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Almost Equal

Mar. 2004, ienriquez

· Sitting with Mama
· Maria
· Nine Crossings
· Mama and Her

· Fallopian Chron IV
· Why I Toast, I
· Why I Toast, II
· Why I Toast, III
· Scooter/Dot-Com
· Fallopian Chron II
· Fallopian Chron III
· Strange Bedfellow
· Almost Equal
· A Difficult Day
· Phantom Lover:
    Ode to
    Leslie Cheung

· I Am Salad
· Fallopian Chron I
· Taiwanglish
· Childhood's End
· Psychic Friends
· Life in the
    Time of SARS

· Waiting for
      the Goddess

· Roswell My Eye
· Catisfaction
· My Laramie Project
· Stopping on the
    Street for
    Coltrane: A Real
    Latter Day Saint

· Whither Moocat?
· Happy Palindrome!
· Happy Tiger
· Tourist for a Day
· Geography
    as Destiny

· "Bastards"
· Watching the
    Pentagon Burn

· Communing with

· Milk
· Infinity
· Emailing the Dead
· Broken Water
· Sand Shark
· Grandma Said
· Golden Days
· Americat
· Moe Howard on the
Death of His Brother,

· Flashpoems
· Minyan
· Inside Scoop
· Nativity
· I Ask My Mother
To Sing

· Absence of Colours
· Island Logic
· Peepshow Kleenex
· Allen Ginsberg
Forgives Ezra Pound
on Behalf of the Jews

· Lacing Your Shoes:
Haiku & the Everyday

· Four Haiku
· Smoking Haiku
· Geary & Jones,
Monday, 8:23 a.m.

· The Keeper
· december 13, 2001
· Memento Mori
· Football's Birthday
· The Edward Gorey

· Arrival
· Victim o'

· The Origin of
Teeth and Bones

· Questions for
Martins Ferry,

· This Is Just
To Tell You

· Not-Cat (& whatnot)
· To My Unmet Wife

· Englishhua
· Dave for Pope
· Papa Loves Mambo
· A Culture Report

· The Louisiana
A Special Radio X
Historical Docudrama

· Krawkawkaw Gives
a Little

· Meet Dr. Klaww
· Letters to Dr. Klaww
· Letter from the
Hall of Justice

· An Invitation
to be Keynote

· More

All Things

· Gajandra Meets
    the Scatoman

· Gajandra and
    the Curse of the
    Six Monkeys

· Gajandra and the
    Eating Lesson

· A Moment of

· Gajandra and the
    Great Rumble

· Gajandra and the
    Problem with

· Mohamed Tahdaini
· John Guillory
· Berkeley Pier
· Bruce Dene
· Death of The Bayou
· Taiwan Food Vendors
· John Freeman
· Robin Liu
· Hector
· Dave's Corner
· Zuni Kachinas

· Mainland Murmurs
· Next to Heaven
  · Episode #8

  · Episode #16
· Crosswords Brunch


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Editor's note: On Valentine's Day weekend in February 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, in an act of civil disobedience, began issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples who requested them. The California Supreme Court ordered a halt to this practice on March 11, 2004.

San Francisco, Thurs., Mar. 11, 2004
My name is Ian Michael Enriquez and I was scheduled to get married, no, I am scheduled to get married at 8:30 on April 15th. My appointment is yet to be cancelled. I was at City Hall at 3 o'clock today to schedule an appointment for a friend to get deputized to officiate my marriage. When the clerk found out I was talking about a same-sex marriage, she just shook her head and told me it could not be done. My first reaction was that of confusion, as I did not understand why I couldn't deputize someone for a same-sex marriage, and that is when they told me that they had just gotten a call to cease giving out same-sex marriage licenses. I asked a couple more useless questions to better make sense of what was going on before leaving the building. On my way out, a gay couple was sitting on the steps of City Hall, defeated.

When all this began on Valentine's weekend, I felt resentful. I thought I only had that weekend to marry my partner of 5 years. It was simply not an option. Neither of my parents have had a marriage ceremony, and that is the least of the factors that have made my childhood an unusual one. As a child, I dreamed of the day that I would be married and my mother would give me away. There was no way I could just do this without my family or friends present. People said I could always have the ceremony some other time, but that just did not sit well with me. I wanted people that mattered most to me to be there when I got married.

Although no more same-sex licenses could be given out, the doors of City Hall did not close, and we booked a date on the week of our 5-year anniversary in April. It was nearly 7 weeks away, and it gave people enough time to make it here for the occassion. It was difficult to get messages from my friends who had classes, work, or other weddings to attend. What was worse was not to hear from my parents at all. Their absence has nothing to do with my sexuality, but regardless of that, I have been living with a heavy heart for the last few days. Still, the support of my other friends who have taken over the planning and coordination of my big day has helped me move forward in a positive way. After reiterating the importance of my day to the friends who did not take my initial invite seriously, people started changing their plans. Several people had bought their flights to get out here, and things were slowly coming together.

Today I learned that it was not going to be. I did not know what to do. Rosa Parks took a stand against the laws of society and sat in front of the bus, just as Gavin Newsom took a stand and began marrying same-sex couples. A revolution in our country had begun. Now I am told that I cannot have that marriage license and will likely get a refund if my date is cancelled. What am I supposed to do? Have a commitment ceremony? That is the equivalent of being asked to kindly sit at the back of the bus, and that was no longer an option. I attended the rally today and marched with some friends to San Francisco court houses. It was hard to stand amongst the married couples who were chanting and singing silly songs. Some of us in the group did not get our day in City Hall, and I sure did not feel like singing. This is something that means the world to me. It was a childhood dream that I had long awaited despite the belief that it would never come to be. I felt so alone in that crowd, so I went home to be with my partner.

On that bus ride home I came to the only decision I could come to. Whether they like it or not, I will be at City Hall at 8:30 a.m. on April 15, and I will have my ceremony. I do not know how it is going to happen, but I do know that it will happen. Living in this city, I have forgotten that I am a second-class citizen in my own country.

Ian and Ben Enriquez-Rousseau were (nonlegally) married on April 15, 2004, at Dolores Park in San Franciso, California.

coming together on the steps

— Ian Michael Enriquez

Ian Michael Enriquez' writing was first published in 1991 when his article about a violent crime in the Philippines appeared in all but one of the country's papers. He now lives in San Francisco with his husband and their hamster.

<—   b  a  c  k

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