Well, it is no joke from the days of the West Wing that if POTUS calls, you take it. Fortunately today I had a small window of a heads up from Lambda Legal – those people who have been in this fight for dignity since nearly the beginning.
And sure enough at 4:32 Pacific time, my cell rings, it says unknown – I was briefed to expect that – b/c what does the phone from Air Force 1 actually come up as? A gentleman introduced himself and asked if I had time to speak with the President. This is where I had been coached to not assume it was a crank call or a telemarketer. And sure enough the next voice I heard was the President himself. Humility surrounds me and the next 3 minutes of my life. For the past 3 years I have been speaking at large and small events – posting here on the blog and have been saying over and over – that holding someone’s hand as they die is NOT a GAY right it’s a HUMAN right – and today – President Barack Obama agreed with me. He knew Lisa’s name, and he knew our story and offered the long-awaited apology – that Jackson Memorial STILL refuses to give – why is that? – the President could.
In those short minutes of speaking with our President, it was clear he got the issue, and now in reading his memorandum, he understands what happened to Lisa, the kids and me was wrong on many level – especially on the HUMAN level. None of this brings Lisa back. But what it does do – for the next gay couple – is that hopefully if your partner is dying you wont be locked behind a door for 8hours as they slip from this earth and are not allowed to say that final goodbye.
Thank you to Lambda Legal for so bravely taking our case, and in our loss and dismissal more has come than winning the largest jury settlement could have made the changes that happened today. I said at the time of Lisa’s death with one stroke of a pen, the coroner in FL took away our 18yrs by listing Lisa as single, never married, but today with a stroke of the pen, the President recognized – we were a couple deserving of all the same rights of straight Americans.
So thank you Mr. President, I would gladly take your call any day.
I know that Lambda Legal has started a fundraising campaign over today’s historic events. Please if you have any money to give to non profits – Lambda legal is the one.