I just got this from Daniel, who - along with his partner Curtis - will be among the couples asking the New York Court of Appeals tomorrow to honor their desire to form a family by allowing them to marry:
Curtis and I wanted to give you an update on our marriage case. Hernandez v. Robles has been consolidated with other marriage cases throughout New York State and we will have our day in the state's highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals, on Wednesday, May 31, 2006, in Albany. As our journey to seek marriage equality draws to a conclusion, I can say we are feeling several emotions, but most of all, nervous.
As many of you who live in the city are aware there have articles about one of the justices recusing himself. While there has been speculation about why he has recused himself, we have decided not to exert energy on speculation. Ultimately, what that means is that the court is pared down to 6 justices which leaves the case open to a 3-3 split decision. In the event of this occurrence, the final decision could be put off for some time. A split vote would require the court to call in another justice from the appellate division to sit in on the proceedings. This could require oral arguments to be re-heard all over again. In the best case scenario, a decision could be rendered by the end of June.
While we could go on about the political reasons for why we should be allowed to marry, it really has not been about that for us. Quite frankly we are astonished that we have placed our relationship under such a public light. We want to have the right to marry because we love each other and we want our relationship protected under the law, just like every other committed opposite sex couple. For us, the matter has been about respect and equality. It continues to frustrate us that we have to explain in depth the reasons for why we should be allowed to marry, when with the stroke of a pen an impetuous pop star can be fully and legally married and then proceed to dissolve the marriage hours later (Anyone remember Brittany?) What could be more a slap in the face to committed couples who have been together for years and struggle every day to protect their relationship? Curtis and I have been lucky that the hurdles we've had to overcome have been relatively minor, but what happens when luck runs out? And why should the protection and recognition of our relationship have to rely on luck?
As we head into court, we are trying to remain hopeful and positive under stressful conditions, but as most of you may recall, the justices at the appellate division were openly hostile to our attorney. It was difficult to watch especially knowing that we were at the center of the hostility. Knowing what we know now, we are bracing for a similar exchange at the high court.
We will continue to keep you posted and we ask that you keep not only us in your thoughts, but also the other 40+ couples in New York state who have placed their relationships on the line for equality.
Daniel & Curtis
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