Today was an important day, especially in California. As I’m sure you know by now, SCOTUS determined that the organization that appealed the 9th Circuit ruling against Prop 8’s unconstitutionality did not have standing, sending it back to the California courts for it to be overturned. There has been a stay on all gay marriages since the the case was appealed and soon that stay will be lifted and the California constitution will no longer define marriage as singularly between a man and a woman.
You see Prop 8 changed the constitution of California to define marriage as a discriminatory institution. It rewrote our sacred document. It was for this reason that my partner and I chose to forgo marriage four years ago. We were just talking about getting married when Prop 8 passed and we quickly realized that we were not interested in entering into the institution of marriage in our state, when it was defined so as to omit a portion of our population. We’ve been waiting four years for Prop 8 to be overturned so that we can enter into the institution of marriage proudly.
And now, finally, we can.
Of course, at this point, the whole thing has lost some of it’s allure. We’ve already made the massive commitment of having children together and we can’t afford a wedding. It doesn’t even make sense for us to get engaged, not that I would have wanted a ring anyway. The reality is we did it all backwards, and when you get married after having kids, it doesn’t seem to mean as much.
Or does it?
I want to write another post–or possibly even a series of posts–on my ever evolving thoughts on marriage. As someone who missed out on all the traditions of an engagement, bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding, I think the whole thing means something different for me than it does for most people. Mi.Vida has already told me that he doesn’t feel marriage will strengthen his commitment to me, but that he does believe the protections it provides are important for our family.
I honestly haven’t figured out what I believe. Will marriage strengthen my commitment to my partner? Will it change the way I feel about him, in my heart? Will it change the way I regard him, in my mind? Am I just getting married because it’s something I’m expected to do? Or is it the legal protections I find most important? I honestly don’t know. All I do know is that I’m excited for this chance and I look forward to a small ceremony where we stand before our families (and maybe a few friends) and declare our love, devotion and commitment to each other. The funny thing is, we’ve already been through some really hard shit together and we know what it means to stick with each other through the good times and the bad. Maybe that makes our choosing to be together even more special, instead of the other way around.
So even though I’ll never have a story of when my partner got down on one knee and I said “I do,” I suppose I have another kind of story. And maybe it’s just as compelling as the traditional romantic tale of two people choosing to spend their life together.