With the recent recognition of Marriage Equality in the state of Pennsylvania, Tim things get to come home to be with his HUSBAND, and their three children!!
The Problem. According to José:
"#throwbackthursday - Feb. 11, 2010, Taj Hotel in Boston MA. In honor of Mass celebrating 10 yrs of passing the gay marriage bill, here's a pic from the night Tim and I got married there. On the flip side, here's a story you may not know. Because Tim passed away in Pennsylvania where same sex marriage is not recognized, The Hyatt at The Bellevue STILL has his belongings held hostage! Until my lawyer proves I am the "administrator" to his estate, his clothes, bag, laptop, and yes, wedding ring will remain in a hotel closet. This isn't meant to make people sad, but to motivate and show you there are a 1,000 reasons we should continue the fight for marriage equality across ALL states! #rememeberingtim "
"The Hyatt at The Bellevue STILL has his belongings held hostage! Until my lawyer proves I am the "administrator" to his estate, his clothes, bag, laptop, and yes, wedding ring will remain in a hotel closet." - José Rolón
"What the WHAT!!?!?!?"
Non-LGBT married couples would NEVER have to endure this added layer of agony on top of the death of their spouse. Ever!
The Situation At Hand Remains So in Much of our Nation: Words Matter!
This is a clear violation of equal protection under the law, when a protected class of people are disenfranchised from the benefits that their fellow citizens receive as a matter of course--- because of whom, and how, they fall in love.
It is something you read about, or hear about on the news or on the web... but for me, this is (once again) personal. I know these men. I have personally witnessed their growth as an, IMPOSSIBLY HAPPY, married couple, and even their start of building their new family. José took the leap into the event business, they then took ownership of a GLORIOUS home on a farm in Upstate New York. They had a baby. Avery. He's PRECIOUS! He is also now being raised in a single parent household. Tim passed away recently. The family is now Avery and his dad, José.
I witnessed the most remarkable outpouring of love, empathy, and support from José's friends (of all stripes), his family (including his magnificent, and welcoming in-laws). AVERY isn't going to be able to get away with ¡NADA! There EXISTS a village, to raise this child.
But WAIT! There's MORE!
Josélito's Going to Need Every Soldier!
And a Battalion on Speed-Dial is a GOOD Thing!
They rolled the dice with the very same (PHENOMENAL) surrogate, and, this time, it came up "TWINS"!
That's right! The dynamic duo is about to become a quartet!
The People & The Backstory
I met José, when he called my company to inquire about hiring us to design his nuptials. We didn't win the contract. Time passed, and José and I became friends, even to the point that he confessed his trepidation about potentially entering the amazing world of event planning. I tried to serve as a mentor for the hopeful José, and, upon hearing about his desire, invited him to a baptism-by-fire internship on an upcoming event I had designed for savvyplanners.com. He blended into my on-site team effortlessly, and made critical contributions to the event--- even on his first one. He had the stuff. SO MUCH so, that he began is own events company: José Rolón Events
The Tide is Changing... Slowly, but Surely.
This is illustrative of the sense of sanity and constitutional equality which can no longer be ignored or denied. It will, perhaps, take a bit more time before José and Avery can have their husband, and father's, belongings returned to them... rightfully. But it is unfair on its face, and reprehensible, shameful and wrong. Even in José's grief, and grieving, he reminds us that the truth, and fairness, of marriage equality is not optional. He speaks with a gentle, yet powerful, voice that implores us all to take responsibility to fight for equality for all people.
He implores us to struggle for the day when all men (all PEOPLE) are, in fact, truly, treated equally under the law.
While José has a gentle, soft-spoken voice, nature, and demeanor, he has the strength of a million warriors sheltered therein.
"I Believe in Equality, But What Can I Do!?"
Lend your voice, money, strength, and prayers to the struggle for full marriage equality. Have the conversations. Help people in your circle, or outside of it, to understand. Knowledge is power. People do not CARE, about that which they cannot relate! Make the issue relatable! Share this post. Write an editorial. Send an e-mail. Sign a petition. Pick up a phone.
Don't argue. Educate. And take action in whatever ways you can! Wouldn't you want someone to help you if the situation was reversed.
Please don't just sigh, and suck your teeth in sympathy. Get involved. Make a difference. Do something.
There IS NO Gray Area in Equality! Either we're all EQUAL, or we "AIN'T".
Te quiero, amigo. Y Avery también. Y los bebés en el horno! Sé fuerte, y mis mejores deseos para todos ustedes!