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.

9 responses

  1. I think there’s something to be said for ritual … which is different from signing a legal contract. Ritual is about the heart, where the contract is about the head … and what you are doing is not making a commitment, but celebrating the heart. IMHO.

  2. I can’t really put it into words, but I love this post. I think you do have another kind of story. Each and every couple (married or not) has THEIR story. Yours just happens to not be the stereotypical one, and there’s nothing wrong with that. My husband and I had the traditional progression (met, dated, engaged, married, kids), but that doesn’t go into much detail about how we dated long distance because he was in FL and I was in WI, became engaged after 4 months of knowing each other (only about 2 weeks spent in person), and got married in another 5 months. So, from first date to wedding date was about 9 months…and no, we didn’t get married because I was pregnant 🙂 Your story and your relationship is what it is, the love is something to cherish, regardless of if/when you have a formal ceremony or party to celebrate it.

  3. Yay for yesterday’s decision. I always admired that you and Mi.Vida were so principled about your beliefs.

    I think we as a society romanticize weddings but not marriages. I personally wanted the fairytale: it was something that I thought would make my life more magical (and I admit to being a romantic) and it did but I like your point about how you’ve already done the hard stuff.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do next. 🙂

  4. what a great moment, and now a whole new opportunity for you and your family. I love the idea of having a wedding ceremony that celebrated now the possibility (and naivety) of romantic love, but the reality & success of a marriage and family. I do think we do it a bit backwards—the big fancy weddings don’t guarantee a long, successful marriage—we should save the fanfare for when we’ve made it 5 years!

  5. I have always felt having kids together is much more of a commitment than marriage. And I was pretty anti marriage and breeding for that matter, for quite a few years. But oddly enough, despite the fact I usually feel the opposite of the older generation, when I got together with J, I insisted we marry before we started to try and conceive. I have no explanation I can give other than that’s how I wanted it to be.

    I am over the moon about this decision. It finally feels like love has a chance in this world. Maybe it’ll win over the darkness yet.

  6. You are amazing. I want to hug you! You’re story is unique and YOURS only and it’s something to cherish no matter how you got there, when or with who. When I woke up on Wednesday to this news I was SO happy. This will touch so many lives of people I love and care about. Here’s to you, kid 😉

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