Thank you, and a request…

Thanks to the hard work of many, many people – some of whom are no longer with us – I was able to marry my longtime boyfriend in a small civil service in California last week.


This is just a quick diary to thank some of the people who helped pave that road to legal protection of same-sex marriage.  

And it’s followed by a request…

Thank you…

…to the generations of queers prior to the 20th century who had to live in secret; to Karl-Heinrich Ulrichs, who kick-started the modern era by speaking out publicly about gender and sexuality; to other early pioneers like Adolf Brand, Oscar Wilde, Emma Goldman, Mikhail Kuzmin, and many others;  

…to Alfred Kinsey, who made it possible for human sexuality to become part of public discussion without the usual moral stigma; to publishers like Edith Eyde and Ruth Ellis, and writers like Richard Bruce Nugent;

…to the early organizations that formed in the face of impossible odds – groups like The Society for Human Rights, the Mattachine Society, ONE Inc., the Daughters of Bilitis, Vanguard, the Street Orphans, and many more;

…to the people who assembled at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1965, the nation’s first gay rights march;

…to the members of the transgender community who rioted at Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966, refusing to allow themselves to be humiliated;

…to the 1969 rioters at New York’s Stonewall Inn who fought for dignity against a police raid, effectively launching the movement into the consciousness of the general public;

…to the men and women who ran for public office when being queer had no public support: José Sarria, Franklin E. Kameny, Kathy Kozachenko, Elaine Noble, Harvey Milk, Gerry Studs, and many others;

…to the 100,000 who participated in the first ever National Gay Rights March on Washington D.C. on October 14, 1979;

…to Mildred and Richard Loving, who in 1967 forced the federal government to recognize that marriage is an issue of basic civil rights;

…to Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell, who sued for marriage rights back in 1970; and to Nina Baehr, Genora Dancel, Tammy Rodrigues, Antoinette Pregil, Pat Lagon, and Joseph Melillo – plaintiffs in the first successful lawsuit in 1996;

…to Hillary Goodridge, Julie Goodridge, David Wilson, Robert Compton, Michael Horgan, Edward Balmelli, Maureen Brodoff, Ellen Wade, Gary Chalmers, Richard Linnell, Heidi Norton, Gina Smith, Gloria Bailey, and Linda Davies, who in 2003 successfully sued the state of Massachusetts for full recognition of marriage, and won;

…to Gavin Newsome, who issued marriage licenses even when it was illegal to do so – which led to the court case legalizing marriage in California;

…to the openly gay public figures who speak out to let people know that being queer is not a crime and does not warrant second class status – to politicians like Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank, or athletes like John Amaechi and Sheryl Swoopes, or any of the actors, singers, directors, producers, and otherwise high profile media personalities who’ve helped encourage mainstream acceptance of the queer community;

…to our dedicated allies, including many of you at this site, who’ve joined us in this fight for basic civil rights.

And none of this is counting the scores of people, groups, and movements that took place in other countries, achieving successes sometimes earlier and more permanent than our own, and helping fuel our movements back home.

In the end, all I can say is that I am profoundly grateful to too many people to count, and that I will never forget that I owe a debt of a gratitude to them – and a heavy responsibility to continue the fight for others: we still have plenty of work to do in the areas of employment nondiscrimination, fair housing laws, open service in the military, etc.

And a Request:

If I can be so bold, I’d like to request a wedding gift from the community here:

If you’re in the state of California, please talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about Proposition 8, the attempt to ban marriage that will be on the ballot in November.  Let them know that a Yes vote on the Proposition will eliminate marriage for thousands of couples.

If you are not in the state of California, please consider donating to one of the groups who are fighting against Proposition 8 (some possibilities include NO on 8 and HRC’s California Marriage PAC); or helping defeat a similar ban in Arizona, where the pro-marriage crowd is desperately behind on fundraising; or getting involved in the effort to prevent the ban in Florida; or supporting similar groups in your own area.  Write an LTE to your local newspaper, send an email to your elected officials, and make your voice heard.

Issues like same-sex marriage live or die on the perception of pubic support.  The more you talk about it, the more acceptable you make it.  

My husband and I would greatly appreciate the effort.


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    • pico on September 12, 2008 at 09:48

    and cheers!

  1. I’m very happy for you.

    • pfiore8 on September 12, 2008 at 11:35

    celebrating all those who were with you, in spirit anyway, at your wedding.

    congratulations pico!!!

    The more you talk about it, the more acceptable you make it.  

  2. and his husband! Three cheers for marriage and romance! May you have joy and prosperity together.

  3. and rock the f&%k on!!!  

    • kj on September 12, 2008 at 14:50

    Joy Joy    ðŸ™‚

    • Robyn on September 12, 2008 at 15:18

    What a pleasant surprise for this morning.  ðŸ™‚

    Snazzy rings you’ve got there. 🙂

    • Diane G on September 12, 2008 at 15:59

    May the years bless you both!

    What a joyous, hopeful essay; may that Love is Served everywhere, with no restraint, no prejudice and the honor with which it should be.

    Love to you both!


    • RiaD on September 12, 2008 at 16:00

    I’m ever so happy for you! What a wonderful wonderful thing… to finally realize your romantic dream….

    may you both live long & happily sure of the others love & understanding.

    yes! I will give y’all the gift of speaking of this…although i am not in sunny california, i think the backward thinking people of the south need to hear this too.

    Congrats to you both!


  4. Love has found a way!

    Congratulations, pico.

    • Edger on September 12, 2008 at 16:30
  5. I’m glad you and your husband were able to marry. I wish you both the best. It’s hard to imagine how happy you feel as this is such a normal choice for straight people. Bon Voyage on your lifetime journey. Ive been married 30 years and still find it a worthwhile, rewarding and wonderful trip. Love is always a good thing.    

    As for your present I will both talk and I already donate to HRC. People of good will often do not think marriage is necessary for equal rights, they think civil is adequate. I live in a neighborhood which has a lot of lesbians, and my neighbors are helping me to understand and communicate to others what it means to have full rights for same sex couples.  

    HRC, is very organized here in OR and I make a monthly donation via my bank account. My husband thought I had lost my mind when he came upon the check as he thought I was donating to Hillary LOL.    

    • Alma on September 12, 2008 at 17:52

    May you and your hubby have an eternity of wedded bliss.

    I can promise to keep writing congress about it.

  6. I’m really happy to read this.  Thanks for the announcement!!

  7. for you and your new husband.

    And I hope that in the future, all couples have the same opportunity!!!!!!!!!

  8. You deserve some ponies!

  9. I’m in LA, talking it up.  No on 8.

    Y’all enjoy your life together, pico!

  10. Wishing you and your husband all the best.

    This is a subject I believe in fully and talk up constantly. Everyone who wants to get married and make their union legal deserves the right to do so.

    • OPOL on September 13, 2008 at 05:31

    I wish you a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment.  

  11. May your days be filled with love and laughter.  

    • srkp23 on September 13, 2008 at 06:02

    Cheers to you and your better half! Here’s to a life of joy and fulfillment.  

    • sharon on September 13, 2008 at 07:50

    Very happy for you both, Pico.  Thank you for thinking of others at this important moment in your lives.

  12. Many happy returns.  I’ll be glad to throw some cash to  No on 8, on behalf of you newlyweds!    

    My boss was one of the first couples married by Newsom.  I can’t believe this stupid Prop even made it on the ballot.  

    • Valtin on September 13, 2008 at 17:31

    I’m very happy for you, pico. May you both have many years of enjoying each other.

    Your essay has also spurred and reminded me that I need to reach out to my relatives and lobby re No on 8. I have some conservative people in my family, but I’ve been successful in turning a few of them before, especially on civil liberties issues. My gift to you is my pledge to reach out to them this weekend. I will also send some $$ to the Arizona people.

    It’s not the same as a trip to Tahoe or Hawaii, but it will have to do 🙂

    Mazel tov.

    • Alma on September 13, 2008 at 17:44

    I get all teary eyed.  I’m just so happy that finally we are starting to move out of the dark ages.

  13. I an not in a position to give money right now, but you can damn well rely on me to talk about it.

  14. have had no communication that I can recall.  However, I would like to join in, with many friends here, and wish you the very best for both of your futures.  

    Any measure of contentment, fulfillment that any of us can attain by our own measure is something that is immeasurable!  Mazel tov!

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