Video: Ed Watson and Derence Kernek

March 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm 18 comments

By Adam Bink

These people are the reason we’re doing this work.

Ed and Derence, of Palm Springs, CA, are a couple who submitted their story to Courage Campaign’s call for stories in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision to accept the question and then drag this out for 6 months+. Our field staff drove for several hours out to the desert last week (an example of what your contribution will go to fund) to get their story on video because these are the human faces of what happens while the California Supreme Court insists on taking at least 6 months to hear oral arguments.

If you’ll permit me, a personal story that I keep thinking about when I watch their video.

My grandma, may she rest in peace, had Alzheimer’s like Ed does. She started to forget a lot of things, like Ed will. But she was blessed to have already married my grandpa and experienced the wonderful day that is her wedding day. I even remember talking with her once and because of her condition, she could not remember what my response was when she asked me what my summer plans were 10 minutes prior, but when I asked her where she held her wedding and who came, she could tell me every single detail like it was yesterday. Maybe it’s just the nature of the condition, but I think it was a little bit because it was one of the happiest days in her life. I always remember that.

Because of the Court’s refusal this week to shorten time in the case, and because Ed is gay, he might not get to experience that ever in his life. He might not even recognize Derence if Derence goes down on one knee. And that’s not fair.

Ed and Derence joined with Courage to pen an open letter to the 9th Circuit asking them to lift the stay. If the California Supreme Court is going to take this long, they should have the chance to wed. You can read it here.

Please sign their open letter. Then share with friends and family. Let’s make sure the nation knows about Ed and Derence.

Entry filed under: Prop 8 trial, Videos.

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18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sagesse  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Scribing to watch later.

    • 2. Rhie  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm


    • 3. Kathleen  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      This breaks my heart. I hope these men will be able to have their wedding day before it’s too late.

    • 4. JonT  |  March 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  • 5. Ronnie  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm


  • 6. Scott Godgluck  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    These situations break my heart. My partner and I can’t get married here either and are being kept 20,000 miles apart until I can afford to move to South Africa where we were married last fall but we will have had our day in front of his whole family in a wonderful ceremony I will always remember but 40 years! Our country is going to dismiss 40 years of commitment just because it’s two men? It’s time to put this behind us and focus on more important things that who marries who. Set it right and move on already!

  • 7. Michelle Evans  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve attempts to make posts to the past two threads, but nothing has shown up. So, just trying again here to make sure it still works.

    • 8. Michelle Evans  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Seems to be okay, now.

      As for the discussion on these wonderful men, it is absolutely heartbreaking that anyone would do their level best to keep them apart. It shows the hypocrisy and anti-christian attitudes that Maggie and Brian, and all the rest will go to just to take people’s money, so they can live a relatively good life while others suffer. They are true sociopaths.

      It’s times like this where I wish there really was a heaven and hell so that Mr. Brown and the Magpie could see what it is like to be tortured for eternity for their evil deeds, because that is what it feels like to those of us who are denied our marriage equality now.

      We all love you Ed and Derence!!!

      • 9. Kathleen  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

        Michelle, I’ve had sporatic problems submitting comments over the last couple of days, as well.

  • 10. Brett  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I should not have watched this one at work! It made me tear up. While I hope justice will prevail, the love they have shared is the most important thing, and marriage or not, I hope that Ed’s mind always allows him to that.

  • 11. Don in Texas  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Support for same-sex marriage continues to rise.

  • 12. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Dammit, let Ed and Derence get married NOW! don’t drag this BS out until Ed can no longer recognize Derence or remember their wedding day! Let them get married NOW!

  • 13. the other jc  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    these two touched my heart in so many ways! how beautiful love can be…i hope that is my partner and myself down the road, committed and in love! i’m so sorry for their challenges, and d*mn it, it’s not fair these two can’t have their wish to be married….what a beautiful day that will be!

  • 14. Sagesse  |  March 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    This is why you do what you do, Courage Campaign.

    Support for Gay Marriage Continues to Increase

  • 15. Mark M (Seattle)  |  March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    That was really hard to watch….
    God bless those sweet sweet men…..I sure hope and pray they get their special day while they both can still remember it.

  • 16. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Again, I have to wonder: how many of the NOMbies oppose marriage equality in spite of the fact that it hurts people like Ed and Derence, and how many do it because it hurts them?

  • 17. California, Let These Men Marry! | American Brands  |  March 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

    […] couple submitted their story to the Courage Campaign during a call for stories following the California Supreme Court's decision to take the […]

  • 18. Ed Watson and Derence Kernik « The Grotto Blog  |  March 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    […] Joe Jervis: “Californians Ed Watson and Derence Kernik have been together for 40 years, but Ed has been been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the couple is desperately […]


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