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DRTM LogoHello again, Kossacks! Once again, I'm Bill Humphrey, statewide director of Delaware Right to Marry PAC. If you didn't get a chance to read our first diary here, which explains what we're working on in the First State this coming year, feel free to check it out: "Help us bring marriage equality to Delaware."

I'm back again this week to ask you a simple (or complex, if it is for you) question: Why does marriage equality matter to you? We're collecting Delaware stories right now elsewhere, but we wanted to tap into this much broader community for stories and responses to that question, whether you are gay, straight, or something else. With the Delaware stories, we're going to show legislators why this is so important in Delaware, but we also want to be able to make comparisons and contrasts with experiences in other states. Details below the fold.

What's we're looking for... If you live in a state with marriage equality, let us know before/after stories. If you live in a state with civil unions, explain why you believe is that not enough. If you live in a state with neither, tell us what that's like (and why it matters to you). If you're gay or lesbian, how does lack of marriage equality affect you? If you're not, how does it affect friends or family who are?

We'll be reading all the comments (of course!), but if you don't feel comfortable talking about this in this space, there's an email address in our profile, and we will keep your information totally protected. We will also make an effort to let anybody know if we plan to use their stories/responses in some manner.



And for those who'd like something a bit less text-heavy, we just released our first online video (not for airing anywhere). It's a perky clip with photos of some of the beautiful communities around our little state!

We're going to be rolling out more soon, but we put it together for our current fundraising drive. Per the previous diary...

Goal ThermometerThere has not been any public opinion poll on any LGBT issues for several years now in the state of Delaware, so this is a critical tool that everyone has been lacking in recent legislative battles on these issues.
[...]
We need your help raising the money to pay for this poll. Because we have received some donations already offline our online target right now is to raise $2,350 by January 1st, so we can have the poll completed before the legislative session begins.
[...]
I know money is tight for many people right now, especially in the midst of the holiday season, but if you can spare just $25, we can put it to good use. As I said, we are all-volunteer and very low-budget, so we ration all the money carefully!

Thanks so much in advance for your support and your stories. We really appreciate it, and our treasurer was even more thrilled to read the comments on last week's diary than to see the donations, so I think I'm spreading the community spirit here beyond the virtual walls of Daily Kos!

Sincerely,
Bill Humphrey
Statewide Director
Delaware Right to Marry

Originally posted to Delaware Right to Marry on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 06:12 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for reading! (25+ / 0-)

    And definitely feel free to ask any general questions about the project unrelated to the above request. I'll do my best to answer them. -Bill

    •  The Terry Schiavo case illustrated to me (13+ / 0-)

      the importance of marriage to any couple regardless of sex.

      Terry Schiavo's husband was ultimately able to decide her fate (after a long court battle) because he was her next of kin.

      Once she died, her family wanted to bury her, but her husband decided to cremate her and bury her elsewhere.

      It showed the legal power that next of kin has that no other relative - not parents, siblings, or children - can overrule their decisions.

      This is why marriage equality is SO important - the right to have the most important person in your life be able to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated.

      Of course, there are so many more positive reasons for marriage equality - the commitment, the joy of sharing ones life with someone they love, the stability a married relationship makes.

      The oldest cliche is 'Love conquers all', and so, when 2 people love each other and want to make a lifetime commitment to another, they should be free to do that.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 06:31:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you remove the word (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, Delaware Right to Marry

      marriage from the question, it will give you my answer.  It is not so much about marriage as it is about equality.  We just cannot have segments of our citizens denied equality in any part of the American experience.  It is not who we claim to be.

      *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

      by Shirl In Idaho on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 11:27:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because its only fair... (9+ / 0-)

    ...if I can marry someone I love (Calamity Jean) anybody should be able to.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 06:34:39 PM PST

  •  As an African-American (10+ / 0-)

    in America, there was a time when we couldn't marry each another.  Then we couldnt marry outside our ethnic group.  Now, I believe everyone should have the right to be equally miserable.  It's only fair.

    •  What I think is amazing (6+ / 0-)

      is how Loving v. Virginia (and consequently the end of the laws against marrying outside one's race) was only 43 years ago. People seem to forget just how recently race was part of the "definition of marriage" in many states, which now seems absurd to most Americans.

    •  Equal rights to hell on earth for all! (6+ / 0-)

      I (mostly) kid, but I think it's outrageous that gay couples don't have all the legal and financial benefits of married couples i.e. health ins. benefits, taxes etc.  Also the rights that community property states give married couples in divorce.  I don't know why this country is so backwards on just about everything.

      •  Start with a culture that's been grown to feel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kpardue, Shirl In Idaho, Blizzard

        we're always correct, even when we're not, add into it a dominating white culture and media that typically lets politicians continue telling lies about our God-granted goodness, then . . . well, I guess there's lots of reasons we're so far behind the reality curve.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:33:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oddly enough, even as LGBT+ want full (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Delaware Right to Marry

        marriage, a lot of straight couples are choosing to establish  households without it. Now it is much more a personal choice to marry than the one and only way to establish a household. Even courts are adjusting to this change, as, although common law marriage is not legal in my state, we now have, after a struggle with the name, the equity relationship, a term created by courts to get away from 'meretricious relationship' and give courts a neutral word for a longstanding relationship that never got any license at all. Of the ones which have enough property at issue to make it to court, these generally date from before the days of 'everything but the name' domestic partnerships, but cover some but not all of the same ground. However three of the four adult children in my branch of the famiiy had longstanding intimate and residential relationships, one of which has recently converted itself to marriage after seven years.

  •  It matters to me because... (6+ / 0-)

    It makes ME feel good to fight for what is right.

  •  I'm Canadian, living in Canada, (10+ / 0-)

    and straight (but not narrow) and widowed.

    For me, marriage equality is important because the relationship my gay friends have with their partners is as important as my relationship with my husband. Their relationships deserve the same respect as the respect that was given to my relationship with Dan.

            Standing for marriage equality,
                    Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is doing it to whom.

    by Chacounne on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 06:45:49 PM PST

  •  I'm Canadian.. (8+ / 0-)

    so we've had the right to marriage here for a few years now. But I'll tell you what it means to me.

    It means I can fret over what to get my friends when they get married next year. How much do I spend? What will they like? What will they probably get 5 or 6 of?

    It means that I get to sit up all night with another friend who is going through a rough divorce since she found out her wife was cheating on her.

    It means a cousin can ask the hospital how his husband's doing over the phone and they will tell him.

    It means I get bitched at in the library by men and woman who try to use their husbands or wife's card and I tell them they CAN'T

    In other words....nothing really new or exciting, just everyday life where we can love anyone we choose.

  •  Because it's great for the economy. (6+ / 0-)

    People that can be married and be themselves are happier and more productive.

    Donk is a poker term for someone who is really bad at "the game". Still, a poor choice in name I guess.

    by DonkSlayer on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:03:10 PM PST

  •  I've backed marriage equality... (9+ / 0-)

    ...ever since my friend Clela Rorex issued one of the first gay marriage licenses in the country in 1975. Beyond wanting equality for all as a matter of principle, however, the issue only became personal for me when my stepdaughter came out as a lesbian three-and-a-half years ago.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:21:12 PM PST

  •  To be honest with you, (7+ / 0-)

    I can't say it meant a lot to me, personally, until recently. I supported it but only because I felt it made sense.

    It became more personal to me once I read a lot of diaries and articles by members of the GLBT community.

    But it was brought home to me in a truly gut wrenching way just recently, when I saw the cartoon showing three military coffins on a plane, all identical, all draped in the U.S. flag.  

    The caption was, "Which was the gay one?"

    I gasped and burst into tears. My only thought at that moment was that the gay one didn't live to see the repeal of DADT. They may have known it was coming but they would never see the day it was signed into law.

    They died for America and Americans and for years I gave so little thought about what that meant to me.

    Proud Obama cheerleader since 2008.

    by kpardue on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:24:24 PM PST

  •  I'm in that weird gray area of California (8+ / 0-)

    Packrat and I got married, then came Prop H8 and we didn't know for ages whether our marriage would stay legal.  Now as it stands, we're still legally married (along with the rest of the 18K club), but no new marriages can take place.  I have no idea how the anti-equality folks are better off in any way with this arrangement.

    Some years ago, Packrat woke up at 4 am Christmas morning with chest pain.  It wasn't a heart attack, just a bad reaction to mixing meds, but it scared the hell out of us.  We were registered domestic partners at the time, and I was allowed to be with her and take part in all discussions with medical personnel. But if it had happened the previous Christmas, when we were visiting family in Florida, a California domestic partnership would have meant nothing.  I might have spent hours pacing the waiting room, wondering if the person I loved most in the world was dead or alive.  There have been real cases where this happened, in spite of Power of Attorney or other attempts at legal protections.  

    Packrat is on my insurance, but my employer's contribution is treated as taxable income.  This is not true for heterosexual married couples.  The "gay tax" costs us a hefty chunk every tax day.

    But beyond all that, there's what I call the water-fountain issue.  Even if civil unions gave all the same legal rights as marriage (AND THEY DON'T), it's still wrong to create a create a separate category just for the sake of showing that some people are unequal.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:25:45 PM PST

  •  the reasons i have would fill a book. (3+ / 0-)

    first: my husband and i live in TEXAS

    second: we have been in a monogamous relationship for 17 years

    third: we both have hiv/aids and my husband has far more pressing issues of mortality than hiv/aids

    fourth: we are both people of deep personal faith (i'm christian, he's jewish)

    fifth: financial security. (see reasons 3 and 4) when i was diagnosed with aids, i was given 30 days to live. i did really stupid and irresponsible things that ruined my credit (diagnosed 15 years ago this valentine's day...gotta love God's irony). as such, everything we own is in my husband's name although everything we pay for (our mortgage and vehicle, for example) I PAY FOR and would lose if he precedes me in death (which is more than a slight likelihood, see 3)

    sixth: we pay taxes equal to our heterosexual counterparts and are not granted the same 1100+ federal benefits conveyed by our legally married status (we pooled our meager social security money and relied on the generosity of a friend to travel to d.c. to marry on 9/30/10)

    seventh: social/legal legitimacy of our relationship

    filling in the details around these 6 points are what would fill a book. the impetus for our marriage was my husband's near fatal heart attack on 5/22/10. he spent 12 days in ICU, 6 of them on life support. we didn't know if he would even live, much less ever walk, talk, be able to eat or even be "him" again. i was fortunate that the catholic hospital, for the most part, treated me as his "spouse". they didn't have to if i hadn't had his MPA and advanced directive.

    knowing that life is precious and every moment could be our last was the final, driving force.

    we have nursed one another at different times from death's door.

    if you want the whole enchilada of a story of our life together and why that life, in and of itself, is "marriage worthy" feel free to drop me an e-mail. it's on my profile.

    "we don't get ourselves dry cleaned." ~ barney frank, in response to the twit asking him about teh ebil gay military showers

    by liberaldemdave on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:37:16 PM PST

  •  Because it's right. Durr. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:47:57 PM PST

  •  Cause right is right (2+ / 0-)

    and wrong is wrong .

    Its true. She loves you. And I told her you loved her, too.

    by indycam on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 07:51:04 PM PST

  •  Marriage equality matters to me because it's (2+ / 0-)

    a fairness thing, I look upon it from a civil rights perspective. I don't think a state marriage is enough because too much of what we do is controlled at the federal level.

    If a gay person wants to marry a foreigner their foreign spouse can't get an automatic visa to come to the US.

    I've no idea what the laws in my state are. I live in CO, and I don't follow gay issues much, but that one single aspect always struck me as unfair. There are probably other issues I've never considered but that one was enough for me to realize something wasn't quite  right.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:05:23 PM PST

  •  Oh, personal reasons in the family. (4+ / 0-)

    One of my sisters is lesbian, and has been in a long-term, well-established relationship.  In 2004 she took a trip to Canada, and she and her partner were married there. (They had a church wedding too, when they got back.  Very festive affair, just about everybody in the family was there, except for the ones that were across oceans from us.)

    Now Iowa has gay marriage.  My sister and her partner checked, and were told that Iowa considers their Canadian wedding license valid, so they don't have to get married again.  They've been helping out a lot of their friends who wanted to get married for a long time.

    So, personal interest.  I see no reason why my sister and her partner shouldn't be married, and I was glad to help celebrate their wedding, and I figure others like them should have the same right.

    ...it is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

    by RunawayRose on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:12:36 PM PST

  •  Because it says so. (3+ / 0-)

    nor shall any State... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  •  Because... when my husband and I.... (2+ / 0-)

    ...became one of the 18k club in California I've never felt anything so powerful in my life. Marriage matters.

    House 250-175 | Senate 65-31 DADT is History

    by cooper888 on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:37:17 PM PST

  •  It's a lawyer's bias but the 1100 issues (3+ / 0-)

    which DOMA messes up in a non-marriage, and the differential tax treatment make a real difference to me. Committed couples do need the protections of real marriage, because of the multitude of details in life in which the partners can better protect themselves and one another inside but not outside that legally well understood relationship. I am professionally tired to death of dealing with a relationship in which one party has died, and the family of the decedent barges in and insists the survivor is a stranger to their now beloved one, who usually was not so beloved when alive, since upon death he, usually, also becomes officially straight to his kin and anyone they can beat down, which he was not when alive either. DP was not strong enough to overcome that pattern.  Marriage is a well understood, legally, and very ordinary relationship tinkered with over the years to make it more protective of those inside it and understood reliably by everyone else outside that relationship whose legal rights are affected by it.

    I have known gay couples since I was a child who sought but could not have and some died without the simple legal protections of marriage, then usually Uncle X who took care of his sister's or brother's children when something, usually death, happened to the original parents, and there was no one else to do it, and finished up the job just fine, thank you very much. I have also known since a child gay and lesbian persons and probably many bis as well, who had the custody of children and raised them up to be indistinguishable from other peoples' children, for which the legal certainties of marriage would have been helpful. T was not possible when I was small, so long ago was it.

    It was originally not a matter of the state or the church at all at least in European tradition, but a transaction principally economic in nature between the families of the happiness-was-not-relevant couple,  and even the Church only really got into it about the Twelfth Century, about the time they really went to war against gay folk, women not being people then.

    •  If you wouldn't mind shooting me an email (0+ / 0-)

      we're about ready to gather some research on the legal issues and numerous marriage-related rights, and you might be able to get us started in the right direction. We're a very small staff right now and most of the lawyers in the state who would normally be working on this effort are currently busy on other LGBT projects coming up, so any help would be useful. One of the big cases we plan to make is that full marriage equality (as opposed to unions or partnerships) is just simpler and more efficient from a legal standpoint, not just a moral one.

      My email is in my profile.

  •  Four people: (2+ / 0-)

    Aunt Mary and the woman I have always known as aunt Linda. By an odd coincidence they might be moving to Delaware soon. I once asked why they would  not just go elsewhere to get married. Their answer was that they would only get hitched if their state approved it. So I have a personal stake in your work.

    Also Peggy and Missy. Their commitment ceremony was probably the best wedding I've been to. They had to go to Vermont to make it all nice and legal. (And I hear they had a wonderful time.)

    Keep up the good work.

    ICYMI: On Dec. 2, 2010 the House Republicans voted to raise taxes on the middle class.

    by Casual Wednesday on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 11:08:56 PM PST

  •  On principle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delaware Right to Marry

    On principle because it is a right that should be understood from the Fourteenth Amendment (and elsewhere within the Constitution).

    Marriage is a right I'd like to have even if I never choose to exercise it. I may or may not ever want to marry Trapper (or anyone else) but I'd like to be able to if I so desire.

  •  email me at the addy in the profile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delaware Right to Marry

    and I'll tell you a poignant story. Don't want to do it here, because it involves other people and I'd rather keep it low key.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 01:26:05 AM PST

  •  I am an old white guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delaware Right to Marry

    The idea of two men being married still seems weird to me but to be honest i don't really care if men marry men or woman marry woman mainly because gay people are discriminated on legal and tax matters.  
    I think within a generation there will be a constitutional amendment making marriage  a non gender issue.We have to wait for a few of more of us old people to die off. My kids don't see what the big deal is. Even my elderly mother is for it.

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