Erm, sorry I skipped last week’s Wedding Wednesday. I started to write it, and it could be a good one, but work was all “do everything right this second and then do it again and again times a thousand!” Bummer.
Luckily, we get to rebound from a dropped pass with great news. Some really awesomely excellent great news for marriage and weddings and love:
Minnesota passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage and yesterday it was signed into law.
I am so happy that Minnesota saw an injustice, a gross unfairness, in our system and righted it. To think, just 6 months ago we were at the ballot boxes, some willing to change our state Constitution and some battling so hard to not further limit the rights of our neighbors, coworkers, best friends, siblings.
I remember at that time thinking very earnestly about what it meant to make a vote on marriage as a young, engaged person. How I was granted access to marriage not because of my ability to love, or my ability to have and raise children, but only because I wanted to marry a man. How, by the very nature of our system, I had been granted a privilege– and thus a power– that not everyone in my community had. It actually felt terrible.
And I thought about how far we have come, but always on the backs of others who have fought the good fight, knowing that some day a 20-something would blog about them and wouldn’t even know their names. Once upon a time, my marriage to Aaron would have legally meant that I was his property, with no real rights of my own and no rights to participate in our government. It would have meant that the laws were skewed in a way that he could treat (or mistreat) me in any way he chose and I would have very few avenues to demand otherwise. Socially it would have made it inappropriate for me to continue in my career and I would have been practically a leper to by 27 and not have any children. How far we have come. So far, that we surpassed our laws and had to catch them up.
Many proponents of the law said “Gay marriage has no impact on straight marriages,” but I would disagree. I feel like what has played out before us in the last months and particularly this last week has had a significant impact on how I think about my own marriage. First, I am excited that the joy of engagement and marriage can be shared universally. I was enjoying a happy hour a few months ago with one of my favorite people who I do not see frequently enough and she listened lovingly and patiently with genuine excitement for me as I gushed about the early stages of our wedding planning and my joy at having found my forever person. This wonderful friend of mine is in love with a woman who I have not met but, from the stories I hear, matches my friend’s enthusiasm for adventure and absolute love of life perfectly. It was really, as that happy hour came to a close, that I felt real sadness. That someone who was my equal (and in many ways a far superior person to me), was being kept from the safety of knowing she was legally bound to her forever person. Secondly, I truly believe all marriages are strengthened by the passage of this bill and its signing into law. It has changed marriage from a privilege to a right– a much more solid and stable state.
And most importantly, I think that what has been given to all can be taken from none.
As Governor Dayton proudly proclaimed today, “Love is the law.”
A very happy Wedding Wednesday to all, for the first Wednesday ever.