The question made me stop and think. Why was getting married on August 10, 2014 important to me?
A myriad of reasons.
The most significant is that getting married made me feel legitimate.
Regardless of your political leanings my not being able to be married as a same sex couple and having the same lawful standing as my heterosexual neighbors is as close as I can get to how illegal immigrants in our country must feel.
You always stay a little hidden. A little under the radar. Don’t make waves. Someone might not like your relationship, your family and you will be discriminated against.
Discrimination is undeniable.
This blog isn’t a political rant. Jody and I aren’t activists. We’ve quietly lived our lives as a couple on our cul-de-sac, with the same ups and downs, the same challenges as all couples. We have two children. We worry about them as you do yours.
Often we’ve had our children’s friends and parents over to our house to show how normal we are. Antonio was in Scouts and I was a den leader; Crystel in Scouts and Jody a troop leader. Antonio in soccer. Crystel in dance. All of us active in Tae Kwon Do.
Being a Police Reserve Officer I always hoped that ‘badge’ carried a little bit of weight when we were being sized up as a different kind of family.
Jody and I never thought that same sex marriage would be legal in our lifetime. And, I’m not sure that either of us cared. We were going to do what was right for us and protect ourselves by having a will, power of attorney, assigned beneficiaries, second parent adoption, and the same last name.
12 years ago, August 10, 2002 flowers had opened to their utmost bloom and spread their green leaves their widest. Bees darted for nectar, dragonflies with iridescent wings dropped to the swimming pool for a quick drink. Butterflies watched from the fringes of the yard.
Aunt Jo, my mother’s sister, an ordained minister, performed the Holy Union ceremony.
75 friends and relatives surrounded us while I told Jody, “I take you as my life companion. I pledge to share my life openly with you – to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honor and tenderly care for you – to cherish and encourage you – through all the changes of our lives.”
And she, in turn, said the same to me.
But this time 150 friends and relatives surrounded us, our lives having grown twice as large because of our children and because we ourselves had grown.
Crystel was our flower girl and best lady. Antonio our best man.
Our Officiant was Minister, Judie Mattison. Butterflies and dragonflies once again danced among the attendees.
And when “All of Me” by John Legend played and the words, Love your curves and all your edges All your perfect imperfections Give your all to me I’ll give my all to you, Jody and I held hands, rotated in the gazebo and slowly turned to face all of you- – –
Then right before the ceremony ended we rotated once more and breathed in your good wishes and blessings to the music of Gloria Estefan. If I could reach, higher Just for one moment touch the sky From that one moment In my life I’m gonna be stronger Know that I’ve tried my Very best I’d put my spirit to the test …
and we came out of hiding.