Lesbian Dad

Some/thing borrowed

mime-attachment copy [Trotting just a smidge behind schedule, here’s the third in a series for Robin Reagler’s Freedom to Marry Week blog carnival, What About Love]

Borrowed: time. 

After Proposition 8 rescinded our right to marry, and the California Supreme court agreed to hear the lawsuit to invalidate it, we 18,000+ legally married same-sex couples entered a juridical no-woman’s land. It’s been limbo or purgatory, depending on your point of view.

Borrowed: our marriage.

The court’s decision-making timeline is such that, in the worst case scenario (not only is Proposition 8 upheld, but we freshly married old couples are retroactively divorced) our marriage will have been on loan from the state for less than a year.  Time enough for one state income tax filing with the box “married” checked off. Time enough for us to scratch our heads, bemusedly, and answer “Yes” a few times, when given the option to choose marital status.

Borrowed: the luxury to withhold civil rights from fellow citizens based on their identity, and squander millions of dollars and dozens of years over it all in the process.

The larger question is: Which position on the topic, exactly, is living on borrowed time?  If your vision is short-term   and you have your reasons why you believe the court will (a) uphold Proposition 8, and (b) direct it retroactively, to we 18,000   then it is surely we hope-besotted same-sex newlyweds who are living on borrowed time. 

But.  I defy anyone to produce any longitudinal analysis of this issue that does anything but conclude that time is on our side.  The evangelical right wing has been scrambling like mad these years because they’re reading the same polls that we are, and concluding the same thing: young people care more about global warming than same-sex loving.  

By and by, we’ll find that it will have been our good will and patience that will have been borrowed, lo these many years.  I hope we’re more generous than our opponents have been when the time comes for a reckoning.

But on Klieg light-bright mid-November days, when the air’s possessed of an eery stillness, and the heat does not match the long winter shadows — days  like the one that baked us in San Francisco as we protested the passage of Proposition 8 —  I think: we’re all of us living on time borrowed from the earth.  (I think of the Wallace Broecker statement on a wall in the new California Academy of Sciences: “Climate is an angry beast, and we are poking at it with sticks.”) There’ll come a day, likely in our lifetimes, when we’ll look back at such fracases and think: The folly, the folly.


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[Here are the other Some/things borrowed on The Other Mother.]


fight [next in this marraige equality series: Some/thing blue]

back up that-away
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