“It Would Be Awesome To Get Married, Even If For One Day, Because It Would Solidify What We Already Know ” ~ Chris MacLellan November 2013
When the clock struck 12:00 am on Tuesday, January 6th in the State of Florida, same-sex marriage became the law of this fine state: Hooray I said! Of course there will be people appalled by this decision to grant equal rights under the protection of marriage; bully to them! I wonder about those who ‘worry’ about granting equal rights to same-sex couples through marriage? Do they need a ‘piece of paper’ to signify their love? We’ve heard the religious arguments, the family values arguments, heck, even heard that world might end if same-sex marriage became law. Last time I looked outside, the ground was still standing firm in this fine state of Florida.
Same sex couples have known for a zillion years that we do not need a ‘piece of paper’ to solidify our love; however that ‘piece of paper’ does solidify our equal rights. Bigotry and hatred, unfortunately, will always be around us, yet that ‘piece of paper’ provides clear protection to all couples who have been together, one day, or 50+ years. When you look closely into the laws, both federal and state, and see how laws are granted to those who are married, this ‘argument’ of marriage equality comes into perspective. As Americans, we do not often like to talk about death and dying, but all the rights granted by marriage are intertwined at the time of death. Did you know that in every state of the nation that the next of kin for an adult is a spouse! Until you’ve been denied the right to be with the one that you love at the time of death, or asked, ‘Who Are You’ by medical staff, or have been told, ‘your not next of kin’ after your partner has passed away, you never fully grasp the inequality.
Yes, this day is bitter-sweet for me: I’m sure I am not alone. Richard and I talked about getting married, and it would have been an awesome thing to do! I can’t imagine us getting married would have deepened our love, it just would have solidified what was already known! Yet I do hope our Caregiving story, In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey and what happened to us along the way as an unmarried couple, helped pave the way for this historic day in Florida. In some small way, I am sure that it did!
Yes, it would have been awesome to get married, but our life was awesome together, without that ‘piece of paper! It would have been awesome to gather our family and friends together for a ceremony, but heck, they all knew that we loved each other, that we were committed to each other, without that ‘piece of paper.’ As one of my sisters said to me today, “Heck, you two were everything to each other, but married.” She was so right, because, in the end, the only thing that matters is that love, care and commitment is the same for any two people who are committed to each other as one. Our ‘piece of paper’ was imprinted in our hearts.