10.14.10 David & Sam Get Married

This is cross-posted with the Washington Post’s All Opinions Are Local.

I’m thankful to live next to Washington in a year when Republicans didn’t control Congress and its power to override DC laws. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to attend last weekend’s wedding of David and Sam – dear friends who have been a couple for 12-ish years, about the same as my wife and me. What a fabulous wedding, from the ceremony, to the ambiance, to the luscious food! The utter joy of the event was transcendent.

And that is what a wedding ought to be. But could not have been – for these two people – in most other places at most other times.

There has been so much pain just recently: bullying and suicides and beatings, not to mention outrageous political pronouncements. But justice for gays and lesbians will not be stopped. If nothing else, the rise of more gay-friendly generations will ensure that.

In the meantime, even for David and Sam the struggle for justice isn’t over. Sam is Korean. He’s been in the United States for years, under student and employment visas. But David can’t sponsor Sam’s permanent residency in this country, because the federal government doesn’t recognize their marriage. A lost job for Sam could cost this loving couple the right to live in the same country.  (To do something about this, please give to Immigration Equality.)

Sadly, the prospects for marriage equality aren’t so bright in Maryland. This state may appear very blue at first glance, but political power resides with social conservatives such as Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and the Roman Catholic Church. I’d wager it will take six years for Maryland to catch up to DC on this one. It would probably take longer still if Maryland didn’t have DC’s good (and demystifying) example right next door.

©2010 Keith Berner


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3 Comments on “10.14.10 David & Sam Get Married”

  1. Woody Brosnan Says:

    As a Catholic who supports gay marriage, I hope you are not blaming my church for all the opposition to legalization. In fact, as a recent Pew poll demonstrates, the views of rank-and-file Catholics on gay marriage do not differ much from rank-and-file Protestants. The opposition in DC and in many states was led by evangelical Protestants. I have found that both liberal and conservative commentators like to cite the Catholic Church’s more conservative positions on abortion and gay rights while ignoring the church’s more progressive views, such as it’s opposition to the death penalty and support for immigration reform.

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    • Keith Berner Says:

      Thanks for your comment, Woody. I certainly don’t blame individual Catholics for anything done in the name of the institution they belong to — after all, Catholic individuals have widely varied views and many in this country are “ala carte” when it comes to the dogma. And I do give the Church credit in those (sadly occasional) times, places, issues where its influence is positive.

      But I absolutely do blame the Church for the myriad policy issues where it is dead wrong: gay rights, abortion, contraception, support for authoritarian regimes, etc. (I blame the US for its wrong stand on these issues, too.)

      You’re correct, of course, that evangelical Protestants lead the charge back to the 15th century in this country. However, the Catholic Church has inordinate influence in Maryland and is a major regressive force when it comes to the particular social issues I’ve mentioned. The Church also almost managed to force into law in the past term the horrific BOAST bill, which would have given huge tax breaks to the wealthy in support of religious schools.

      I honor your faith and call on you to be critical of the institution that leads it, much as I am critical of the US political system, ethos, and polices, notwithstanding the fact that even the US occasionally is on the correct side of the issues.

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