Saturday, February 23, 2008


I'm embarrassed. I know there is a war on. I know we have Americans (and even *more* Iraqis) dying or injured daily. I know our economy is tanking, and I know more and more of us are having trouble holding onto our very homes. I know our Constitutional rights are being stripped, one by one, or even two by two, on a regular basis and it makes me sick. Rachel Maddow tells me that she is a war issues voter, that this is her priority in the 2008 election. I feel so narrow and one-track, so much less evolved, when I think of this.

But I really want to get married. That's all I can think about when I consider our next president.

You see, I’m a lesbian. I can't get married like many, well, like everybody else, can. Oops, sorry, in Massachusetts I could, but I'd have to live there and I kind of like my home now, and my kids have their friends and all that…you know, all that uprooting, ugh. And after all of that, my marriage license would only be good in my state of Massachusetts, and maybe New York. Should we cross the state line into Rhode Island, all of our rights would vanish.

I’ve been with my partner for 21 years. As my son says, we've been together longer than many people have lived (at first I thought he’d heard of some horrible plague overtaking the adolescent community, but eventually I got his meaning). We've been together for 21 years, but we have *none* of the rights that you all marrieds have, well, except for those we've spent oodles of money contracting for with a lawyer. Crazy, ain’t it? Geez, I just want to get married.

But which of the candidates will give me this? None that I can see. Kucinich was my guy, but we all know how that went down. Clinton is a friend to our community, I believe this, but I just keep thinking she'll end up as unable as her husband was to give us what we really need. Obama, well, I worry that he's not truly on board with any of this:

See? I think he likes to sidestep that messy marriage debate when it comes to our community. And I really had to dig to find anything even remotely relevant to our needs on his website, a short blurb on enforcing hate crimes legislation. Um, I need a little more, Mr. Obama.

And dig as I might, I couldn’t find anything on Clinton’s site related to my rights, to marry or otherwise. Well, at least Hillary spells out her opposition to marriage loud and clear. Yay?

Marriage is what we need, a common term that conveys the same meaning to all about what we have built, my partner and I for 21 years, but so many more of us for even longer. A common language of rights and responsibilities that is understood by police, hospital staff, teachers, town clerks, even the guy at the mini-mart. A word that gives the message to all that we are equals in the eyes of the law. We are waiting, have been waiting, for a long time, and frankly, I’m getting old. I really need this sooner rather than later. But I just don’t see a “sooner” happening.

For now, I guess it’s time to become more evolved. Doesn't mean I'll be satisfied.


WifeMomKnitter said...

I'm not into poltics at all, but this issue has always baffled me too. Funny enough, this is an issue that my husband and I were discussing in great length last night. We both cannot understand why with 53% of marriages nowadays ending in divorce a same sex couple, like you and your partner, who live in a commited relationship cannot get married. It's just wrong!!

KnelleyBelley said...

Some day . . . some day . . . everyone will wake up and regret their we're-better-than-everybody-else attitudes. Some day. Has to happen. I thought Barack might be the guy to try to wake everyone up, but he's being too much of a weenie to take a stand.

I agree with wifemomknitter - it's just wrong. Wrong.

acambras said...

Same here. In fact, I've been trying to post a comment in agreement all day, but every time I click on "post a comment," my web browser shuts down.

I think it's part of a vast right wing conspiracy. ):-(

docnita said...

Brava Kelly!!!!

Well said. Our relationships are no different than any hetero couple. We care for each other, fight over who is supposed to take out the trash and worry about our children's futures. We deserve the same rights afforded to hetero couples who are married. Federal rights, not just state rights and not just civil unions. My partner of 17 years is fighting cancer. In many states, I would have no say over what will happen to her when she is in the hospital.

I do believe it will happen someday. Looking back, it wasn't so long ago that people were horrified if a biracial couple got married. Now, it's the norm. We have to hope that we are moving forward in the right direction. It would be nice to have a president that will help propel us in the right direction!


Erin said...

It's kind of amazing how politicians can talk so much but say so little, isn't it? I love Obama's charisma, but am increasingly afraid that there's not much more to him than that. I personally think that there should be civil unions with full recognition for any couple who wants them, straight or gay, and that marriages should be performed by churches/religious groups according to their own beliefs about what is appropriate and for whom. It seems pretty rational to me, but still probably too out there to ever happen (sigh). If I find it annoying and unfair, I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for those like you and your partner whose lives are really affected by it. Maybe once a democrat is in office, some change can be effected. I hope that the politicians may have more progressive views on this than they let on and might get more liberal once they're not running.

theatreknitter said...

I got to your site through nutmeg knitter (and thank you for encouraging her podcasting, she has so much to share). I agree completely. I myself am not in this issue, but many of my closest friends are. Most of my gay friends have been in stable relationships longer than most straight people I know, how crazy is that.

Sarah said...

Great post Kel. Im with you. Its not looking like any one candidiate is going to come through for us. I guess, at this point Im just trying to figure out who will be less of a threat to our families. Pretty sad!

yarnmaniac said...

I agree with you. Candidates want to get votes, and this is a topic people get rightious about opposing. Sucks.