FRED AND CHUCK AND CRAIG AND ROY
12 October 2008
The first part of this is a guest entry from my friend Char, an avid UC Berkeley alum whose cell phone plays the Cal Fight Song and whose favorite greeting is "Go Bears!" Mike is her husband.
FRED AND CHUCK
This is in the same spirit as Neds guest entry last week. It is also supportive of NO on Proposition 8, though quite a bit shorter than Neds.
Recently we attended a reunion of the Cal Band. Mike was a member and was lucky enough to be there when they were invited to travel to Brussels for the Worlds Fair 50 years ago. This same group also marched in the Rose Parade. All this was many, many years ago. Fred was also in the band then, and we know him and his partner Chuck pretty well, especially since they have been in the same row with us at the football games for several years. They also joined in the return trip to Brussels earlier this year.
Anyhow, at the reunion dinner each fellow talks a little about his life. There is a lot of joking and teasing, but basically these guys have known each other for over 50 years and they like each other. This year Fred introduced Chuck as his partner, as he has many times, but this time it was different. They got married in June. They have been together for 42 years. This announcement was greeted with cheers and many, many good wishes. A genuine outpouring of happiness for them.
I found this attitude somewhat surprising in this group which rarely misses a chance to joke around with each other. It is also an overwhelmingly heterosexual group, and quite a few of the lads have been through multiple marriages. Still, they cheered Fred and Chuck, and it did seem to be genuine. There is hope for us yet.
CRAIG AND ROY
Tomorrow we are going to a wedding on the grounds of the Capitol Building in Sacramento. The invitation reads:
We joyfully invite you to our wedding celebration
(Leaving their last names out, just to preserve their privacy, though I suspect they won't care). These guys have not been together as long as Fred and Chuck because they are much younger, but they have been together for a very long time. Roy is the music director at a big church in California and before that was the music director for a small local Catholic church near Davis. Craig is a well known performer (if you are in the right circles) and an incredible talent. Well--they both are incredible talents.
Best of all, they are wonderful guys and their love for each other just pours out of them when you see them together. Thanks to the recognition by the California Supreme Court, they will be able to marry tomorrow. Right in Ahhnold's front yard.
But election day is coming, and the latest polls show that Proposition 8 is starting to look like it might actually pass. Whether this would strip Fred and Chuck, and Craig and Roy (and Ellen and Shelly) of their long-desired, and newly won legal marriages may be up to the courts to decide, Ellen tells me.
At the same time, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, hearing the same sort of issue, ruled that a ban against same sex marriage is illegal in that state too. You can't yet get married in Connecticut, but it appears that things are heading in that direction. To the best of my knowledge, the state of Masssachusetts has not yet fallen apart because gay couples are permitted to marry there, nor has God smitten anyone.
This is such an important issue, though in the scope of the various wars we are engaged in and the world wide economic collapse, I suppose it seems like such a little issue, but straight people all over California are going to decide the fate of gay people. Straight people are going to decide whether two people in love should be denied the right to marry, just because they are of the same gender.
This is not fair. It's not "equality." I sincerely hope that there are enough intelligent people who understand that "almost" is not "equal" who will stop this hate-filled proposition from passing and allow these people who love each other to make a legal commitment to one another.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 77 miles