When we got married in October 2008, it caused us to reflect on why it was so important, and why it felt so different. Of course, it has not changed what we mean to each other. I have loved my beloved partner-spouse for many years with every part of my being, nothing different there.
But what HAS changed is something of our view of our relationship. We were rather surprised to find that we both felt this change.
First, of course, there is the weight of the State. (This became particularly apparent with some minor issues regarding the proper filing of the license). We are legally tied together with the ponderous ropes of officialdom. Yes, that is a difference; not that we ever took our relationship casually, but it is something much more weighty than an informal agreement between two women--not just a private leap over a broomstick, but real in every official sense with its rights and also its responsibilities. The visit in advance to apply for the license...the interview....the submission. A lot different than a $10 notarized Domestic Partner form, which by comparison seems more like a dog license. (If it is the same thing, legally speaking, why is it treated so differently?)
Second, there is the amazing feature of standing before family and friends and making our vows in public. That was stunning, really, truly stunning. We were both blown away by the love and focus of those around us, reaching their hands to us, robustly and vocally offering their support of us as a couple. What an amazing feeling!
Third, there is the sense of belonging to the tapestry of community. As a lesbian couple, we have often felt unwanted and on the outside, but now we are undeniably part of the whole. We now are a new thread in this fabric, another married couple contributing to its strength and texture.
Finally, we were struck by how, well, very normal this all was as an event. It was a pretty typical wedding, with tears of joy and laughter, food, wine and celebration. Nothing made this a "gay" wedding. It was simply a wedding, of two people who love each other completely, gathered to unite in a shared life together.
Yes, it matters. It makes a huge difference.
Originally posted at Friends of Jake
The Day of Decision is Tuesday, May 26th. BE THERE!