It was during our week in NYC President Obama gave his State of the Union Address. Many people applauded progressive vim and verve in the speech. I found myself thinking... "okay, sounds great but where have you been for the past 3 years?". I obviously will vote for President Obama come November, but I am still not excited about it. After watching the seemingly endless string of GOP Presidential debates. it is now even more clear that the 2012 Presidential election will essentially be a choice between an marginally effective democratic President, and whichever bat sh*t crazy Republican survives the circular firing squad that is this years' primary process.
So we have a GOP contest essentially between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich? Seriously?? It's like the Republican Party has decided to double down on their quest for total irrelevance. The good news is, either one is a losing proposition for the GOP. The wingnutty base will never support Mitt "the Mormon", who once boasted he was more pro-LGBT rights than Ted Kennedy.
As far as Newt "Swingrich" goes, (his three wives, affinity for adultery and open marriages aside..) it is safe to say that Newt is just wayyyyy too crazy for vast majority of Americans. So I think President Obama can safely keep the moving boxes stored away for another four years. Yet the question is not who will be President come January 20th, 2013, but rather who will control Congress.
I guess it is a result of just missing California. This was even more evident when last weekend I took a couple days off, and flew up to San Francisco.
Then you see somebody else's name on your mailbox and it all kicks in... Oh yeah, I don't live here any more.
While in SF I had the great good fortune to get to see my friend Rudy in his current run with the Word For Word Theatre Company. He is in the play "Food Stories", and as always, was amazing in it. I also was able to spend some time with my Sister, her husband and my glorious, brilliant, and perfect (can you tell I'm a proud uncle?), nieces and nephew. For the most part it was nice just to spend time revisiting my old stomping grounds. I even was able to poke my head in at my old offices at Kaiser Permanente in San Bruno, and in Oakland, and catch up with some of my former co-workers.
All of which, I will confess had a bitter-sweet feel to it. Friends and co-workers here in London often ask me if I "miss" San Francisco. That is a complicated question. Obviously there are lots of things and people I miss. My friends, my family, and the weather. (It is a balmy 28 degrees Fahrenheit here in London today.) But the question implies that if I say "yes" I miss SF, it means I somehow regret moving here, and if I say "no" then it feels like I am trivializing the people and things I left behind.
The United States Government, which I support with my taxes, forced me to move, and yes, that fact still makes me angry.
Well meaning friends, for whom the reality of DOMA ( the ridiculously mis-named "Defense of Marriage Act"), doesn't apply; will often say; "Nobody forced you move Dave. You could always have just stayed here." The sheer idiocy of that statement is mind-boggling. Of course I could have stayed in the U.S., but without the person I am married to. It is hard for these people to imagine having to choose between your Spouse and your Country. Yet that is exactly the choice thousands of bi-national same sex couples are forced to make every day.
How would you feel if, in order to even be with, let alone marry the person you love, you had to move overseas. All for no other reason, than the basic legal protections other married couples enjoy, we are denied, because the Republican Party needs to keep Gay and Lesbian Americans as the one group they can still legally hate, and discriminate against.
London is a fantastic city, and I am fortunate to have a great job, and Eric and I have wonderful friends and family here. So what is the problem? The fact we didn't have a choice. The basic rights given to other tax-paying Americans to have the option to live together and build a life in the United States we were denied, for no other reason than bigotry and discrimination codified into law by DOMA.