It's official: our wedding has been postponed.
We had planned to be married September 19, three days after the law went into effect that would allow us to get married, but now opponents of our civil rights have submitted something like 100,000 signatures, nearly twice the required amount, to force a state-wide public vote on whether we can get married. Here's the link to the AP story.
The courts will now issue an injunction preventing the law from going into effect until after the November 3 vote is cast and counted. That way the law does not go into effect, a bunch of us get married, and then if it get overturned, it would leave those couples married already in some kind of legal limbo, not unlike what happened in California in the wake of Prop. 8.
No, the vote is not just about whether Dawn and Laura can get married, but about whether to let stand a law that the legislature passed saying that people of the same sex can have access to a civil marriage if we so desire.
Conservative churches went bananas on this when it passed, shouting that the world would stop spinning and civilization as we know it would crumble.
What exactly would happen to their marriages if we get hitched, I am not sure. But they're pretty convinced that it would destroy the whole institution. I'm willing to venture that any institution Brittany Spears can enter while drunk at 3 a.m. in Las Vegas in front of an Elvis impersonator is not something likely to suffer much damage if Laura and I speak those same words. Let's not even address what conservative Republican politicians have done to the institution of marriage in recent years, and apparently in the name of "traditional family values" they are so eager to uphold.
So what do we do now? We fight like hell, that's what. We organize, and identify voters and talk to people. We attend public events wearing buttons that say "ask me why marriage equality matters" and "Vote No On 1" and we raise money, buy ads and do all of the campaign stuff we know how to do.
We ask for money. Like now. I'm asking you, my blog readers, to make a donation to help win this fight. The Catholic Diocese has pledged $2 MILLION. We're up against some pretty tough opponents. Your donation now at the No On 1 - Protect Maine Equality site will help us protect the law our legislature passed and governor signed.
We're on the side of justice here. History is bending in our direction, and this is our chance to march on Selma, as it were. On 50 years when historians look back on this, what will we tell the young people of the day? What do we want to say of our role in this historic battle? The nation, indeed the world, it watching Maine. How we handle this is going to be scrutinized and parsed and criticized from all directions.
The best I can do is to take the next step, to do the next right thing. Which for today means going out to the memorial service of a UU and AA friend, a supporter of my humanity and an advocate for justice and peace, and wear my buttons and talk to people if they ask what they're about. Then we'll go to the art auction for the bra project and wear buttons there too. I'll take some pictures and share them here if they're any good.
And we talk and educate and raise money and keep at it. We're down to 94 days before the election is OVER. That means we have less than 100 days before the whole state gets to vote on whether we get married.
To my married readers - how many people did YOU have to ask for permission to get married? We have to ask the whole State of Maine.