Category Archives: Politics

Why 8 was Enough & Still is

Posted this last year, before the Supremes chose to take the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. Slightly out of date, but still good history for those who are curious.

ButchOnTap

Note:  This is a factual and opinionated blog about political stuff, not so funny as I like to think I normally am.  Forgive me.

So, as a lawyer and one of the leaders of my company’s LGBT group, I sometimes get asked to help explain what is happening with Prop 8.  Certainly, the events of last week need explaining for many of us – me included.   I was able to explain it to my kids without research.  It went something like this:  Another even higher court told the people who hate us that they are still wrong and Mommy and her fiancé will be able to get married soon!  I cannot even use the word stepmom legitimately, yet.  Anyway, I did not feel comfortable explaining last week’s events to anyone (other than my kids), until I did some research of my own and read the full court opinion. Now that I have done…

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On Being Butch … and Tristan

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Usually as a big ol’ butch, I don’t have to come out. Walk into a room, people know I’m a lesbo – unless they mistake me for a dude. Whatev. But recently, I had to decide whether to come out. Again. The first time I was 17.

I knew it would happen. It had to at least if I was doing it right. I’m talking about my blog. I’ve written ButchOnTap as Butch Jaxon since the start. What? You thought that was my real name? I did it this way for lots of reasons:

1. It gives me the cover of darkness. Fail miserably? No worries. Say something too risqué? Not a problem.

2. It protected my then-girlfriend. She’s very private and I always wanted (and still want) to honor that. If I was Butch Jaxon it would be easier to share a few things about our lives, and she could decide with whom she wanted to share the blog, and therefore a little of her, and keep it private from everyone else.

3. It allowed me to shield my kids and parents. I’ve decided to put myself out there. They have not. Imagine, “Mom! Like, I’m sooo embarrassed! OMG!”

4. What about work? I’m not a professional writer promoting a book or movie (yet… but I’m open to all inquiries). I’ve a day job and one where my private musings might be frowned upon.

But, I always knew that if it took off, if I did it right and with a touch of luck, I’d have to switch to my real name eventually.

Well, as luck would have it, this happened over a week ago. A reader of my blog was kind enough to send my post, Why I Hate the TSA over to her friend Noah Michelson, the editor at the Huffington Post Gay Voices. Thank you Dara at Fascinate Media for doing me this unbelievable solid! She’s a writer and a media guru. You can find her at dara@fascinatemedia.net. I’m looking for the first possible moment to buy Dara a drink.

Turns out, the HuffPost wanted to run my piece. I was OVER THE MOON when I heard. I could not believe it. The HuffPost has like 45,000 subscribers online. They are massive, and they loved the piece, but can’t run anonymous authors for policy reasons. “Do you have a good reason to be anonymous? Are you in any danger?” Noah asked politely. Well, I have 4 good reasons, but danger? I figure if Salman Rushdie can publish under his own name, then so can I. I still had worries about my kids, family, any femme I might date, and my job, so I got some input from my best bro, parents, and a lovely femme I’m … somewhat sweet on. Sssh, don’t tell her.

All agreed that I’d be crazy to pass up this opportunity. My parents are 100% fine with you all knowing who they are. My kids are tough and I’ll keep shielding them. And as for dating, I think I’ve decided not to. Or at least, Butch has decided to be a confirmed bachelor – if you get my, erm, her meaning. And, I need to protect that lovely femme… you know, in case she’s sweet on me, too.

So, it’s on. I told Noah and he was wonderful. The post went up five days ago and it’s been an absolute blur since. I’ve been in Tokyo for work. The schedule and time difference have made it almost impossible for me to keep up as I like to. Meaning, I usually reply to each tweet, comment and Facebook post (at least to acknowledge the commenter). I appreciate you all so much! But, as of now, the piece has 399 comments on HuffPo and y’all have been tweeting, sharing, and commenting in other ways like crazy. Sometimes life gets in the way of art.

I had to decide if I wanted to come out as Butch. Did I want to subject myself to scrutiny? Meh. Does it change the kinds of things I can post, tweet and comment on? Yes, perhaps. But I’ve been pretty aware of this since the start. So, I say bring it. I’m ready to come out … As Butch. Jaxon. I mean, everyone who knows me, knows I am butch, but not Butch Jaxon. That’s me in the photo up there, by the way. I mean, the blog photo is me too, but you can actually see me in today’s shot. Hi!

One thing I will say I wasn’t quite ready for (though I should’ve been) were the negative comments. With my blog, I’ve only had one critical comment which I dealt with happily and head on – indeed I got to choose to post it for you all to read. With twitter and FB, zero negativity. The audience is smaller and more organic, I guess. With HuffPost proudly featuring me on their main page, I got lots of new eyes and some didn’t like what they saw. That’s ok, though. Bound to happen. “Not everyone is going to like you,” I say to my kids.

As I ended the TSA post, it’s butch to be yourself – no matter the cost. Be Butch. And for me, that also means … Be Tristan.


Why I Hate TSA

ButchOnTap

Some days are worse than others. I’ve talked a lot here about what I experience as a butch. Specifically, how people interact with me because I do not conform to gender identities that they expect. I feel all lined up on the inside. I am a woman physically, and I feel like a woman. But … I don’t always look like a woman – or at least what you (the societal you) expects to see on the outside. The expectations go like this:

Big and tall = male.
Short hair = male.
Strong, unapologetic presence (aka, swagger) = male.
Soft face = female.
Woman’s voice = female.
Breasts and no Adam’s apple = female.

All of this adds up frequently to confusion, at best, and hostility at worst. There have been really great pieces written by various butch bloggers about the horrific bathroom stories us Butches routinely experience. The bathroom really seems to bring out the worst in everyone, doesn’t it? I have also written about how my femme girlfriends have experienced this; it’s unpleasant, ranging to infuriating, for our femmes, too.

Why am I ranting today?

You may remember that a few days ago the gay flight attendant called me sir. Right, duh. Anyway, whatever. Indeed, today as I am writing this on a different plane, the flight attendant called me sir, and didn’t even acknowledge me when I corrected her. Dumb people suck. But, the reason for my rant today is TSA. I am going to tell you why I hate them. [Hate is a very strong word and I never use it casually. Indeed, it’s a bad word in my house and the kids can’t use it either. So, I use it here today to really convey the depth of my anger…]

On at least 3 other occasions, I have gone through the body scanner at security and had to wait a moment longer, or be rescanned. I know that this is because they thought I was a guy, but my naked body scan showed a body other than what they expected – boobs and no penis, to be specific. Waiting in the security line, when there is a body scan has become quite anxiety producing for me. Will they get it today? Will they ask themselves while looking at the scan, “Where is that guy’s penis?” Or, “Why does he have boobs?” Ugh. How embarrassed will I be?

Today, I prepared for the security as I always do. I am a rule follower. And, I don’t want anyone to have to wait for me. Get it right. Liquids out. Laptop in the bin – all by itself, nothing on top of it. Briefcase directly on the belt. Shoes and jacket off. Bracelets, rings, watch, wallet, and belt removed while in line and put away. I saw the body scanner so I also took my charms out of my pocket (they don’t set off the metal detector). Though stressed, I was ready.

Being a rule follower, I did exactly as asked - even holding my breath.

Being a rule follower, I did exactly as asked – even holding my breath.

I was sent to the body scanner. I stood there making sure to shadow the drawing on the wall in front of me with my arms up and holding my breath. 3 seconds. Rule follower. I step out and wait in that spot where we all wait while some anonymous stranger decides if I am a threat, if my body scan matches what it’s supposed to. Turns out today that it does not. I knew it was coming because I saw the two squares of alarm show up across the male picture on the screen where my boobs would be.

The guy keeping me from my plane – you know, the one who stands there right in front of you and tells you when you are free from that little pen – he asks, “Would you mind going through again?” No, I reply, with dread rising in my stomach and chest (where my womanly boobs are – right where everyone can see them). I turn around and wait for the person behind me to be scanned. From this spot I see that the woman running the machine (not an anonymous stranger here, here she is a stranger in plain sight) has to push a button on the screen before it starts. Now, I see I was right. There are only two buttons on the screen – “MALE” and “FEMALE.” The two buttons are even color coded to make it idiot proof, I suppose. What colors do you think they are? Blue and pink. So, so creative and forward thinking of TSA.

Only two choices to make it simple, and nicely color-coded with pink and blue!

Only two choices to make it simple, and nicely color-coded with pink and blue!

The passenger behind me is lucky that he’s all lined up as a man. She hits the male button, zip bang boom; he gets to step out and heads on his merry, male-identified way. Now it’s my turn. Whee!

She signals for me to step back inside and then, the kicker, asks me, “Would you mind if I ask you if you are a man or a woman?” Really? Yes, really.

Well, hell yes, I mind. Wouldn’t you mind? Hey, are you a man or a woman? Are you a freak because I can’t tell? Hey, do you have a penis to go with those breasts? Yes, I mind. I would mind. And, today I did mind.

But, remember that I am in a little pen, waiting to get to my flight. I can’t get to the rest of my day without answering. And, if I make trouble for her – by I don’t know… yelling at her OF COURSE I MIND YOU IGNORANT FOOL! – then I won’t be making my plane. And, on top of that, there’s a flock of people there who aren’t friends of mine. People who will assume I’m a terrorist, or a jerk, or whatever they assume, but who would certainly be irritated that I was causing a delay – making a scene.

In case you are thinking, “But Butch, you are a big tough outspoken butch. Why didn’t you give her a piece of your mind?” Have you ever been pulled over by a cop for a traffic violation that you didn’t do? And you know it’s because of profiling, or you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe the cop is just bored? Well, did you scream at the cop? Did you refuse to give the cop your license? No. You can’t do that or you would get arrested. And, if I did anything like that here, I would most certainly have been removed to a private room and strip searched, or detained. No matter what, I would not have been making my plane.

So, I didn’t say what I wanted to say. Instead, I simply said, “No. I’m a woman.” With that, I was ushered into the machine, where I stood, again, making sure to shadow the drawing on the wall in front of me with my arms up and holding my breath. 3 seconds. Even when hurt and angry, I am a rule follower. This time she pushes the FEMALE button, it’s easy to find being pink and all, and my body lines up. No little squares on my chest now. The machine now validates my very existence as a woman, “She’s a she and she’s got bumps where she should and none where she shouldn’t.” Whew. What a relief.

Are you kidding me? I laugh and I write here to try to work through the pain of it. How crappy is this? I can’t explain really adequately how much I hate TSA on this day.

I wait for my belongings to come out of the belt, and I walk over to the bench after I’ve collected them. I am numb, no, not numb – because I am feeling lots of things. Bad things. Painful things. I am in shock. I am embarrassed and I cannot believe what just happened. I walk through life proud and tall. I am certainly insecure, but I am never ashamed of myself or apologetic about who I am. Not Ever. I won’t apologize for not looking the way you think I should. And, if you don’t like it, you will not be in my life, or if you must be in my life, you will get the barest possible minimum of involvement from me and certainly, none of my heart (unless you read my blog… plenty of heart here).

But this situation is different. I can’t tell the idiot calling me a “Dyke!” from across the street to “Eff off!” or even better “Thank you!” I don’t have my friends with me, or a girlfriend to squeeze my hand and whisper, “It doesn’t matter, baby. It’s ok.” I am without coping mechanisms in this situation. So, what do I do?

First, I tweet out how angry I am. Including to TSA. Then, I take a few minutes and call a very good friend for help. She is on my side and I tear up as I tell her. Sigh. It can’t be right that it goes this way.  And, I write, of course. It makes me feel better immediately. Thank you for listening, by the way.

I am filing a complaint with TSA. They need to know what this feels like. They need to make some changes. There should be another way to do this. Another way to handle those of us that don’t conform to gender stereotypes so that we don’t feel less than human. I’ll let you know what TSA says. How awesome would it be if something came of this?

Until then, I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… It’s butch to be yourself – no matter the cost or what a stupid machine thinks of you. Be Butch.


4 More Years

I am delighted to go to sleep tonight knowing that my President, your President, was re-elected. I am relieved to know that the majority of my country values equality, civil rights, and concern for those with less and those who can’t, over government dictated religious/moral beliefs, unfairness, and conserving wealth and privilege for those who can. Thank you, America.

That said, I am not a sore winner.

I respect and value my Republican and other conservative friends and family who are as devastated as I am happy. I am not happy at your expense. I wish it were not so. There is so much more that unites us than divides us. It’s time for the President to get through the gridlock. It’s time for him to make sure the whole county feels represented and valued.

But at my core, I know I will sleep well knowing that my rights will march ever-closer to equal. That truly should not take anything away from my beloved friends and family who, for other reasons, are frustrated, tonight. So please know, that is why I celebrate tonight.

It’s butch to support your country, and, yet to always honor those that don’t agree with you. Be butch.


Be Proud.

This weekend is San Diego’s LGBT (gay, for you old-schoolers) Pride Parade and Festival. This is the equivalent of a butch’s high holy days. As big as it gets – at least if you live in San Diego. This weekend is the time that hundreds of thousands of gays and lesbians, their friends and families, and businesses and services that support us and welcome us line up and march. After the Parade, many of those people will proudly walk into the Pride Festival in Balboa Park. This year, and the last two years, my gorgeous fiancé and I have participated in both.

Predominantly, we participate because we are doing so with my company. Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to know another lesbian attorney at my office and together, we started an LGBT network group. Sadly, this wonderful woman died shortly after we started the group – but she would be very proud of what we started together. The first year we were formed we marched in Pride and had a very small booth at the Festival. Each year since our booth has tripled in size. So, even without any other reasons to do so, my gorgeous fiancé and I, we march.

But how about the rest of you dear readers?  Do you think the Pride Parade and Festival is dumb? Outdated? No, on both counts. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Parades stand for something. It takes time, money, resources, and energy. Permits. People. Support. All of these things are representative of a community that can raise money, organize people, work within the “system” (City Hall, Police, Trash, etc.). You don’t just wake up one morning and decide, “Let’s have a parade!” and get hundreds of thousands of people to show up. Yes, hundreds of thousands.

2. It takes courage to go to a Pride parade, to watch or to walk in it, gay or not. For gays, you feel (probably correctly) that you are announcing your gayness to the world. That can be very scary in a world that, although changing, is filled with hate crimes, firing from jobs, constant media attention to rights/lack of rights, teen suicides, and worse. For straights, it’s the same thing plus, will people think you’re gay, on the down low, or just on the fence? And, if so, see the previous few sentences.

3. It’s incredibly important for gays and gay-friendly people to see that we are not alone. It is so empowering, that I still tear up every year that I look around the group that I march with and see my straight friends there with me; still get a chill when I see the throngs of people cheering, being proud, embracing themselves and their friends. The PFLAG group is always a tear-jerker. These are the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Think of it as a wonderful support group for the families and friends of us gays. They will have lots of signs like “I love my gay son,” “My lesbian granddaughter is awesome,” and the always super cool, “I love my 2 Moms (or Dads).” For a community that has so often lost family when coming out of the closet, this contingent is always moving. Also, this year in San Diego, members of our armed services will march in full uniform for the first time because of the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Talk about a pride-inspiring moment.

4. It gives the gay-friendly businesses a chance to prove it. Car dealerships, realtors, plumbers, lawyers, and other service people will march in the Parade. The message is: “We love our gay employees and our gay customers; come work for us and patronize us – not those other guys who aren’t here.” A more recent phenomenon is that national brands have stepped up to the plate and are eager to show the gay community and their allies that they are welcoming and celebrate diversity. Certainly, there are long-time supporters like Budweiser and Miller (dating way back), but now there are companies like Albertson’s, AT&T, Cox Communications, Cricket Wireless, Hewlett-Packard, Jack In The Box, Johnson & Johnson, Orbitz, Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Sony, T-Mobile, Vons and Wells Fargo in the Parade and Festival (at least in San Diego, but other cities as well, I am sure). This visible support is incredibly important to us gays. It means that you stand for equality. Not just tolerate it. It means that we want to be your customer – not your competitor’s. Oh, and as a community, we’ve got money and we are loyal. Pay attention if you work for a national brand!

5. Some of us in the LGBT community get frustrated by the media’s obsessive coverage of the, shall we say, “freakish” fringe at our Pride Parades and Festivals. You know what I’m talking about. This is the flamboyantly gay man in a thong on roller skates with a rainbow feather boa. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The dyke on a big bike with no shirt on. The West Hollywood Cheerleaders. Someone in assless chaps walking someone else on a dog collar. Right? You know who I’m talking about.

We get frustrated because these people don’t represent us gays – that is to say, they are not a typical representation of us. And yet, that is all the media will show on the evening news. Why? Because it’s the evening news and they specialize in the fringe, the salacious, the “other.” Pictures of my family marching down the street would not be voyeuristic and provocative enough – even had I dyed my Mohawk into a rainbow.

But also, these people are “us,” and can of course also be found in the straight community. Straights just don’t have this kind of parade where people can let their freak flag fly. If they did, we’d see the same cast of cool and interesting characters. Plus, these people don’t always dress like this. The dude on skates might be your accountant. That dyke on the bike is a surgeon. The guy in the dog collar works at Starbucks. Pride is the weekend when our community celebrates, and everyone celebrates differently. I got my hair done so my hawk would be tight. Someone else pulled out her “Vagitarian” t-shirt, which she only wears on this day each year. To each her own. Freak flags and all.

Anyway, the freakish fringe is no reason not to celebrate. Embrace it. If anything, our beloved freaks make the rest of us look regular and boring. Not such a bad thing for a community still struggling for acceptance within the broader mainstream.

This weekend, I proudly join hundreds of other people (gay, straight, and otherwise), service organizations, schools, police, sheriffs, firefighters, churches, temples, businesses, politicians, and the military to march 1.5 miles through the streets of San Diego in front of 200,000 onlookers for one purpose – to celebrate being gay or lesbian.

So, no, it’s not dumb or outdated to march in a Pride Parade. Maybe someday it will be unnecessary to have a parade showing the world that we celebrate being gay, but until then, march away!

It’s butch to be proud. Be Butch.


Republicans’ Least Wanted

On the day after Santorum “suspended” his campaign (I know, let’s all take a moment…), I want to know … Why don’t the Republicans want me?

I mean, seriously, I am an untapped market for the Republicans. I am one of those people – not a 1%er by any means – but a person with a professional job, a person with some means. You know what I am saying here? I can donate a little to campaigns. I mean, if I can afford beer and bowties, I can donate to good causes. Mostly, Polar bears and anti-prop 8 groups, but still.

So, my point is this. The Republican Party needs to butch it up a bit. Yes, that’s right. I am what the Republican party needs. Now, give me a minute, my gay, lesbian, and uber-liberal friends. Do not cast me aside as a heretic. If you take away the anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-environment… anti-equality and anti-everyone-who-isn’t-white-ness of the Republican party, and I could be a big supporter. After all, I am pro-family. I am pro-th troops (not war, of course, but definitely pro-troops). I am pro-American, for sure. I still have a tremendous amount of pride in this country that does not seem to want me (where eIse am I going to go, some Nordic country and freeze my ass off?). I am pro-crime control. I am anti-drug. I am also pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-peace, and pro-earth. But, shouldn’t everyone be?

If the Republican Party could pull its collective head out of its ass, it could pick up a whole bunch of members, dollars, and votes. In other words, I would gladly vote Republican, and pay less taxes, and see less government, if I could also have equal rights and no government dictated religion (I am not saying you cannot be religious, have at it. I just don’t want my government telling me what to do based on the bible). Why don’t the Republicans get this? I have some Republican friends who get it, of course (some of my best friends are Republican). But the Republican Party does not get it. Gingrich? Santorum? Romney? Please.

Here is how I am a like a Republican… I don’t like the government telling me what to do = Republican. I don’t like paying so much in taxes = Republican. I am against legalizing most crimes (that’s the former prosecutor in me, I can’t help it) = Republican. I wear bow ties = Republican. I believe that one woman and one woman are the perfect match (wait…).

Ok, so here is the problem. Here is how I am not like a Republican. I want every woman to be able to make her own difficult decisions. I would never marry a man, but I want others to be able to decide for themselves. I want to be paid as much as possible, but I think that others, who do not look like me but are just as qualified as me, should make the same as I do for the same job. I might like the option to own a gun when I no longer have children living at home, but I am fine with some restrictions on my ability to do so. I don’t give one rat’s ass what Jesus would do. Why should I? How about what would I do? How about taking responsibility for my own decisions and my own consequences? That’s novel.

There is no party for me. Where are my conservative Democrats? Where are the truly liberal Republicans? I want a party that wants less… less taxes, less government, less regulation, less interference in my life, and more … more people treated equally, more peace, more polar bears, and more children with a top-notch education. Where is that party? THAT party would be something to celebrate.

It is butch to speak your mind and stay engaged in the process, even if you feel like a square peg in a round hole. Be butch.


Why 8 is Enough Already.

Note:  This is a factual and opinionated blog about political stuff, not so funny as I like to think I normally am.  Forgive me.

So, as a lawyer and one of the leaders of my company’s LGBT group, I sometimes get asked to help explain what is happening with Prop 8.  Certainly, the events of last week need explaining for many of us – me included.   I was able to explain it to my kids without research.  It went something like this:  Another even higher court told the people who hate us that they are still wrong and Mommy and her fiancé will be able to get married soon!  I cannot even use the word stepmom legitimately, yet.  Anyway, I did not feel comfortable explaining last week’s events to anyone (other than my kids), until I did some research of my own and read the full court opinion. Now that I have done that, I thought I might do a little synopsis here so that I can share it with folks.  If it helps you, please feel free to share it with whomever you like.  The more we all understand about this, the better.

First, a procedural refresher.  Now, don’t get scared.  It’s just a bit of history; although I am going to skip some steps, because if I didn’t this blog would really only be suited for a law school exam, and, I would probably get something wrong (which I might do anyway).  So let me stick to the basics.

Amy met Eve.  Amy and Eve wanted to get married.  Amy and Eve cannot get married in California because of a foul bill called Prop 8 [cue the awful, scary music that comes before someone gets killed in a slasher movie] which purported to amend the Constitution so that Eve could only marry Adam.  This happened, by the way, after a California court ruled that the state could not deny Amy and Eve the right to marry – it was unconstitutional in California.  This is great news for Adam and Steve and 17,999 of their closest friends who rushed to the altar or courthouse and got legally married.  Victory in California, right?  Wrong.  Enter Dastardly Do-Wrongs and his Four Friends; let’s call them the “Haters.”  The Haters [cue appropriate music, you can hear it, right?] decide that if it is unconstitutional in California to deny Amy and Eve the right to get married, let’s just change the constitution.  This is very similar to playing a game on the playground with a kid who does not like that you beat them at the game you are playing and so they change the rules.  That is what the Haters tried to do with Prop 8 – change the rules so that Amy and Eve can once again not get married.

Now, Amy can only marry Steve (ignore the fact that Steve is already married to Adam – they are still legally married, but none of their friends can get married).  And Adam can only marry Eve.  Maybe, if Amy and Adam cannot marry those that they love, no one should be able to get married!  Ridiculous, right?  There are plenty of folks that think marriage as a legal construct should go away entirely.  Now, that is radical!  At least us gays are only trying to get in on the gig, not make it go away entirely.

Amy and Eve sue Governor Terminator (once again an actor) and Attorney General Brown (now our Governor) in Federal court when they were denied a marriage license by the State.  The Terminator and his main attorney hated the fact that Amy and Eve cannot get married, so they refused to defend the suit.  This was great news for Amy and Eve and all of those who love them, or who don’t know them, but love equality and fairness.  Hooray!  No one to defend the foul Prop 8 means truth and justice wins, right?  “No!,” the Haters said.  We are the ones who started the foul Prop 8 in the first place, so we want to defend its dishonor. 

[Then there was some weird jockeying between the Federal court and the State court, and lots of battles over “standing” to sue (aka the right to bring a case in court), judges recusing themselves, and court video being released, including an opinion on the video by the Supreme Court of the United States (or the “Supremes,” as I like to call them).  None of that matters to the outcome, though.  Eventually, years later, the Federal court said, “Fuck off to the Haters; Adam and Steve, you boys can get married!  Right after all of the rest of the appeals, that is.”]

So, what did the Federal court say the first time around?  It found that the foul Prop 8 was unconstitutional for two reasons:
1.      It deprives Amy and Eve the fundamental right to marry, which is guaranteed by the Due Process Clause, and
2.      It excludes Amy and Eve from state-sponsored marriage while allowing Adam and Eve (or Amy and Steve) access to that honored status, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Thank you, Judge Walker!  I hope your retirement is awesome.  You have certainly changed history with your well-reasoned, Regan-appointed ruling.  That’s right.  Judge Walker is not a flaming liberal out here in California, the land of the fruits and nuts.  Judge Walker is a Republican-appointed, well-respected, conservative jurist.  No matter what happens down the road, Judge Walker’s decision is a landmark for the LGBT community, or I should say, the civil rights movement – all civil rights movements.

The Haters were unhappy with Judge Walker’s ruling [Surprise!], so they appealed.  The Federal court of appeals (3 more judges) heard arguments in the case and just ruled – once again – that Prop 8 is illegal and unconstitutional.  The Haters and the 52% of Californians that they tricked into buying their extremist crap cannot deny Amy and Eve the right to get married in California.

The Federal court made its ruling on a very limited point, that:  Prop 8 singles Amy and Eve out for unequal treatment by taking away from them alone the right to marry, and this action amounts to a distinct constitutional violation because the Equal Protection Clause protects minority groups from being targeted for the deprivation of an existing right without legitimate reasons.  Courts like to make rulings in the most limited way, that is to say, they do not like to make sweeping statements like “that is wrong for everyone and no one can ever do it again, anywhere!”  They much prefer to say something like, “in this particular instance, that statute is wrong, and it cannot be used in California in that way that it was used.”

I am glad that this is what they said because it means a couple of things.  First, it means that the Supremes are less likely to hear this case on appeal.  Why bother using their limited resources on a case that only affects California?  The Supremes only hear 1% of the cases that are filed with them, anyway.  This limited ruling in California would be easy to overlook.  Second, it makes it less likely that even all of the Federal judges dealing with California and the other states in our district will want to hear another appeal.  This is called an “en banc” appeal.  You do not like the first ruling that one judge gave you?  Appeal to a panel of three judges.  What’s that?  You do not like the ruling that those three judges gave you?  Well, appeal to a panel of all the judges in that circuit – in California’s circuit, that would be a little less than 30 judges.  Again, there are some procedural tweaks here, but they are not really key to this blog.

So, where do we stand?  Can Amy and Eve start picking out china patterns, now that Prop 8 is once again illegal?  No.  Amy and Eve have to wait until the court orders the “mandate.”  This is akin to saying that the court will wait until the Haters have again had time to appeal.  I am sorry Ms. Parks, I know that the court said you have the right to ride in the front of the bus, but you will have to ride in the back of the bus a little longer – those racists in the white sheets need time to appeal.

Today, we are waiting for the Ninth Circuit to either issue an order finalizing the decision [Run and get married!] or for the Ninth Circuit to decide to have an en banc hearing – either because the Haters ask for it, or a judge or two on the circuit asks for it.  If there is no en banc hearing, we are one step closer to tying the knot.  But wait, the Haters have another try to keep Amy and Eve from getting married – they can ask the Supremes for help.  Stop!  In the name of love, before these gays get married… and what? Society as we know it ceases to function?

Basically, it could be early next year before we have the right to get married again, or it could be as late as 2014.  Remember that this is now THREE courts of different judges (one state court, and two federal courts) who have found the effort to keep Amy and Eve from getting married to be illegal and unconstitutional.  What the hell does a butch have to do in this state to marry her femme?!?

Enough already with the nonsense and unfairness of Prop 8.  Let’s move on.  It is going to happen.  Gays and Lesbians are going to get married, here and in every state.  All of this is just wasted time and money.  And it hurts.  A lot.  Enough!

I want to be able to don my tuxedo.  I want to be able to see my gorgeous fiancé in a stunning dress with her hair in an updo and her dress showing off her cleavage.  I want to send out invitations, argue about the number of attendants, how many guests, and just how stuffy the service will be.  I want to be able to get married.  I am not trying to take my straight friends marriages and break them up.  I am not trying to destabilize the tradition of marriage.  A tradition that includes Kim Kardashian being married for 72 days.  A tradition that includes people getting married on a reality TV show after a few weeks of dating.  I am trying to marry the love of my life.  Why on earth would anyone care to try to stop that?  Why are there not crowds of people lining up to support that?  Why isn’t everyone trying to get me to the church on time?  Why don’t I have the soap writing on the back of my car right now?

If you are gay, tell everyone you know that you should have the right to get married – to be happy or miserable till death do you part – just like everyone else.  If you are straight, tell all of your straight friends that they should not worry about gays marrying.  It is not like the gays are trying to make you gay!  We are trying to take ourselves off the market!

Stand up for equality.  People love each other and they want to tell the world.  That is what marriage does.  It is butch to care about equality.  It is butch to love.

Be butch.


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