Today the two of us, sans children will enter the Moultrie Courthouse with our $35.00 in hand and our paperwork complete and will apply for a marriage license. Our Nation’s Capital; the place that I travel to every day for work; the place where we lived up until 2004; the place where we met that strange day after 9/11; has made it possible for my partner and I to be married, legally.
And so that is what we do—we show up and ask, “marry us please.” We get our certificate in the mail and then hope that it sticks. Not that our relationship will last the test of wedded life, no. We wait and hope that the marriage certificate sticks, that someday, sometime, someone doesn’t come along and try to revoke same-sex marriage licenses in D.C. Thousands of Californians are waiting for cases to wind through the court system to rule on both Proposition 8 passed by voters in 2008, and the interpretation of how that law will affect the licenses that the State issued during the short window when same-sex marriage was legal in California.
We had planned to have a ceremony in September before the developments in D.C. We had no expectation of getting an actual license. But I think we were both tired of waiting. Waiting for the State that we live in to recognize what we have been for all intensive purposes, for nearly nine years—a married couple. We were not only disappointed by the State of Maryland’s Supreme Court decision a few years ago, we were disgusted. It was the official “unwelcome mat” to all same-sex headed families in what is supposed to be a staunchly “blue” state. By going ahead with our ceremony, we had agreed to settle for the celebratory rather than the legal in the hopes that one day the two would come together.
Then D.C. happened, seemingly out of the blue. I am sure that there was significant work over many years to get the District to this point, but they worked diligently and quietly, so as to not attract the attention of the hate-mongering family-value protecting lunatics who make it their mission to fight same-sex marriage. So instead of having a beautiful ceremony in September, we are jumping at this opportunity to be legal. There are few opportunities for us right now: Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Iowa. It seemed a little insulting for us to have to travel the distance with two small children just to do what we should have the right to do in our own backyard. It’s not that I want or need the tradition of marriage, really. I have seen enough divorce, I have heard too many statements about its sanctity, and seen way too many bad bridesmaid dresses to really want to be a part of that. But there is something irresistible about taking vows, declaring something officially and before everyone that you love, and maybe most importantly, having a government entity actually recognize us.
So we will be there before the court clerk in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, putting down our money and taking home a paper that will make us legal. And no matter what happens, no one will ever be able to take that license away from us, even if at some point someone tries to do here, what was done to all of those married and wanna-be married same-sex couples in California. This blog rarely strays into the political, but let me be a little daddy-hard-assed political for a moment: Courts be damned, laws be damned, family-value-ists be damned. I can and will marry my partner and no one will ever be able to say different, not to me, not to my partner or to our children.