Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I must confess that a part of me never thought I would live to see this day. I certainly did hold hope in my heart. I have enthusiastically celebrated the multiple wins in our quest for equal rights, and have watched in awe as leader after leader changed their position in favor of full civil liberties for all. I will never forget the feeling in my heart of hearing the first African-American president speak in favor of full martial equality for lesbian and gay Americans. It was stunning! And yet the contrast for this mid-fifties year old man is profound. I remember well the days when I was still a religious abomination and a psychological aberration. I painfully remember being bullied and maligned, rejected and displaced. To be marginalized for being what you are leaves scars that perhaps only other marginalized people can understand. And yet while I know I have a place in broadening the scope of human acceptance by speaking up and speaking out, I also embrace the truth that my being born in a precarious expression also provided for me the cocoon against which I could beat my strengthening wings. I am here on earth not to garner outer affirmation, but to establish an inner autonomy based on my spiritual Authority/ identity and thus my justified human liberty. I will continue to be a torch for full human equality, but I will not wait for higher courts to approve and validate my existence.

A myriad of emotions continue to flow through me as I try and assimilate the fact that as a gay US citizen my marriage will now be federally recognized. Though the state of my residency still fails to offer my husband and I the full liberties of our heterosexual contemporaries, the striking down of D.O.M.A. assures that we are soon to be entitled to the 1100+ benefits that male/female couples have long enjoyed. We will soon be able to file joint tax returns, be eligible for spousal benefits and automatic health surrogacy, and be assured that we are recognized as a legal union at the federal level. For someone that had to travel from Florida to Massachusetts to even marry this feels like a major victory. It feels like a huge leap forward for civil rights and for expanded consciousness. I know that there are a vast number of people that are far from celebratory of this win. There will always be an anti-freedom agenda, and I work to hold a space of openness and compassion for those that still oppose me. I must stay awake and centered to not take it personally. I believe in the principle and the practice of democracy. I am also vigilant for when the democratic process steals liberties and unalienable rights from equal citizens with unequal opportunities’. Evolution will right these wrongs, we can be sure of that. We are seeing this in action. The seeming blow to the Voting Rights Act must be rectified by those elected to ensure equal rights. My personal celebration today is indeed tarnished by knowing that a vast number of other Americans have been temporarily limited by the very system that is here to protect them. We cannot go back. Not at the individual or at the collective level. We are each responsible for not only our personal freedom but also for the freedoms of those around us.

So while I confess that there was a part of me that that never thought I would live to see this day, I am seeing it and feeling it and relishing it deeply. I am so grateful to the countless known and unknown heroes’ that have worked tirelessly and risked courageously for the freedoms I now enjoy. As illogical as it sounds, I feel somehow more married than I did yesterday. I know deeply that you cannot legalize love, and yet this decision has broken down a wall that kept countless couples from fully making the commitment that we felt drawn to make. Marriage is a powerful institution that makes a powerful statement. While my love cannot be legislated it has at a level been invalidated. And now, at least at the federal level, my husband and I can open fully to the benefits and statutes of the institution we entered into more than three years ago. We have always been equal in the eyes of our Source, and now we are closing in on equality in the eyes of our judicial system.

Love cannot be imprisoned. Love cannot be held back. There is nothing stronger than a commitment of the heart. And now I can even take that to court.