Same-Sex Marriage – Patrick’s Story | Documentary ★


I’m a native or going in and here
forever done a ton of things majored in music in college and until I realized
that only way to make a living you can’t make a living being a musician unless
you’re going to play in CD lounges so I had an uncle that was a deputy chief of
police in Los Angeles and I changed my major to political science and joined
the beaverton police department did that for about a year and it really wasn’t my
thing and I went the hotel business realized that restaurant business is is
so killer that I was going to be dead before the Landin appreciated so I got
out of that and I did something that I’ve always loved is I want a
construction started out with a roofing company and then eventually grew that
into a general contractor ship and then I got into had enough contacts where I
got into just pretty much working for a restoring
significant or historically significant homes in a Portland area and love that
and had a blast with it until I got in an argument with my table saw and cut my
thumb and finger off one day yeah and that put me out of business for
about a year I’m what I do now is a district manager of a contractor
services division for Southwest Washington and northern Oregon I didn’t
know at the time I didn’t come out till I was 40 and I I’d been married I have
two children I have a son that’s going to be 28 this month and I have a
daughter that’s 26 and I have a grandson that’s six just turned six last month
didn’t really know I was gay didn’t know a whole lot about being gay I think I
bought into the stereotype that and I wasn’t into high heels and opera gloves
and dresses and all that kind of stuff and I just didn’t know a whole lot of
gay people and which oddly enough is when I turn 40 my life wasn’t working
out quite exactly the way I’d anticipated that it was going to be I
was divorced two kids life just wasn’t what I wanted it to be and so I’m a
pretty good person about evaluating stuff I’m pretty analytical and it’s
like at 40 it was like I really need to sit down here and figure out what’s
going on as I’m going through this list of kind of you know a piece of paper
with a line down the middle and good times and bad times and happiest times
of my life kept coming back to a young man named Mark and Mark and I were
boyfriends and had been together since probably I was 20
and when I moved to Los Angeles in the hotel business I had an opportunity down
Los Angeles mark moved down and when I moved back up about the restaurant one
morning we woke up and Mark said he needed more of a commitment I was like
what do you mean more of a commitment and he says well I can’t be in a
closeted relationship and it’s like well you do what you need to do you’re gay
I’m not and I had no clue so mark and I probably we were together in lovin or 12
years so I was in my early 30s early 30s one when let mark go and as I was doing
this list it kept coming back to the happiest times in my life were when i
was with mark and all of a sudden just hit me like a ton of bricks oh my god
you’re gay and so I didn’t really know how to go
about being gay and I was living with a roommate with a friend of mine and his
home up on Mount Tabor it’s like well how do you go about being gay and I knew
there was a gay bar somewhere cause darkies I figured well Starkey’s is
probably on stark street somewhere and I went in and and found our bar stool way
tucked around in the corner all by myself so no one would see me and I was
really amazed how normal it was look like any other bar they would be in well
all of a sudden bartender shows up and puts a shot glass upside down in front
of me and I might well come back here what’s that because we have a sponsor
and I said what’s a sponsor he says someone bought you a drink stupid and so
that I was just paranoid I was scared to death that someone knew I was gay I’m in
this gay bar so I went back the next night and I thought well the civil thing
to do is to i sat in the same bar stool he sat in the same bar so he was in a
civil thing to do is buy him a drink and I bought a drink and instead of him
slamming it and running out the door he picked it up and came over sat next to
me and we were partners we became partners and we were together for almost
nine years his circle of friends were firemen and doctors and drivers and
truck drivers and retail people and nurses and I mean it was just a broad
spectrum of society it was nothing really special to being gay there wasn’t
a stereotype there were people that were very macho and very butch in the
bodybuilding or that type of thing and there’s people on the other end that are
very effeminate play softball for jocks love playing
softball and Christopher had an apartment I know five six blocks from
jocks had a coffee date in the fall of 2005 at peets on Broadway and there was
a huge storm brewing and all that kind of stuff and electricity went out all
that kind of stuff we had a great coffee date we talked a couple times after that
it’s an emailing but we really never connected there was one day as a team-building
exercise my boss took eight of us out on his fishing boat out on the Columbia
River and it was a horrid experience you know they I I don’t you know I think
they thought they were being funny they subjected me to a lot of gay joking and
uncomfortableness and that type of thing and I just it it was the first and last
time I ever went on one of those team-building exercises because it was
so uncomfortable and that particular day wasn’t exactly when it was it was June
June twentieth 2007 and i went down to jocks i just had to get out and be with
my people i needed needed to be with those people and went into jocks was
having a drink and that was christopher and we our eyes met and we fell
absolutely madly in love with each other and from that day forward from June
twentieth two thousand seven Christopher and I were never apart bales to me he
was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and the more time I spent with him he was
absolutely the nicest human being I’ve ever come in contact with on June twentieth two thousand eight we
got his Christopher would tell you we got married unfortunately gay people
can’t get married we have registered domestic partnerships which is a far cry
from a marriage but Christopher absolutely love being married he loved
being my husband and he loved having me as his husband and back to the Twitter
we got new phone cell phones in them in January and he programmed he programmed
the phone so that when I called him the caller ID came up my husband and we I
just like he’s absolutely and he was he was magnetic he you could go anywhere
people just fell in love with him look at some pictures he’s got an incredible
smile and absolutely beautiful brown eyes and if eyes are the window on the
soul excuse me you could take a look at his beautiful eyes Northy was such a
beautiful person sorry I mischief first time I had to
take him to the emergency room for last second to the last time around was 13th
of April and we took him into the emergency room and immediately they ran
him up to the intensive care unit that night I think was about eight o’clock I
told him I was going to go home and get some sleep because with all these
machines and monitors and all that other stuff they got him hooked up to and it
did have him on a ventilator at that point in time I thought I was going to
go home get three or four hours sleep here and go back down in the morning to
see so I went back down about seven o’clock the next morning and the nurse
came in after the doctors had done the rounds she came in about I think about 8
15 and asked if I had a medical power of
attorney and I said no were registered domestic partners I don’t need one and
she goes yes you need a medical power of attorney I said well we don’t have a
medical power of attorney were registered domestic partners it’s like
being married and it’s that’s all encompassing and her statement to me was
if you don’t have a medical power of attorney you’re going to have to leave
the room this is not a time for us to be having friends in and it’s like it’s me
there are no friends here I’m his husband she goes no you don’t have a
medical power attorney in this particular situation as you can see
Topher was so sick I thought it was more important that he got his medical care
than it was for me to stand during how an argument with these people when Christopher and I decided to commit
to each other it was with the intention that we would stand by each other side
through sickness and health good times and bad times and when we studied the
domestic partnership law and talk to everybody that we needed to we believed
that the domestic partnership law would cover us in every eventualities just
exactly the way lifelong committed partners would want to take care of each
other and it boggles my mind let’s get passed along this hotel hospital room at the one time he really needed me I
got a hold of an attorney a wonderful woman by the name of beth allen and I
told her my story and she said well tell me assure me that in fact you are
registered domestic partners and they said yes we are registered domestic
partners we registered on a twentieth the June in 2008 she good she took my
phone number and my name and my partner in Christopher’s name and she says I’ll
call you right back but I need you to head to the hospital because you’re
going to be with your partner and a wonderful nurse by the name of Rachel
was there and she was taking care of him and he still didn’t what was going on we
repeated this scenario from 11 days earlier
a nine o’clock right I told Rachel I was gonna go home and get some sleep and she
came up to me gave me hard because I got to tell you what was my husband I
wouldn’t go home let me get you a chair and I think you should spend the night
by your husband’s side that’s exactly what I did although we both agreed and
told each other that we loved each other tremendously and deeply we always felt
there was a something else that have brought us together that there was there
was a I don’t know something else we didn’t know what it was the morning of
April 14th it became clear to both of us well not to him because he was sedated
became clear to us why um I’m a pretty assertive person but it struck me that
had the roles been reversed and had that have been Christopher that he was told
to leave my bedside he very well may have and because of his easygoing
demeanor it very well could have been me that died without him by my side and I
can’t imagine I cannot imagine anybody having to go through that if I’d have
been able that day when the nurse told me and was asking me and badgering me
about medical power of attorney if I’d have been able to tell her we are
married everybody understands what marriage means it’s really important
that I share this story and in going through it putting a human face on this
as people more than just the gay guys or whatever realizing it’s two human beings
that love you and argue with someone be running around
to get lawyers arguing with bureaucrats and all that you you

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