Reflecting on Marriage Milestones
BY Advocate Contributors
June 26 2011 1:35 PM ET
I’ve been married at least four times, all to the same man. Maybe five.
Our first ceremony was in a New York City computer store. The most recent was in City Hall in San Francisco, in the board of supervisors’ chamber, presided over by Supervisor Bevan Dufty and sealed with signatures on Harvey Milk’s former desk.
That one was legal — until it wasn’t anymore.
But the next time, I know it will be legal for good. That’s what we promised ourselves after our 2004 marriage, courtesy of then–San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, was invalidated by the Supreme Court of California.
No more half measures. No more purely symbolic unions.
No more bold, sort-of-legal ceremonies that serve as targets for courts or ballot measures to overturn.
Now, finally, New York State — where Christopher and I met 25 years ago — beckons with the promise of full, legal marriage.
But for us, it’s not good enough.
We now live in Asheville, N.C., and even a fine, freshly legal New York State marriage cannot be imported here. Indeed, the newly Republican-controlled N.C. legislature is busy trying to pass a state constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex unions of any kind.
We toast New York State. We honor the long-awaited victory of simple equality, hope to be invited to our New York friends’ weddings, and hope to attend. We’re elated — really, really happy.
But it’s not good enough.
We didn’t fly to Vermont when it became the first state to introduce civil unions, in 2000. We didn’t fly to Canada when it legalized same-sex marriage in 2005.
After living 10 years in Los Angeles, before moving to Asheville in 2007, we didn’t fly back to California in 2008 when courts briefly legalized marriage equality, before Proposition 8 reestablished discrimination.
We want to be legally married where we live now, not in some distant location. We’ve done the partial, the private, the play-acting. Now it’s time for full marriage equality, nationwide, without asterisks.
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