Melissa Etheridge calls to respond to California's landmark supreme court decision and as I answer the phone I hear her excited voice saying, "happy gay day!" She took a few minutes to talk to us about how happy she and her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels were about the court's decision in favor of gay marriage rights
How do you feel?
I feel they have made an honest woman of me. What a wonderful blessing for us and the gay community. We're moving forward. It makes me feel happy for the whole human race that we are finally getting out of our differences and coming together and we are putting this all behind us. It really is going to be the thing that we talk to our kids and our grand kids and say, that was the olden days, wasn't that ridiculous.
Where were you when you heard? Were you following the case closely?
Yesterday my wife said, "hey they are going to vote." And it had been since march since they said they were going to do it, so you kind of forget that people are fighting every day for this. So yesterday my wife said, "tomorrow they are going to come down with it." So I turned the news on this morning and they said any minute we are supposed to hear this and so I have been listening. But then I dropped the kids off at school and I did a couple of errands and when I came home I said, "honey have you heard anything." She went back and got on her computer and five minutes later she came back and said, "whoo we are married!" (laughs)
So I assume you are planning on getting legally married now?
Well we had a wedding in 2003 and then we got the domestic partnership after that, so now my wife and I have to sit down and think, what will the formal thing be that we do. I don't know if we want to do the whole full on thing again because we did do that, and that was our ceremony to ourselves. But I think this calls for a party.
Will you be one of the first people in line when they issue marriage licenses?
I...I think so. Maybe we should call and get them to... I don't know. Should I make a big deal out of it or should I just be quiet. I never know when to do the press thing or not?
It seems like you are at the forefront of this. You are the one thanking your wife at the Oscars. You have been a leader on this issue. I think it would be kind of amazing if you were one of the first ones there.
Perhaps most importantly, what do you think this means for you kids?
You know that's the thing. I was just talking to someone about this and I get all choked up about this because I think that the part that people who don't really understand this issue don't realize is that we are people with jobs and families. We have kids. And there have been years and years of explaining to them. I remember when it was on Shwarzenegger's desk and we were like "oh if he signs it we may be able to get married." And then he vetoted it and we were like, "oh mean governor." So they have gone through this with us and I can't wait to pick them up from school today and say, "hey, your parents are just as married as anybody elses." That's a big thing. It's going to be a good day."