kernek_watsonWhether or not their names are immediately familiar, many of you will remember Derence Kernek and Ed Watson. They’re a gay couple from California who made a powerful video earlier this year for the Courage Campaign. In it, they urged the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay on U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling overturning Proposition 8 — which would have allowed marriages between same-sex couples to resume in the state — so that the two of them could wed while Watson was still able to remember their 40-year relationship and recognize his beloved partner. You see, Watson had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and it was progressing rapidly. The two men gently (and heart-wrenchingly) asked for the simple dignity of being able to marry each other while there was still time.

Well yesterday, time ran out for Ed Watson. He died at age 78, still waiting to be able to legally marry the person to whom he had dedicated over 40 years of his life.

Every day that LGBT couples around this country are forced to wait for equality, every day that LGBT people are denied the freedom to marry the person they love, real people like Derence Kernek and Ed Watson suffer the consequences.

Ed Watson: one more life extinguished before equality could be realized.

I wonder how many more were extinguished today?