I'm married for now. Significant Other and I got married on Friday, August 15th at a courthouse in Los Angeles. Our wedding bands have an inscription in them that reads, "January 4, 2000" because that's the day that we met and it is the day that we've celebrated as our anniversary for the past nine years. We celebrated January 4th as our special day because that was really the only meaningful date that we had to mark our nine years together. Five months ago the California Supreme Court ruled that Significant Other and I should have the right to marry just like all of the other committed couples in California so we took the opportunity to make it official in the eyes of the law in California and we got married. My August 15th wedding date doesn't mean as much to me as our January date because, in reality, if we had the same rights as all heterosexual couples in California, we would have been legally married years ago.
Tomorrow, however, voters in California will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 8 that could change the State Constitution to take away the right of loving and committed gay couples to enter into legal marriage. After living in the closet in my hometown of Honolulu I guess I've developed a pretty fatalistic view of politics and I'm pretty sure that voters will pass Proposition 8 and the legal status of my marriage to Significant Other will be thrown into legal limbo.
I've come to realize that while this will make me incredibly sad, it really won't change a lot in my day to day life. That does NOT make it FAIR or RIGHT, but it also won't make it the end of my world.
Win or lose, being legally married along with the campaign over Proposition 8 has done a lot to bring joy to my life
Getting married has helped my (already very accepting) friends and family TRULY understand the relationship that Significant Other and I have. We love each other in exactly the same way that my brother and my sister-in-law are in love. And I think that because marriage is an institution that my friends and family understand so clearly, that S/O and I being married just means something to them in an unambigous way. It's been a wonderful gift.
Getting married as given my best friend M., who lives her life with as much integrity as anyone I know, the opportunity to tell her five year old daughter that Uncle Ambookgeek and Uncle Siginificant Other were getting married.
"Uncle Ambookgeek and Uncle Significant Other are going to get married."
"Boy's can get married, mommy?" she asked.
"Yes, in California where they live boys can get married."
"I didn't know that … [pregnant pause] … [Insert girl's name here] told me that girls are supposed to only marry boys who are taller than they are, but I know that's not true because I saw Miss _____'s husband and he's taller than her, mommy so I told her that, that's not true …"
"That's very observant and open minded of you honey …"
Getting married has allowed S/O, who is like the mayor of the gym where we work out, to help a lot of people understand that most gay people don't dance on floats in thongs in the gay pride parades every year. The other day, an 84-year old Jewish grandfather who is a friend of S/O's came up to him and excitedly told him, "I just want you to know that I voted no on Prop 8 because of you. I think you deserve to have the same rights as everybody else!
A decade ago, when I was still living in Hawaii the voters of Hawaii passed a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as only as being between one man and one woman. The measure passed with more than 70% of the vote and I sat in my tiny studio alone and cried because seven of every ten people in my community had just told me that I didn't count as a whole person in their community. I realized then, that by living in the closet, that I had hurt myself. I didn't give the people in my life the chance to make an informed choice. I didn't give them a chance to help me … And to vote FOR me.
This election is a do over of sorts. I kind of still believe that I'll lose … and Proposition 8 will pass and become law. Win or lose, however, this time I won't be crying alone in a studio apartment. I'll be able to hold my head up and go on with life. Don't get me wrong, if that all should come to pass, it'll be incredibly sad, but at least I won't have to cry tears of anger at myself. This time around I've done my share. I haven't marched in any parades and I haven't beat people up at work with my political rhetoric, but I have gone about living my life honestly and openly. I really think that the people in my life would all vote to support my legal rights, but if they don't, I suspect that there's not much else that I could have done to change their minds …
More than anything, all this marriage and non-marriage stuff has made me realize that the people who really count in my life just want the best for us and for us to be happy. That may not be the same as having Federal Social Security or inheritance rights, but … You know what??? There are a LOT worse places to be in life …
Thank you to everyone out there who has voted or will vote NO, tomorrow, on Prop 8!!!
Love you all,