Grethe Cammermeyer. Photo by Tracy Baim
'It reminded me very much of being thrown out of the military. Of that same sense of negation, of being less than, of being devalued. That one I'm not over.' — Openly lesbian military activist Col. Margarethe 'Grethe' Cammermeyer ( Ret. ) after her civil marriage to partner Diane Divelbess in Oregon was nullified. In an interview with Bay Windows.
'What I've realized is all of the things I thought I knew for sure are not reality. ... What we ought to be looking at are the possibilities. How we change the dialogue. How we challenge people to think outside their familiar biases.' — Cammermeyer.
'I have been a member of this august body for three decades, and today is one of the all-time low points. We are going in the wrong direction, in the direction of hate and fear and discrimination. Members, we all know what this is about; this is the politics of divisiveness at its worst, a wedge issue that is meant to divide. Members, this is a distraction from the real things we need to be working on. At the end of this session, this Legislature, this leadership will not be able to deliver the people of Texas fundamental and fair answers to the pressing issues of our day. Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP [ Children's Health Insurance Program ] who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas' Third World access to healthcare. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage.' — African-American Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson from Houston, testifying against a plan to put a same-sex marriage ban in the state's constitution, to her colleagues, as reported in Molly Ivins' syndicated column.
'Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination ... . When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage' as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree ... . Fifty years ago, white folks thought interracial marriages were 'a threat to the institution of marriage.' Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, 'Gay people can't marry.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination.' Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness—not hate and discrimination. ... So... now that blacks and women have equal rights, you turn your hatred to homosexuals, and you still use your misguided reading of the Bible to justify your hatred. You want to pass this ridiculous amendment so you can go home and brag—brag about what? Declare that you saved the people of Texas from what? Persons of the same sex cannot get married in this state now. Texas law does not now recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, religious unions, domestic partnerships, contractual arrangements or Christian blessings entered into in this state—or anywhere else ... . If you want to make your hateful political statements then that is one thing—but the Chisum amendment does real harm. It repeals the contracts that many single people have paid thousands of dollars to purchase to obtain medical powers of attorney, powers of attorney, hospital visitation, joint ownership and support agreements. You have lost your way. This is obscene.' — Rep. Thompson. The amendment passed.
'At what point are we all considered human beings?' — California State Rep. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, a gay legislator who proposed Assembly Bill 19, a gay marriage bill, on the defeat of the measure, in part because some Democrats declined to vote last week.
'Everyone must realize that when straight people say gay people should not have the freedom to marry, they are saying we are not as good or deserving as they are. It's that simple, no matter how one attempts to sugarcoat it. This is unacceptable—and it is immoral.' — National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman in a May 11 press release.