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I was biking to work on May 26 when I received the news that our marriage holds. We are still legal. The news California's Proposition 8 was upheld was bittersweet.
On Sept 15, 2008, at San Francisco City Hall, we celebrated our 20-year relationship, circled by family and friends, and got legally married. Commissioner Ou led us through a short and tender civil ceremony, with our wedding party in tears. In the solemnity of the Rotunda, six or seven other same sex marriages were taking place. More tears in each group. We were all in beauty, and there was room for us all, truly now a place at the table.
For me, I knew in the seventh grade. In 1954 there was no Ohio vocabulary for this discovery. Somehow I knew the word "homo" but knew it mostly as a milk description. My mother would call out, "Lin, please bike to the store and get us some homo." I'd come peddling back, smiling and sweaty, two glass homo bottles jiggling in the front basket. Very careful application of the foot brakes prevented them from flying out.
I had no idea back then that the next 55 years would bring me on a stunning homo journey.
It would be layered in what certainly felt like hatred and condemnation, and it would also yield the opportunity to be part of a profound American civil rights movement - a rising tide that helps our country deepen citizen respect and compassion for all kinds of innate differences.
The May 26 ruling from the California Supreme Court left our marriage legal. We are one of 18,000 same sex couples who married in the almost five month window before Prop 8's narrow win shut down marriage equality in California. Now we are back to separate and not equal.
And fondly remembering back to our season of equality at city hall last September, the pre-marriage sign-up room was filled with happy couples and their supporters. Constantly the clerks had to tell us to quiet down and move aside so that the next set of wedding dresses could come to the counter. Our group excitement was compounded by meeting gay couples from all over the country. Electric joy - this special kinship of being outcasts for so long. But after all, love is love.
Thanks to the Juneau community for so much good will and support.
Here's a love poem for you all, "It Happens All the Time in Heaven" by Hafiz:
It happens all the time in heaven, /
And some day /
It will begin to happen /
Again on earth- /
That men and women who are married, /
And men and men who are /
And women and women /
Who give each other /
Often will get down own their knees /
And while so tenderly /
Holding their lover's hand, /
With tears in their eyes, /
Will sincerely speak, saying, /
"My dear, /
How can I be more loving to you; /
How can I be more /
- Hafiz was the most beloved poet of 14th-century Persia. This is a version of his poem by Daniel Ladinsky in "The Subject Tonight is Love."