deirdre: (Default)

marriage-bph

As you probably heard, the majority in the Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) ruled against equal marriage.

The dissent is blistering. It starts on p. 43.

Here’s the opening:

The author of the majority opinion has drafted what would make an engrossing TED Talk or, possibly, an introductory lecture in Political Philosophy. But as an appellate court decision, it wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional question in this appeal: whether a state’s constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage violates equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

And here’s the closing:

More than 20 years ago, when I took my oath of office to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, I solemnly swore to “administer justice without respect to persons,” to “do equal right to the poor and to the rich,” and to “faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me . . . under the Constitution and laws of the United States.” See 28 U.S.C. § 453. If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams.

I’ve seen a few statements of no confidence in the majority opinion before, but none so thorough.

Wow.

One more paragraph, from p. 61 (close to the end):

Moreover, as it turns out, legalization of same-sex marriage in the “nineteen states and the District of Columbia” mentioned by the majority was not uniformly the result of popular vote or legislative enactment. Nine states now permit same-sex marriage because of judicial decisions, both state and federal: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado (state supreme court decisions); New Jersey (state superior court decision not appealed by defendant); California (federal district court decision allowed to stand in ruling by United States Supreme Court); and Oregon and Pennsylvania (federal district court decisions not appealed by defendants). Despite the majority’s insistence that, as life-tenured judges, we should step aside and let the voters determine the future of the state constitutional provisions at issue here, those nine federal and state courts have seen no acceptable reason to do so. In addition, another 16 states have been or soon will be added to the list, by virtue of the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari review in Kitchen, Bostick, and Baskin, and the Court’s order dissolving the stay in Latta. The result has been the issuance of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of marriage licenses in the wake of those orders. Moreover, the 35 states that are now positioned to recognize same- sex marriage are comparable to the 34 states that permitted interracial marriage when the Supreme Court decided Loving. If the majority in this case is waiting for a tipping point, it seems to have arrived.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

My friend Deana pointed out that, as of today, there are 18 states (plus D.C.) who offer equal marriage, and an additional 7 states where marriages are on hold pending appeals.

That’s half the states, folks.

Plus Illinois will start issuing licenses on June 1, and we’re expecting to hear from Pennsylvania tomorrow.

As a note, I prefer the term “equal” marriage to “gay” marriage or “same-sex” marriage as the latter two erase, among others, those who may feel like they have straight relationships, but their biology is complex.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

marriage

I’ve never written up the specific incident that made gay marriage/equal marriage so important to me, but I think it’s time. I’ve mentioned some of the benefits I got from being married in my post How I Got Married and Donated a Liver, and allude to this story, but I thought it would be off-point for me to put it into that post. It’s true that I’m one of those socially liberal types and had no problem with gays having equal rights before, but I wasn’t really aboard with marriage (as a civil, legal institution) for anyone until after all this happened.

After Richard died from a stroke, I joined a mailing list for people with a common interest in strokes: medical professionals, survivors, loved ones of people who’d both survived and perished from strokes.

One man on the list had been living with his sweetie, who’d had a stroke. They’d had durable power of attorney for healthcare paperwork signed. His sweetie’s family was very homophobic, so they got the paperwork the couple had signed overruled and banned the man from his sweetie’s hospital and recovery.

Catch is, the sweetie had had long-term memory loss. He couldn’t, for example, remember that he needed to use a walker. So he kept asking his family over and over where his loved one was. Day after day after day, unable to remember the answer he’d gotten. One heartbreak after another.

That? Sounds like hell to me. It’s also incredibly evil on the part of the family.

It made me realize that we really did need a legal relationship for gay couples that was legally stronger than blood. Like marriage is.

So I’m incredibly happy with the four states and their ballot initiatives on gay marriage, and that the tide is really starting to turn in groundshaking ways. Thanks to all of you who support gay rights. May there be fewer situations like the sweetie’s going forward, and, one day, may there be none.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

marriage

Several of my friends have, over the months this came out, held this up as a cool marriage proposal.

I have to admit, I think it’s creepy.

Why?

Because, in my book, any marriage proposal designed to “sell” the woman into the thing, especially one that leverages a celebrity (e.g., Patrick Stewart) or family (as in the earlier proposal) is not a proposal between peers. It is potential husband + club + possibility of public shaming, especially given the prevalence of these things on YouTube.

Now, true, it’s always possible that the couple arranged the whole thing to make it look like a surprise. If so, go them.

It’s also true that Rick proposed to me in front of others on a mailing list, but it probably wasn’t generally known that Rick asked me if that would be okay first.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

Rick mailed me a link to this graphic this morning. Though I’m not sure of its provenance, it is brilliant.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
Jim Keller's idea on using "romantic orientation" instead of "sexual orientation." Good idea. Granted, for some people, they're not the same, but in the main case, they likely are.

Video making the point. A kid who's never seen a married gay couple before Gets It.
deirdre: (Default)
Story here.

"A group of Japanese citizens filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a civil law that effectively stops women from keeping their surnames when they marry."

Money shot:

Kyoko Tsukamoto, a 75-year-old retired teacher from northern Toyama, said she has waited for more than 50 years for a change in the law, organizing petitions and lobbying lawmakers at Parliament. Now she says she is losing patience. By tradition, she had to use her husband's surname Kojima on their marriage certificate, which means she must also use it on any other legal documents. She can use her maiden name only for private purposes.

"I don't have much time left," Tsukamoto said. "I want to die as Kyoko Tsukamoto."
deirdre: (marriage)
Ninth Circuit tells Imperial County to pound sand. "We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm the order denying the motion to intervene, and dismiss Movants’ appeal on the merits."

"The district court order denying the motion to intervene is AFFIRMED. Movants’ appeal of the district court order concerning the constitutionality of Proposition 8 is DISMISSED for lack of standing."

Reinhardt about his refusal to recuse himself.

"The chief basis for the recusal motion appears to be my wife’s beliefs, as expressed in her public statements and actions, both individually and in her capacity as Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC). She has held that position for 38 years, during 20 of which we have been married, although over one year ago she announced her retirement effective next month."

"My wife’s views, public or private, as to any issues that may come before this court, constitutional or otherwise, are of no consequence. She is a strong, independent woman who has long fought for the principle, among others, that women should be evaluated on their own merits and not judged in any way by the deeds or position in life of their husbands (and vice versa). I share that view and, in my opinion, it reflects the status of the law generally, as well as the law of recusal, regardless of whether the spouse or the judge is the male or the female.

[...]

"Proponents’ contention that I should recuse myself due to my wife’s opinions is based upon an outmoded conception of the relationship between spouses."

I think I like this Reinhardt fellow. (It really annoys me, as it annoys [livejournal.com profile] rinolj, when he is asked to change my opinions on things.)

On the importance of standing and the relevance in this particular case.

"There can be little doubt that when the Plaintiffs filed this action their purpose was to establish that there was a constitutional right to gay marriage, and to do so by obtaining a decision of the Supreme Court to that effect. Yet, according to what their counsel represented to us at oral argument, the complaint they filed and the injunction they obtained determines only that Proposition 8 may not be enforced in two of California’s fifty-eight counties. They next contend that the injunction may not be appealed but that it may be extended to the remaining fifty-six counties, upon the filing of a subsequent lawsuit by the Attorney General in state court against the other County Clerks. Whether Plaintiffs are correct or not, it is clear that all of this would have been unnecessary and Plaintiffs could have obtained a statewide injunction had they filed an action against a broader set of defendants, a simple matter of pleading. Why preeminent counsel and the major law firms of which they are a part failed to do that is a matter on which I will not speculate."

Ouch!

"In any event, had Plaintiffs sued a broader class of defendants, there clearly would have been parties who would have had standing to appeal the district court’s decision, and who likely would have done so. Even had they not, it might not have been difficult for those interested in defending the proposition to find an intervenor with standing. Imperial County, one of the counties that voted in favor of Proposition 8, sought to intervene, but for some unknown reason attempted to do so through a deputy clerk who asserted her own rights instead of through the Clerk who might have asserted hers. Again, this was a most puzzling legal decision. While we have not ruled as to whether the Clerk would have had standing, we have held that a deputy clerk does not. There are forty-two counties that voted in favor of Proposition 8. Surely had those seeking an intervenor contacted other of those counties instead of relying on Imperial County they could have found a Clerk who would have presented the issue whether a Clerk rather than a deputy has standing."

Yes, that was rather bizarre, wasn't it?

The second opinion requesting clarification from the California Supreme Court. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Typically, it'll slow down a case by two years, but that may not be true for this specific case. We already know the California Supreme Court's opinion about gay marriage, but this is about whether or not, under California law, the defendants actually have standing to proceed -- as opposed to the federal law the case was filed under.
deirdre: (Default)
It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to coerce a married minister to divorce.

It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to coerce a married minister to have an abortion against her will.

It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to hunt down a minister who wants to leave, promist to stalk her, threaten to excommunicate her family, threaten to never permit her to speak to her family, and threaten her former co-workers.

It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to engage in human trafficking.

It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to revoke food privileges for a minister in a religious order. So: no food.

It's apparently perfectly okay for a religion to revoke berthing privileges for a minister in a religious order and force her to sleep under a desk.

The judge ignored numerous other documents supporting said minister's experiences. Such as this one.

Family values. Truly.

Sorry, Claire.

Ruling here.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”) prohibits, inter alia, knowingly
obtaining the labor or services of a person by means of force, threats of force, physical
restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person.18 U.S.C. §
1589(a)(1).A victim of a violation of the TVPA may bring a civil action against the
perpetrator.18 U.S.C. § 1595.

Defendants argue that this claim fails because of the First Amendment’s ministerial
exception.The Court agrees.“The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment provide
that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof.’”Alcazar v. Corp. of the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle, 598
F.3d 668, 671 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting U.S. Const. Amend. I).

Yep. Human trafficking is now ruled a freakin' sacrament. (In violation of Employment Division v. Smith.)

I'm just waiting until all human trafficking goes under religious cloaking for these "benefits."
deirdre: (marriage)
(this may be updated as I continue to read piecemeal)

"...most people are able to answer questions about their sexual orientation without formal training." (p. 20) (Smartass that I am, my first thought was, "Does that mean some require a dominatrix?")

"For the reasons stated in the sections that follow, the evidence presented at trial fatally undermines the premises underlying proponents’ proffered rationales for Proposition 8." (p. 24) (I love the word proffered.)

"When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough." (p. 24)

"Stier is “maybe the sparkliest person I ever met. * * * [T]he happiest I feel is in my relationship with [Stier.]”" (p. 26) (Love the description of someone, especially amidst formal court language, as "sparkliest.")

"Proponents elected not to call the majority of their designated witnesses to testify at trial and called not a single official proponent of Proposition 8 to explain the discrepancies between the arguments in favor of Proposition 8 presented to voters and the arguments presented in court." (p. 35)

"The court permitted Blankenhorn to testify but reserved the question of the appropriate weight to give to Blankenhorn’s opinions. Tr 2741:24-2742:3. The court now determines that Blankenhorn’s testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight." (p. 39)

"...there is simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered." (p. 45)

"To the extent Blankenhorn believes that same-sex marriage is both a cause and a symptom of deinstitutionalization, his opinion is tautological." (p. 45)

"Blankenhorn’s concern that same-sex marriage poses a threat to the institution of marriage is further undermined by his testimony that same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage operate almost identically." (p. 47)

"Blankenhorn agreed that children raised by same-sex couples would benefit if their parents were permitted to marry." (p. 48) (Wait. What?)

"Plaintiffs questioned Miller on data showing 84 percent of those who attend church weekly voted yes on Proposition 8, 54 percent of those who attend church occasionally voted no on Proposition 8 and 83 percent of those who never attend church voted no on Proposition 8." (p. 52) (Wow.)

"Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage." (p. 60)

"Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 under the Due Process Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Each is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both and Equal challenge unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation." (p. 109)

"Proposition 8 thus enshrines in the California Constitution a gender restriction that the evidence shows to be nothing more than an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life." (p. 124)

"Even if California had an interest in preferring opposite-sex parents to same-sex parents —— and the evidence plainly shows that California does not —— Proposition 8 is not rationally related to that interest, because Proposition 8 does not affect who can or should become a parent under California law. FF 49, 57." (p. 128)

"To the extent California has an interest in encouraging sexual activity to occur within marriage (a debatable proposition in light of Lawrence, 539 US at 571) the evidence shows Proposition 8 to be detrimental to that interest. Because of Proposition 8, same-sex couples are not permitted to engage in sexual activity within marriage." (p. 128)
deirdre: (Default)
In trying to do a google search on something else trans-related just now, I happened to come across this article from September about Iran courts permitting a transsexual marriage.

Some interesting cultural issues there.
deirdre: (Default)
Article in The Guardian.

Haggis was a member for 35 years, and says, "The church's refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly."

Umm, true, but it shouldn't have come as a surprise given Hubbard's views, now permanently encased in the time and place they were created as doctrine.

One of my co-workers in the CofS back in the 80s was let go because she was a lesbian, and I felt badly about that. I didn't have an issue with her orientation, but I was trying to do the "right" thing in terms of the organization rather than the right thing as a person. Similarly, when a gay coworker was expelled, I had more of an issue with the dirty laundry being forcibly aired than with his orientation. [Update: I've since located him.]
deirdre: (Default)
Sounds like it's blipped a few decades.
A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.
Story here.
deirdre: (Default)
Very well done, and not just applicable to Ireland.

deirdre: (Default)

marriage

Once upon a time, I was Libertarian enough that I didn’t really care about getting married, and I didn’t particularly want a state license for a relationship. However, I wound up in a relationship where a marriage license was important to the other person, and so we got married in June, 1996.

I didn’t really think it was a super-big thing until November, 1996 when my husband suddenly had a stroke, and I called the ambulance and followed behind in my car. I went to the check-in desk for the ER, said I was his wife, and filled out the paperwork.

This was around 2:30 in the morning.

At no point was my ID asked for. At no point did I have to provide proof of being married to him. Granted, it wasn’t a big city, and the ambulance driver was our downstairs neighbor. My husband had been a reporter for the local newspaper, so his name was known.

Mine, however, wasn’t really; I’d moved to the Northeast Kingdom (of Vermont) 2-1/2 years before.

I was next of kin. The only other legal next of kin Richard had was his eldest son, who wasn’t yet 19.

The hospital called a minister who sat with me, and was there when the ER doc gave the very frank assessment that my husband was dead, but they couldn’t declare him legally dead for some hours because they lacked expensive equipment to do more extensive tests; they had to declare based on a series of EEGs taken over a period of 12 hours. Or maybe it was 24. It seemed forever.

They’d tried to provoke any kind of reaction through deep pain, and got no EEG change. Several large bruises covered arms and upper body, and when I looked at Richard, it was clear to me that he wasn’t going to be coming back.

The ER doc asked if I’d considered organ donation, and I talked about it with the minister after the doc went back to tend to Richard. I spoke with the New England Organ Bank. Frankly, it was one of the easiest decisions I’d ever made to donate his organs, because the opportunity to help someone who was gravely ill seemed practical and humane.

What I truly wasn’t prepared for was the process. The phone call with the NEOB lasted an hour. I spoke in the middle of the night with a volunteer answering all kinds of personal questions about my husband’s sexual history, his travel history, all kinds of things that aren’t that easy to know about someone you’re not currently living with. Some of them will be easy for most people: malaria risk. Some, such as specific STD risk practices, will be more difficult to know with absolute certainty. Other people’s lives depend on the answers, so it’s important to be accurate. Organs degrade with every minute, so it’s important to be quick.

Even though I had said they could use whatever they needed, legal and ethical guidelines meant they had to go over each and every body part, including some I’d never even thought of in the context of organ donations; some of the requests were about research rather than direct donation and thus had to be addressed with separate disclaimers.

Pancreas. Check.
Gall bladder for experimental transplant. Check.
Appendix. Check.
Thyroid. Check.
Saphenous veins. Check.

It’s those kinds of things that made it exhausting, above and beyond the fact that I’d been about to go to sleep when he’d had his stroke, I was exhausted even then, and now it was two or three hours later.

Further logistics happened, including the arrival of Richard’s family and friends, and the organ bank called about a helicopter. They wanted to airlift him to the transplant hospital sooner rather than later because they could declare him dead sooner and thus prevent organ decay. I okayed that, but I worried that Richard’s eldest son wouldn’t arrive in time — there was a horrible snowstorm and he was across the state in the worst possible direction as far as road travel went.

Fortunately, everything happened in the right order, and for a while the waiting room was filled with me, two of Richard’s ex-wives, and his three kids by them.

The NEOB kept in contact with me. What they didn’t say, but I’d figured out, was that Richard’s heart was failing during the process and that’s one reason they wanted to move him.

So they prepped him for his move and off he went to a transplant hospital. The only transplant I heard about that actually occurred was a liver transplant. His heart, kidneys, pancreas weren’t donatable, but his lungs and corneas were. (Those are the nine donatable organs as they enumerated them at the time, six of them — heart, lungs, liver, kidneys — are the “major” organ transplants.)

Some time later, a thank-you letter arrived from the liver transplant recipient’s son, written in ballpoint on a yellow legal pad. I still keep that letter. It shouldn’t have, but he disclosed his name and his father’s name, and thus I know that his father is still alive twelve years later. I know that his father had an incredibly rare liver disease, and the good fortune to be a tissue match for Richard’s liver when it became available.

The Current Situation for Unmarried Couples

Later, after Richard’s death, I found out that loved ones who weren’t married, even those with durable powers of attorney for health care, were frequently shut out of the process, hassled by the hospital, and blocks were put up to the loved one being able to actually do something about it.

Just recently, one partner in lesbian couple in Fresno who’d signed all the right paperwork was barred from making medical decisions about her loved one. Fortunately, her partner lived, but what if that couple had been in the situation that me and my late husband were in?

What if someone waiting for an organ (or another donation) was deprived of the opportunity of life or health because of that? Because the hospital stalled?

Being married meant I had the opportunity, at a time of need, to help someone who would have died. (It’s also possible that, had logistics permitted, his son would have stepped up as next of kin had Richard not been married. I don’t know what would have happened at that time.)

Why would anyone deprive someone of that because their loved one happened to be the same sex?

You might think another organ would come up, but I offer this final bombshell: for this rural county hospital, Richard’s liver was the first major organ donation they were able to accomplish. Many people sign donor forms, but their manner of death (e.g., cancer) does not permit donation of internal organs. Many people sign donor forms but their family overrides them. You see, at the time of donation, the donor’s wishes aren’t legally binding because the donor is dead. Only the living can perfect the donation.

And sometimes, the loved one who could make the decision if the politics were different doesn’t have the opportunity to save someone’s life.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
Once upon a time, I was Libertarian enough that I didn't really care about getting married, and I didn't particularly want a state license for a relationship. However, I wound up in a relationship where a marriage license was important to the other person, and so we got married in June, 1996.

I didn't really think it was a super-big thing until November, 1996 when my husband suddenly had a stroke, and I called the ambulance and followed behind in my car. I went to the check-in desk for the ER, said I was his wife, and filled out the paperwork.

This was around 2:30 in the morning.

At no point was my ID asked for. At no point did I have to provide proof of being married to him. Granted, it wasn't a big city, and the ambulance driver was our downstairs neighbor. My husband had been a reporter for the local newspaper, so his name was known.

Mine, however, wasn't really; I'd moved to the Northeast Kingdom (of Vermont) 2-1/2 years before.

I was next of kin. The only other legal next of kin Richard had was his eldest son, who wasn't yet 19.

The hospital called a minister who sat with me, and was there when the ER doc gave the very frank assessment that my husband was dead, but they couldn't declare him legally dead for some hours because they lacked expensive equipment to do more extensive tests; they had to declare based on a series of EEGs taken over a period of 12 hours. Or maybe it was 24. It seemed forever.

They'd tried to provoke any kind of reaction through deep pain, and got no EEG change. Several large bruises covered arms and upper body, and when I looked at Richard, it was clear to me that he wasn't going to be coming back.

The ER doc asked if I'd considered organ donation, and I talked about it with the minister after the doc went back to tend to Richard. I spoke with the New England Organ Bank. Frankly, it was one of the easiest decisions I'd ever made to donate his organs, because the opportunity to help someone who was gravely ill seemed practical and humane.

What I truly wasn't prepared for was the process. The phone call with the NEOB lasted an hour. I spoke in the middle of the night with a volunteer answering all kinds of personal questions about my husband's sexual history, his travel history, all kinds of things that aren't that easy to know about someone you're not currently living with. Some of them will be easy for most people: malaria risk. Some, such as specific STD risk practices, will be more difficult to know with absolute certainty. Other people's lives depend on the answers, so it's important to be accurate. Organs degrade with every minute, so it's important to be quick.

Even though I had said they could use whatever they needed, legal and ethical guidelines meant they had to go over each and every body part, including some I'd never even thought of in the context of organ donations; some of the requests were about research rather than direct donation and thus had to be addressed with separate disclaimers.

Pancreas. Check.
Gall bladder for experimental transplant. Check.
Appendix. Check.
Thyroid. Check.
Saphenous veins. Check.

It's those kinds of things that made it exhausting, above and beyond the fact that I'd been about to go to sleep when he'd had his stroke, I was exhausted even then, and now it was two or three hours later.

Further logistics happened, including the arrival of Richard's family and friends, and the organ bank called about a helicopter. They wanted to airlift him to the transplant hospital sooner rather than later because they could declare him dead sooner and thus prevent organ decay. I okayed that, but I worried that Richard's eldest son wouldn't arrive in time -- there was a horrible snowstorm and he was across the state in the worst possible direction as far as road travel went.

Fortunately, everything happened in the right order, and for a while the waiting room was filled with me, two of Richard's ex-wives, and his three kids by them.

The NEOB kept in contact with me. What they didn't say, but I'd figured out, was that Richard's heart was failing during the process and that's one reason they wanted to move him.

So they prepped him for his move and off he went to a transplant hospital. The only transplant I heard about that actually occurred was a liver transplant. His heart, kidneys, pancreas weren't donatable, but his lungs and corneas were. (Those are the nine donatable organs as they enumerated them at the time, six of them -- heart, lungs, liver, kidneys -- are the "major" organ transplants.)

Some time later, a thank-you letter arrived from the liver transplant recipient's son, written in ballpoint on a yellow legal pad. I still keep that letter. It shouldn't have, but he disclosed his name and his father's name, and thus I know that his father is still alive twelve years later. I know that his father had an incredibly rare liver disease, and the good fortune to be a tissue match for Richard's liver when it became available.

Later, after Richard's death, I found out that loved ones who weren't married, even those with durable powers of attorney for health care, were frequently shut out of the process, hassled by the hospital, and blocks were put up to the loved one being able to actually do something about it.

Just recently, one partner in lesbian couple in Fresno who'd signed all the right paperwork was barred from making medical decisions about her loved one. Fortunately, her partner lived, but what if that couple had been in the situation that me and my late husband were in?

What if someone waiting for an organ (or another donation) was deprived of the opportunity of life or health because of that? Because the hospital stalled?

Being married meant I had the opportunity, at a time of need, to help someone who would have died. (It's also possible that, had logistics permitted, his son would have stepped up as next of kin had Richard not been married. I don't know what would have happened at that time.)

Why would anyone deprive someone of that because their loved one happened to be the same sex?

You might think another organ would come up, but I offer this final bombshell: for this rural county hospital, Richard's liver was the first major organ donation they were able to accomplish. Many people sign donor forms, but their manner of death (e.g., cancer) does not permit donation of internal organs. Many people sign donor forms but their family overrides them. You see, at the time of donation, the donor's wishes aren't legally binding because the donor is dead. Only the living can perfect the donation.

And sometimes, the loved one who could make the decision if the politics were different doesn't have the opportunity to save someone's life.
deirdre: (Default)
In SF Gate yesterday.

"I had difficulty with it for a long time," said William Newsom, a former judge at the state Court of Appeal. "You have every single right that opposite-sex people do, except to say you are married."

But last month Judge Newsom announced in an interview in a Sacramento paper that he had changed his mind.
deirdre: (Default)
My reaction to this blog post.

Consider the following:

1) Google said they opposed prop 8.

2) Google as a company gave no $ to defeat prop 8 (that I know of). The founders did, but saying Google did it is, imho, as intellectually dishonest as saying that Cinemark did because their CEO contributed almost ten grand to pass prop 8.

3) Google accepted a lot of money and placed a lot of ads, including ads on sites that had never had any sort of political advertising before, to pass prop 8. They pushed those ads onto LGBT*-positive sites as well.

4) Sure, Google went and told people how to deactivate those particular ads, but only after a bunch of people actually canceled showing all Google ads and the negative press and firestorm started to cut into their revenue.

Google’s not, by their actions, any friend of LGBT* rights on this issue. The amicus brief is ironic, at best.

* I use the asterisk to include people who don't fit into neat categories or whose letters I've omitted by accident.

Sure, they signed an amicus brief -- despite the fact that some their employees worked on ad tuning that would be used against their own human rights! Let's quote from it for fun, shall we? (Warning, rude language follows)

"In September of last year, Google publicly opposed Proposition 8. Google did so based on the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of Google's employees."

Chilling also because of Google's spammity matching. I saw these ads on finance-related sites that normally have no non-finance advertising. Chilling indeed. I didn't block ads because I didn't want them served to someone else instead -- especially not someone undecided.

I hope it's chilling on your revenue, because I know people who aren't going back to Google.

"Google believes that all of its employees deserve fundamental civil rights, and that when employees are harmed, businesses suffer."

Some of whom are seeking work elsewhere because you failed at exactly that.

Tell me again why you ran those ads, especially the misleading ones that claimed that Obama was in favor of prop 8? Those ads were targeted to California, and who had a better sense of where the ads were going than Google?

Why push those ads to a broader demographic than pushing the anti-8 ads? Yes, I realize there was more money involved on the pro-8 side, but that doesn't explain the demographic difference, nor does it explain why pro-8 got preferential treatment despite Google's stated goal of not permitting advertising on sites that contain "Violent content, racial intolerance, or advocacy against any individual, group, or organization."

If they really thought it was a civil rights issue, as they imply above, then they wouldn't show ads that advocate those subjects, which means they would not display pro-8 ads.

But gays? Nah, they don't matter.

"Google is committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success."

Spare me.

If you really want me to believe that's what you think, Google, why not publicly fork over what you raised from pro-8 groups (and their kin in other states) to the civil rights groups whose causes you harmed?

There may not even be a Supreme Court case if you fuckwads had had a shred of moral sense.

Talk is cheap.
deirdre: (Default)
I don't know why I felt so pissed off last night (possible drug reaction, srsly), but I still think the larger point is valid.

I'll participate in events I can support (sans snark).

This scenario hadn't even occurred to my husband until I just told it to him, but I thought it was obvious. He said, "I don't think there's a typical scenario where a presumed straight couple's marriage would even get to the attention of the courts, much less have the opportunity to be legally invalidated."

1. Say you've got a straight couple who either were unable to have children or who chose not to have children.
2. They are married for 20 years, and the husband is the primary source of income and prospers and then dies suddenly.
3. Probate happens, at which point the greedy relatives come out, and one of them files a protest against the wife inheriting because the marriage was a gay marriage.
4. Genetic testing of deceased and spouse occurs, and it's discovered the husband or wife wasn't legally the correct sex, and the courts rule against the wife, who then loses three million dollars over something she had no ability to predict or defend against.

In the best case scenario, the widow has to prove that her marriage is valid.

With this law passed, this kind of thing will occur once people find enough reason to, and I consider it my "straight nightmare scenario," especially as a widow.

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