Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Do We Tolerate The Debate Over Civil Liberties?

I read THIS article this morning, which discusses the move to legalize same-sex marriage in a few locations around our country.  Namely, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island.

Part of me watches as progress is made toward equality in this country and marvels at how far we've come.  The other part of me seethes.  This morning, I became angered when reading about our so-called "progress".

As I plan my own wedding, the obstacles that gays and lesbians face when seeking to legally recognize our relationships have become all too clear. 

We don't reside in a state in which same-sex marriage is legal.  In order to legally marry each other, we are being forced to travel across the country to a place which does recognize our right to marry. 

Fine.  I'd travel a million miles to call the woman I love, "my wife".  In fact, the symbolism steeped throughout our wedding and ceremony...the incredible want to express our love for one another in this, in many ways, appropriately and amazingly expressed because we are choosing to marry in the place and manner in which we are.

In the back of my mind, I know that I will exchange vows, and the legal union that I have made will not be recognized as soon as I step off the plane after returning home.  I'd like to say it doesn't matter.  That WE will know that we are joined, legally, as married.  But, it does.  It does matter. 

Take away all of the intellectual and legal arguments for same-sex marriage.  Yes, we are being denied LEGAL rights that heterosexuals are granted simply because they can call each other husband and wife...because both the state and federal government acknowledges their legal right to marry.  Take those arguments away.

Instead, consider this.  Why are we still allowed to debate the civil equality of an entire group of if CIVIL RIGHTS are a "thing" that we can or should dole out to only a select group or few, like equality is some fucked-up merit system or lottery.

Imagine the anger, or outrage, if the headline of the cited article above was different.  Imagine if the article was titled:  "Interracial Marriage Could Move Forward in Some U.S. States".  But, that's a battle we've already fought and won. 

And we are. 

And here I am.  Unsure of whether to be encouraged or discouraged.  Unsure of whether to celebrate or cry.  Maybe I'll continue to do what I've been doing for a while now...a bit of both.

Cheers to you, Maryland, New York and Rhode Island.  We celebrate with you, and we mourn for what we still don't have. 


  1. Great post. We just had our ceremony 10/10/10 and it was amazing. Surrounded by family and close friends and then off to DISNEY WORLD for a week. Magical time indeed. I wish you the best!


  2. You ladies are such an inspiration. <3