Celebrate Freedom to Marry Week with The Other Mother's blog carnival.
February 10 - Something Old
February 11 - Something New
February 12 - Something Borrowed
February 13 - Something Blue
February 14 - Celebrate Love
In honor of our eighth wedding anniversary I thought I'd share some old photos of us, from our commitment ceremony on February 10, 2001.
(Wow, we sure both had a lot more hair then, and I had a lot more, um, everything.)
The photos are nice and all, but I don't think they even come close to showing how I felt that day, how happy I was to be marrying Shrike and, yet, how terrified I was about the huge step we were taking.
A couple of mornings later, I woke up, almost panicking, thinking "Oh my God, what have I done?!" as I realized that this was forever.
Legally, of course, we had done nothing, and had we changed our minds it would have been no more complicated to extricate ourselves from the relationship than before the ceremony.
To us, it was a wedding, and it was forever and it was as real as it could possibly be and we are as married as we could possibly be, in our hearts and in our heads and in everything that we do and how we conduct our lives.
To our friends and family who celebrated it with us (whether in person or from afar), it was wedding, and they see us and treat us as they would any other married couple.
To the minister who performed the ceremony and the church where it was held, it was a wedding, and they asked their God's blessings upon our love.
But to the government of our state and our nation, it was nothing.
Just a party with some pretty clothes and a nice cake and some thoughtful gifts.
To the government of our state and our nation, we are nothing to each other. We have none of the 1000+ rights and privileges that come with marriage.
We've got a folder full of documents to protect ourselves in case of Something Bad Happening to one of us.
We've gone to court - twice - to ask permission share our name, and to share our child.
Yet, we are strangers, in the eyes of the law.
And that is just wrong.
A poll taken in September showed that more than 70% of BlueStaters support some legal recognition of same-sex couples, whether civil unions or full marriage rights.
There have been similar poll numbers around the country, so why hasn't it happened yet?
And why - how - did Proposition 8 pass in California, of all places?
Mostly, I think, because those who oppose our relationships are a lot better organized, better funded and evidently, more motivated than we are.
And that, too, is just wrong.
Perhaps we're too busy just living our lives, loving our partners and raising our children to have the time or energy to fight to protect them, but we must.
We should not have to, and one day we won't, but until that day comes, we must.