December 09, 2008

A Day Without Gays?!

Following is part of an article by David Craig on CNN's website. What touched me about his commentary was the story of how he and his partner were legal domestic partners in California, but when his partner was visiting his parents in Nevada, he had to be admitted to the hospital and the hospital wouldn't allow David to even see him! I can't imagine that pain. I live in a suburban area of the country that doesn't act that way, in general. When Erica was admitted to the hospital in Northern Virginia a few years back, I was treated as her "wife". I was so glad to be able to be there for her. Marriage isn't just about a piece of paper or religious ceremony. It's about having the same rights and responsibilities as any other committed couple.

What David advocates is gay folks taking the day off tomorrow and not working or spending money to show the rest of the country that we are a big part of the living, working, spending, etc. in the U. S. I agree with him. Fortunately, my employer treats me as an equal. He even refers to Erica as my "wife"! I didn't always work for someone who was so cool. Most of us don't.

Let's support David's efforts in whatever way we can. I can't "call in gay" to work tomorrow, but I'm going to not spend money on anything besides what I absolutely have to spend. I'll wait until Thursday.

"By David Craig
Special to CNN

Editor's note: David Craig is a film, television and Web producer, an adjunct professor at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, and a gay rights activist.

David Craig says there's growing support for recognition of gay unions and gay marriage.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- My battle for marriage equality began in 1990, after my partner, Brian Binder, and I had a commitment ceremony. The ceremony was held at the end of a conference for Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays and was attended by more than 300 friends and members of both our families.

We were featured in a couple of books on gay marriage because the concept was so new at the time. We also registered as domestic partners and entered into every possible form of legal recognition available at the time.

A few years later, Brian was visiting his parents in Nevada to inform them that he was giving up his battle with AIDS. Something went horribly wrong, and he was rushed to the hospital. I flew there immediately.

As his caretaker, I knew his medical condition and had been involved in every medical decision. We had shared the joy of making a commitment to one another and the pain and suffering of a horrible disease.

But when I arrived, I was told I could not see him because I was not "family" and because my legal documents were valid only in California. Even as I heard him calling out my name, they refused to let me see him because we were not married. Brian died in 1992.

In 1995, I helped organize the first Freedom to Marry March in Los Angeles. Ten years later, the idea for A Day Without Gays was conceived.

For more of the story, go to:

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