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A Valentine’s Day video on Prop 8

Prop 8 trial Videos

By Adam Bink

Many of you remember Ed and Derence, a couple of 41 years, who were featured in the Los Angeles Times for their story on waiting for the Prop 8 trial to conclude so they could get married (Ed had Alzheimer’s). Tragically, Ed passed on the eve of yet another hearing in the Prop 8 trial in December 2011.

To honor his passing, and to mark Valentine’s Day, Courage Campaign Institute released another video and letter from Ed yesterday:

Please sign in support of Ed’s Valentine’s Day request to lift the stay on the Prop 8 ruling so other couples do not have to suffer like this.

We hope and expect the legal team on behalf of the plaintiffs will request the stay to be lifted. But there is much we, as a community, can do to show how the stay affects couples like Ed and Derence.

Here’s his letter:

Dear Courage Campaigner,

It’s Valentine’s Day. One week ago, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Judge Walker ruled the same in 2010. Yet same-sex couples still cannot get married in California. I know this because my partner of 41 years, Ed, died last December on the eve of yet another hearing in the trial. We never had the chance to get married.

This video is from his funeral. I know we’re not “supposed” to ask the courts for anything — that’s what the lawyers are for. But these judges all read the newspaper, they all watch TV, they listen to the radio. And I let this video be made because I hope they will see the suffering that is going on while this case drags on. That’s where I need your help.

Please watch this video about me and my partner Ed, and then sign in support of lifting the stay on the Prop 8 decision.

A “stay” is to prevent irreparable harm while a matter is being decided. The only irreparable harm is to people like Ed, who die before they can marry. So why the stay? Allowing same-sex couples to get married causes no irreparable harm to the people of California. By all means — resolve the Prop 8 case as it should be. But please allow people to have their dignity before it’s too late.


Derence Kernek, Palm Springs, CA


  • 1. AnonyGrl  |  February 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Derence, thank you again for sharing your heartbreaking story. I am so very sorry that we could not get this stupid problem fixed so that you could marry your love, but so very glad that you had 41 years together to share that love.

    Someday soon, none of us will be second class citizens any more, in large part because of you and Ed and others like you who refuse to sit down and take what is dumped on you, but rather stand up and say "we want what is rightfully ours."

    I am not at all religious, and I have no idea what happens when we die, but I think that the energy that a love like yours has makes a lasting impression on this world, and I thank you for sharing it with all of us. Happy Valentines day to you.

  • 2. Sagesse  |  February 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm


  • 3. Seth from Maryland  |  February 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    off topic, wow you all might want to swing by the Rhode Island House of Representatives facebook , theres link about a marriage equality bill being put foward this year, its has over 200 comments with all of them in support,none against

  • 4. chris hogan  |  February 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments of everyone that the stay should be lifted NOW. But the problem is that the second the 9th circuit court lifts the stay, you can bet 100% that the Supreme Court would reinstate it. And this would cast an ominous shadow on our chances and change the narrative in favor of the NOMbies and the haters while we waited for a final ruling. As much as I'd love to see us marrying again in California, it isn't worth losing our momentum for the 3 day period that marriages would resume.

  • 5. Reformed  |  February 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    With marriages pre existing Prop 8 + two court decisions of unconsitutional, leaving stay in place is unconscionable. It would, at most, create another short period of marriage equality like the original. Proponents stated that their opposition is a long term concern, so they shouldn't object. Lifting the stay wouldn't prejudice the final outcome and more than the orginial period of equaility did. Stays are for limiting irreparable harm, so there is no case for leaving this one in place. Arguing otherwise demonstrates that proponents say whatever suits the occassion, audience, and that moments objective. (Like when they say "civil unions are enough" in one state, while campaigning against them specifically in another. Like when they say their cause is limited to "marriage" in one arena, and then oppose "adoption" in another.) Prop 8 poassed by 4 percentage points, face it, that required a coalition–any guesses how those who support executing gays voted? Ok, one thought leads to another. I hope it works that way in the general public too. In the end, a fair minded analysis always leads to siding with equality.

  • 6. Bob  |  February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you Derence, for sharing your story!! for having he courage to put a face to discrimination,, thank you and Ed both from the bottom of my heart,,, your story changes lives,,, so sorry for your loss,,, wishing you the comfort and support of friends and family

  • 7. Reformed  |  February 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    In other words, if the supreme court issues a stay, they will have sent a signal that they feel that some harm on the basis of discrimination is OK. This would invigorate the proponents side and diminish the perception of success on the equality side. This would slow the progress of converting those who want to be on the right side of history (for the wrong reason). Seems reasonable, however, I think the 3 days of marriages would go farther, creating a 2nd period of legal marriages. Also, does the whole court have to be involved in voting for a stay? or just 1? I think if Thomas issued a stay there would be little empact. Maybe more if the justice were one of the more liberal judges or Kennedy. How many judges are involved?

  • 8. Stefan  |  February 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I believe it's up to Kennedy if the ruling would be stayed, although he could ask the entire court to weigh in.

  • 9. Stefan  |  February 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    So they had 2 weeks from the ruling to appeal or else the stay will be lifted. From what I've gathered they are going to go straight to the US Supreme Court, where there is a good chance they just won't hear it. I've heard they have 90 days to appeal (although they'd have to do it quick if they want the stay to remain in place).

  • 10. Greg  |  February 16, 2012 at 5:23 am

    While I would normally be happy to sign such a petition, the petition language is not included in the Courage Campain post that collects your signature. I'm not willing to sign a petition that doesn't include the actual language of the petition.

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