Monday, September 29, 2008

From Ellen Bass

Wedding Song
Now let fear go out singing, the silver gate unlatched.
Now let the past tear loose from the branches, scarlet leaves flying.
Send the bridesmaids out at dawn
to sprinkle gold dust on the spider webs.
Let the oysters float on their briny thrones.
Drink them down with a toast to the goddess of luck.
May the wine plunge through your veins
and swim to all the heart's giddy chambers.
You are making a home for the pilgrim to rest,
architecture of skin and bone.
Raise the rafters. Drill the well. Each room
is a lung you fill with your breath.
Let love grow wild, insist on itself.
Let it be relentless, a weed with ghost white roots.
Joy be welcome. Enter at midnight.
Shine on these lovers braided and oiled.
Sorrow be welcome. Sit at the table.
Lay down your helmet. Lay down your head.
May the hinge of this day open like wings.
May night enfold you in its great black plumage.

Friends and Writers,

I don't normally send out political mailings because we all have too much email flooding our mailboxes, but the right to marry affects me very personally so I am asking for your help.

In my own life I've experienced the devastating effects of homophobia. I didn't come out a a lesbian until I was 35 so I had years of life experience and could withstand any discrimination, judgments, or hatred directed at me. But my children were vulnerable and suffered in ways that were heartbreaking.

I know that extending the right to marry to gays and lesbians won't end all discrimination and pain for gays and lesbians and their families, but I am sure that it is a crucial step. I believe that if the right to marry is extended to gays and lesbians that we will save lives--gay youth will be able to visualize a healthy, loving future for themselves. We will support the children in gay and lesbian families. And we will afford respect to gay and lesbian couples.

My partner, Janet Bryer, and I have been together for 25 years, through raising children, through good times and bad, through sickness and health. It's still hard for me to comprehend how some people assume they have the right to regulate other people's hearts. But right now the polls say that voters are about equally split on this issue. And the anti-gay forces are pouring money into it.
No On 8, the campaign to defeat the ban on marriage, is in serious need of funds. For many of us, the bulk of our efforts--both monetary and time--are going into the presidential election. This is certainly true for me. But if we all make even a small donation to the No on 8 campaign, it will add up to a significant contribution.

Whether you are gay or not, whether you live in California or not, whether you even believe in the institution of marriage or not, this is a critical time to defend equality for all people.

To contribute online, please go to
Equality California.

Or send a check to:
NO on 8 – Equality California
Attn: Leanne Pittsford
2370 Market St, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94114

Thanks for your help. If each person who receives this email sends $25, that would be over $50,000! If you don't have $25, please send $10 or $5. And of course if you can send $50 or $100 or more, that would be terrific.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for making a contribution. Thank you for your integrity and your support.


Jan Steckel said...

Inspiring post, both the poem and the letter that follows it. If you can't afford to donate, give your time and volunteer through MarriageEqualityCalifornia or If you can't volunteer formally, talk to your friends. It's amazing the number of people who don't even know what the initiative is, but when it's explained to them say "oh, of course I'll vote against that." Get them interested, too.

Collin Kelley said...

Great post and poem from Ellen!