He Died Waiting to Get Married

8 Dec

Ed Watson and Derence Kernek

A heartbreaking story out of California tonight.

Last March, we posted this article about Derence Kernek and Ed Watson, who recorded a video for California’s 9th Circuit Court, requesting that they allow Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Prop 8 to stand. This request was because Watson had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and they wanted to be married while he still had memories of their 40 years together.

On August 4th, 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional as it denied gays and lesbians due process and equal protection under the law. As Walker had not disclosed that he was gay and in a relationship at the time, Prop 8 supporters filed a motion to dismiss his decision as he would stand to benefit from it. Of course their argument fails to recognize that according to their anti-gay claims – any heterosexual judge would stand to benefit from a decision in their favor.

That argument failed in a lower court and today’s hearings before the 9th circuit were in regards to the anti-gay side’s appeal of that decision.

Last night, on the eve of these arguments, Ed passed away due to complications from his quickly-advancing Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. They were never married.

On top of that, because of the inequality in the law, and the couple’s inability to marry, Watson had been denied coverage under Kernek’s retirement plan (as any heterosexual couple would be entitled to). This caused incredible financial hardships.

Kernek could not be reached for comment as their phone had been disconnected.

Please watch the video that this couple put together urging for marriage equality in California

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5 Responses to “He Died Waiting to Get Married”

  1. Annie Sisk December 9, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I am so sorry for both of these gentlemen and their families, friends and loved ones. This is blatant social injustice.

  2. Cristobar Coss December 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    As Allan Bloom so aptly put it in celebrated work, Closing of the American Mind, “You can put breasts on a man but you cannot make them produce milk.” Marrying two men or two women is as absurd as when Caligula appointed his favorite horse to the senate. It flies in the face of nature.

    • Jamie McGonnigal December 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      It’s not absurd to two loving adults who wish to marry. Allan Bloom was a gay conservative who died of AIDS. He wrote of social movements, but was so full of self-loathing, he barely ever spoke of the gay community. By staying silent like other gay conservatives, his self-hatred caused an implosion of beliefs and disgust that would rival any modern-day villain. To even quote him in response to an article about men who fought to have equality is absurd.

      • Cristobar Coss December 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

        Bloom’s silence was a token of his sincerity. To try and bend nature (physis) to fit a proclivity or convention (nomos) flies in the face of everything that he had worked towards, namely, in search of truth beyond opinion.

  3. Scott Rose April 5, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    @Cristobar Coss — You aren’t even using your actual name — so who knows who the fuck you are; quite possibly you are a NOMzi. You need to drink a big steaming cup of STFU. Your bullying non-acceptance of gay human beings marks you as a fucking asshole. Your whole problem appears to be, actually, that when you pulled your head out of your ass, your head fell off, and all that was left was a talking asshole.

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