A look back

Oh, hello, blog! I pretty much let this blog languish for most of the year, but I couldn’t let 2013 go by without at least briefly highlighting a milestone in my life: getting married. As you may know, for the last several years Thom and I have been advocating for marriage equality as volunteers for Marriage Equality USA. We were at as many rallies and protests and parades as we could attend, speaking out for equal marriage rights for all.

On June 26 of this year, the movement for marriage equality reached a turning point as the Supreme Court dismissed the Proposition 8 case and overturned a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which meant two things to us personally: Thom and I could get married in our home state of California, and our marriage would be recognized by the federal government. We thought the ruling wouldn’t issue for about another month, but the circuit court surprised us all by lifting its stay just a few days later, on June 28. Thom and I rushed to San Francisco City Hall to get our marriage license, and there we just happened to also witness the wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, two of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case. More history in the making!

On September 26, the anniversary of our “Happy Together”-themed commitment ceremony at the Cliff House four years ago, we got married at City Hall (and called it “Happy Together 2.0″).

Just married! (Photo: Pax Gethen / Funcrunch Photo; full album here.)

Just married! (Photo: Pax Gethen / Funcrunch Photo; full album here.)

And that weekend, we went back to the Cliff House and had a dapper party! (Photos by Levi Smith.)

Thank you to all our family and friends for your love and support. My husband (!) and I appreciate it so much. This has been an amazing year for us personally and for the advancement of civil rights in America. At the beginning of 2013, nine states and the District of Columbia had marriage equality. Since then, nine more states. Look out, 2014!

The Prop 8 wait

Same-sex marriage is in a holding pattern in California. Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban, got overturned in federal district court (yay), but the judgment was temporarily stayed (boo). Then the stay was lifted (yay), but the effect of that was delayed a week (boo). Then the proponents appealed to the circuit court and were granted a stay (boo), but the court expedited the case to begin this December (yay). And then there’s also the mysterious cloud hanging over all of this: whether the proponents even have standing to appeal. Whew!

The entire Prop 8 trajectory has been a roller coaster of events, and August 12 was an emotional roller coaster of a day. We went to San Francisco City Hall in the morning to await word on the stay and see if we could get married. Our good friend Julie Bernstein, who had also been our wedding photographer last year, surprised us by meeting us at City Hall to offer emotional support and document what we hoped would be our legal-wedding day. To finish the job, as it were.

After waiting for a few hours in line with other gay and lesbian couples at the county clerk’s office, we were overjoyed to find out the stay was lifted, but then just minutes later disappointed to hear of the delay. Same sex-marriage may be on hold for now, but given the current momentum, we are optimistic for marriage equality and know that we will get there eventually. Julie created a lovely photo essay of that day last week; please take a look: “A Second Chance for Their Wedding Day.”

Thanks to our friends and family for their support and encouragement! And on a grander scale, thanks to the plaintiffs and their legal team for their efforts, and to Judge Vaughn Walker for his legal reasoning. The overturning of Prop 8 is a win for the Constitution and for civil rights.

» See also Thom’s blog entry “‘Not Getting Married Today.’”

Our big fat Greek honeymoon

Wow, I really meant to write a wedding recap (more than a month has passed since the wedding, so it’s not like I haven’t had the opportunity!), and I will eventually, but for now here are a couple of links to photos, which you may have already seen on Facebook etc.: our Flickr group Happy Together, and our pro Julie Bernstein’s photos. Speaking of photos, if you’ve seen my Flickr photostream lately, you’ll notice that I recently started to post last year’s Alaska cruise photos. You know how I procrastinate. I figured I would try and post them all before our next cruise, but I may have to put that on hold yet again, ’cause our next cruise is here!

That’s right, our honeymoon is upon us! Tomorrow we fly via Amsterdam to Venice, and the day after that we embark on a twelve-night cruise aboard the Grand Princess from Venice to Rome, stopping at the following ports and cities in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy: Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon (Olympia), Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Rhodes, Santorini, and Naples. We finish in Rome, where we’ll stay for a couple of days before heading back home. (Google map? You got it.)


View larger map

We’re totally excited, as you can imagine. I can’t wait to see so many things in person for the first time that I’ve only seen in pictures, like the Parthenon in Athens, the canals of Venice, and so on and so on. I’ll try to update now and then, but for now, γειά σου and ciao!

Wedding update: T-minus 3 months

I just wanted to cross-ref to a post I wrote on our wedding blog last week, about some of the planning progress we’ve made so far. At the time of that writing, we were about a hundred days out from our wedding, but as of today — let me check my handy-dandy countdown clock on my computer desktop — it’s T-minus 3 months, or 92 days!

Here you go: wedding progress at thomandjeff.com.

Valentine’s Day weekend

If you followed my Twitter or Facebook status a couple weeks ago, you know this news: Thom and I are engaged. We’ve talked about this amongst ourselves for a while, so it was kind of planned — no one surprised anyone with a ring in the champagne or got down on one knee — but still special and romantic. We plan to have a wedding in the Bay Area sometime this fall. Although we are already registered domestic partners, there is nothing like a ceremony with our friends and family present. We’ll have it regardless of the outcome of the Prop 8 court challenge, and if the ban is overturned, which we hope will be the case, then we’ll get legally married!

Our Valentine’s Day weekend was spent on a little road trip down the Central Coast. On Saturday we went to Hearst Castle in San Simeon, about a four-hour drive from here in Daly City. That night we had dinner in Carmel at Citronelle, where we popped the question. (We said yes!) We stayed the night at the Hyatt Regency Monterey and the next day visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a lovely getaway (though the drive back on Sunday was stormy and harrowing).

My photos from Hearst Castle are up on Flickr, and soon I’ll add the aquarium photos to the set.

Hearst Castle - Neptune Pool

And so the wedding planning begins!