“We will win full marriage equality. We are convinced of that.” Entrepreneurs and LGBT Activists Bob Page and his partner Dale Frederiksen offer their thoughts on this historic day.
First Thoughts from a North Carolina Couple on a Big Day at the Supreme Court
By Bob Page & Dale Frederiksen
With today’s Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s ban on same-sex marriages in that state, we didn’t win the Powerball. We’d hoped for the really big win — a ruling proclaiming the Constitutional right of same-sex couples like us to marry — even though we didn’t expect it. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t thrilled. It’s a great day, a historic day, and we are excited – excited for the couples in California who soon will be marrying and, long-term, for all the ways the DOMA decision will change how same-sex couples are viewed and treated across America. Although today we have many unanswered practical questions, we believe that the Supreme Court’s decision – requiring the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned same-sex marriages – deals a body blow to marriage inequality in the United States. We are significantly further along the way in claiming our right to marry and to have our marriage be recognized, regardless of which state we live or marry in.
Ryan, one of our almost 14-year old twin sons, asked last night, “Did they rule yet on same-sex marriage?” At the heart of all this legal wrangling is something very meaningful to those of us living in families with two dads or two moms. It’s political and legal, yes, but it’s so personal, too. Justice Kennedy’s words, which moved us ten years ago today when Lawrence v. Texas was decided, move us again today in the Windsor case. While Justice Kennedy’s opinion was heavy on concepts like “federalism,” it also spoke powerfully about “pride” and “dignity” and our “evolving understanding of the meaning of equality.” As Justice Kennedy said, “Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person.” That gets close to what all of this is about for us and for our families—claiming our dignity and our equal status in the human family. As Justice Kennedy said of DOMA, “[i]t humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.” A law doing such a thing should never have passed, and we’re overjoyed that a section of a law hurting so many of us is forever wiped away.
Wonderful as it is to have Section 3 of DOMA dead and gone, much remains to be done. Things were complicated before, and things remain complicated. Lawyers everywhere still have lots to do to hash out what all this will mean for people like us and the thousands and thousands of couples who live in one of the thirty-one states banning same-sex marriage. This gets back to today’s one bittersweet note: the Supreme Court could have ended the whole marriage controversy at ten o’clock this morning. It didn’t, and on we fight. The costs, financial and human, are high. It saddens us to know that friends who wish to marry may not live to see that day in our state. But the day of final victory for our community will come – every poll of public opinion tells us that, and so does today’s DOMA decision. We will win full marriage equality. We are convinced of that.
Replacements, Ltd. Chairman and CEO Bob Page grew up on a small tobacco farm in rural North Carolina before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967 with a BSBA. Page served two years in the U.S. Army prior to starting an accounting career. During the 1970s, Page hated his job as a state auditor and lived for his hobby of searching for china and crystal at flea markets for resale. Longing to make a living doing what he loved, in 1981 he started Replacements, Ltd. in the attic of his home and grew the business into the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles with revenue exceeding $80 million for the 2012 fiscal year. Page lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his partner Dale Frederiksen and their twin sons, Owen and Ryan.
Dale Frederiksen grew up in Waterford, Michigan. In 1980, Dale moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to attend Tennessee Temple University, graduating in 1984 with a BS degree in secondary education. He taught junior and senior high mathematics in Kansas City, Kansas, before returning to Chattanooga in 1987 to teach mathematics and to coach volleyball at Ooltewah Middle School. In 1989, Dale joined Replacements, Ltd., which he serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Product Officer. With his life partner of twenty-four years, Bob Page, Dale has co-authored 21 books on tableware. When not actively parenting his twin sons, Owen & Ryan, Dale particularly enjoys service on the Board of Directors of the National Conference for Community & Justice of the Piedmont Triad, as well as softball, tennis, and travel.
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