Finally: Victory in New York

It’s taken me a few days to get around to posting about the huge victory we just celebrated in New York, perhaps because it has taken me that long for it to sink in, even though the moment it was announced that the bill was passed, my husband got down on one knee, and said, “Will you marry me?” and without a moment’s hesitation I said “You’d better believe I will.”

Now we’ve been married, as far as we are concerned, since 2002; we had a Service of Union at a Unitarian Church in Summit NJ in December of that year. 

Will the passage of this law change what we mean to each other?  Not much; I think the fact that we are willing to do it all over again after nine years together is clear proof of our commitment to each other.  But the legal recognition of our relationship will have a powerful impact on our relationship to the State.

Most of it is practical stuff and has to do with taxes, inheritance, hospital visitation, medical decision-making, and a host of other things that heterosexual married couples take for granted.  These things come via the instant next-of-kin status that marriage conveys, with all the protections and responsibilities that implies.

Of course, the homophobic bigots have wasted no time in threatening to fight back and/or predicting dire consequences.  Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage have already pledged some two million dollars toward ousting the handful of Republican State Senators who changed their stance and voted “yes” at the eleventh hour.  And Pat Robertson, predictably enough, has opened his big yap and predicted that now that we have same-sex marriage in New York God is going to destroy America.

Really, Pat?  It didn’t seem to bother Him when Massachusetts adopted same-sex marriage.  And Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Iowa have all gotten there before us, with nary a peep from above.  Yet now that New York has it, God is going to make with the lightning bolts?  Come on, Pat.  I know you’re getting on in years, but surely you can do better than that.

But I digress.

I am forty-eight years old; John is fifty-four.  We grew up gay at a time when the idea of same-sex marriage was not even on the radar; we did not think such an option would ever be open to us.  I am not sure that anyone who is not LGBT can understand what this means.  Even now, with equality finally a reality, it is almost hard to believe, as if someone were going to take it away again (Sorry, Maggie, but I doubt you’ll have any more success here than you did in Massachusetts).

Anyway, it’s here, and we’re planning to get married legally this time.  We’ll probably do it quickly and quietly at City Hall; we already had a church wedding, and practically speaking, the license is what matters to us; the love has been there since the day we first met.

Hopefully this victory will lead to more.  It is my hope that the next generation of LGBTs will have the same access to marriage as heterosexuals do, across the country.  I even dare to hope that I may live to see it.

And to those of you who think it’s “icky” and “wrong” and “an abomination,” I have only this to say:  If you do not like same-sex marriage, do not marry someone of the same sex.  This isn’t rocket science, people.

And don’t throw the Bible at me either.  I know the Bible well, and I know that it says NOTHING about committed, loving same-sex couples; all it has are a few references to specific genital acts, usually related to rape, abuse, or idolatry (pagan temple prostitutes).  At any rate, times change, people learn and grow, and the idea of living by a Book that was written thousands of years ago without question is ridiculous.  And my husband and I are both Christians; yes, Maggie, we can be both.  And now we can even make it legal.


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