This past weekend, my husband and I were fortunate enough to attend an incredibly lovely event, where we watched two friends “join in the bonds of Holy Matrimony”. Hopefully, by now the couple has recovered from their hangover and is on their way to a fairy-tale honeymoon before returning home for a successful and blissful life together. Congratulations Mike and JuJu. =)
We’ve been to quite a few weddings over the years, as many of our friends are reaching that point in their lives where they want to share them with someone else. While they were all unique and beautiful events, nothing quite stopped me in my tracks like an experience I had at this one.
You see, my husband and I eloped. I don’t ever regret that decision, but perhaps the fact that we didn’t throw a party of our own made it a little easier to ignore a very simple fact: I’m lucky.
I fell in love with someone and the accepted outcome of that love was to get married: to be simply and easily bound together and recognized by law, family, friends, and religion as a unit greater than the sum of it’s parts.
At Saturday’s wedding, during the drinks and dancing portion of the evening, I danced a song with a very pretty girl who’s partner didn’t want to be dragged onto the dance floor. Everyone was all smiles and laughter, but later watching her and her partner chatting in the corner, it hit me pretty hard how unfair this whole setup was. See, her partner is another woman, and in just about every state in this country, the two of them would be denied the most basic right to have a ceremony such as this for their very own. The simple and easy legal and familial bond that all my straight friends take for granted was simply not possible for her.
I’d like to say this in a more positive fashion, but frankly: That is just wrong.
Today is National Coming Out day. In honor of that I’d like to encourage all my straight friends and readers to look around and really notice how many things you can take for granted because of your orientation. Sure, many of the legal issues gays and lesbians face can be overcome via a course of paperwork hoops to jump through, but why should that be necessary when this simple mechanism already exists?
To take it a little further, I also really don’t agree that we should be creating a whole new level of “civil” union, that’s no better than separate drinking fountains or segregated buses. It mostly just seems like nothing more than a distraction and a way for people to feel good about taking a stand without really examining the homophobia and prejudice behind “separate but equal”.
It’s 2010. I want my gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered friends to not lose the rights they were born with simply because they are honest about who they are and who they love. Don’t you?