December 8, 2011
Coverage of today’s hearings will begin just before 2:30 PM PST, but please allow this interruption of coverage to remember Ed Watson as we consider today’s events.
By Adam Bink
We at Courage Campaign Institute just found out that yesterday, Palm Springs resident Ed Watson passed.
If you’re not familiar with Ed and his connection, watch the video above. Ed, for many, became an important face of the human cost of delay in the Prop 8 trial, whom we got to know when we asked our members to share their stories of how waiting longer for a trial verdict would cause them more suffering. Ed, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, never got the chance to marry his partner of over 40 years you see in the video, Derence Kernek. He was the subject of a front-page Los Angeles Times profile on this topic earlier this year. Arisha wrote poignantly about them her trip to meet and videotape them here on Prop8TrialTracker.com.
The 9th Circuit first heard the appeal of Judge Walker’s ruling striking down Prop 8 on December 6, 2010. Today is December 8, 2011. That’s over a year that Ed’s been waiting on this case. Waiting for the 9th Circuit to rule after December 6th. Then waiting while the 9th Circuit kicked the question of standing over to the California Supreme Court. Then waiting as the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the question and convene six months later. Then waiting the several months between that hearing and their verdict. And now waiting for a verdict from the 9th Circuit that has yet to come.
Words cannot express both the deep sadness for Ed and Derence as well as anger at the human toll of those who did nothing but love and care for each other for decades, then watched their rights stripped away by their neighbors at the ballot in November 2008 and a court system that, for people like Ed and Derence, worked too slowly, no matter which way it will eventually decide. It is unfair. It is grossly unfair. And it is painful.
We at Courage plan to send flowers to honor Ed’s memory. When we hear from Derence on where condolences can be sent, I will be sure to post it here. For now, if you want to join us in expressing your condolences to Derence, please post your thought in the comments and we will make sure Derence has a chance to see them.