Last week, the devastating news of the passage of Proposition
8 in California — and similar amendments in Florida and Arizona —
angered and saddened LGBT people and our supporters all over the world, prompting
march in protest across the country this weekend.
18,000 gay and lesbian couples were married in California during the six months it was legal, before the passage of Prop 8.
In the pages to follow, AfterEllen.com profiles some of the couples whose marriages
are now in jeopardy because of this new law, and offers their perspectives on
the battle ahead. (Wedding dates are noted in parentheses next to their names.)
Since this is an entertainment site, we’re focusing on couples connected to the entertainment industry in one way or another, and therefore relevant to AfterEllen.com’s commitment to furthering lesbian visibility in popular culture. But these are just a few of the stories to be told in the fight for legal gay marriage.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi (August 16, 2008)
of the popular lesbian talk show host and the openly gay actress was big news this summer, making the cover of People magazine and every major news outlet in America and internationally.
DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show) famously came out in 1997, and de Rossi (Better
Off Ted, Arrested Development) came out in 2005, shortly after Portia and Ellen publicly
revealed their relationship.
After the ceremony, Ellen posted a note on her website announcing the news:
I had a big, big weekend. I got married to Portia de Rossi! Sorry John Stamos…this one’s taken…
I do a lot of things differently now…I say "I do" a lot. For example: "Who wants to do pilates? I do. Would you like a Mountain Dew? I do. Do you know why I pulled you over? I do. and that was just this morning.
Prior to the election, Ellen donated $100,000 to fight Proposition 8, and asked
her fans to vote against it.
Last week, Ellen issued a short statement immediately after the election results, saying she was happy about
the election of Obama, but "saddened beyond belief" that "we just took a giant step away" from equality in passing Proposition 8.
She followed up with another statement later in the week:
Well, as I said, everybody is still excited about our new president. Congratulations Barack Obama! And to Michelle and the kids and the new puppy that they’re going to get! That’s really exciting. I’ll tell you what’s
not exciting though, what’s going on here in California.
Proposition 8 passed, and this is a proposition that would ban gay marriage. You know I’ve been talking about this on the show a lot, and it’s
something that I am obviously very invested in. And it would be the first time in history that they would change the state constitution and take rights away. That’s just amazing, and it’s too close to call… and
so there was a demonstration here on Wednesday night, and just before I walked out here I was watching the news and there is a huge, huge, peaceful demonstration going on in the streets and I say, good for you, and I support you and if I weren’t here, I’d be out there with you.
Here we’re taking a giant step toward equality, and then this is happening and I don’t understand it, and like I said, I’m there with you in spirit. It’s crazy.