Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wedding Bells

I read an article in the LA Times about a gay couple getting married this week. Just call me sentimental, but I found myself tearing up and thinking (perhaps wistfully), "How wonderful, how beautiful." The article and accompanying slide show (and photos of people at the courthouse) document an important day in one couple's life, but also a historic moment in California history. I hope it's not a fleeting moment that will be undone in November.

I'm not convinced that gay marriage is the most momentous human rights issue in America. Certainly in our situation, marriage doesn't begin to contain the family that Ron, Perry, Tim, Brian, and I share. And being outside marriage, Ron and I have been able to create a relationship that reflects the reality of our lives rather than the convenience of the State or the confines of social convention. (There are distinct social advantages to not being married!)

Still, I wouldn't want to take away a single iota of joy from those happy couples in California whose love and families are now solemnized for what they are: families recognized by the law, sanctioned by the State making it much easier for gay couples to become part of a larger social community. I have no doubt there is great value in recognizing and supporting gay families in our society.

Gay marriage may come to Maryland, although I'm not holding my breath. I have my family here. Ron and I have done everything under the law we can to protect and maintain our relationship. I think I would like the social nod that marriage brings (actually, the shower gifts!), but I know that societal recognition is not necessary for my family to be a loving and happy home. And if those wedding bells ever do ring here in Wheaton, well, I fully expect to be teary eyed.