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.