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Love is the only thing that matters…

Dora and Emily got married on July 19th, 2009 in front of all of their friends and family at the Brazil Room in Berkeley. By choosing to get married, Dora’s two children, and Emily’s one child, now have two moms.

I have photographed a lot of weddings, but this was the most amazing wedding I have ever seen. It wasn’t because of the dress, or the shoes, or the flowers, or any of the other details that we easily get lost in. It was because of all the love, the acceptance, and the incredibly beautiful children who saw nothing wrong with two women, of different races, getting married.

Their wedding gave me so much hope for the future. And this week, after hearing Judge Walker’s decision on Proposition 8, the proposition that denied same sex couples the right to marry, I was filled with hope all over again.

I don’t know how anyone can look at this photo and tell me that these people should not have the right to be legally recognized as a family. If only all children were raised in such a loving environment… the world would be a much better place.

We are going to Iowa…

On April 4th, 2010, our wedding anniversary, Arann and I went to Tomales Bay, to the house where we stayed the night we got married.

Well, fake married. We haven’t legally gotten married yet.

In November 2008, we were at the height of our wedding planning when California passed Proposition 8, denying same-sex couples the right to get married, and we were heart broken. We thought about canceling the wedding, but instead we decided to continue with our plans, because we felt the ceremony with our loved ones was the most important part.

And on April 4th, 2009, we had an amazing celebration with family and friends.

But because we want to get legally married in a state where all people are allowed to get married, we haven’t gotten legally married yet.

At first I didn’t think the legal part mattered to me. But a year later, I can feel the difference. Even though people, and insurance agencies, don’t question us when we say we’re married. And even though we made our vows to each other, and in my heart I know that is the most important part. I also know that if anything happens to one of us, the other one has no legal rights. And that bothers me.

So in June…

We are going to Iowa.

Because who wants to go to Iowa to get married?

We do.

We want to support the middle state that has historically been a leader in civil rights.

First making a stand against slavery in the civil war, and then putting woman’s suffrage on the agenda 50 years before the rest of the country.

And now leading the way again with same-sex marriage, which became legal in Iowa on April 3, 2009, the day before we got fake married.

Coincidence?

No way.

We are going to Iowa.


My heart hurts today…

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On November 4th, 2008, Californians voted not to allow people of the same sex to get married, even though the California Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent humans of their basic right to marry the person they love.

My fiancĂ©, Arann and I were at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco on election night, with our dear friends who worked so hard on the No on 8 campaign to protect equality for all. The huge ball room was packed with couples who were so nervous that their right to marry the person, who they loved most in the world, would be taken away. The room was thick with emotions, as we all waited and waited and waited. The numbers coming in were not good. And eventually, they told everyone to go home because we wouldn’t have an answer until the morning… but we all knew.

And today my heart hurts.

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Arann and I are supposed to get married on April 4, 2009. But I called him from the airport today and said I didn’t think we should get married. And he said he was thinking the same thing.

When we first got engaged, I wasn’t so sure about the idea of having a wedding. But slowly the idea grew on us and we started to understand the importance. A wedding is not a marriage, but it is a ceremony that brings together all the love and support of everyone in your community, as you take this huge step forward.

So, the more we thought about the meaning of our big step forward, the more we felt it was important to have our community with us, as we vow to care for each other for the rest of our lives. It is especially important to us that my grandparents, who will celebrate their 65 wedding anniversary next year, are there to pass on their advice and inspiration to us.

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So, we picked a day and we started making plans. A hike, followed by a ceremony, followed by a reception with a collective art show, with the theme: Advice, followed by good food and dancing. We thought that would be the perfect way to enter into the next stage of our lives as a married couple.

But as we stood there election night, surrounded by people whose hearts were breaking as they were told their marriages would no longer be accepted… we started to question why we should have the right to marry, when other people don’t, just because their body parts are the same.

It doesn’t make any sense to me. In a world of such hatred and fighting, why wouldn’t we want to encourage and support people who want to build their community? Why don’t we want to encourage people to promise to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives? If it is about God, I was taught that we are not supposed to judge, so… then let God judge, if that is what you believe.

Same sex marriages will not hurt you.

The pesticides people spray on their lawns that washes into the storm drains, and into the rivers, and pollutes the water, and kills the fish, and breaks down the food chain… will hurt you. The SUV’s people drive that consume a lot of gas and spit out a lot of carbon dioxide that heats up the planet, and melts the glaciers, and raises the sea levels… will hurt you. But allowing people to love the person they choose to love in their own homes… will not hurt you.

So, Arann and I would like to get married. We want the love and support of our community, but we don’t want to get married until everyone can. And so today, my heart hurts and my eyes are sore from crying because I have a better understanding of what it feels like not to be able to marry the person you love.

If you believe in equality for all, please take a moment and sign this petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/seg5130/petition.html

Thank you for your support.

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