We just got back from a Common Ground Initiative Rally in Arches National Park. As a result, I've come to believe all activism should be performed in national parks: you get in for free and no one could argue with the scenery.
I wish I could feel more optimistic about the prospect of these bills. For those who don't know, they would:
1. Give our families equal access to health care. Personally, health insurance is killing us, as we can't all be on the same policy.
2. Keep us from being fired from our jobs or kicked out of our homes for the makeup in anatomical sex of our families.
3. Allow, say, stay-at-home parents to sue someone who kills the breadwinner of a gay couple. Right now the spouse in a gay marriage in Utah has no recourse and many would likely just end up on government assistance if, say, medical malpractice killed their loved-one.
4. Create a domestic partner registry to which the above rights may be attached.
5. Finally to get rid of the "substantially equivalent" part of Amendment 3 which may stand in the way of all of the above.
Please; contact your state representatives; I know mind will soon be sick of me :-).
However, the LDS church as backed away from supporting any of these, and without them the legislators will not help us in Utah. Even a statement of non-opposition for same-sex domestic partnerships, as they did for California, would be a huge help for our families here, but, if the blogs and the editorials are any measure, this is nearer amusing to many in the church than a chance to find some common ground and help strengthen minority families.
Is it just me or do many LDS here still feel like they were the victims in the Proposition 8 events? No matter how hard they make it on our homes or debase our marriages or even our children, I fear that will be the case, especially since forcibly divorcing a family in law from their most sacred union doesn't even seem to register as carrying much weight in some of their minds. Now they can keep us from victimizing them again by keeping these rights away from us too? Or do some feel this is a tit-for-tat thing? But, eh, such worldview of persecution is a strong, ingrained part of our local culture; I can't really get mad. It's just sad, and hard to understand why they won't stop, consider the real people in our families, and trust in the Golden Rule.
Nevertheless, even if it all comes to nothing, there was great worth to us in being among those who didn't feel my family was something to fight, all under such a beautiful backdrop.
I thought this was symbolic/kind of funny: as the pro-gay rights rally was hiking up the trail, a Mennonite couple was going the other way.
After the rally we went to a couple other arches:
We went with another gay-headed family that has three kids about our boy's age. By the look of things, I think their daughter may end up marrying Brian and end up with the first children who have 4 doting grandpas. I wish I felt okay showing a picture of the two... adorable.
Anyway, we took them up one of our favorite canyons (see last year).
The next day we went on a hike with Rob's aunt, to another favorite ice skating rink.
As I had to assure my parents, the ice there is much thicker than it looks :-).
Anyway, I wish I could quite you, Utah. You're just too pretty, or handsome in my case I suppose. The Common Ground Initiatives may be a long shot... but I can't help but hold out hope for the state that will always be my home, no matter where I have to take my family.