Monday, March 15, 2004

It's about more than benefits

One of the questions I've heard regarding gay marriage is "if it's about love, then what difference does it make whether the government says it's OK? It's really about getting the benefits, isn't it?"

Aside from the fact that denying benefits to a certain class of citizens is, indeed, unequal treatment, and leaving out my oft-stated opinion that "marriage" ought to be something that is only defined by religion, not any government, anywhere, I would like to quote the following anecdote that was related by a friend. Emphasis within the quoted section is mine.

My best friends in town thought things over, took a deep breath and marched downtown today to get married. Friend #1 emailed me a copy of the marriage license as soon as he got home. They're so excited -- they've been together 25 years.

The decision to issue gay marriage licenses happened so fast no provision was made yet for differences on the multipart forms, so one guy had to be the bride, officially. There was some last minute squabbling about this but they did scissors, paper, stone and Friend #2 got to be the groom. After obtaining the license, and having made no plans for this eventuality ahead of time, they found that ceremonies were being held at a gay dance hall nearby, so they went there and found a mass of other couples and a full selection of various denominations of clergy ready to do the deed for them.

Unlike the county forms, everything there was customizable, so a suitable ceremony was assembled from various bits and conducted by a UU minister. A mixed race lesbian couple stood in as witnesses and dykes of honor and now my friends are married. I'm so happy for them, even if the officialness of their status doesn't stand up to ongoing political insanity. "At least we can say we were married," they said, grinning.

Twenty five years. TWENTY. FIVE. YEARS.

It's the LOVE, stupid.


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