This is ridiculous
This is what domestic partnership gets you
Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 04:02:11 PM PDT
ur friend Eric Rofes died two weeks ago, and his memorial was held here in San Francisco on Saturday. He died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52, completely unexpectedly. He was a leading gay activist and scholar and his memorial was shattering- terribly, terribly sad, with a palpable sense of bereavement felt not only by his friends, but by an entire community. It was most heartbreaking to see and hear the agonized grief and bravery of his partner of 16 years, Crispin Hollins.
Eric and Crispin were of course at the forefront of the Gay Marriage movement. They had long held Californian domestic partnership, and also married when (briefly) we believed that San Francisco law permitted us to do so. They had made for one another all the necessary legal arrangements: powers of attorney, mutual wills, etc etc. All their bases were covered, so they thought. As soon as he heard the news, Crispin had flown straight out to Provincetown, where Eric died, to make funeral arrangements. A friend who accompanied them said that when Crispin began to detail the requirements for the cremation and commitment at the funeral home in Provincetown, the funeral director drew himself up and demanded to know what the basis of their relationship was. He told Crispin: "I don't believe you will be making the funeral arrangements". It required the intervention of NGLTF lawyers and lawyer friends on both coasts to convince the funeral home that he was indeed authorized as a legal partner to make the arrangements. Crispin requested an autopsy, which was contested by the Medical Examiner on the same grounds, and the cremation was subsequently questioned as well (they called during the funeral to argue the case with Crispin).
This stands as a lesson to all of us. We are continually told that as Queers, we do not need to be allowed to marry because all legal avenues of partnership are open to us as domestic partners. For Christ sake- this happened in Massachussetts! They had the gall to question a 16 year old relationship, legally bound as far as two gay men can go. At a time when Crispin was utterly bereft and distraught they had the temerity to impugn his and Eric's relationship, which was as closely legally covered as they could make it. (Eric's family, by the way, have too much respect for Crispin to intervene- they would not, I think, dream of subverting his moral authority to decide the arrangements).
It makes me so fucking angry. Give us our bloody civil rights! Enough of this fucking heterosexual gobbledygook denying that our relationships are as worthy as a man and a woman's- we are sick of arguing- just do it: not some paltry second-best, lesser citizen crumb from the hetrosexual table: give us what we deserve- marriage.
Right. Fucking. Now..
When some people don't have rights, we all don't have all of our rights.
This fiasco happened in Provincetown, not some redneck backwater.
posted by Steve @ 12:03:00 AM