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and during that time, the definition of the attained contractual kinship referred to as marriage changed often. Records of its actual origin are absent. Historically, there has been recognition of committed gay relationships through contracts. Gay marriage was first recorded in ancient Rome. Ancient Egyptian artifacts revealed the existence of gay relationships as well. However, during the fifth century in Rome, The Theodosian Code provided legal guidance on a wide range of contractual issues, including the prohibition of gay marriage. Religion is at the root of that redefinition. My religion, Reform Judaism, supports gay marriage. As a California resident and lesbian, I am prevented from exercising my freedom of religion due to the passage of Prop 8. If married, I would not be able to share my benefits with my spouse due to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Permitting legal decisions to be based on religious belief begs the question that must be asked: Which religion? The founding fathers, in their imminent wisdom, incorporated into the first amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Religion is not a legitimate justification for removing the right to equality from any group. Worldwide there are eight nations allowing gay marriage (soon nine: Portugal is anticipated to approve), and six nations considering legislation for gay marriage or civil union. In the United States, gay marriage is allowed in five states and Washington DC will start in March 2010. Gay unions are recognized in 18 states, as well as in Washington DC. Recently, both California and Maine (propositions 8 and 1, respectively) lost the freedom for gay couples to marry through ballot initiatives. In both cases, lies and distortions were spread about LGBT. In California, power brokers within the Democratic Party are trying to delay LGBT activists’ efforts to repeal Prop 8 via ballot initiative proposition in 2010. Part of the reasoning is the race for the California governorship. Equality is a non-partisan issue, but governors’ races are not. Democratic leaders view gay marriage ballot issues negatively. They and the most powerful leadership in LGBT organizations utilize their own set of distortions, having done everything they could to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that a repeal is doomed in 2010. The argument they use to make their case is based on statistical minutiae. Those activists who recognize the grassroots strategies of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, are working to restore equality in 2010. They have a social networking Web site for training and creating teams to gather petition signatures. Obtaining movement in social justice is not based on time. Time is neutral. Success comes from hard work to attain change. If the petition succeeds, the real challenge in 2010 will be getting out the vote. Fifty-one percent of voting Californians now support gay marriage. Powerful LGBT leadership opposing the restoration of equality in 2010 also resisted the federal challenge to Prop 8. The lawyers for that challenge are heterosexual—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—and they refuse to allow those unwilling LGBT organizations a seat at the table. Attorneys Olson and Boies have every intention of winning and believe that they can by proving that Prop 8 was fueled by discrimination. The outcome of this trial will not be known until it reaches the Supreme Court in 2012. The present consistency of the court does not appear to be supportive of LGBT. Rumsfeld vs. Forum challenged the bigotry of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) in the military, but all that Chief Justice Roberts fi xated on was money. Apparently for the majority of the Justices, LGBT equality is not a priority, but money is. Republican attorney Olson has won litigation at the Supreme Court before and is not intimidated. If anybody can sway conservative Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Alito, and Roberts, it is Olson. Get involved at restoreequality2010.com or sign the petition at signforequality.com. L.S. Kove is the Executive Director of the Department of Defense (DOD) Federal Globe, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT employees of the DOD. Learn more at dodfedglobe.com. This article is based solely on Ms. Kove’s views and is not intended in any way to represent the opinion of the DOD.

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