Why I Still Can’t Marry My Girlfriend

Written by scott on July 8th, 2013

Jasmyne A. CannickLast week the Supreme Court of the United States of America cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the state of California. Unfortunately, for my girlfriend and I, we still can’t get married.

Even though we’re both natives of California and call the Golden State home, I am in Los Angeles while she lives 2,400 miles away in Whittier, Alaska after giving up all hope of ever finding a job here.

My girlfriend is of African-American and Latino descent and fluent in three languages–English, Spanish, and American Sign Language–but past criminal convictions make it practically impossible for her to find a job in California. For a time she would work sporadically after failing to check the box indicating that she’d been convicted of a felony crime, but in the end after companies completed their background check, she’d always be dismissed for failing to do so. I finally told her to just be truthful, but the job offers stopped altogether. No one was willing to give her a chance to prove that she had changed.

Authored By Jasmyne A. Cannick – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Yaggie says:

    With all due respect, why does the victory have to be turned into a racial issue? Why are we as a society still paying the price for whether or not you as an individual are successful or not? Why are we as a society not suppose to celebrate the wonderful victory because your Girlfriend has to be 2,400 miles away from you because of her felony record, thus not allowing her to attain gainful employment and not allowing the two of you to marry? How is her felony and inability to attain gainful employment close to you, anyone else’s fault? I work hard to have what I have and I’ve had nothing handed to me and I resent when I get called a Cracker because I am white! I have never owned any Slaves, I have never cracked a whip on anyone and it completely rips my heart out that my race even did this unspeakable behavior to anyone! I have never been racist and I am the kind of person that if I would have been alive during the time of slavery, I would have been killed by my own people for trying to stop it. I would have died helping Harriet. Don’t get me wrong, I have empathy for your situation and I wish you didn’t have to be separated from your Girlfriend and I understand what you are saying about the statistics. But opportunities are also out there for those who search for them in education, etc to change the path for which they were given. I wasn’t given the best of chances either and I had to make my own way. When will we stop getting blamed for generations past? I wish you all the best and hope you are reunited with your love soon and are able to legally marry in the near future.

  2. chrissy says:

    Sorry to say but this is just stupid. It is not a racial issue when one is being judged on the way they lived before. I know plenty of white men who have a felony past and yes, it does hinder the employment field for them as well. I also know many African American gay men who have gotten great employment and moved up the ranks to very high pay. I also know of biracial female couples who own their own companies and are doing great. To say it is a racial issue that she has her past is is ignorance in its fullest. Stop trying to turn a good thing in the LGBT community into something that else. Get over the fact that yes, it is damn hard to get employment when there is a criminal record but many do it. Society does not look at what you do now and we all knew that growing up. They look at your past due to risk factor. Also for the record, one of my best friends is an African American black male with a criminal record and while it took time he now is in a great job that pays more then enough to live a lavish lifestyle.. You think she has it hard, think of all he had against him and not once did he try to make it an issue of race or sexual choice.

  3. Manuel says:

    No way, that is a totally different subject, nothing to do with being Gay and able or not to get Married as such. No way, her fault, I know she probably changed, but in order to have that record, she did do something and these are the consequences. Sorry, but don’t even try!!!

  4. JerryBall says:

    Not a “Gay” issue, but a “self-inflicted” strike against one’s own character. You are what you eat, you are what you act on. Stay straight and pray that you will be able to strike down these convictions some day, off you record.

  5. Who knew MEUSA attracted to many callous people. If you only care about your hardships and oppression and don’t care about other people’s circumstances of oppression then you’re unworthy of empathy in your selfishness. LGBT people are impacted by poverty which goes hand in hand with employment discrimination and health issues like HIV. Shame on LGBT mega groups who turn a blind eye to this issue. The 6-figure earning executive directors pimping for cooperate America could care less. Shame on them.

  6. Beth Holden-Soto says:

    @Jeff 4 Justice – MEUSA is ALL VOLUNTEER. No 6-figure earning executive directors. Just a real grass roots organization that totally kicked ass and won Marriage Equality.

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