Recently, a California judge ruled that Prop 8, a California constitutional amendment that effectively banned same sex marriage was unconstitutional. I know you must all be aware of the situation, so I won’t recap the media blitz. I support the decision in this case not because it may directly affect me, but because I don’t feel that a majority’s will is always in the best interest of the country. The majority, history has shown, has many times been wrong.
I am looking at this marriage issue debate from a more practical perspective: does marriage make a difference in my personal relationship? I have been with my partner Mark for nine and a half years. We are, in my humble opinion, a great match. We are not much different from most straight marriages. We work, live together, manage a home, accrue and pay off debt, argue, socialize, and generally enjoy each others company. We go to bed together and wake up together. We eat together, watch TV together, and surf the net together. It is a working relationship like every other marriage I know. The only difference being that legally, we aren’t recognized.
When the ruling that struck down Prop 8 came to light, I thought, “Great!” However, I then realized that nothing had changed. Mark and I are still in the same relationship. We don’t have any more or less money, and we didn’t grow closer or further apart. Our lives, other than the natural change from moment to moment, was not redefined. I actually think that if we were to get married, nothing would really change. We would come home with an additional legal document of which to keep track.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I want to marry Mark. The legal benefits alone are significant enough to make me want to marry him. And, I think it would be great to have a legal standing in hospitals, courts, and government affairs. But in the end, the term, the legal paperwork, the license is not what defines my relationship to Mark. It is our loyalty, love, and shared life which binds us. Our communication and trust make the commitment strong. The marriage contract is as quickly undone as it is done, but what we have, I don’t think, is so easily unraveled.
I hope that marriages for same-sex couples start happening soon nationwide. I want my brothers and sisters to have the joy of a wedding day. I want the world to witness two people of the same-sex commit in law to each other. And, it’s just time for it to happen.
Will I marry Mark? Yes, in a split second. Will it change things? In short, no. The two have become one: we are “Mark and David.” A marriage license, or lack thereof, does not change that in the slightest.
Maybe the day will come where we can marry. Maybe it won’t. But we will love each and will continue to spend our life together. And, if anyone has a problem with that – they can suck it!