The Best Kind of “Family Values”

I’m proud of the California Supreme Court for overturning the ban on gay marriages on May 15, 2008. It’s about time. When I see the images of committed couples — especially older couples — hugging and crying because they finally will have the rights the rest of us have had all along, I want to sing, cheer, yell, and dance my support.

Look, for example, at Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 79, who had been together for 51 years when they were married in San Francisco on Feb. 12, 2004, a marriage later declared invalid. Now they can remarry. So can Ellen Pontac and Shelly Bailes, who have been together for 34 years, and Mason Bowling, 61, and Patrick Fitzgerald, 58, together 30 years.

This is, finally, true separation of church and state. Religions are still free to take whatever stand they wish. According to the ruling, “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.” This is a civil matter. A matter of civil rights.

Two people fall in love, create a life together, stay in love, perhaps raise family together, and get old still loving each other. This, to me, is “family values” at its best.

I would love to hear from gay and lesbian couples over 50 who would like to share their stories and their comments. Please either post comments here or email me if you prefer.


  1. RICK on July 17, 2008 at 8:26 am

    My answer to those who are against gay marriage is simple.

    To uphold equal protection under the law, we should ban marriage as an aspect of our civil laws.

    Anyone could choose to marry within their religion of choice, but the result of the ceremony would not be recognized as law.

    Or the justices of the US Supreme Court should strike down as unconstitutional all state laws banning gay marraige.

    We citizens of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts are proud that our courts acted first.

  2. paula on May 23, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    This sounds like a very reasonable law. Churches don’t have to marry gay people. But churches who want to may do so. Everyone’s civil rights are protected. Hooray for Cali!!!

    This whole debate reminds me of the slogan: “Your religious freedom does not include limiting mine.”

    We in Alabama are heartened by this decision of the Cailfornia court.

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