Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Freedom to Marry Week!

It really was like any other wedding. It rained all day. The flowers arrived at the very last minute. The photographer, who was hired without references out of sheer desperation, showed up in just a vest, without a shirt underneath. Granted, it was a nice vest, but still, my mother was there and I had had trouble convincing her to come to the ceremony as it was. Just minutes before I was to be married, I was sent to pick up not only my mother, but also the minister, who were at a distant hotel and didn't know how to get to the art gallery–turned–wedding chapel for the blessed event.

But, through it all, I tried to look at the upside of being distracted on my wedding day, keeping the nerves at bay. And, as if a present from heaven, the rain let up just before the event, and a bashful sun sent its rays through a break in the clouds. And once I saw my husband-to-be, in a handsome powder blue shirt and eyes overflowing with love for me, every other care of the day melted away.

The short ceremony went without a hitch (except for us getting hitched at the end of it!), yet surprises still awaited us. At the reception, one of our guests with a severe nut allergy had a reaction to some mole sauce on his appetizer. Doctors were called for, our new-agey minister performed "reiki" over him, an ambulance arrived, and we were asked to return to our meals after our semiconscious friend was whisked away to the nearest hospital, almost 60 miles away. No one could eat, worried as we were. The day which was supposed to be about us, became suddenly about someone else. I felt cheated, but also guilty for such selfish feelings.

We heard late that evening, from a friend who accompanied him, that once our friend was poked in the thigh with an EpiPen in the ambulance, he recovered quickly. They both arrived back at the house we were renting early the next morning, tired and embarrassed. By that point, we were simply relieved and ready to begin married life, armed with stories we could retell the rest of our lives together.

So, you see, it really was like any other wedding, full of hope, love, challenges, and laughter.

Well, that and that the wedding was held in Provincetown, Massachusetts, between two men.

But that was the least significant in my mind of the events of the day...and hope those reading this agree.

Happy Freedom to Marry Week, everyone!

Dave Sullivan

Orange here: I wanted to write something for Freedom to Marry Week and asked my friend Dave if he had any ideas for me. He graciously offered to write a guest post about his wedding. Thanks, Dave, and Happy Valentine's Day to you and the mister!

My oldest and dearest friend—we became best friends when we were 14, lo these many (many!) years ago—is an expectant parent. Her partner is halfway through her pregnancy. Thanks to unenlightened restrictions on who can marry and how "parent" is defined, they must spend two grand so that the non-gestating mommy can legally adopt the baby whose conception she planned and was present for, whose first ultrasound picture she proudly e-mailed out last week. I don't see how it serves society that this baby's parents cannot be married, that they can't obtain the basic family protections of marriage without spending a boatload more money on legal fees. And sheesh, babies are expensive enough as it is without tacking on the cost of legal documents.

I'm resigned to the likelihood that next year's major-party nominees for president will both publicly state their opposition to same-sex marriage rights. But I am hopeful that by 2012 or 2016, support for gay marriage will no longer be considered political poison, and that state and federal recognition of marriage rights will blanket the land.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing some attention to the subject of non-hetero parenting. As the proud partner of your oldest and dearest friend and the gestating mom, I think it is also worth noting that should the co-parent adoption policy practiced in our state be challenged, the state supreme court would potentially have the power to void all existing co-parent adoptions, in addition to forbidding any future adoptions by unmarried couples. Which is to say, that after spending two grand to take our child to court so that non-gestating mom can be recognized as a legal parent, non-gestating mom can lose her rights to our child with greater ease than she was able to gain them.

Silene said...

Amen.

Lisa said...

I hate that there is so much fear and hate surrounding people who just want to love.

Feral Mom said...

Great post and guest post! I'm with you.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I can add nothing further to your post other than, YES.

E. said...

Let me say "Yes!" as well. I hope we soon see the day when people in love can get married in any state of the union, regardless of the genders of the respective enamored.

Love the guest post. It made me misty, and it made me laugh (the reiki for allergic reaction).

Dharma said...

Thanks for the post Dave. I wish I shared your hopefulness about the when of change but perhaps it's so I will be that much more surprised and delighted. I wish I didn't have to take all the extra steps and expense so my partner and I could have what others are granted with just the price of a marriage license.

Mignon said...

My good friend Mark and his husband were married in Canada about four years ago, with their adopted daughter in tow. It was a beautiful misty wedding in Victoria with everything lush and green... thanks for the reminder of that day.

Now they live in Dresden where Mark's high-tech company gives partner/child benefits and they gay community is active and welcoming. Sadly, I don't know why they would ever come back.

JT said...

As I told my best friend (who is splitting with her partner of 13 years), I don't know why anyone would want to be a lesbian because, as a woman, I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to live with me.

That said, I don't see any reason (other than ignorance) so many people object to marriage between any two adults, regardless of gender. Is it conventional? No, not according to the standards of our parents and grandparents. But history can tell us that sometimes its best to throw convention out the window.

Heck, straight people aren't doing such a hot job with the institution of marriage -- maybe homosexual and lesbian couples can give the whole thing a good shot in the arm.

Same deal goes for parenthood -- why give a shit if Heather has two mommies or six daddies if they all love and support her?

JT said...

P.S. So Reiki doesn't work on anaphylaxis? Darn. I got excited that we could stop stockpiling Epi-Pens and Benadryl...