like end of life decisions, home ownership, etc.

All of this aside from the obvious reasons that two people would want to be married - Love.

Mz Diva said...

I am fortunate that my job allows both straight and gay people the right to have a domestic partner. The difference is that with domestic partnership benefits, they are taxed as income. I would have to pay for the taxes on say about 5,000. If I was a married person at my job, my spouse AND my dependents would be covered tax free! Since gay marriage was not legal prior to today, The only way for the gay couple to get the benefit would be to pay the taxes. The straight couple who has a domestic partner has the choice of getting married (no taxes) or simply registering as domestic partners. (pay the taxes) There is a choice in this situation though. Most jobs do not have this option at all! My friends partner works for the Federal Government (mail gal) and there is no option of even paying the taxes on the benefit. They do not insure anyone but spouses or dependent children. EVERYONE needs acess to health care in America.

maggies mind said...

I hadn't heard of the tax penalty (and I do see it as a penalty); that's just not fair. Very true about access to health care, and additionally there are all the other hoops to jump through that marriage would accomplish in one fell swoop instead of several different legal documents, and I think any two people that want to enter into a legal agreement with one another ought to be able to do just that. Really, as far as law should be concerned, that's what marriage is, even if some also consider it a religious sacrament - it can be that, too, but it shouldn't be a requirement in a country that boasts separation of church and state.

Oh boy. Here I go. I will stop there. So glad to see California doing the fair thing on this one, though, so glad. :)