”What tipped me over into sobbing,” [E.J.] Graff later wrote in the Boston Globe, “was when the Unitarian Universalist President Rev. William Sinkford said, ‘By the authority vested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . . .’ At long last, the government was recognizing officially, openly, proudly what was already true between those two, and so may others.”
Ms Graff was weeping at one of the first weddings after same sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts.
I don’t know if anybody teared up at my wedding. Nobody ‘fessed to it. If anyone did, I doubt it was over our Unitarian minister invoking the authority vested in him by the state of California.
But that was something I needed from him. Kent and I were getting married. Legally. The state was explicitly involved – and approving. I wanted the state to say to me, to us: YES
“Yes,” is not what the state has had to say to gay people. “No,” is the usual word. “No,” and “Go away,” and “You are not wanted.” Hets marrying take it for granted that marriage is not just what their parents want for them, not just what their friends or older relations think they ought to do, but marriage is something the state wants. The state wants it for them. The state approves, likes what they are doing.
It was bitter when the voters turned around and slapped us with their NO, their Proposition 8. “No,” the voters said. “You are not human enough. You are not what we want. Go away. Fuck you. Drop dead.”
Well. We are still married. Still married legally. In California, at least. The California Supreme Court decided that those of us who’d trusted them to read our equality into the California Consitution , those of us who got married in those few months it was legal back in 2008, we would not be betrayed. It is, on the other hand, bitter the right of the voters to attack, to hurt, to encode fear & lies into the law was, according to the California Supreme Court, deserving of greater deference than those flimsy new-fangled notions of justice and equal treatment the Constitution windily espouses. Those same sex couples who did not marry in 2008 get the old familiar NO. The right of traditional hate is great.
source: Travels in a Gay Nation: portraits of LGBTQ Americans by Philip Gambone