Anne and I live in Pennsylvania. Actually, I prefer to say that we’re from Philadelphia because there is a lot that goes on in the middle of the state that doesn’t jive with me (though the countryside is gorgeous, and the local foods can be delicious, I couldn’t live there). It’s no surprise that as progressive as our city is, the rest of the state just isn’t feeling it yet with the whole marriage equality thing. Though we’ve known this all along, we were still really committed to getting married here since it’s where we’ve made our home and our lives together. The big day is scheduled for September 25 (less than two months, eeee!). We’ve started sorting out how to shape the words, sentiment, and songs we will use in our ceremony, as well as how we’ll honor our political beliefs in marriage equality, and acknowledge the inequities we will face in our home state. I’ll share more about that in a future post, because I am really curious about how you plan on doing (or not doing) something like this.
This past month has been really great for showing us how lots of support, activism, and effort can turn into equality before our eyes, marriage-wise and otherwise. Earlier this year, the Obama administration started efforts to repeal DOMA. And just last week, President Obama finally backed up the talk with a little bit of action when he came out as a public and vocal supporter of marriage equality, with its new and catchy name, the “Respect for Marriage Act.” In addition, as of this weekend, President Obama ended the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the military, making it possible for all Americans to serve their country regardless of sexual orientation, and without shame and secrecy. And starting this past Sunday, all throughout the state of New York, tons of couples were finally able to make a legal commitment to each other in the eyes of their loved ones and the law. Lots of equality-based moving and shaking is happening around the country these days, and it’s pretty awesome to be a witness to and participant in it.
We have sort of half-joked about traveling to the states that have marriage equality to start collecting marriage certificates, sort of like those state quarters the US Mint did a few years ago. Only instead of collecting coins, we’d be racking up the equal rights with the hopes that one day we’ll be covered no matter where we go. With the recent turn of events in NY, we thought we might pop up there some time in the fall to make it legal, after our illegal wedding this September. NY would be an easy enough stop for us on our
quarter-collecting equality map, since it’s under two hours away by bus or train. Fate must have been smiling on us, because a few weeks ago I saw that Meg over at A Practical Wedding , along with co-host Elizabeth of Lowe House Designs, started getting the gears turning to put together a NY-centric but nationwide fundraiser and celebration in honor of the recently acquired marriage equality in NY. They were looking for couples who would be interested in winning a legal wedding ceremony in NY as part of their Yay!NY event. I asked Anne what she thought, and we figured we had nothing to lose. Well, WE WON! WE WON A WEDDING IN NEW YORK! Pretty awesome, huh? Now, exactly one month before we tie the knot with all of our friends and family surrounding us with their love, we get to daytrip it up to NY and collect our first piece of marriage equality! We are so grateful for this opportunity, which we plan to share with our friends and family at our “real” wedding in PA this September!
I will certainly keep you posted as we learn more. In the mean time, check out A Practical Wedding if you want to learn more, buy tickets, or learn how to support their fundraiser for Lambda Legal! But before you do, let me know – will you be traveling out of state to make it legal, or will you be an outlaw? Are you lucky enough to have your union legally recognized by your home state? How important is marriage equality for you and your partner as you plan your wedding? I’d love to hear your thoughts!