Mah-widge. Say it with me. It’s fun! The dogs and I were dancing while saying it. Jumping in circles, tears streaming as I listened to coverage, I could think of nothing more to say.
The other side has repeatedly spoke about how same gender marriage some how takes away from the sanctity of their marriage. I’ve never been able to figure that out. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you a story, little one.
When I was 15, I became engaged. Why? I dunno. The boy was sweet to me, didn’t try to order me around, and bothered to buy a ring from his grocery store job proceeds. I had yet to learn to say “no”. I cared about him and knew he wouldn’t stand in my way. I was pretty sure I could take him in a fight.
I got married at 18. Why? I dunno. Planning a wedding would be fun. We had already lived together for a year, so there was no difference. And, who knows, we might get cool gifts. My mom was on her 5th? 6th? marriage at the time. Dad was on his second, but they didn’t seem very happy. Marriages are something you “do” for a couple of years until you don’t feel like it any more. So, why not?
Literally, that was my thought process. Whatever. Might as well. I changed my last name of course, because I was mad at my father and didn’t want his sexist name. It wasn’t until years later, when I met the “Alternatives to Marriage” people, that I began to realize how easy we had had it – and how tough it was for others.
There were people who felt as connected to the loves of their lives, but who could not legally unite. There were multigendered couples who COULD get married, but would not - not until everyone can marry their adult, human, significant other(s). They were sooo cool. I flirted with the idea of getting divorced, so I could be cool like them. I did not do this, but I thought about it. Their battle seemed so remote, so unlikely to effect any change – what was the point?
Then, civil unions got added in VT (a border state to mine) and the marriage battles started in MA (another border state to mine). I had a front row seat to history. There was an endless stream of faces – couples who loved each other and were committed to a life together. Families with children asking their moms or dads “why aren’t you married?” Loved ones holding their partner’s hand on their death bed, worried that they would be wrenched away, as they “weren’t family.” Or afraid of losing their home when the main title holder dies. Friends started coming out, speaking of their yearning to be married to their loved one.
In the bisexual community, those wishing to marry a same gender partner had it tough. There appeared to be little sympathy from either side. Well, if you want to be married, pick a str8 partner. If you want to settle down with a same gender partner, stop calling yourself bi and deal with it like the rest of us. I have been in awe of my bi sisters and brothers who stuck to both their marriage rights guns AND their sexuality identification of choice.
Their commitment to the process... Their willingness to take on congress just so they can get married… has enhanced the definition of marriage and provided me with family values I never knew possible
Post script – I did stay married. 22 years this August. We grew up together. He’s my best friend. I can’t imagine life without him. But what made this relationship wonderful was not government sanctioning; it was a compromise, support, and mutual respect. Something no government can restrict to any subset of the community.