I was listening to some radio station recently as they played Percy Sledgeâ€™s old popular hit, â€śWhen a Man Loves a Woman.â€ť A wave of sadness came over me, concerning how we face day after day of heated and hateful attacks on our right to fully love our same sex partners and to marry them.
Questions started percolating up in my addled brain. Whoâ€™s going to pay for the wedding when itâ€™s legal for a man who loves a man to get married after popping the question? Who will tell moms, dads, co-workers and friends? Will there be bridal showers and bachelor parties?
Will it be published and be accepted by those whose lives intersect with ours? Since we gays and lesbians donâ€™t have a cultural history of marriage for ourselves, do we automatically take on the culture of those who have forbidden marriage to us?
Almost four years ago, when my true love Dave and I were star struck â€śyoung lovers,â€ť I asked him to marry me at Loverâ€™s Point in Pacific Grove. His shock was so visible that it scared me to have asked such an unanswerable question. So we began the challenging process of growing our relationship in a society that doesnâ€™t want us to be openly together and sure as hell doesnâ€™t want us to marry.
A year later we rented a romantic room at a charming little bed & breakfast a short walk from that same Loverâ€™s Point and walked out on that point and each placed an engraved ring on the otherâ€™s finger. It was joyous and solemn and we were happy and committed, yet we both knew there was no legal way to authenticate our commitment.
Weâ€™ve celebrated four anniversaries together, three as committed life partners, and that might be as good as it gets for us legally. Do we need to be legally married to sustain and grow our love? Probably not, but we would like the right. Whatâ€™s left of my family in all their dysfunction has found it easy to embrace us as a couple and include us in every silly and sacred event families share. His family members are devout Mormons and tow the moral line of that church, so it may be a while before they can acknowledge or accept our love and commitment, but we trudge forward with our love as armor and shield.
The anti gay marriage hoopla and hatred being spewed so freely by the Republican party and several major religious bodies seems incongruous to the idea of love, yet it pervades our nation and most of the world. Iâ€™m stumped, amazed and heartbroken by the narrow-minded interpretation of â€śGodâ€™s Lawâ€ť imposed downward like hot, molten lava on the heads and hearts of gay people all over the world for no good reason. Does their God want them to jump into the private, personal lives of others to declare who is or is not eligible for the right to a marriage license? Or do they busy themselves and their cult cohorts by seeking ways to exclude individuals and groups from those rights they seek to protect and segregate with?
I really donâ€™t want the same marriage I saw my parents and the parents of so many of my peers endure, but I do want the right to marry as they did. Time marches on, and despite the outrage and hate being spewed so hatefully by right wing ideologues and fundamentalist religionists, we may one day soon be granted equality and the right to marry.