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78 Year Old Gay Marriage Activist Dies Waiting To Marry The Man He Loves.

Derence Kernek (left) and Ed Watson (right) have been together for 40 years.  Both have been LGBT advocates and activist and even earlier this year  Ed Watson,  urged a federal appeals court to end the enforcement Proposition 8 so he could marry Ed.

Ed Watson passed away Wedenesday, one day before the latest court hearing on Prop 8 the same-sex marriage ban due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and hypertension still waiting to marry Derence the man he loved.  And to add insult to injury the couple’s inability to marry deprived Watson of coverage under Kernek’s out-of-state retirement plan, imposing financial hardships in his last days.

This has got to stop!  

We cannot fully put blame on the government any longer. Or even the fringe right wing that fight against us.  Our plans for Equality have no urgency, and no anger behind them to propel them. And who can that be.  We are talking about EQUALITY.   It’s as if the “gay powers that be” are content waiting for the older generation to die and the new one to take over so it doesn’t have to get its hands dirty and and do so much work because they know the next generation will be more accepting

I was speaking to a very well connected person in the LGBT community the other day and I was expressing my frustration over the sluggish pace that our fight is taking.  And he said to me “Well if you expect equality before the next 20 years then you are crazy.”

Another 20 years?

 If it takes another 20 years that means there’s something seriously wrong with how we are going about getting it and can only blame our LGBT groups and leaders at this point and also ourselves for not kicking them in the ass and telling them to get a move on.

Ed Watson is not the first senior among us who has fought all his life and has passed over and cheated out of Equality in his lifetime and unfortunately if we keep to this snails pace he will not be the last.  Frank Karmeny, who started a fight over 40 years ago with the Government over gay and lesbian Federal workers recently passed on and at the time of his death LGBT Federal Worker STILL are not treated the same and have the same benefits as their co-workers.

How many generations of LGBT individuals must die without Equality before we are finally fed up enough to stand up and DEMAND for what should be rightfully ours instead of asking nicely and bieng thrown crumbs year after year that are made out to be HUGE advances, but in the end really aren’t when it really matters.

At this moment California should be ashamed of itself, the right wing religious bigots should be ashemed, and we also should be ashamed as a community that we have not fought hard enough, screamed loud enough and pushed our cause down the throats of those who deny us and who denied Ed Watson of his wish to be truly equal and to be one with his partner Derence before he was pulled from this earth.



Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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