This week, the ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional in my state and same-sex marriage became legal. Naturally, an appeal was quickly made. While many counties are issuing licenses and performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, other counties are denying the licenses and basically saying, “Hold on while we sort this out”, which I guess is their own interpretation of what is now law.
But this is huge. Indiana is a largely conservative state. I live right on the edge of the Bible belt. We can’t buy beer on Sundays. But two people of the same sex can get married. HERE! Let’s just say I’m pleasantly surprised.
The day DOMA was thrown out, I went to our local, small-town liquor store for a six-pack of beer for my husband and I to enjoy on a hot, summer night. (Plus beer is good for milk supply, right? Is that true? I used the excuse anyway.) I grabbed some summer ale from the cooler and happily placed it on the counter to be checked out, greeting the old man behind the counter who wore a plaid shirt and smiled back at me behind thick bifocals.
A customer stood beside the counter and suddenly asked, “Hey, what do you think of gay marriage?” I guess he was just taking an informal poll, maybe he just wanted to high-five customers who shared his opinion, I’m not sure. He didn’t appear to be from the Pew Research Center. So I told him I believed marriage is a right that should not be denied to anyone based on their orientation and I was very much in favor of marriage equality. The customer threw his hands up in the air in defeat and the man behind the counter raised an eyebrow.
“You really think so? I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s right,” the customer responded, with genuine surprise that I was not offended or threatened by two people of the same sex getting married. I basically told the man that I find absolutely nothing “wrong” with same-sex marriage, and while I disagree with many, many things that people do, those things really don’t affect my life at all. So I don’t really care. I am married and it doesn’t matter how many same-sex couples get married, couples get divorced, couples cheat, etc., it doesn’t affect my marriage or life in any way. So, even if I opposed the idea, why bother?
The man behind the counter piped up and said, “You know, she’s right. I don’t really care. And I’ve met some gay people and they’re pretty nice people.” I consider this a small victory, tell both men to have a good night and head out.
I used my marriage as an example to basically promote apathy with the customer. But my marriage is exactly why I’m so passionate about marriage equality. Of course, I’m a strong advocate of equal rights for all and I believe marriage is a right that should not be denied based on orientation. Of course, I don’t believe homosexuality is a lifestyle. These are just a couple of reasons why I support marriage equality. But I’m passionate about marriage equality because I’m in love.
I’m in love with my husband. In early 2010, he asked me to be his wife and I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I knew he was the perfect man for me. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I knew I wanted to make a family with him. To me, marriage is choosing a partner for life and I was happy to choose him and have him choose me. He’s my person that I want to be with and love forever.
I didn’t have to explain that to anyone, though. No one asked. We didn’t have to fight for the right to get married. No one tried to appeal after the ceremony was over. No one asked how they should explain our union to their children. We just got a couple, “It’s about time” comments and some burning questions regarding wedding colors, venues and floral arrangements.
Loving someone and being married is a really wonderful thing. Like all couples, we’ve been through a lot over the years, we faced hardships hand in hand, we celebrated victories together and we made a family of our own, together. I still feel proud and happy when I refer to my husband as “my husband”. That man? That loving, hard-working, kind, funny, handsome, smart, interesting man? He’s my husband. He’s mine. I am his. We’re married.
It’s not just about filing taxes, insurance benefits, raising children, or other legalities, it’s about love. Marriage is a really beautiful commitment and expression of that love. And in my experience, being married is just awesome. We have a really wonderful life together. I consider myself to be very blessed to have this wonderful man by my side. I celebrate anyone who experiences that kind of love and will gladly support and defend their right to be married.
We have a child, a son. Right now, he doesn’t appear to prefer boys or girls. He likes Mickey Mouse. One day, when he is much, much older, I hope he falls in love and chooses someone to spend the rest of his life with, someone who will make him very happy. I hope he chooses someone who makes him as happy as his father makes me. Whomever he chooses, I want him to have the right to marry that person and I will love and support him.
Marriage is very important to me. If my rights to marry the person I love or our existing martial rights were being threatened, you bet your ass I would fight. But, because I’m a woman who is in love and married to a man, I’m not forced to fight. But because I’m a believer in love, I will fight. Love is love.