I thought I’d take a little break this time from my usual “planning update” posts to write a little bit about why I am getting married and why its so important to me.
I have a co-worker who is well a trifle nosey and more than a little conservative who loves to prod me with wedding questions every time I see her. At first I felt that she was asking me so many questions because she herself had recently got married and wanted to offer advice and support, but as time has gone on she has slowly revealed that she is flat out questioning of my relationship and my right to marry. Its a minefield every conversation we have, in which I try not to trigger any bombs by only giving her as little information as I possibly can. However the other day she asked a doozey…
Coworker: So if your wedding is in California , it wont be a legal wedding, because the voters repealed the courts decision there. (SIDE BAR: Oh really? I hadn’t heard anything about that.) So if your wedding isn’t a legal one, why even bother?
I initially dodged her question when a work matter arose right at that moment, which was probably for the best since I might have for lack of a better term “ripped her a new a-hole”. But as the question simmered and congealed in my brain until I started to get really fired up. A straight couple would never be asked to defend the validity of their relationship in this way, and a I guess they would never have to since its all just wound up in a neat little legal bundle. After a few minutes I calmed down and decided to let the matter slide and I wouldn’t initiate the debate with my coworker for the time being.
It would be nice to say this is the first time I’ve encountered a question like that, but it isn’t. I’m sure it’s the same for many of the gay engaged couples out there, but how does one field this type of question politely? What are the answers? I cant really speak for anyone else but here is why I chose marriage, legal or not. LOVE.
Remember that antiquated idea, that a couple joined their lives not for legal benefit but for sheer fact that that kind of commitment was important to them? Its something people so quickly lose sight of whilst defending of the legal equalities couples should have.
Joey and I will have been together for 5 years by the time we walk down the aisle, everyday with him is a treasure to me. This is the man who understands me more deeply and more intimately than anyone i’ve ever known. There is an argument that Joey and I could continue on living together unmarried and it would be no different. To an extent that’s true. I already consider him to be my husband and just because we stand in front of a religious figure and exchange vows doesn’t mean that’s going to change anything in our relationship, and I hope it doesn’t.
However it is important to me to pledge myself to this man for my whole life, it’s important to me to have my friends and my family there, and for me personally its spiritually important to have my relationship recognized by my own personal idea of God. I know a big part of the gay marriage debate is keeping religious beliefs out of the marriage laws (as they should be). But for me the non legal side of marriage is a deeply spiritual thing. I’m not a religious man but I do have faith and I do feel strongly that “God” (or whatever you choose to call it) brought me and Joey together and wants us to be together. Everyday when I look into Joey’s eyes I see God’s work. For me that is something I want to acknowledge.
Surrounding ourselves with the most important people in our lives and exchanging vows, is an important thing whether or not the government (or my coworker) views it that way. Love is truly a miraculous thing, and no one should have to explain its reasoning. However…
Some people still feel the need to ask these questions and perhaps its our duty to educate them about what marriage means to us all. Maybe it will change their views, maybe not. So when my coworker returned to me in the break room the next day and smugly asked
Coworker: So you never answered my question, why have a wedding if its not even legal?
My reply was clear and precise:
“Because I’m in love with him, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him and thats really all the reason I need. Why did you get married?”