My name is William Corman Phillips. I am a 32 year old white male. I have degrees in Biochemistry and Pharmocology and I am currently a medical researcher in a prestigious pharmaceutical company. I pay my taxes, donate significant amounts of money and time to charity and I am an assistant coach with the local minor league baseball team in my neighborhood. I served in the United States Air Force for five years until I left active duty at age 29 and I still serve in the Air Reserves.
I was raised by two wonderful parents who never got divorced, I got good grades in school, I was a member of the basketball team, I was popular among my peers, and I had a very happy childhood.
I have never taken any drugs or ever smoked a cigarette. I worship at church and I have voted for people of both parties.
I am a good man and a patriotic American.
But I am not allowed to marry whom I want. This is someone with whom I grew up, whom I have known all my life and with whom I have had a committed and devoted loving relationship for the past four years since we realized that we had fallen in love. We understand each other, complement each other and know each other as much as any married couple. And I have never been as happy in a relationship as in the one I am in with this person. We connect on every possible level, from the sexual to the intellectual and we want to be married and accepted as any other married couple by the society and the government.
My partner is also white, 28 years old, well educated, and gainfully employed as a caterer and nutritionist.
We have already been married in a church that would bless our union. But we also want to be recognized and treated as a married couple by the state.
We want to be able to file our tax returns together, to inherit from each other in the event one of us passes away, to visit each other in hospital, to be able to refuse being forced to testify against each other in court and all the other benefits and privileges extended to married couples by the state.
This is a basic Constitutional Right. The right to tie your life forever with whomever it is you want. And yet I and my partner are denied this basic Right. In this day and age, so many years after Loving v. Virginia should have settled the issue, two people who love each other are still being denied their right to marry for nothing other than outdated bigotry and reasons that are arbitrary and have no logical bearing on the institution of marriage.
This must stop. Judge Vaughan Walker’s enlightened Perry v Schwarzenegger decision recognizes that marriage is a right that belongs to everybody and that all should be welcome to this privileged and sacred institution and my partner and I are grateful for his courage.
My partner’s name is Gretchen Alison Phillips. She is also my younger sister. Which could explain why we understand each other so well 😉
We shall now be heading to California where we shall apply for a marriage license and have the beachside wedding we’ve always wanted. If we are still denied this basic constitutional Right, we are going to take our case to the courts, and hopefully we shall soon find ourselves before the Honorable Vaughan Walker. We are prepared to take this all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.
Such bigotry cannot continue. It is wrong.
Wish us luck.
Will C. Phillips