Maryland became the eighth state in the US to recognize Marriage Equality. I’m not big on Constitutional Law and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that once enough states enact a law, doesn’t it have to be ratified into the Constitution? I imagine that would necessitate getting rid of DOMA at the same time and eventually all of this one man-one woman crap in regards to marriage will be history. Imagine one day telling our grandchildren that it used to be illegal for Cher and I to be married.
Up until 1968, the year before I was born, it was illegal for people of different races to be married in seventeen states in this country. Richard and Mildred Loving (née Jetter,) were married in 1958 and had to leave their home state of Virginia because it was illegal for them to be a married bi-racial couple. The judge proclaimed, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” That judge, not unlike many people today, seemed to know what God intended. It would seem that God does a lot of talking to male politicians and lawmakers. Sometimes He whispers things to them about women and whether they should be allowed to have sex or have babies. Sometimes He helps quarterbacks win football games. Sometimes He sends a message to all of the sinners in the world by throwing around weather patterns and flooding entire cities.
More than likely, though. He does not.
The idea that committed same-sex couples should not be able to be married in the same way as committed opposite-sex couples is becoming increasingly ridiculous and difficult to understand. Perhaps it is because I pay attention to this silliness on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s because this ridiculousness affects my family and me in all kinds of ways. Perhaps it’s just because it really is crazy.
I’ve written here time and time again about my relationship with Cher and how “normal” of a couple that we are. I hope that the families who live in our neighborhood and town, who see the two of us together, who see our family together with children and dogs and an SUV, are able to notice that we don’t have some kind of special lifestyle. We run errands, we do home improvement projects, we walk our dogs, pay our bills, grocery shop, cook dinner, do laundry. We pay our taxes. We don’t get the same rights. We are asked if we are sisters. We get inquisitive looks on occasion. There is no assumption of our relationship status. We pay more for my healthcare. We don’t get the tax breaks married couples get. We don’t get one another’s social security if needed.
It makes me happy that Washington and Maryland have recently started recognizing all couples who are in committed married relationships but it’s hard to get too overly excited until every state and the federal government does the same. April 15 is just around the corner and Cher and I get the special fun of filling out two separate federal tax forms plus of an “as if” return. “As if” we were legally married. Isn’t that sweet? The Federal Government won’t recognize our relationship but the state wants a return that shows what our situation would look like “as if” it did. (And by the way, and again for the record, the State of Oregon calculates child support based ONLY on my income and the income of my children’s other parent. There is no, “Equal Rights When Convenient.” My relationship status: married, unmarried, living together, to a man, woman or unicorn is not relevant and neither is my children’s other parent’s relationship status. I pray to the Baby Jesus that this is clear because it’s exhausting trying to educated the ignorant about such matters.)
One day, we’re going to put this whole nasty, “My marriage is more important/valid/meaningful/legal than yours) thing to rest. I don’t think I will look back and laugh for awhile because obviously things have a way of going backwards sometimes. You know, like issues of birth control and abortion rights. Issues that have been figured out and agreed on by most of the world for decades and today, in 2012 in the United States we have politicians like Sanitorum saying that states should be allowed to outlaw birth control. We have states like Virginia (again with Virginia, geez,) who want to force women to have an inter-vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion. Because it will “save lives?” Who’s lives? It’s all completely flabbergasting.
I want to live in a world where my daughter’s birth control choices are between her and her doctor and are covered by her medical insurance just like any other prescription drug (like Viagra and Oxycontin you douchebags.) I want to live in a world that young law students at prestigious universities are not just permitted, but encouraged to speak to Congress about important matters without being subjected to being called a “slut” and a “prostitute.” I want to live in a world where honesty is more honorable than chastity and where men aren’t threatened by women’s sexuality and where women and men stand up for things like fairness and justice. I’m glad Rush is losing sponsors and I’m glad Romney, Newt or Santorium are going to lose miserably this November but it’s not enough. Unacceptable utterances and ideology once spoken are out there and I’m not sure how to un-ring these bells except to ring louder ones.
Women need to speak out. Men need to speak out. Because this is ridiculous.