Cat (willowisp) wrote,
Cat
willowisp

Anniversary #12, 2010

Today is callicrates' and my twelfth wedding anniversary. It's also the first one we've spent apart. Not only am I in Oswego for school, but Andy is in Utah for a work conference. He'd planned on visiting for our anniversary until he found out about the work thing.

I think the separation just makes me appreciate him more.

We're not strangers to the long-distance relationship thing -- back when he was an undergrad and I was working as a phone-in tech support drone, we spent the four years apart. It was significantly harder back then; no Skype, for instance. Thank goodness for MUSHing, which allowed us to communicate without worrying about phone bills.

One other thing makes me sad about this day -- the fact that a good number of my friends cannot say the same thing about themselves, despite having been together as long as or even longer than Andy and I have. I am, of course, talking about the gay and lesbian couples I know. Even with the recent victories in some states, they are still left out in the majority. Denying them the right does not make Andy's and my marriage any stronger; in fact I believe that it weakens it.

I firmly believe that any consenting adults, no matter their skin color, sex, national origin, ability, age (note the "consenting adults" caveat), religious beliefs, absence of religious beliefs, or any other consideration, should be allowed to marry. No one has been able to explain to me why excluding anyone strengthens the union, yet we always hear about strength in numbers. It seems to me that adding to the numbers, making marriage more universal, would be the way to strengthen it.

I'll admit that one of my driving reasons for wanting marriage equality is due to the legal aspects. I've known a woman who was denied hospital visitation when her partner was comatose. It wasn't until the partner finally was allowed to visit that the sick woman came out of her coma. Because I'm married to Andy, my family cannot deny him the ability to visit me in the hospital should I become too ill to say for myself -- I want the same for my friends.

If Andy or I were not US citizens, by marrying the one would be allowed citizenship -- I want the same for my friends. If something were to happen to either of us, the other would be allowed custody of our kitties, the closest thing we'll probably ever have to kids -- I want the same for my friends, especially those with children. The rights of inheritance, the right to insurance, the right to end-of-life decisions, the right to make funeral arrangements, the right to any number of other things -- I want the same for my friends.

To those who say that this can already be done via legal agreements, I have two things to note. The first is that it costs thousands of dollars to make those arrangements. The second is that some states (Virginia and its Marshall-Newman Amendment comes to mind) have passed laws/amendments which nullify any legal arrangements which, paraphrased, "mimic the legal rights of marriage".

It may well be that the solution to this will be to have the legal aspects of marriage determined by civil unions and the religious aspects assigned to marriage. If I have to stop calling Andy my husband and start calling him my partner because our marriage is not religious, then fine. I really don't care what it's called as long as there is no "separate but equal" legal component. Separate but equal has never worked, and I have no faith that it would work in this case.

Andy and I have had many wonderful years as a (legally) married couple. I want the same for my friends, and I will work toward that end for as long as it takes. I hope that it happens within my lifetime.
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