How Star Trek and Marriage Equality are tied together, in my life
The history of the same-gender marriage timeline have been discussed in other blog posts, but where same-gender (or same-sex) marriage began to intersect with Star Trek in my timeline was in 2012. In 2012, I filed the first same-gender bankruptcy case in Kentucky. At that point, some states were starting to allow the files, as they are in Federal Court, but most were not.
The nice couple that came into my office to file weren’t planning on filing as a married couple, as it hadn’t occurred to them, but instead of filing as two single men, we decided to wait a month or so until after their wedding and then I filed the bankruptcy. I called the Court ahead of time to give them a heads up and at first the case went through with no problem. Then, the judge wanted to have a hearing, completely with briefs (which are by no mean short) regarding the issue and we were to have a hearing on the matter.
Now, here is where the Star Trek starts to come in. I have always been a Trekkie, in case you haven’t met me, and in October of 2012, there was a Star Trek Convention in London England that was the first time that all five captains from the different Star Trek series were going to be on same stage. I wasn’t planning on going, as the hearing on the bankruptcy case was the day after the convention (I had already done the rest of the preparation). The other attorney in my office, Dawn Elliott, convinced me to go, but as I went with literally a few weeks’ notice, I was only there for about 72 hours. I flew in really late Thursday night and left really early Sunday morning. That Friday while I was gone, a Federal case out of New York had been ruled on. So, once I landed back in DC for the change of planes, I was trying to read an over 50 page decision on a very tiny and very early “smart phone”. The flight was then canceled and I didn’t think I would make it back for the hearing on Monday. (The only reason I hadn’t asked for a postponement of the hearing for the trip is that I didn’t think my Star Trek fangirlness was a valid reason to postpone a Federal Court hearing). So, I was scrambling to figure out how to get back to Louisville when my hearing was about 12 hours later. Calling around to other airports and calling to see if I could rent a car took up a few hours until the airport finally brought in another plane.
The next day, with still no sleep and I had to go over everything again, we had the bankruptcy hearing for the first same-gender filing in Kentucky.
That was October of 2012. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the Windsor case. They ruled that the IRS had to recognize Edie Windsor’s marriage and the impact it would have in regards to the taxes she would not have to pay on her wife’s estate once the marriage was recognized. That decision was very clear that the issue of same-sex marriage was not directly addressed as it was not asked to be in that case.
So, Dawn Elliott and I decided to file for Kentucky and ask that question. This has been addressed in previous blog posts, so I will skip against to the weekend of FandomFest 2014. This was the weekend before we were going to Cincinannati for the Sixth Circuit to hear arguments on our case, and others, in order to decide if same-gender marriage had to be recognized and allowed in Kentucky, Tenessesse, Michigan and Ohio. That weekend, I was volunteering at Fandomfest and through sheer serendipity, Id up being “security” for Michael Dorn, aka Worf from Star Trek, and spent two days hanging around the crew from the Next Generation.
For me this entire thing has come full circle when I went and saw Star Trek Beyond and one of the main characters is gay. The fact that same-gender relationships are in shown in all forms of media, as not a plot point, but just the way things are, is very exciting to me and again, will always be related to Star Trek for me.