Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some reflections on being married

Greetings all, and thank you for your kind wishes here at the Friends blog and elsewhere. I was very touched that my previous post was picked up by so many internet friends, and want to shout out to James, FranIam, Grandmere Mimi, Counterlight and Madpriest for their kind replies.

Our wedding last Sunday went off wonderfully, and we have just returned after a relaxing, and largely internet-free, honeymoon which we spent doing nothing in particular. During this time we of course contemplated the remarkable fact of being married and what it means to us.

Of course, it has not changed what we mean to each other. I have loved my beloved partner-spouse for many years with every part of my being, nothing different there.

But what HAS changed is something of our view of our relationship. We were rather surprised to find that we both felt this change.

First, of course, there is the weight of the State. (This became particularly apparent with some minor issues regarding the proper filing of the license). We are legally tied together with the ponderous ropes of officialdom. Yes, that is a difference; not that we ever took our relationship casually, but it is something much more weighty than an informal agreement between two women--not just a private leap over a broomstick, but real in every official sense with its rights and also its responsibilities.

Second, there is the amazing feature of standing before family and friends and making our vows in public. That was stunning. We were both blown away by the love and focus of those around us, reaching their hands to us, robustly and vocally offering their support of us as a couple.

Third, there is the sense of belonging to the tapestry of community. As a lesbian couple, we have often felt unwanted and on the outside, but now we are undeniably part of the whole. We now are a new thread in this fabric, another married couple contributing to its strength and texture.

Finally, we were struck by how, well, very normal this all was as an event. It was a pretty typical wedding, with tears of joy and laughter, food, wine and celebration. Nothing made this a "gay" wedding. It was simply a wedding, of two people who love each other completely, gathered to unite in a shared life together.

Just one week ago, and the world has changed. It was truly a most amazing day!

Please help us stay married. No on Prop 8!

42 comments:

Bill Carroll said...

Congratulations, IT!!!

Two Auntees said...

Congratulations to you both!!

Counterlight said...

Mazel Tov!

FranIAm said...

Oh IT, this is so beautiful and moving to read.

I just added a link here to one of my now endless rants about No on 8.

May your marriage be long and unimpeded by those who would wish to undo it for their own reasons and issues.

Every good wish continuing for you and your Beloved Partner.

Jane R said...

Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your joy and some of your thoughts and feelings on this wonderful occasion. May we all stand up for your right to be and stay married. Your love is a blessing, not just to you two but to us.

JCF said...

Welcome back, IT. Good to see your honeymoon w/ BP has left you "tan, rested and ready" for whatever lies ahead.

{Here's hoping and praying that, come November 5th, what lies ahead is a LOT more partying! ;-D}

Me, working on my father to Vote No on 8. Sigh: say prayers for his enlightenment?

Cany said...

Oh, IT! You have been on my mind all week and I am so happy for you and your beloved. This is just wonderful!

Just so you know, my 94yo mom voted no on 8 in her absentee ballot which i sent in on Friday. Didn't vote for pres, but voted on that and Prop 2 (more humane treatment of farm animals).

Last night, in case you didn't know, IT, Daily Kos raised (with the match) over $200K for the No on 8 campaign... still going on tonight, in fact, until midnight.

AND, finally, I got my no on 8 sign:) Someone at church gave it to me today:)

Congrats, IT. So very, very very happy for you!

jerseyjo said...

Congratulations and best wishes to you both. Donation made in your honor.

Warm regards,
--J

David said...

Congrats! and welcome back :)

Ann said...

Thanks for the update on your "big date" --- it does change things - can't even imagine - but a couple for whom I did their blessings service said - it feels like we have 85 people who will come sit on our doorstep if anyone threatens us. A big promise in Wyoming.

seithman said...

...not just a private leap over a broomstick...

Sorry, this phrase caught my attention. (Big shocker, I know.) Is your partner the broomstick-leaping type, then?

dr.primrose said...

Just so people don't get too complacent about the religious fervor in favor of Prop. 8, here's a story in today's Los Angeles Times -- Prayer in the service of politics: Young members of a communal home are praying and fasting at a San Diego megachurch, part of a statewide vigil in support of Prop. 8.

"[Missy] Huff and about three dozen others in their 20s and early 30s have spent every waking minute since Sept. 24 at a San Diego County megachurch praying for the passage of Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

"They are the fervent, ecstatic center of a statewide prayer vigil and fast that religious leaders say includes thousands of people asking for God's help in passing the measure.

***

"After the state Supreme Court ruled in May to allow same-sex marriage, evangelical leaders in California, working with their counterparts in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began organizing to pass Proposition 8.

"They launched a fundraising organization, which has raked in so many contributions that the most recent campaign finance filing crashed the secretary of state's computer.

"But they also wanted a spiritual component to their campaign. Central to that is the 40-day fast, leading into what organizers hope will be a huge rally Nov. 1 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. There, [megachurch pastor Lou] Engle will lead 12 hours of prayer for the passage of Proposition 8."

Anonymous said...

Thank you Primrose for the reminder. Religious bigots! This is why we who are opposed to 8 really need to step it up.

On the other hand, my otherwise apolitical stepdaughter (18) will be voting in her first election this year. She took about half my No on 8 buttons to distribute to her friends and wears one on her purse.

Needless to say we will be out in force to bear witness on the 1st.

IT

Arkansas Hillbilly said...

Congratulations to both of you!

JCF said...

Is your partner the broomstick-leaping type, then?

BP's more the "fiddle w/ her Rosary beads" type... ;-/

I just had my interview: Yay! Please pray for me, that there's a second interview? And maybe a hire?

Leonardo Ricardo said...

FELICIDADES!

Fred Schwartz said...

Congratulations -- how does it feel to be one of us old married types? (Well, not so old). Best wishes to both of you!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Congratulations, best wishes, and much love to you and your beloved spouse, IT. May you be blessed with many more happy years together.

James said...

It's about time you checked in, IT. Chronis pola (Many years) to both of you. I'm actually jealous.

Scott Hankins said...

I'll fail if I try to express how much you two mean out here, so, let "mazel tov" suffice. I'll try to remember you the next time I speak in convention.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

NancyP

Марко Фризия said...

Best wishes to ya'll!

Lynn said...

IT - thank you for sharing more about this wonderful part of your life. Blessings on both of you, of every kind.

I think the Presidential politics will work in your favor, liberals will be getting out to vote because they have something to be excited about - Barack Obama. I hope that is true this year.

dr.primrose said...

A good editorial in today's Los Angeles Times, responding to the lies being circulated about Proposition 8, which would revoke the right of marriage for same-sex couples in California -- A lesson about Prop. 8: Despite what proponents say, its defeat would not change what California's schools teach. It says:

***

Californians tend to be an open-minded crowd that wouldn't take kindly to a campaign attacking homosexuality or attempting to strip away people's rights. So the well-financed and savvy backers of Proposition 8 have produced waves of advertising aimed instead at making voters believe that supporters of same-sex marriage are intent on stripping away everyone else's rights, and that this ballot measure is the only way for traditionally religious people to retain them.

With the defeat of this proposed ban on gay marriage, they say, schools would begin indoctrinating children as young as kindergartners to be wholehearted supporters of such marriages. The ads point to the case of a Massachusetts teacher reading the picture book "King and King," about a gay royal wedding.

This is emotional stuff for many parents. But the dry reality of California education law tells a different story. Under SB 71, which passed in 2003, the Legislature set out the framework for comprehensive sex education, which includes the brief reference to marriage from which these dire Proposition 8 warnings are drawn: "Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." Schools aren't required to teach comprehensive sex education, but if they do, this is one of many rules they must follow. The law also gives schools the option of discussing gender, sexual orientation and family life, though that's not required as part of the more comprehensive program.

Most important, the law contains paragraph after paragraph guaranteeing parents the right to review the material being taught and to have their children excused from all or any part of it.

It would be naive to say that no California teacher will ever mention homosexuality, or that SB 71 prevents all teachers, elementary or otherwise, from reading "King and King" or similar books to their students, or telling them about the history -- and existence -- of gay marriage. Schools across the nation have done such things for years, with or without legal recognition of gay marriage.

Proposition 8 would change none of that. The measure would do one thing: use the state Constitution as the device to take away an existing, fundamental right from a particular group of people, so that a loving adult in that group could not marry the person of his or her choice. Teachers will choose books to read and will impart information about the world to their students. That's true now; it was true before the California Supreme Court ruling in May that recognized the right to same-sex marriage; and it will be true whether Proposition 8 passes or, as it deserves to do, fails.

***

I wish this kind of level-headed reasoning influenced large parts of the electorate. But I fear it does not ...

Terry Martin said...

Congratulations!

Sounds like it was a wonderful day!

O God, send your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honor, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Jake

dr.primrose said...

Another important Episcopal Church case out of the California Court of Appeal today.

Today, the California Court of Appeal held in favor of the diocese (San Diego) in the dispute concerning St. John's, Falbrook in a case titled New v. Kroeger.

The issue in this lawsuit was who were the lawful members of the vestry. The Court held that the vestry members who left the Episcopal Church to become members of the Anglican Church of Uganda had no authority to amend the parish’s articles of incorporation and bylaws to become affiliated with Uganda. After they had left the Episcopal Church, they were not lawful vestry members and their actions were void. The bishop thus properly determined that remaining Episcopal members were the true members, the members who had left were no longer qualified to serve as vestry members, and that a new vestry should be elected. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial judgment, which had been in favor of the dissidents and ordered the trial court to enter judgment in favor of the diocese.

Apparently, the parties stipulated that this lawsuit concerned only which people constituted the lawful vestry and did not concern the parish property, which is the subject of another lawsuit. The outcome of "vestry" lawsuit, however, probably determines the outcome of the "property" lawsuit.

Grandmère Mimi said...

THAT is definitely good news! Thank you, Dr. Primrose.

johnieb said...

Congratulations, IT & Beloved; wonderful news to come back to!

Anonymous said...

Thank you all, and Terry especially for the blessing! I think it will be in our wedding book...

We're still a bit aglow, and thus even more frightened by the proProp-H8 ads inundating the radio and TV now. THis is so precious, it is terrifying that we might lose it.

IT

ALX2000 said...

I have no feelings of hatred toward you or any of your supporters. This is what I believe...

"I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group.... Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

my blog

Do the principles of Christianity not also apply to you? You can oppose us without hating us.

Wishing you and yours true happiness.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me why the No on 8 TV ads are so blah? There are no actual people to humanize the issue, just print. I am very afraid that the proposition will pass if the ads don't get any more effective...
Patrick

IT said...

alx2000,

There is no justification to deny CIVIL gay marriage rights except hatred and bigotry. You do not wish the best to me and mine if you wish to deny us this precious precious gift.

And no, the principles of Christianity do NOT apply to me. First of all, they are not relevant in the secular sphere: this is a secular, not religious issue.

Second, as I am the local atheist, your attempt to use religious reasons to deny me civil rights are particularly vile.

alx2000, I am sure you think you are not driven by hatred. but to me, the result is the same.

You support prop-hate. QED.

Who voted on YOUR marriage?

IT

David said...

I gotta go with IT's comment above, alx2000, and I am a regular, church-going Christian.

The precise extent to which your personal, religious feelings on this issue should extend is to yourself. Don't support gay marriage ? Then don't marry someone of the same sex as yourself. Your church not support it ? Then it is perfectly within its rights to not offer a church wedding ceremony to same-sex couples. Simple. Everything else is just a tortured, convoluted excuse for bigotry.

This is a classic example of the old saying about "your freedom to swing your fists wildly about in the air ends at my nose."

James said...

IT, it that a real photo of you and BP? If it is, I want to print it and frame it for my desk.

Anonymous said...

Yes James, it is.

I'll send you a higher res version if you will give me your email.

IT

James said...

Wonderful, IT!!!! polysloguy at the usual place that sounds like a cowboy call and starts with ya. :)

JCF said...

Wishing you and yours true happiness

***IF*** you mean this, alx2000, then you will passionately oppose Prop 8.

It's really that simple.

You can't DICTATE our friend IT and her wife's happiness. They have found happiness in being married. How they found that happiness isn't at issue: ONLY, whether you will try to deny them them their happiness, *OR* follow the only implication of your "wish".

Which is it?

You have to choose.

Aghaveagh said...

God Bless You and God Bless your union. No on 8! Let California Ring!

I'd like a picture too if you can: aghaveagh at the gmail dot com.

Kate said...

Eeeee weddings! Congratuations!

*becomes squee-filled*

Cecilia said...

Late to the party, but... wishing you both every blessing and grace.

Love, C.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, C. HOpe you will join us in happy matrimony some day!

IT

The Cunning Runt said...

IT and BP, belated Congratulations to you both!

On such an occasion as this joyful one, I'll eschew my burning desire to judge the duplicity of ALX2000's
poorly placed and disingenuous screed. I wish he (?) had had the good judgment to do the same.

Thanks for stopping be my blog, my daughter and brand new daughter in law really appreciate the show of support from friends and strangers alike!