Tuesday, February 03, 2009

If Then Else

Okay, I screwed up in moving us back to Utah.

Simply, I’m realizing we shouldn’t have moved back. I’ve got some comforting excuses: We needed our family, wanted our friends around, and Gay rights weren’t as much of a topic in Utah’s legislature back then and only became so after we returned. To my shame, I never even knew who my representative was before then.

Looking back, I misjudged two things: 1. I forgot in great part what Utah was like with the strong LDS church influence, and 2. I didn’t realize how practically important the legal rights they don’t want us to have would become to us once Rob became a stay-at-home dad. I’d never had to, for example, get him on my health insurance before as he had his own. I guess I kind of also got used to not realizing we were gay while in California, and was caught off guard when I found again that living in Utah makes being gay a very important characteristic. I’m just feeling grateful now it wasn’t as bad as it could have been; at least neighbors and school friends have been great to our kids and they haven’t noticed any problem yet. However much I love our state, though, we are essentially working without a legal net here, the religious and political climate is getting more heated, and fighting it is taking too much of my attention; which I would feel was my duty to give if not for the fact that I am a father of young kids. Importantly, Utah law would simply not be there for them in an adequate or just way, should something happen to me.

It was a complicated decision to live here and it still is, but, looking back, I think it was a poorly made, naive decision.

It’s funny how hard it is for me to admit that, but it’s true and I think, especially now, I need to put that out on the table. I want to be the perfect husband and father but my decade-ago self had some unwarranted optimism for living here and he tripped up, and—he being me plus ten years—he may again, right?

So now what is often on my mind is how to be sure I don’t mess up a move again?

It's a decision we need to make in a hurry too. We’ll need to find a house, new job, and a new school before the summer is up or it will be more tempting to let the kids finish another school year here. Ug, what about the new research grants I have been applying for, with researchers here?... Then there’s the fact that our decision will decide where my parents end up retiring; I’d like to keep them out of harsh winters and snow shoveling while past their 70’s... In short, it’s a mess of considerations and I’m stressed. And I guess I’m venting here as we can’t let it show at home, around the kids.

The trouble is that we won’t know our best options until after the legality of Prop 8 is decided in Ca (late spring, if I understood). Will it be overturned? If not, will those marriages performed still be legal? We most want to move back to Ca but Ma and even Canada come into the picture if we can’t have full equal treatment and protections in Ca. Then will DOMA be repealed anytime soon, as it seems it should with the new leadership? I just don’t trust not having my family in the same boat as everyone else anymore, and I don’t want to have to pull up our roots twice.

So, a plan for the record, to be held to: If our Ca marriage is still legal come early summer (Prop 8 overturned completely or not), then I’ve got a good job prospect there to follow up on and hopefully it will all work out, and we’ll be in the golden state before second grade starts. Heck, if we keep legal marriage but prop 8 is found valid and prevents future marriages, at least I can quell some of my guilt of leaving Utah by fighting for equal rights to return to Ca. Else, well, for now I’m looking for openings in Vancouver or Ma or Ct, and will just hope none of those are the best solution come Summer; that’s just too far from what will always be my home.

16 comments:

Amanda said...

Good luck. I hope you guys can find a place where you're treated with political and social respect.

Queers United said...

As for prop 8, they are hearing arguments in March and will rule within 90 days.

playasinmar said...

It would seem the CTR Ring Incident has escalated.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Wow, this is a bit surprising. I didn't know you were still seriously thinking about moving.

I agree with your reasons, and would most likely do the same thing were I in your position. Good luck with everything. I'm rooting for Canada :)

El Genio said...

March 6th is "D-Day." (The court just announced today that is when they will be hearing oral arguments on the issue.) Hopefully they will decide shortly after that. The odds are stacked in our favor. After all, this is the same court that voted for marriage in the first place, and arguing on our side will be the state attorney general, the governator, and a large consortium of other groups (one more reason why I love Apple). Of course, you already know all this, but a little positive reinforcement never hurts. :)

angryyoungwoman said...

Good luck. Moving is hard, but it can be fun. Utah didn't know how lucky they were to have you. They didn't deserve you.

MoHoHawaii said...

Your move is Utah's loss.

I also feel this way when people I respect leave the LDS Church-- ultimately, it's the church that loses vitality.

I'm worried about the escalation of anti-gay politics in Utah and the Bible Belt. We are complacent. There is real danger here.

Scot said...

Thank you Amanda.

Q.U.: I read yesterday that it will be March 5. So +90, early June... That's cutting it close.

Playasinmar: "It would seem the CTR Ring Incident has escalated."

Huh? Are you a ctr ring salesman :-)? If you somehow can get us all the same health insurance policy or assure our untested-in-Utah legal parenthood, I'll buy one.

Craig: "Wow, this is a bit surprising."

Hey, I said moving was the plan here two months ago. It's just that you didn't think I was going to go through with it :-).

"I'm rooting for Canada :)"

I'll have to practice my aboots. :-)

El Genio: "After all, this is the same court that voted for marriage in the first place, and arguing on our side will be the state attorney general, the governator, and a large consortium of other groups (one more reason why I love Apple)."

And Google!

I don't know. I'm maybe too used to it not going our way and have a hard time expecting a win here. On the up side a good surprise will be a bigger surprise.

Thanks angryyoungwoman.

"Moving is hard..."

Maybe I can get Senator Buttars and the Ruzicka clan to help :-).

MoHoHawaii: "I'm worried about the escalation of anti-gay politics in Utah and the Bible Belt. We are complacent."

...and I'm looking to retreat :-).

Kengo Biddles said...

Scot, I think your being here did much good, so for what it's worth, it's been good having you here.

And as for my offer to help you pack and load your moving van, it still stands, if that's what you choose.

Guy said...

Scot--"Moving is hard..."

Maybe I can get Senator Buttars and the Ruzicka clan to help :-).

Funny, that's what irks me about their driving away people like your family and mine with their unbelievably successful, spiteful politics is that that's probably exactly what they want--to just get rid of us all (either by getting us to move out of Utah--or worse ;). They'd probably be happy to help any of us pack up and move.

And we'd be happy to help you unpack, if you end up anywhere near SF. And we even know of a wonderful, diverse, extremely LGBT family-friendly school for your kids. :)

kevin said...

Can I interest you in Seattle?

Wyatt said...

Come to the OC and be by me!!!

Scot said...

Thank you Kengo. And we'll not go out head down. We'll keep at it here until we have to pack and you regret offering to help; there's a piano involved :-).

Guy: "And we'd be happy to help you unpack, if you end up anywhere near SF. And we even know of a wonderful, diverse, extremely LGBT family-friendly school for your kids. :)"

Thanks Guy, we'll be looking in your area.

Kevin: "Can I interest you in Seattle?"

Yes, yes you can. I've always had a soft spot for Seattle; it's where we spent our 1 year anniversary. Good memories, and I understand Wa has some good legislation pending, though not "same boat" material; we'll see.

Wyatt: "Come to the OC and be by me!!!"

The OC? But it won't be long before we have teens and I hear there's a lot of teen angst there :-).

Kengo Biddles said...

Piano? I'll get my brother-in-law involved. He's a piano tuner and probably knows more than you or I about moving one.

See? I don't regret helping friends!

maybemaybenot said...

Scot, the selfish side of me says "Come live next door to me in Texas!!!! PLEEEEEEZE!!!" But, unfortunately, I believe Texas is only second to Utah in anti-gay sentiment. Ugh - the Bible Belt. But, if you do come here - I promise not to bring over a green pea casserole. Instead, our families can dine out at a cool Sushi Bar. Cheers and good luck. We're thinking of you and your beautiful family, as always.

Jennifer

Scot said...

"See? I don't regret helping friends!"

Thanks Kengo... I can't imagine the amount of talking you'd have to do to get your brother-in-law to come move the piano of some gay man you met online ;-).

Thank you too maybemaybenot.

"I believe Texas is only second to Utah in anti-gay sentiment."

Yeah, that's not a state high on our list :-).