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I married my husband in Iowa almost two years ago. We had been together for a few years before that, but we finally decided to get married. It was a wonderful day. We drove all night and ended up in Des Moines. We checked into the downtown Marriott. The manager was really friendly and gave us a free "honeymoon package" that include champagne and chocolate covered strawberries as well as an upgraded room. We then got dressed and headed to the Iowa state building to be married. It was a small ceremony performed by a judge but it was so special for both us because not only were we getting married, but our marriage had only been legal anywhere in the United States since 2003. We were trailblazers. The personal is always political. The rest of our trip was great. We visited the state capital building (obviously built by drag queens), and on our way out of Iowa we visited the American Gothic house and took pictures while the kind elderly people told us the history of the painting and congratulated us on our marriage. Then we headed back to Tennessee...

Nothing can prepare you for the vast difference between Iowa and Tennessee. Our marriage is not recognized in this state. We carry our marriage certificate with us to the emergency room along with our power of attorney forms, living wills, etc... with the hope that nobody challenges it. We have to mark single on every form in the state, and most of the time I refer to my spouse as my brother (same last name so it makes life easier). I was recently offered a job with the state but they needed my marriage certificate to prove my name change so I redacted all his personal information off the certificate and crossed my fingers they didn't probe further (they haven't yet we'll see). And the list goes on and on. We're like magical unicorns here. Exotic. Weird. Deviant. You name it. We've been called it. So what is my point?

I've been reading articles about the overturning of Proposition 8 a few months ago and how many people hope that the decision stops in California. Many gay people don't want a ruling from the Supreme Court as they feel it could be negative, and it very well may be but we are fighting in the Southern states and it is easy to rest comfortably if you have gained marriage equality in your state. We don't have that luxury. Tennessee will not gain marriage equality without being forced by the Supreme Court in the near future. I'm tired of waiting, and the gay organizations that don't want this Supreme Court challenge rarely think outside of their ivory towers in D.C. or NYC or L.A. I can't be patient anymore. My patience has run out. My husband and I need DOMA overturned and we need a national marriage ruling. If it is negative so be it. The time for history is NOW. I ask you to please not forget the South. We're suffering. Fight with us and know that any victory for GLBT people in California will ring hollow if we are still suffering in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. We need a national victory because these states will not be protecting GLBT people of their own volition anytime soon.

Originally posted to zakandsantos on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, Anglican Kossacks, Three Star Kossacks, Southern Action, and Nashville KosKats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've said something like that (5+ / 0-)

    But what I meant is that the DOMA cases provide a much better route to the repeal of DOMA, and that I hope one of them gets to the Supreme Court before the Prop 8 case does because with prop 8 the court could make a limited ruling that only applies to California while DOMA would necessarily be a national ruling.

    Overturning DOMA wouldn't necessarily overturn all the definitions of marriage in state constitutions either, but it would at least fix the issue of federal recognition.  I agree with you, but don't make this a California vs the South thing because it isn't.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:28:01 AM PDT

    •  Disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Larsstephens, KentuckyKat

      As you said a DOMA case will not overturn the state level bans, and that is very important. Since Californians have marriage in all but name, then that would be perfect for them. We also don't know how a DOMA case would be decided. They could say that the federal government must recognize marriages from states that have marriage equality. It once again leaves those of us that live in states like Tennessee out of the loop. I'm not blaming all Californians or all New Yorkers etc... I am saying that we need an encompassing decision and gay rights leaders in the gay belt (Massachusetts, D.C. L.A. and New York) should be investing in winning the national right to marry not the Californian right to marry.

      •  Right, but in order to get to that point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zakandsantos, KentuckyKat, bythesea

        you need to convince the Supreme Court to take on a case with national implications, and so far the challenges that have been raised don't really do that unless the court's willing to do something sweeping of their own volition (as we know Roberts is, and not always for the better).  Another possibility is having very similar local cases that create what's called a 'circuit split', where it appears different circuit courts are applying the law differently, so the Supreme Court intervenes to set a national standard.  

        Without coming down one way or other, I'll play devil's advocate for the other side here: the reason people are reticent to force a too-early decision is that 1) it could take decades to overturn on principle, and 2) none of the conservatives on the court are near retiring, which makes us even more vulnerable in the long-term.

        The flip side is that, at the rate we're going, it could also take forever to get the decision we need, and there's no guarantee it'll happen the way we want anyway.  So there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat May 26, 2012 at 10:33:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, KentuckyKat

          Good argument Pico. I tend to agree with you but I also agree with your flip side argument. We have no idea at current rate when we will get to where we need to be. In the mean time a lot of glbt people outside of the "holy land" have nothing to do but hope for a good supreme court decision.

  •  check your kosmail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:55:00 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Anglican Kossacks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zakandsantos, marykk, KentuckyKat

    Thanks for the diary.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:58:47 AM PDT

  •  Cheers to Magical Unicorns! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zakandsantos, Calamity Jean

    Take heart and enjoy...Rodger Streitmatter: 8 Legendary Same-Sex Couples from his book, Outlaw Marriages (Slideshow)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Sat May 26, 2012 at 11:44:57 AM PDT

  •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zakandsantos

    Living in a state like KY or TN (or IN where we are living now) can be depressingly stifling.  I too would rather see a negative decision than no decision.

    We all have the same ideals ... the same goals. It's our road maps that differ.

    by KentuckyKat on Sat May 26, 2012 at 03:41:49 PM PDT

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