Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Do ?

Last night the New York State legislature finally passed a bill allowing same sex marriage.   Martha and I watched it live on TV. 

Not 5 minutes after the vote my mother called congratulating us and wondering when the wedding will be.

And then my sister called too.

Seven emails/texts already from friends asking the same thing.  And I'm sure we will get the same congrats and inquiries as we move from Peachie's graduation today, a family wedding tomorrow and work on Monday.   Friends and family will be very excited for us, as we are very excited for the gay community.

But I am not sure why everyone assumes we would marry.  Okay, twenty two years together might indicate some kind of traditional permanence.  And we did make a verbal commitment to each other years ago.  And we both wear commitment rings to honor that.  And we do share two children and our names are jointly on two houses and a few bank accounts.  And we are both free to legally marry.

I did spend a lot of time lobbying for the legislation - my local democratic senator who has been on board since the beginning; the republican senator where our lake house is and this week he did change his vote from a no to a yes (yay!); and the senator from where I used to live, who I know really well - his uncle gave me my first job, and he used to be my boss when he sat on the City Council, and I occasionally watched his kids - so I harassed him constantly, sent him pictures of our family and explained how important it was for my children to have legal protections, etc.  I even threatened to tell his wife that he was still sneaking cigarettes.  But he still voted no. (boo!)

Still, working for marriage equality is not the same thing as wanting to be married.  And sharing your life with someone for twenty two years is not the same thing as needing some formal recognition of that relationship.   

Last night the bill was passed.  Where we live the constant political maneuvering  has been blaring everywhere, all week.  It was hard to miss it.  Yet Martha and I had not said one word to each other about it.  Not even a teeny tiny question whether either of us would be interested.  But then when we went to bed, the final vote recorded,  she spooned up behind me and gently whispered the question “will marry me?”

Really? You want to be legally married?


We both realize that at this point it would not be to our advantage.  Our daughters are getting some nice college financial aid because everything is based on Martha’s salary alone.  So for the next few years, marriage would not make much financial sense.  Not very romantic, I know, but a practicality with two kids in private schools.

After that?  Who knows.  It's a hard, confusing and conflicted question for me.  Maybe.  And it is wonderful that the choice is now ours to make.  I didn’t give her an answer.  But I do know my mother has been waiting a long time for Martha to make an honest woman of me.


  1. I am so HAPPY! For you and Martha, no matter what you choose to do. And that my daughter will now have the same opportunities for happiness that my son has. It's a great day in New York!

  2. wanted equality? You got it! ;-)

    Try being the girlfriend of a priest! In the beginning, it was fine--Dear Friend said he thought that the older members of the congregation were just happy to know that he was partnered and not chasing parishioners.

    But as the years wore on, we took a huge amount of guff from a few prominent folks at church over the fact that we weren't married, but that I was staying at his house every weekend. (I commute nearly 200 miles each way because of my custody arrangements.)

    The woman whose name is on the plaque outside the church--the woman who helped finance and build the building--came to him and berated him for going on vacation with me when we weren't married, and then having the GALL to mention it in a sermon! Just what kind of example did he think he was setting for the young families in the parish?!?!?!

    At one point, he said to me, "We either have to get married or we have to break up."

    It was not the world's most romantic statement, to be sure--but I knew what he meant. (The fact that he followed it with "And I am NEVER going to break up with you!" sort of ameliorated the first part... ;-)

    As Knitter said, whatever you and Martha choose, I am just so happy that you will have the choice. But now you join the ranks of the rest of us, and will have to get used to people getting all up in your business. Welcome to the club! :-)


  3. This made me cry - in a good way. So amazing that you have the option. You can actually do whatever works best for you now. Love that.

  4. Senator L has always been an ass. I was not surprised by his smug news conference - protecting marriage and the church. Ugh!

    So I shouldn't go out a buy you a toaster yet? I hope you don't wait too long. Your mom would be so pleased.

  5. Blessings to you and the New York LGBT community. May this wave continue across the country.

  6. yay! I woke up in Colorado this morning and this was the FIRST thing I heard/read. I jumped for joy!

    Not that I actually want to be married, or have someone to marry for that matter, but the fact that I would be able to, if either of those were true, is amazing.

    It's a great day any way you slice it!

  7. It's a funny thing that while we campaign for the rights that we deserve, we feel ambivalent about taking that step ourselves.

    I'm in your camp on this one, 8! And, really, the college tuition thing is important. It's not that you don't love Martha, it's the practicality of it all. And the fact that you don't feel ready to do so means the most.

    Still, congratulations New York! Yay for equality!

  8. I don't think it's a case of not being "ready" e, I think it's more a case of not needing to have a formal legal marriage to validate what we have had for the past 22 years.

    Still, the best thing is that we now have the same choices, whatever those choices may be, including 'living in sin'.

    And yes Laur, my mother will be after us to make it legal. And I thought is was enough to give her grandchildren : )