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On the eve of Supreme Court debates…some thoughts
I can’t help myself. I’m writing to all of you–family, friends, neighbors, colleagues–because there’s just so much going on that I can’t keep it to myself any longer. I’m about to burst. Into tears, at least, if not with pride. There’s SO MUCH going on. Can’t pick up a paper or turn on a TV without hearing “gay marriage.” As amazing as all this coverage is, however, it’s stressful: this is not an abstract or trendy debate, this is about our lives.
The Supreme Court weighs in tomorrow and Wednesday, delivers a verdict late June. (Appropriate month for a marriage verdict?) Can we divine their thinking from the questions they’ll ask our brave lawyers and those defending DOMA (the latter aptly named BLAG: Bipartisan Legal Action Group)? Will the “dream duo” of Olson and Boies prevail over Prop 8?However encouraging we interpret the Court’s questions, there’s no getting around some basic facts: they’re a majority older white men, not one of them really knowing our lives from the inside. These judges, sitting high above the rest of us watching, listening, will render a verdict that intimately impacts my life and my family. Stomach-churning. I try not to worry, I want to assume fairness and love prevails, but…
The stomach-churning is not only about DC. Here in NM just last week the Santa Fe Mayor and city attorney “declared” marriage legal for all of us. AND our beloved ACLU (NM and national) and NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) working with Equality New Mexico just filed a complaint in District Court in Albuquerque to challenge the denial of marriage licenses. So many unknowns: will our Attorney General issue a ruling giving clerks a green light? Will the clerks then issue licenses? Will the governor issue an injunction? Will our lawsuit linger so long that opponents gain a foothold in the courts? (We have a Republican Governor on record opposing “same-sex marriage.”) These are just some of the questions that roll around in my head in the middle of the night.
Sue and I celebrated our 25th anniversary last August. This September marks the 10th anniversary of our Canadian marriage. That’s not that long, actually, and so much has happened in a decade. When Sue and I got married in 2003, the Albuquerque Tribune published a wonderful story on us, the “novelty” of our lives, our animals, our family. But the Albuquerque Journal refused to publish our wedding announcement (they still won’t publish same-sex wedding announcements).
But we are no longer such novelties: according to the 2010 Census, there are at least 5,825 same-sex couples in NM living in all but two counties across the state. And 35% of those who identify as couples are raising children. Nationally, the numbers have flipped: regardless which poll you look at, a majority of Americans now support our right to marry. So this will happen. Eventually. We’re not going back. In the meantime, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
Thanks for reading this through to the end, and if you can, please consider a contribution to Equality New Mexico or ACLU or NCLR or Freedom to Marry or to ALL of these amazing organizations: we’re going to need all the help we can get to get this done. Thanks!!