Lost amidst all the whoopla over President Obama's memorandum about limited benefits to same sex partners of federal employees was the historic anniversary of the legal marriages in California.
Equality California and California Faith for Equality co-sponsored a community celebration in West Hollywood that included several of the same sex couples who were married in the Los Angeles area. It is estimated that roughly 18, 000 same sex couples were married before the passage of Prop 8. There are plans for other celebrations today throughout the state.
But as historic as the celebration was - Robin Tyler moved the needle by expressing outrage over how the presumably LGBT-friendly Democratic Party has been MIA around LGBT equal rights. Tyler announced that she is "divorcing the Democratic Party."
Tyler told me:
"The LGBT community is like a battered wife. We constantly get beaten, degraded and raped by the Democratic Party. Then, once every two years - when they need us - they promise us everything and treat us like human beings. So we mutter the mantra - 'but if we don't support them, the Republicans will get in because of us.'
If we stop supporting the Democratic Party, the Republicans will get in because of the Democratic Party and their abusive relationship with us.
So - when are we going to stop being the victims of the Democratic Party, step out and act not just like survivors but begin to really fight back? All the marches [on Washington DC] in the world and all the protests will not count - until we are able to let go and step out.
This is the advice given to people who are in an abusive relationship. This is what we must do. Or the echo of our crying and our pain and our rage will only be heard by us - until we have the courage and the wisdom to Divorce the Democrats in the next national election."
The next national election is in 2010 when Democrats hope to win a greater majority in both the House and the Senate, as well as win gubernatorial elections - including in California.
There may well also be an initiative on the 2010 ballot to repeal Prop 8 - in which case - if one would follow Tyler's suggestion - LGBTs would show up to vote on the ballot measure but would ignore the Democratic slate - or possibly vote for a "supportive" Independent or Republican to "send a message."
Prop 8 hovered over the WeHo anniversary celebration like a pall.
After EQCA Marriage Director Marc Solomon described the anniversary as "historic" and Rabbi Denise Eger offered an opening prayer, Tyler and Olson spoke as did Jordan/Rustin coalition had Ron Buckmire and his husband Dean Elzinga, Bridgett Gonzalez and Elena Popp, Frank Reifsnyder and Jim Smith- Reifsnyder (holding their kids) and Bill Walker, who read a moving letter from his daughter about how Prop 8 effected her life.
California Faith for Equality's Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong also told how the faith community will take the lead in winning back equality for same sex couples in California.
A similar celebration was held in San Francisco.
Here's the agenda for today:
Fresno: 6 PM Historic Water Tower in Downtown Fresno - 2444 Fresno St.
Inland Empire: 6:30 p.m. Redlands UCC Church - 168 Bellevue Ave.
Orange County: 6 p.m. Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa - 2525 Fairview Rd.
San Diego: 5:30 p.m. Mission Hills United Church of Christ - 4070 Jackdaw St.
Sacramento: 6 p.m. Sacramento County Clerk's Office - 600 8th St.
For more information, please visit: www.eqca.org/anniversary
Event sponsors include, Equality California, California Faith for Equality, Marriage Equality USA, Jordan Rustin Coalition, API Equality - LA, Equality Inland Empire, Redlands United Church of Christ's Christians for Marriage Equality, Orange County Equality Coalition, Equality Action NOW, PFLAG, Courage Campaign- Fresno Equality Team, Yes! on Equality, and Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, Spousesforlifeproject.com.