In Utah, Judge Robert J. Shelby has lifted the ban on gay marriage recently. For me, the news came through my best friend who texted me from Colorado with the news several days ago. I was stunned to hear that Utah had crossed that historical milestone – an event that I never had imagined I would live to see.
I was giddy with joy to know that many of my loved ones – some who have waited decades – would be able to marry their partner. Finally. I was proud of Utah for being on the forefront of this change. And I was so impressed by the outpouring of love that I was witnessing.
One thing that was bugging me, though, was the “segregation” of marriage I was witnessing. I posted about it on my Facebook wall:
So… in Utah, “gay marriage” is the talk of the town. While I am so happy for the changes that are being made to support equality for all, I am so sad that marriage is being segregated. We don’t say “Straight marriage” so why are we saying “gay marriage”??? Marriage is marriage is marriage. And I am grateful that EVERYONE can now marry the person they are choosing to be devoted to, but really? Do we NEED to qualify what “kind” of marriage it is?
I had no idea what would follow that. I was really just expressing my feelings about marriage. However, this is what the public response was:
I was confused by the public response, but the private response was a kick in the gut. I got berated for not “really supporting gay marriage” and for “holding a double standard” and for “being hypocritical.” I was really confused. So I issued a rephrase post…
Based on some of the private messages I have received and a few of the comments on the attached post, the way I worded my post about “gay marriage” was unclear. Let me see if I can get clearer…
I am FULLY in support of EVERYONE being able to marry the person they love and choose to spend the rest of their life with. I am SO HAPPY that Judge Shelby saw the wisdom in overturning the ban on gay marriage and that so many of my loved ones are now married to – or able to get married to – their loves. YAY UTAH!!!
I support every single person being able to choose to be devoted to one person. I support every single person being able to sign a legal document that says, “I choose YOU as my spouse.” I support every single person being able to have their partner be beside them in the hospital or on their death bed. I support every single person being privy to their partner’s life and health and car insurance benefits. I support that. For everyone. This is not new for me. I have felt this way for as long as I can remember.
Many of my loved ones stood in lines for hours, waiting for a license to legally wed their partner. Some of them have been together for decades, choosing to be faithful to each other even without a license that said they had to be. Marriage is not about the paper that two people sign. It is about them CHOOSING to be with one another, to be devoted to one another. Still, even though I imagine for most of them, their dream wedding did not include waiting for hours in lines with strangers who turned into friends, and then a rushed ceremony in front of an officiant they did not know, they still CHOSE it because they were finally able to.
I am so grateful for this transition and being witness to all the love and support that has been shown. I am so grateful for being alive in UTAH right now and watching as we create history. I am so grateful that my loved ones are now married – something they have waited a very long time to do.
And, the truth is… whether you’re gay or straight, bi or transgender, or even asexual… it is your divine right to love and be loved in return. And, you deserve to be able to say, “I would like you to meet my spouse,” without any shame or illegality in the mix. So, BRAVO UTAH! I applaud you.
My point was… by saying “gay marriage” or “same sex marriage” we are still creating a separateness that I feel is inappropriate. It is the separation of “straight vs. gay” that I still am opposed to. It seems divisive to have the terminology “gay marriage” or “same sex marriage” because that holds them apart from those who are in a “straight marriage.” Now, I would like to see it settle into the terminology of MARRIAGE without any segregation of it being a straight or gay marriage.
And, although the “hits” on this post were not as numerous as the original post and none of the contenders made comment about it, there were some sweet responses:
No one returned to tell me they were sorry for slamming me or calling me hypocritical. No one apologized for misunderstanding me. No one corrected their original attacks.
Truth is, though, I didn’t write the rephrase to get apologies. I wrote the rephrase so that I would be able to revisit how truly grateful I am that everyone has the opportunity here in Utah to marry the person they love.
That is the reason I am writing this post and reiterating everything I did on my Facebook page… to have the opportunity to rejoice in an event that is historically monumental. I am grateful to be alive at this time to witness this.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.