Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ~Lao Tzu
This past month has been full of exciting changes and ones that mark moving forward in our lives as we know them. First of all, I purchased a home and completed the big move, five doors down, a few days ago. The place is perfect for our crew and everyone is adjusting quite well to what we hope will be the last change in our physical space for a while. Second, I received the first set of annulment confirmation papers from the Diocese of Orlando. The process takes a very long time and most days I do not think about it at all, but this week I did when I read that the witness testimonies were ready for me to review. I probably will not. Last, and definitely least, my registered domestic partner’s ex husband (which is basically the only legal description that we can claim) remarried also. All of this together created an interesting and contemplative tone to our week.
These reminders, combined with the steady increase in those who are supporting same sex marriage equality we cannot help but feel excited about the progress that is being made, but frustrated by the slow speed at which it seems to be moving. Living in Florida, we realize that there are huge obstacles that remain in order to achieve the recognition of same sex marriage in our state. The legal, financial and sociological issues that surround our relationship is something that straight married people do not have to consider on a daily basis. The house is in my name only.
At a point in the very near future we will be having living trusts created so that we are protected should some tragedy befall either one of us. Our bank accounts, personal property and anything else shared between the two of us will need to be set up in this way. This is a very expensive endeavor and could be avoided if we were allowed to be married. All of these things floating around in the air combined with the new paint smell has created some interesting feelings to surface.
As humans, we at times cannot help feeling excluded and minimized when we see something that someone else has that we want for ourselves. Something that by all accounts is supposed to be a right by virtue of our citizenship in this country. Our relationship is as strong and deep as any straight couple who is saying I do right as I type this blog. We have 13 years of history and a promise to “be stuck with each other until we are dead”, we are weird, I know. We wear rings, that we exchanged in a private moment, as a symbol of our love and fidelity to one another, but also because there were a lot of creepy middle aged men hitting on each of us when they did not see a wedding ring.
At times was a great ego boost, but got old very quickly. We know that our marriage to one another is not legal within the state of Florida or the federal government, but our marriage is valid because of our commitment. We do not need a marriage certificate to validate our love, but we find ourselves in a very vulnerable position because legally we are simply roommates that are not related by blood or marriage.
Spending time contemplating the things that are not possible is time that could be spent taking action to make them possible. This is the hope and motivation that I would encourage everyone to grab onto and take for a ride regardless of your cause. I am grateful for those who support the push for equality, they are our warriors, especially the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida. We support Equality Florida and are grateful for the tireless lobbying and work that the staff and many many volunteers take part in each day that will one day help my girl and me to be legally married in our state. For those who fight so hard against same sex marriage, I commend and truly respect their commitment to their religious beliefs, but offer a gentle reminder. Legislating morality or seeking to create laws that are based on your religious beliefs is a violation of freedom for those who do not share your religious convictions. Equal rights is independent of religion, race and gender and fighting for that end is what those who die everyday in service to our country sacrifice for us all.