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Something from the Prop 8 trial today triggered a recent memory. One of the Plaintiffs stated the difficulties of having to have people understand what your partner means to you, especially in some casual encounters, like saving a seat for them on a plane, or at a theater.

When Chris and I were headed out to San Diego last month we were some of the last to board the second flight headed to California. Our connection had come in a little late and the flight out was three terminals away.

We already had our boarding passes with our seats together. We got to nearly the back of the plane and there in the three-seat row were two people. Some guy who was sitting next to the window and some sheepish looking woman.

At first she didn't acknowledge us. He didn't even look our way. As I fumbled with the boarding passes and started to ask out loud in my usual I'm-getting-frustrated way about that there should be two seats she took about a minute and then finally told us, "Oh, I thought it would be alright to sit here, my seat is just up there."

She pointed to the middle seat three aisles ahead with no intention to get up and go to it.

Again after another pause, she finally said, "I just wanted to sit here with my husband, that's OK, right?"

No, it's not OK. He's not even in his correct seat, which is the aisle. Chris can tell I'm getting pissed and I really want to tell her to move.

Heck, what I really want to tell her, was "I want to sit next to my husband, too!"

Chris just gives a look and heads towards the seat a few aisles ahead. I guess it didn't really make sense to go into the whole thing, having to explain that we're a couple, and we are traveling together, and at least we had the boarding passes for where we wanted to be. No, the flight was finishing boarding and we just wanted to get on with our trip, so we let it be.

I never spoke to the woman. I think she tried to say a meager "thanks", but as soon as I could turn on the iPod and leave her behind, the better. She didn't even really talk to her husband from what I can remember.

Still, it's that difficulty with explaining your relationship. If I was married to a woman, people would just suspect the woman with me would be my wife, or at least my girlfriend. It takes more effort to describe my relationship to Chris, and it's one that I don't always want to go into the full story about with just anyone.

I wish it was simpler. Sometimes when someone asks, looking at my ring, if I'm married, I say yes. Then if they start asking more, then it's the though, am I coy? Do I just say it? Do I go into the whole California marriage thing? Why can't this be easier?

I love the whole "I'm married in selected states" thing, but having to explain it gets tiresome. You never feel like yours is a relationship equal to those that straight folks can jump into so easily, so carelessly. And when they come down the aisle in some plane, you think, well, they could be a couple. Us? I don't know what they think.

Sure, violence and more obvious discrimination like firing or in refusal of service is one thing, but just that little thing of being considered unworthy of an institution, well that's a deep discrimination that really gets to feeling a resentment and being labeled less than worthy. Boy did Prop 8 do that in spades.

Given that a similar scenario came up when one of the plaintiff was asked about the equality of their relationship, they way they feel discriminated against, or at least find things more difficult by the simple act of having marriage denied them, well it just makes me that much more interested in how this case is going to go.

And if you see the two of us coming, yes, I do ant to sit next to my husband, and not the back of the bus thank you.
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A year ago I remember writing about getting married and that it was valid in selected states. Well, it's still valid in most of those selected states, and now a couple of new ones, but still it's an odd little relic in California after the passing of Prop 8.

Still, that limited edition license has been a good thing, a decision that I'm awful proud of and pleased to shout about my anniversary all over the internets today! It's been a strange year, one of good, and more than my share of bad, but one I'm glad to have Chris around for.

Chris, I love you and am proud to continue to call you husband.
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The seventh month anniversary of our marriage ceremony in California comes later this week. Now we aren't a couple that makes a big deal about tiny anniversaries or anything, but this one will be the first one that may be missing an actual valid marriage license, depending on what the California Supreme Court rules today.

I've been joking about our marital status ever since Prop 8 passed. Even from the beginning it was odd, only valid or recognized in certain states, and certainly not my native Texas. Are we married, or are we not? Depends. Then once Prop 8 passed, suddenly even the small amount of recognition was also in limbo. Suddenly a contract we had both signed was...well what was it?

Back home it seemed than there hadn't been much change. We started wearing wedding rings, and calling each other husband, not partner or boyfriend, but the relationship stayed pretty much the same. We've been lax about hiring a lawyer to draw up power of attorney documents and getting things taken care of legally, for no matter how California sees us after today, until the Defense of Marriage Act is overturned federally, we won't have the same rights and privileges here in Texas. Texas has a constitutional amendment that bars recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions, or the creation of them by the state. I think Texas would be one of the last states to get rid of the rule, much like it took a federal court case to get rid of sodomy laws here.

Our opponents are desperately seeking a win from the court today. the news lately has been heavily in the favor of marriage equality. Today they will hope that mob rule trumps the rights of minorities and they continue to try to paint the picture of marriage as one reserved strictly for heterosexual couples (or opposite marriage as some deep thinker put it).

It still makes me mad when they continue to try to spin that marriage is tied to the churches when it has long been the fact that no church would have to sanction the union of two heterosexual people (or two people of opposite sex, regardless of their orientation, really). State sanctioned marriage has been a separate institution as much as the separation of church and state has been the law of this land. No one has had to get the permission of a church for years to get married, and the state, not the church grants the rights and privileges of marriage - at least in this life.

And it's not like I couldn't fine a church to get married in. You might not be able to get hitched in a Catholic church to you same-sex partner, but plenty of other denominations will do it, and still have the same appreciation of your Prada loafers.

Let's face it, marriage hasn't been as sacred as our opponents make it out to be since they started granting no-fault divorces. Say what you want about the bonds of matrimony, but when it comes down to it, the partners can break the contract almost as easily as any two business partners. Marriage is a contract from the state, the spiritual stuff is up to someone else.

One thing that throws me is that ads that the proponents of "traditional marriage" (sorry for the scare quotes, but I couldn't come up with another way of putting it, but marriage has changed over the years, from a property situation to a search for a match between two people- another reason not to deny marriage equality) seem to come up with ads that keep up the scare factor that gays are going to come and steal marriage away from them. I never see an ad that seems to truly state why keeping marriage as a separate institution for heterosexuals is important. What is it that we are supposed to be stealing from them? We aren't taking away their rights, or trampling on their relationships. We aren't going to take their children away from them. Heck, for nearly half of them, it doesn't seem that marriage has actually been that great of a institution for them.

It's hard to state how marriage has changed my life, maybe because with the passage of Prop 8 it never seemed fully real. Sure, we exchanged vows in a quickly arranged ceremony under some really odd circumstances. It's something, like many other married couples, we might have waited a little longer to do, but the political situation and the fact that it was California pushed along our decision.

Still, hearing the vows, even if they were done in front of a small group in a conference room of a county clerk's office still made for one of the happiest moments in my life. Those words, weather there's a piece of paper with them or not still stand for me.

I know that chris' family would like us to have a reception, or even a larger ceremony, but I know I've shied away from it because of the political situation. My own family isn't really on-board with the whole marriage thing, so I'm not sure if they would be inclined to come to something or not (not that they don't like Chris, but it's one of those things that the reality of what's family vs. the political dogma don't always mix well). Maybe if things are positive for us today we'll look into doing something bigger, but for now a simple ceremony is fine, and truly, our core relationship together didn't change, and won't change from what happens today.

(Of course the jokey guys that we are, as he was leaving I said that we'll see if we are still married after today, Chris on the way out said i should watch the news and if Prop 8 is upheld he expects that my stuff will be out of the house, as he will not live with someone in sin. Heh.)

I'd marry Chris again if today's verdict comes down against us. I'm not sure there's any great push to do it though. Sure I could get married in Iowa, or New England, but really, without the rights being here in Texas, it's as meaningful as any other piece of paper in the printer drawer. The relationship remains the same either way. With Chris being from California, then the California license was special to us. I'd love to get married in Texas, and maybe one day, many years from now, we will, but I'm not waiting for it.

We will see how the court rules. Because of my work schedule, I don't think I can make it to the rally today, but I'm sure there will be many more rallies, because either way, there's still a very long fight to go, and we're going to have both wins and losses.

So who knows. I say that it won't affect me, but maybe because I've been trying not to get my hopes up, waiting these long months for a decision, maybe it will be something I take more personally than I care to admit at this moment. I look right now and I see that we have a chance to really make history, but I am trying to steel myself for the likely possibility that we will lose today, activist judges be dammed. On we go to the next fight, state by state, and eventually the country.

Still, I'll be keeping the ring on, and still calling Chris my husband,no matter the validity of a piece of paper. My day of decision came when we decided to date each other, and it's only been validated by the choice to move in together and late on the day that we said our vows. A ruling form a court isn't changing that. I think we can still get away with having a first anniversary celebration in October even if it's for our six year relationship.

Update: So there you have it. Prop 8 was upheld by the California Supreme Court, but the existing marriages stand, makeing us a limited, collector's edition marriage that's still only recognized in a few states. Expect to see more litigation, both on recognition of these limited edition marriages, and probably a few trying to still invalidate them as they don't jibe with current CA law. The battle continues.

I guess I should frame that marriage licence after all.
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☆ Well, again I'm having to say something about how long it's been since I've written in my journal. For weeks I had a half written post about TBRU that never got off the ground. Partly it was due to stress at work and trying to get through tax season, and now that's over, thankfully. It may not have been as hard as we thought, but it's definitely been a stressful time at work. Otherwise I just haven't been so inspired to write and have been lazy, watching TV in my spare time.

Lets face it, TBRU can be boiled down to a few things. There was great people there, I did my best to stay out of crowds and kept the drama to a minimum. That's not to say that going to Six Flags during Spring Break was not frustrating with the long lines and rude people, but luckily the guys I went with were good company. Also, the Battlestar Galactica finale went great and it was fun to have fellow geeks come over to watch. It made viewing it much more of an event. The finale itself was good, not great, but I think there was a lot of expectations. I saw people I knew and was glad to see them, and met a couple of new people, mostly introduced by people I knew since I'm too shy to go meet them myself.

☆ I'll just a paragraph or five about politics here. I think Obama and his administration are doing fine. Sure, I don't agree with everything he does, but I do appreciate that he seems to be able to plan for the long term and doesn't get caught up in the day-to-day news cycle. Politicians are often too reactionary (see AIG bonuses) and try to respond too often to what the polling shows rather than getting out there and making real plans. I find it refreshing.

The tax day tea parties were ridiculous. What began as a libertarian thing suddenly became some way for disenfranchised Republicans to find a voice, but the problem with that voice is that it seems to find outrage but no substance or solutions. For many people there they seemed to be outraged, but didn't quite know what they were outraged about. Of course you have Fox News out there, actually adding their name to the event. If my parents ever try to tell me that Fox News is balanced again, all I have to do is point to this moment where the right-wing network didn't report the news, but tried to be an event organizer. While I don't find much in the way of objective journalism from any of the cable news outlets, I can't see either CNN or MSNBC trying to actually create a movement for their benefit. For anyone on fox who wants to remain a journalist, it's time to leave.

Funny that these tea bag protests about spending come after several years of Republicans raising deficits while Bush was in office. All this sturm and drang only seems to come around now that they are out of power. I'll take your message as seriously as I do the Code Pink housewives.

Oh, and our governor here in Texas, Rick Perry, is worried about a primary fight against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson next year, so naturally he decides to go to these tea party events to campaign. He's a complete idiot, but he knows the Republican Party here is a bunch of rabid fools (Just check out the Texas Republican Party Platform) so he knows he has to play to these guys. Kay is much more the moderate, and she would do better in a general election, but it will be harder for her to win the primary.

So Governor Good Hair, as we call him, goes out to start talking about Texas shouldn't be ruled by Washington, that states are sovereign and we need to look at secession from the US. Great! Just what we need here is an idiot telling us that we should leave the US. If we left the US, the US would also leave us. Do you think Texas would keep the US companies that headquarter here? Do you think that the US military would just leave all there equipment to us? Do you realize that there isn't a large enough bank based in the state to do commerce with? We are so tied into the US, that...why am I even arguing this, our governor is an idiot.

☆ Lastly, tomorrow we head out to LA for our cruise. I'm excited about going out to see a Dodger game tomorrow night and Saturday getting on the ship for a Mexican Riviera cruise. It's the Lazy Bear cruise, so there should be lots of good people on the ship. chris was on this same cruise a couple of years ago - as were a couple of other LJer's. I'll admit that I am not excited about any of the ports of call, but it will be nice to relax and get away from it all.

I'm packing, trying to get everything I need into one suitcase. You'd think going away for a week wouldn't require so much, especially going to somewhere warm, but I'm struggling to keep the bag under 50 pounds. Luckily this cruise I don't have to bring formal wear.

I have been on one other all-gay cruise, and that was the one to Alaska in 2007. I liked that one because people were dressed a little more warmly, but I see this cruise as a little more body competitive - beaches and pools and such. I'm sure there will be several people in skimpy swimsuits both on and off the ship. I'm already in my mindset that I will be the largest guy on the ship and won't want to be out at the pool area. Hopefully this feeling will change and I'll be able to let go and have a good time, but I'll tell you, it's easy to feel that you are very unattractive going into something like this.

Still I can't just stay in our little cabin all vacation long. This will be odd for me because I'm always looking for things to do on vacation but this one seems to be more about doing nothing. I hope I don't go crazy with boredom as I can't think of any of these ports that I want to explore, or anything. I'll be missing my internet access, too. I'm guessing I'm going to be on deck reading a book quite often. We will see how it goes.

Now if I can just cram all these T-Shirts in the bag!

☆ Oh, and it's possible that California's Supreme Court will rule on marriage next week. I guess we'll see if our marriage is still valid (in selected states) or not. We'll be without internet, but I'm sure we will hear the news on the ship. not that I'm expecting it, but if they rule for marriage equality that is going to be one big party boat.
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rings-2, originally uploaded by f__k.

This lovely 8mm mens ring comes in many sizes and is made of a Tungsten Carbide Alloy - Virtually Indestructible, and hand washable!

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I’m looking at the information for this weekend’s rally/protest/gathering here in Dallas and there seems to be a lack of information. All I have is the time, and the place. (Just for locals, it’s 12:30 at Dallas City Hall - check out the join the impact web site of directions)

I’m a member of Generation X. We didn’t protest the Gulf War, not the War on Terror. Perhaps we don't really know how. Although many of our generation have served in the military, there was never a draft for us to be polarized against. Generation X, known as the slackers that we are, never got as worked up about things as the generation before us. I guess we didn’t feel as much need to take to the streets, and we haven’t had the same events, Vietnam, Stonewall, civil rights, as they did. Watching the G8 protests or the protests at the Republican convention seem to be portraits of futility as they are far away from the event and only seem to get minimal attention (and lots of tear gas). Maybe we’re just realists and know that change takes time, and there’s other ways to make that change.

Going into the protest this weekend, my thoughts aren’t about the impact, but more trivial things. Do I need a sign? Do I need to have a big breakfast? How long will it last? Will there be a bathroom? Will I have things thrown at me? Of course there’s the big one: What message are we trying to convey here?

I’ll admit I’m skeptical about the Prop 8 protests. It seems to me that this outrage and concern should have taken place before the vote. I understand the sentiment, but the efforts seem to be rather random and the message doesn’t seem well honed. While I’m skeptical, I support the effort simply because I hope that it will lead to more organization, and a honing of our message.

One of the biggest mistakes I think the gay community has made was not explaining well enough why marriage matters to us, and why full marriage equality is a civil right. We’ve done poorly in arguing that there is a big difference between religious marriage and civil marriage, and it’s the civil marriage we are fighting for. We’ve allowed the religious right blur the lines far too often where you’d almost believe that civil marriage should only be granted by the church. We have to do more to encourage the ongoing conversation of the separation of church and state.

We also need to do more work in bringing people to our side. This is where I’m not sure protesting works. I think our community needs to do more outreach, more works with the religious community and more work with people of color. I think SoulForce that goes out to mega-churches and religious colleges, as well as other groups within various faiths that are trying to work from within are very helpful. I think we’ve missed an opportunity to work with ethnic groups where we seem to encourage gays of color not to engage their communities. I’m probably wrong, but I don’t hear much about this. Perhaps I should read the Pam’s House Blend blog more often.

I think we may have taken too much for granted here, expecting that if we supported civil rights and social programs for others, they would come to help us with ours, but we really haven’t made our case. Perhaps taking to the streets will garner attention, but we need to make this turn into a lasting effort. People will tire of protesting and we need leadership to keep us involved, and the message current. One good thing I heard is to keep placing initiatives for marriage equality on statewide ballots year after year. The pro-life community does this, and though most of the initiates fail year after year, it keeps people talking about the issue.

I hope that the outcome of these protests around the country is that we will see more leaders rise from the grass roots. I believe we’ve gotten to this point because those we look to as gay leaders really weren’t there for the California vote. Groups like Equality California do great work, we need to stop thinking that each amendment is a single state issue, and take it as a nationwide fight. We also need to think longer term than just setting up groups like No on 8 that only work on one specific fight. I’m glad to see the No on 8 organization continue the fight, but the group wasn’t designed for the long haul.

What’s interesting to me is that we don’t seethe nationwide groups taking the lead here. I do see some nationwide groups that assisted including Lambda Legal, The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, but they didn’t drive the No on 8 fight, and they could have done more to generate nationwide support. I’m guessing most groups saw it only as a one-state issue.

The one group that I’m really disappointed in is the Human Rights Campaign. Where are they? I looked at their website and if you looked there was a couple of pictures of a protest, but there’s no action being taken by the largest gay rights group – the one that doesn’t have gay or lesbian in its name. I don’t see them organizing or assisting the protests. They stay in Washington and never get involved with state issues. For a group that takes so much money from the gay community, I really don’t think they give much back. I haven’t give them any money directly, and I personally don’t see much value in doing so right now. I’d really like to see more out of HRC, but I’ve learned to expect much less.

I was much too young for Stonewall, and I’ve attended pride parades, not marches. Perhaps we should look at more activism as we have allowed groups like the HRC fight for us while we went about our lives. We should have taken more action, and fight more of these amendments and restrictions, but we waited for others to do it for us. Now is the time that we should take the movement back and fight. It’s too bad it took another loss in a favorable state to bring us out into the streets.

Oh, and another thing, although the courts are supposed protect the minority from the majority, but we can’t count on them to solve all of our problems. We need to work legislatures and the population at large. We need to win referendums and we need to get governors to sign off on legislation. We can’t put everything into the courts and expect to be taken care of.

This Saturday’s protest could be a big win a big win if we follow through. We should celebrate wins like Connecticut nationwide, and condemn failures like Florida, Arizona and Arkansas nationwide as well. We will get more notice if we make it a nationwide fight. We should get motivated. Now we just need to know how to take this groundswell and turn it into something powerful that will outlast Prop 8.
eggwards: (Uphill Climb)
Now that we've been wed for a week now, it's about time I drop a few wedding photos on you. First are my two favorites:


Chris and I kiss Chris' mom, who was our witness, outside of the county courthouse.


We hold the booklet that the state of California gives to all people applying for a marriage license. I now know I need to take more folic acid when I get pregnant.

And in the ceremony...

The big "I Do!" to do. Held in beautiful conference room B at the Lake County Courthouse.

More photos behind the cut... )

Propped Up

Nov. 5th, 2008 10:59 am
eggwards: (kissy)
I have some thoughts about the presidential election, but I’m going to save those thoughts for later. Right now I’m thinking about something a little more personal.

As a newly married man I’m more than upset about the loss of marriage equality in California. I’m sad that others won’t be able to experience the excitement that I did a few days ago – at least not for a few more years. Sadly, it was so close that you could almost taste victory. I don’t know what more could be done. I gave money to the cause, but in the end I feel very frustrated that I couldn’t have a say in the decision.

When we got to California last week Chris and I were constantly being told by people, friends and family that they were voting against Prop 8. It actually became funny as people at the reception for Chris’ father continued to tell us of their vote whenever it was said that we had just gotten married. It was a knee jerk reaction. I guess it’s similar to saying you are voting for Obama because you aren’t racist. I knew it wasn’t intended that way, but it was an odd way to show support for us as a couple. Surely no straight couple ever has to be told that the congratulator is voting against a bond issue or abortion notification or any other issue when announcing that they are newlyweds.

Again, no love lost with Chris’ family, I know they were being supportive, it was just odd.

The moment we got married it felt odd. There were lots of talk about how it was only applicable in certain states, and we joked about being in a quasi-legal status. I told my work and they are still researching whether I need to report the marriage or not. In Texas it’s as if it never mattered. Chris and I already talked about getting a lawyer and setting up several of the legal protections that are natural in California for us, but you can’t get all of the rights of marriage.

Funny, I didn’t used to care about this stuff. Sure, I want the right to get married, but I wasn’t too worried about the legal side of it, more the equality. Now with the difficulties I see Chris’ mother going through to try to reorganize finances and ownership and everything that had been in her husband’s name, and I realize how much harder it will be for Chris and myself should something happen, it seems to bring the point home.

What’s upsetting about the passage of Prop 8 is that all the same-sex marriages like mine now end up in some sort of twilight zone of existence. Sure, they exist, and at this point and at this moment the marriages aren’t being revoked, or converted to domestic partnerships (though I suspect there will be a challenge to do so), but at this point they will always be seen as an anomaly, or a curiosity. In the public eye they won’t be equal to a “traditional marriage.”

So now Chris and I and many others end up with a second class marriage. One that may be recognized in Massachusetts and Connecticut and maybe New York, but may or may not be recognized in the state it originated in. What a strange place to be in.

Now I’m sure that the people who congratulated us last weekend did go out and vote no on 8, and the millions of others who did were sincere. It was obviously the easier thing to vote yes and say that it didn’t affect you. Certainly the Yes on 8 people did all they could to try to make you feel that you weren’t an asshole if you voted for the measure, but I can’t help feeling that these people were strictly voting against us. It makes me think we’ve come a long way to come so close, but there are still miles to go. Hopefully the new federal administration will be able to pass ENDA. We need those protections.

(Oh, and thanks for all of the congratulations from all of you. I haven’t responded, probably because of the looming Prop 8 vote. I will rectify that soon.)

Chris’ family wants us to have a real reception, since the wedding was done so quickly and under such odd circumstances. It is nice to feel welcome in Chris' family and amongst their freinds. Chris’ mom is insisting on a honeymoon. I guess we’ll have to work on those. I'm not sure if we would have a reception here in Texas, in California or somewhere else

Chris and I talked on the phone last night (he’s still in Lake County with his mom) and said we need to look at rings when we get home since everything has happened so fast. Despite the crazy legal issues, and continued pressure from the majority of people in this country, I think we will always see ourselves as married from now on. Thanks California, for that.
eggwards: (Together2)
So, what's happened in the last 24 hours?

Well, we arrived in Lake County, California here for Chris' father's funeral. Last night as I was cooking some dinner for myself, Chris proposed. Since we talked about this last week, and I was already in the yes column, well I did go ahead and say yes.

So today we went to the county seat and to the registrars office to get a marriage license. The county makes appointments for civil marriages on Wednesdays and Fridays. The clerk said they are booked for weddings tomorrow, but since we were from out of town, she would do it today. We went back to the house to pick up Chris' mom and his Uncle Bob, and we did the deed.

Heck, we didn't really have time to change into fancy duds. I look like I do on a Jeans Friday at work!

Yes folks, I'm a married man. Finally he's made an honest guy outta me! Surprisingly I got married before my sister who has been engaged to her fiance about as long as Chris and I have known each other. I guess that means we rushed into this!

I am a little sad that we didn't get married on Halloween. That would have been good. The county clerk who did the ceremony then made us even sadder that we couldn't get married on Friday when she said she was going to be dresses as Elvis.

Apparently the county clerk's office has a Vegas theme for Halloween. The window where we signed the license was decorated as a blackjack table. Nothing like signing a legal document on something resembling a gambling table. The clerk also gave us our California Marriage Handbook over the pile of chips.

When the clerk mentioned that marriage is not something to be entered into rashly, I thought - well, it's been 18 hours or so, so we should be OK, right?

We didn't have rings. We used the ring I normally wear that I bought at the renassance festival a few years ago. When everything else blows over, we'll shop for some real rings, and maybe we'll have a real ceremony and a wedding registry. There's nothing like wedding presents, right? Right now none of that was that important.

Now I have to tell my parents. They are voting for McCain. At least this couple's votes will cancel their's out. Not sure how they are going to take this news.

Well, I guess this is our little part of saying "No on 8!" We can't vote in California but we did give. If I knew where an office was I'd put a magnet on the rental car. Still, we decided to do it because of the impending possibility of not being able to - and that in the long run, it really doesn't change who we are as a couple, but it's a nice thing to do.

Photos to come.

I love you Chris, and was happy to make it legal - in selected areas only!

Unexpected

Oct. 27th, 2008 10:01 am
eggwards: (Uphill Climb)
Chris' father died suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday. Chris has
been working on plans to go to be with his mother in California and helping with the finances, which his father took care of. It's come as quite a shock.

While Chris will be gone for a week or so, I'm trying to figure out
about going out there for a couple of days to attend the service.
We've already found that bereavement fares for the airlines aren't really worth anything, and I wouldn't qualify for them anyway.

Chris' parents have been very good about making me feel like one of the family, so I want to repay that by being there during this
difficult moment. While I don't have to be there for the family
business, I have already given Chris some information on how to begin moving family finances into his mother's name.

It's an odd thing, but as we are going through things, and making plans for this weekend it becomes blazingly clear that we aren't
married, and the difficulties of that situation. I have to go to
work today and see if I can get a few days off to go out to California. I've never made a big deal about my relationship at work, so I don't know what hurdles I'll need to go through, especially when we are busy and it's hard to take time off. Yes, Chris is my beneficiary and my emergency contact, but we don't take domestic partner benefits or anything, so it's not like there's a lot of evidence to go on. I doubt I'll get bereavement pay, but hopefully they will let me use some vacation days I still have.

I remember a few years back having to work with HR at an older employer to get bereavement pay for Big Ed when his partner suddenly passed away. It was interesting as the HR department hadn't dealt with the situation before.

It's one of those things where it makes me think about the No on Prop
8 fight in California and how important it is. I wish we could vote while we are out there, just to help the cause. Both Chris and I have donated, doing out part, I guess.

We did talk about the fact that since we would be in California this weekend, should we look into getting married? It might be the last week, you know. Still, I think we came to the conclusion that though we'd be fine with marrying each other, to just run to do it for some deadline wasn't really the right thing, and it doesn't change anything for us - especially here in Texas. Besides, we can still get married in Massachusetts or Connecticut.

Since California doesn't have early voting, this still could be a good moment for Chris and I to do a little No on 8 testimony with his family - just by being there. Nothing obnoxious or overt, just us being ourselves.

I've never had to buy airline tickets this close to when I'm going to
fly. It's difficult to find something good! Right now I'm looking
to go out Friday and return Monday - probably making it more expensive, but I don't know what I can take off yet. Does anyone have some airline booking tricks up their sleeve?

I'm doing what I can for Chris, but I think he's still in shock and it will likely be that way until he gets on that plane and is actually heading home. That makes me sad because I can't be there for him on
that flight. It's odd, because I thought we'd be going to my
father's funeral before his, but life is strange, as always.

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