Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Fantastic news from Maine! Just minutes ago, the joint judiciary committee voted 11-3 that the marriage bill "ought to pass without amendment." This follows an overwhelmingly successful public hearing at which Mainers of all stripes, from the very young to the very old, Democrats and Republicans, Catholics and Unitarians, testified that they support equality for all Mainers.
"When Vermont's legislature voted for marriage equality, we were halfway to our goal of bringing marriage equality to 6 New England states by 2012. We are very hopeful that Maine will bring us to 2/3 of the way there. Please continue to support our efforts, and thank you for everything you do to support equality."
I was up on the hillside behind and over the house today, beginning the third and last of the garden terraces. When I looked down and over the roof I saw golden tan leaves spiraling straight upwards from a row of beech trees. With the heat of a very hot day beginning, a strong updraft was created and the beeches, which keep their leaves through the winter and only drop them in spring, were giving them up to the wind. They kept them aloft for a couple of minutes and then the updraft suddenly ended and there was a slow and graceful shower of gold all across the front of the house.
The sudden heat that began last weekend (4 days into the 80s) brought the big magnolia tree down by Fritz's old house into instant bloom, but also caused huge insect populations to emerge in great masses. The blackflies, emerged on Saturday, miserable pests that like to slam into your scalp, forehead and eyes--and administer a vicious bite. Mayflies are everywhere, particularly all over the roof and hood of my Jeep, by the hundreds. Either they like the color red or they like the hot smooth metal. They do a hopping dance up and down and you can hear their bodies clicking against the metal as they drop down. It's kind of weird. This has been going on for the last couple of days--I assume it's somehow involved with mating--and is exhausting just to watch. Perhaps Doug Taron can enlighten me on this behavior.
Speaking of Doug (of the blog Gosamer Tapestry), he was here for the weekend taking part in a gay men's workshop put on by the Body Electric School. I normally co-host these events with Fritz but I took part in this one. We've been fortunate to have Doug and husband Leon here for dinner a couple of times and gotten to know that Doug loves to go collecting insect specimens. Since he came early on Friday, we began by hiking the 30 acres here where he was delighted at all the spring growth on the forest floor. We followed that up with a trip to a local sand excavation pit which proved to be full of tiger beetles, one of his specialties. By the time the program began after Friday night's dinner, the beetles were safely stored in plastic vials in our freezer.
The program was extremely well run and profoundly moving. There were 23 of us in all and by Sunday evening, we were all semi-euphoric. I took Doug, Fritz and another of the participants out to dinner as the idea of cooking was just not a possibility.
Stephen--no, nor when Massachusetts blazed the trail did I think others would follow so fast (OK, five years isn't jet speed, but when you consider the strength of the opposition . . . ).
I was stunned at today's vote. At this point you could be moving towards marriage in NH very soon.
The mayflies are seeing the shiny, smooth surface of the Jeep as water. Yes, the strange looping flight is about mating. Everything that adult mayflies do is either about mating or laying eggs. They don't even eat.
It was so very, very good to see you and Fritz. Looking forward to getting together again next month.
For me, the name isn't important, the rights are, but at the same time there's an uneasy feeling of apartheid. My guess (and hope) is that de facto marriage will eventually become actual marriage.
As far as the US goes there's much more weight on the word, marriage, at least for me. If gays can marry then that's a federally regognised relationship status and hence might be internationally recognised.
One of the bitter-sweet things for us to do is to visit the US to see family, only to find that as soon as we land we're no longer 'married' in legal terms. It's a strangely unquieting feeling.