Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

A long time friend and her partner are finally going to be legally married. In an email message from my friend Robin Tyler, she included a link to her article at Huffington Post. Robin Tyler is one of the Original Plaintiffs in the CA Supreme Court Lawsuit, Tyler v. County of LA, and her post "Let Them Eat Cake" begins:
Wedding cake that is. And " them" means everyone one of us. Everyone!

Everyone has the right to be treated equally. And that means the right to be legally married. Here, in the state of California, where Diane Olson and I were the initial lesbian litigants on this matter, we finally had our day in court. And what a day it was! A very courageous and just court applied the very basic tests of our American ideal of equality.

To be quite honest, we were both shocked by the scope of the decision. Diane, whose grandfather, Culbert Levy Olson, was the first elected Democratic Governor of California (1938-1942) and ran on the platform of 'Separation of Church and State,' said, "My grandfather would be very proud of us today." Both of us, together 15 years, wept when we heard the ruling.
One of the couples she writes about, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, have been together for more than 50 years. A number of my friends have been in their relationships for 15, 20, 25 years or more. When so many heterosexual marriages end in divorce, one would think our society would want to celebrate this kind of commitment.

A good friend who recently passed away had been with her partner for 25 years. How sad that this loving couple had to jump through so many hoops to protect themselves regarding their home, decision making at the hospital, etc. One simple legal document could have taken care of everything.

I have sometimes joked with friends that you can always tell when it's "election season" because conservative Republicans dusts off their constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage to put them on the ballot. The Religious Right plays along, because it's a cash-cow for them. Voters come out in droves -- pleasing the Republicans. And Religious Right coffers fill up -- pleasing bigots.

But it's important to remember that part of the genius of our American legal system is precisely that the majority does not have the right to abrogate minorities' rights. That is what the court system is for, and that is why we filed the lawsuit. We know that hate is an industry and raises enormous amounts of money. But the radical right does not have the right to hide their prejudices behind religious beliefs and use fear tactics to scare those who feel we might be harming the value of their marriages. Giving equal rights to one group does not diminish the value of those rights for another. Love doesn't divide, it multiplies.
Congratulations to Robin and Diana on a well deserved victory!


FranIAm said...

Brava! I am so glad that people can get on with their lives.

It is very sad that many others never had that chance and that so many still do not.

Congratulations Robin and Diane!

DCup said...

It's about damn time. I am so sick of institutionalized discrimination I could scream.

Infidel753 said...

That's a sriking and remarkably appropriate picture.

dguzman said...

Woo hoo! And that graphic ROCKS!

BAC said...

Thanks everyone, When I saw the grahic I thought it was hot! ha