Thursday, May 28, 2009

It Matters to Me. What’s it to You?

The Supreme Court in California — one of the farthest states from my own — hands down a decision on marriage and yet, somehow, someway, it affects my life waaaay over here in New York. Talk about the Chaos Theory….

I get it. I get it. We lost the battle, but not the war. Progress will be slow, very very slow, not fast. We need to be patient. It will happen. So many pithy words and consolations. I keep hearing (and saying myself) and reading collections of little phrases that are supposed to make me feel better but they just don’t. It comes done to this: People are voting on my CIVIL rights. People are judging me and my family. MY rights are being determined by….majority rule? Any way you slice it, that is wrong. And just sitting back and watching it unfold is way too passive for me.

Well, California (May I call you that? Because I feel like we should at least be on first-name basis), my marriage is sanctioned by the state of Massachusetts and “acknowledged” by my home state of New York. Oh, lucky us, slouching toward equality, one state, one law, one hand-held at a time. It may not be great but it is much better than what is going on in California.

It is easy to close the papers and turn off the news and snap my laptop closed and concentrate on what’s important: My family. Nicole. Our two amazing children. This incredible life that we have created. This is what they are afraid of? This threatens the precious institution of marriage? My life, my marriage, somehow makes other’s marriages less valid? My calling Nicole at work to see what she wants for dinner terrifies people? Really? Because this is what married people do. And when you strip away all the bullshit, all of the negative attitudes, and all of the homophobic rantings, the narrow-minded, sign-carriers who tell me that I am going to hell because I love my wife and our kids, we are, in fact, just like every other family out there, trying to come up with a dinner compromise and shuffle the kids off to bed so we can have some well deserved quiet time. And we deserve the same exact rights, period, as the family next door. Wait, they are gay: The family next door to our neighbors. We want what they have. There are ten apartments on my floor. Four of them house gay couples and families. Should we not have the same rights as of other neighbors?

Equal rights under the law: Isn’t that what this country was founded on? Is it too much to ask for?

I haven’t given money because I wonder, where does it go? Something like $44 million was raised, and that obviously wasn’t enough to get a good verdict. I went to two rallies, but not the others because I thought, what difference does it make? (And also, they were smack dab in the middle of my kids’ bedtimes, which is sacred in our house.) I didn’t make the trek to Albany because I have no one to watch my kids. And, sadly, I don’t even protest in small ways: I don’t hold Nicole’s hand on the street all the time because far be it for me to make others uncomfortable. And I can’t take the starers, when people are determining our gender roles and other non-salient facts, their eyes pinging back and forth between our clasp. Yes, we live in NYC but it is a touristy area. I can almost hear them rationalizing: “But the shorter one is wearing a skirt! Lesbians don’t wear skirts.” And then that sudden look of AHA in their eyes, sometimes that awful sneer on their faces, shows they got past the skirt issue real quick. It makes me sad, sometimes angry, sometimes indignant. Very, very indignant.

Even Obama disappoints. As he has said oh so many times, he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. Hillary too. So what are WE, Obama and Hill? If we are not married, what are we? Domesticated? We live together and share finances and sleep together and raise children together and talk about retirement together and celebrate anniversaries together and fight together and make up together and negotiate the room temperature together and I could go on. That sounds like a marriage to me. And you want to deny me that?

The sad thing is, I am pretty certain not all of my friends agree that Nicole and I should be allowed to marry. I think I wrote way back about one awful situation when I was pregnant and some Narrow-Minded Jerk said I should have a miscarriage because we had not right raising kids without a father (selfish was bantered around). I’d like to say it didn’t bother me, but it does. It always will. And when I pass that dead baby’s due date (last week), I think about what he said and it make me so angry. Not only because of what he said (he said I should miscarry before I actually did) but because this attitude is what we are dealing with in so many people. And I have no idea of how to go about changing these minds.

But I digress.

We leave for Florida on Saturday. It is 90 plus down there. Joy. And then we come back next week, have a few free days, and then we are taking the girls to Sesame Place for three days. And in between that, our babies turn two. Two years old. This is cliché but, wow, time is racing again.

Pictured above, two little girls who deserved the security of being products of a legal marriage. They are going to lose their minds at Sesame place! And Avery is potty training Big Bird!! Does this mean she is getting ready herself? She isn’t even two yet!


rebecca said...

matters to me.

Steph said...

ugg... don't even get me started on CA and marriage. How f'ed up is it that my marriage is legal in this state but that someone who wasn't ready to wed last summer no longer has that opportunity. That's just asinine.

On to other things... we'll be in FL next week as well. Maybe we'll see you there - ;)

K J and the kids said...

I have to laugh about fighting over the temperature in the room :) know you're like a married couple when you fight over the small things.

I need someone to explain to me WHAT it is they are afraid of. Besides God and religious beliefs, what is the problem ? Really.

Two years with twins. You are officially a trained professional :) I hope you have a safe and fun trip and I hope you blog while you are there :)

Whirlwindkim said...

What a well written piece! THIS needs to be in editorial section of the Washington Post (I'm in DC) or NY Times....well written and well stated. Your points are 'on the money'. Thanks for putting 'my' thoughts into words. You are correct on every point and you need to hold on to this post and add it to your girls 'baby books' Their generation will hopefully 'fix' what ours has not! Thanks for helping articulate the subject so well!

Molly said...

I can't believe that person made the comment to you about having a miscarriage, that seriously makes me sick.

Steph said...

Looks like we'll just miss each other... we arrive in Orlando on Thursday morning. We'll actually be all over the state visiting family and friends - Orlando, Miami, Gainesville, beach house on the gulf.

Jeannine said...

Just wanted to throw some support your way from someone in a "traditional" marriage, living in California, and wondering why things have to be so screwed up. Love and committment (and all the other little things you mentioned) make a marriage, not being a man/woman couple (as the more than 50% of these couples that can't stay together have proven). And "traditional" parents aren't the only ones who can raise children in a happy, healthy, safe and loving home. I wish for you the civl rights you, as a human, deserve. And I wish your girls the same security my kids are legally allowed to have. Hope the girls have a wonderful birthday, and that you all get some rest in Florida.

calliope said...

yes. I totally had your blog open all day and JUST now had a moment to comment.
so ill about the CA ruling- just seems so damn backwards.
WAVE as you fly over!!

susan said...

De-lurking to add my comments.

It matters to me very, very much. I'm widowed with 5 grown sons - one of whom is gay. And has been with the same partner for 18 years - since they both were 20.

Who is it hurting if they marry?
What does their marriage take away from "normal" married people?

And last of all - it's in the Bible - Not to judge others.
Let the gays marry - if God has a problem with it, He will fix it!!!!

rebecca said...

that is really gross what that person said about you having a miscarriage.

i seriously think that the people who have a problem with you and nicole being married really are afraid and i don't think they even know what they are afraid of. it seriously perplexes me that anyone would dare to judge a loving, committed family like you so obviously are when there are countless heterosexual parents who are horrible to their kids, cheat on each other, run off, etc. so, yeah, OBVIOUSLY it is gay marriage that is destroying families! (note dripping sarcasm) yeesh.

as far as the religious aspect is concerned, well if that is your interpretation of the bible (i consider myself a christian and it isn't mine, but that's a whole blog post on its own and i am already hijacking your comments), and we are committed to the separation of church and state, wtf is the problem with the the state sanctioning your marriage? the illogic of it all baffles the mind.

on a lighter note, i LOVE that avery is potty training big bird! rhett loves big bird too and he has never even seen sesame street!

Moppytop said...

Can you please send me the pw to the secret blog? I have been lurking since your TTC days and enjoy hearing about your family.


Jennifer said...

Moppytop- Send me your email address!