OK, so unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard the news that the Supreme Court of the United States, (aka SCOTUS) has struck down the ban on same sex marriage, and it is now legal in every state in the United States to get married if you are a same sex couple. Interestingly, according to CNN, the US is the 21st country to make marriage legal for ALL citizens.
The Netherlands was the first country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in 2001, when their Parliament voted 107-33 to eliminate discrimination from their marriage laws. The law requires that at least one member of the couple be a Dutch national or live in the Netherlands, and it took effect on April 1, 2001. 14 years ago……..hmmm. Twenty countries have approved the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg, Finland and Ireland), while Mexico allows the freedom to marry regionally and has court-directed provisions enabling same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry. In Slovenia, Parliament approved a marriage bill in March 2015 and is headed to the president’s desk. Many other countries provide some protections for such couples. As more and more countries win the freedom to marry, families are helped, and communities and countries made stronger, by protecting all loving committed couples.
I have lots of thoughts on this matter. As a matter of fact, when I went on vacation last summer to visit my mother, who lives in Kissimmee Florida, she asked me what my thoughts were on gay marriage. My mother is NOT homophobic in the least, but she doesn’t really understand it. She is 76 and comes from a different era than I do. It does not bother me at all that she does not understand, the fact that she is accepting of me and Karol, and loves me anyway, is all that matters to me.
In the past, quite a few of my friends have said that Karol and I should get married in a nearby state and then wait for Virginia to catch up. We just chuckled, and the questions stopped. Then marriage became legal in Virginia and the comments started again. That time we said we didn’t want to get married until EVERYONE could get married, well, now it is legal all over the US and the comments and questions have started again……sigh…..
However, recently, when my mother asked me about it, and two of my besties also asked me when we are getting married, I had to delve deep into my own thoughts and really think about why I don’t want to get married.
To be honest there are a few reasons why we don’t want to get married….yet…..
First and foremost is that fact that most of our household income comes from Karol, and if we marry my children will no longer be eligible for grants and some student loans. So to marry now means my kids will lose money to help them pay for college, and I feel that to do that just to say I am “married” is extremely elfish…
Another reason is harder to explain and believe me these are MY OWN thoughts and I believe them ONLY for myself, and I do NOT think everyone, (or anyone) has to believe the way I do, but here it is:
As a die hard feminist I have a hard time participating in a traditional “wedding” which I believe is a patriarchal heterosexual ideology. Let’s face it, “marriage” has always been a heterosexual thing. I don’t believe anyone should be exempted from getting married if that is their desire, so I do support same sex marriage, but I am just not sure it is for me. I do think at some point it will be important for Karol and I to be legally bound to each other, (social security, retirement, etc), but I would like to find a nontraditional way to do that.
Plus, we have both had the traditional wedding before, and I don’t “need” to have a wedding dress, guests, cake, reception wedding in my life as any kind of statement about my relationship with my partner of 11 years. I don’t want our marriage to be a bigger deal than our wonderful, complicated, sometimes difficult, mostly completely happy, living together lives already are. We have been together for 11 years. We have lived together for 8 years. It has been easy, it has been hard, we have fought, we have yelled, we have loved……through it all we have loved…..each other and our 4 kids.
I like the idea of having a “love party”. Getting legally hitched at the Justice of the Peace quietly with just our kids and maybe one or two others in attendance and then having a party (a backyard BBQ) with our friends and loved ones…..but that will have to be years from now when the kids are out of college and since the youngest one is about to turn 16, by then same sex marriage will be routine………
I guess we will revisit the idea in about 6 years or so…. I will let you know…