Any list of highlights for the year 2012 would have to include the re-election of President Obama. The thought of any Republican taking office induced in me a gut reaction that I’ve not experienced since Oliver North ran against U S Senator Charles Robb in Virginia in 1994.
The fact that the election provided a turning point for many GLBT issues was just the icing on the cake. As a results of the election we now have an openly lesbian United States Senator, marriage equality in the states of Washington, Maryland and Maine and no constitutional ban on marriage equality in Minnesota.
So while I had several weeks of wonderful relief after the election, that knot in the gut has returned since the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Prop 8 and Defense of Marriages cases. While I have little doubt that the Court will rule Prop 8 and DOMA unconstitutional, you just can’t be sure until it is in writing.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the majority opinions in the Romer and Lawrence cases, will have the opportunity to forge another majority in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.
Another highlight of 2012 for me was the America’s Cup World Series in August and October. Having the opportunity to spend a couple of hours a day during the races on the bay in one of the mark boats was an experience that was enjoyable and unforgettable.
The boats currently in use for the America’s Cup are catamarans with two hulls. The boats go faster with only one hull in the water. The first day I was out on one of the mark boats, it was a practice day. At one point, the Luna Rossa Swordfish boat was headed in our direction with one hull completely out of the water; I realized, as it got closer, that it wasn’t going to go by us as much as over us, and if it lost momentum the hull would come down on top of us. My initial reaction was to jump out of the way but luckily I remembered that wasn’t possible because I was in a boat; so I just kept taking pictures and thought if it does hit us I will have some great exclusive photos.
The boats that will be used in the actual America’s Cup trial and defenders races next year will be almost twice as big as the ones that raced this year. I can’t imagine how awesome that will be. Because the boats are bigger the course will be enlarged to include more of the bay than was used this year. I prided myself on the fact that I didn’t have a problem adjusting to the motion while out on the bay and going ashore I had no trouble walking on land. It wasn’t until I was going through hundreds of pictures I had taken while deciding which to use on my website that I found myself getting a little queasy.