Does that mean that we’re really really married?
My phone rang as I was heading out into the rain for my weekly therapy appointment. Kelly said that the Supreme Court ruled on DOMA and essentially threw out that third section on same-sex marriage. “Does that mean that we’re really really married?” My lawyer wife said no.
By the time my session was over I heard the good news about Prop 8.
Attorneys and various smart legal people still have to wade through how this will impact the states that have legalized gay marriage and the states that don’t. Illinois is in this middle ground. We kind of have rights. We’re kind of recognized. We can call each other wives. To the state, it’s a civil union. To me, it’s a marriage. I vowed to spend the rest of my life with her. I vowed to take out the trash. I offer her the last bite. That’s marriage. I just want all 1100+ federal benefits that go along with it.
I’ve been listening to talk radio and I actually tried to call in rebuttal to someone’s ignorance (that’s putting it kindly). I am a born-again-evangelical Christian who happens to be gay. I love Jesus. I tell people I love Jesus. I want others to love Jesus. That’s how Jesus-y I am. My wife is also a big Jesus fan. Yet these callers are saying that marriage is really supposed to be a religious institution so same-sex marriage needs to be banned. First off – I’m Jesus-y so then I’d get to be married by your standards. Secondly – you want it to be a religious thing, but want the government to regulate that? Ummm? I don’t have a word rebuttal for that – more of just a head tilt with a questioning look reminiscent of Joan Cusack.
What is it that you’re afraid of? Are you afraid that you’ll have to explain to your kids why 2 chicks are living together? (You’ll have to do that with or without marriage, because let me tell you… it’s already happening.) Are you afraid that Jesus is going to yell at you when you die? (Jesus is about love and inclusivity and you’re trying to exclude people from protection, rights AND even being able to visit their dying partner in the hospital? That’s what He’d yell at you about). Are you afraid that you’ll have to learn to adapt and change just as the church did in the 60’s during integration? (Yes. Yes you will. Do it now or be known as a bigot later)
This isn’t about the sanctity of marriage. J-Lo, Britney Spears, Rush Limbaugh, and whoever else has had multiple spouses have proven that to be a false claim. Is it about God? Atheists get married all the time – sometimes they even marry Christians. The sky has not and will not fall.
I should be really excited. This is historic. This is also Pride weekend here in Chicago. We’re marching with my church in the parade. Yet, it feels hollow. There are 13 states who received validation from the federal government and 37 who are left with a lot of questions and a little bit of hope. I try to cling to that hope, but the more I dig into it, the more I realize that the government wants to just brush us aside, that people think that we chose this path, that you can’t be a Christian and want gay marriage, or that I want to marry multiple people, or pets, or toasters (I’d prefer a blender)… *
Though I feel somewhat let down by the decision yesterday, I’m glad to be around at this time. I’m glad that I can be out when these rulings fell. I’m glad that I have the honor and ability to march in Pride. I’m glad that I feel a calling to seminary and can pursue Jesus that way while being true to who I am – who God made me to be. I know that there will be many many decisions in the months and years to come that will break down these barriers.
Folks, today is a new day.
*Seriously, we’ve been talking about getting a blender, but it’s never in our budget… so uhh… if any of you have a blender, we’d take it… and we promise not to marry it.