Friday, June 30, 2006

Traditions: Beware of Pigs on the Way to the Church

Alas, everyone has heard of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."

This article elucidates the origins of wedding traditions. There are contradictory explanations and it's not the best organized (or even necessarily true--who knows?) but it's interesting nonetheless, and you can read it to kill time while waiting for the next Harry Potter to come out.

I think that the tying the knot one is the major one they got wrong--from their explanation it sounds like "untying the knot." I always heard it came from handfasting, where the lovers' hands were 'bound' or tied with rope/string to symbolize their bond.

And who knew that while a black cat is perfectly lucky and desirable to see en route on the wedding day, one should avoid pigs and nuns? (The one about avoiding open graves, well, that's pretty intuitive.)

Some hideous marriage history:

The first marriages were by capture, i.e., the groom would kidnap the woman, and take her away from her tribe with the help of a warrior friend, his best man, who would help him fight off other men who wanted this woman, and also help him prevent her family from finding them.

The groom would put himself and his bride into hiding, the honeymoon, and by thetime the bride’s family found them, the bride would already be pregnant. When the groom fought off other warriors who also wanted his bride, he would hold onto her with his left hand, while fighting them off with his sword in his right hand, which is why the bride stands on the left, and the groom on the right.

Although the above was common, marriage by purchase was preferred. Usually the bride would be bartered for land, social status, or political alliances, but sometimes she was exchanged for cash. The Anglo-Saxon word "wedd" meant that the groom would vow to marry the woman, but it also meant the money or barter that the groom paid the bride’s father. A wedding, then, literally meant the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes. The word wedding comes from a root word meaning to gamble or wager.

There were also arranged marriages, where the groom’s family told him who he was to marry, and they very rarely let him see the bride because if he didn’t like her looks, he may refuse to marry her. Therefore, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom, who lifted the opaque veil to see her for the first time. This is also the origin of the custom of the bride and groom not seeing each other on the wedding day.

Welcome Back Kotter, uh, I mean Tara...

Welcome back, T-lo! :)

As Tara said, we haven'g made very many decisions about the wedding yet. We do know the following:

1. We will be the brides.
2. It will be sometime in 2007, most likely spring or summer (although we can't really rule out fall, either.)
3. There will be dancing at the reception, which means hardwood floors.
4. There will be a honeymoon somewhere.
5. We have not ruled out the monkey.

How's that for specific?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Where's Waldo? Err, Tara?

I've been a little preoccupied lately and have neglected to post on our blog. Actually, I've neglected to read most of it too... so tonight I came to the site and glanced at the last post entitled: linky linky. In my haste, I thought (could have sworn) that the post said kinky kinky. What else have I missed, I wondered? Huh. Guess I should have kept up!

Now that that's all settled... hello again, dear cyber-readers! I'm glad that the last two weeks are over with. The flood in the house has been cleaned, flooring is soon to be replaced, some walls are dried while others have been torn out, and new copper pipes (throughout) have nearly been installed. The construction guys are my new friends and Gina was nice enough to come pay me a visit during the mass confusion.

In the midst, I've also been trying to find appropriate places for a wedding. Well, not just any wedding of an ex-mormon and hybrid (though mostly non practicing) catholic-jew (oh yeah, and gay) - lol ... but a place where we can have a phenomenal dance party! There's a place in Berekeley called, coincidentally enough, the Berkeley City Club. It was designed by architect, Julia Morgan, who designed Hearst Castle and comes complete with a hardwood floor ballroom! Ahhhhhh... And as an aside note, it was originally built and known as the Berkeley Women's City Club but later became a co-ed private club. I suppose that's appropriate:) Well, the pictures look nice but you never know until you see it in person. I'm trying to set up an appointment for us to go have a look, but I think it's going to have to wait until we return from Chicago.

Oh yeah... just in case ya'll think I'm slackin', I'm also working on pastel pink jordan almond wedding favors tied in layer upon layer of lavendar mesh - hee hee- and taking tips from the latest bridal mags (purely by accident). The magazine article we ran across on Wednesday was titled , "Wedding tips from other couples just like you!" Somehow we doubt it!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Linky Linky

If you would like to read up on Gay & Lesbian marriage, here's a page with lots of links.

We love it! (What is it?)

Alas, here is an amusing wedding-related issue: Gifts of Indeterminate Use

In other news, Tara and I went to the SF Marathon, uh, I mean Pride Parade, yesterday. Sorry I got confused. The marathon is shorter in duration, so I really shouldn't mix them up so easily!

We marched with the Gay Games athletes, as we are competing in Dancesport (Ballroom Latin Dancing) in July in Chicago. After we marched, we tried to pick up DP forms from the PFLAG booth folks. (Alphabet soup anyone?) but they had run out. It seems lots of glbt folks are gettin' hitched. I actually thought the guy (father of two gay kids) was joking when I asked him if I could have a form and he smiled and said no! LOL.

We also stopped by the Marriage Equality booth to check out the latest info and to sign their "Declaration of Marriage" petition.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Engagement Dinner, Part I

This Sunday evening, Rob and Chris (Tara's ex-husband & business partner and his wife) had us over for what turned out to be a very sweet engagement dinner. I say "turned out" because I didn't know beforehand that this was the occassion.

I found out, in fact, when Tara was lamenting our possible lateness by saying we really should be on time because we were the guests of honor. Guests of honor? GUESTS OF HONOR? What exactly were we attending, anyway? I thought we were going for a casual dinner, a BBQ or some other kind of friendly way to pass a Sunday evening with friends.

When she said those magic words--Guests. Of. Honor., I looked at my jeans, white shirt and flip flops. I could just see my mother telling me to get back upstairs and come down when I was actually ready. Guest of honor, indeed!

We weren't too late, even with a stop off for ice cream at a local grocery store. (We didn't want to risk bringing it all the way from Oakland, as it was hot out and we figured that it was called ICE cream for a reason).

Chris's brother, Michael, was also in attendance. He'd just driven up to Nevada City, raced his bike in the heat, and drove back for the dinner. Now that's dedication! He gave us a very sweet card with Tulips on it and a nice bottle of Champagne.

It was a really satisfying evening. Great food, good conversation. You know, all the trite things people say about events, only I actually mean them. They decided to have us over to celebrate, because they won't be able to attend the party that Deborah will be putting on for us near the end of July.

So, on to the important details! What, exactly, did we eat? We started out with a magnum of Champagne, and some appetizers (Greek themed), moving on to a Riesling and a wonderful vegetarian dinner of Greek salad and moussaka. I was really touched that Rob and Chris went through the trouble to make such a nice meal, and to make it vegetarian for Tara and me. We finished off with coffee (they roast their own beans--yes, this should give you some idea of the quality of the food they prepare) and a homemade peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

We chatted a bit, teased Michael about his dating situation. We watched the relatively new kitties jump around. Chris looked up what baraccudas look like when they are pissed off. (Don't ask!) We got to see Rob's 2nd place ling cod photo from a local underwater photography contest. (Ling Cod. I currently feel the need to work this amazing phrase into general converation.)

I ended up tired by around 10 PM and we said our goodbyes around then, as I had to get up at 5 AM to get to work by 7.

Thank you, allies.

An LDS (Mormon) professor at BYU was fired for his stance on same-sex marriage. (One guess: he was for it.) I think that BYU, as a privately funded church university, gets to make its own decisions about what kind of dissent, free thinking and such that it tolerates. Obviously, Professor Nielsen crossed that line for them.

That said, I'm thankful that we have allies in the religious community. I like to think of a world where I'll stand up for your right to your religious beliefs, and you'll stand up for my civil rights.

The story is in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Nice Relationship Tip

Relationship Tip of the Day, from the Hendricks:

Real love begins when power struggles end.

Many of us grow up seeing power struggles in the relationships around us. Most of the struggles are not based on any kind of reality--they're simply squabbles about each person trying to prove that his or her version of reality is better than the other's.

A teenager in a family-counseling class gave a good example: "My parents have the same argument over and over. I've probably heard it a hundred times already, and my big sister says they were doing it even before I was around. They get into this 'he said, she said' thing where my mom will say 'Yesterday you told me you would pick up the dry cleaning,'then my dad will say 'No, I said I would do it if I had time,' then my mom will say 'No, I distinctly heard you say you'd pick it up,' then my dad will say 'Your memory is so bad you can't even remember to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles, so how would you remember a sentence I said yesterday,' then they're off and running for the next hour or two. It's always about who's right." And it always eats up the time and energy that could go into love and intimacy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Making Marriage Last

Alas, when I wrote that title, I had the thought that perhaps it could be interpreted as "putting marriage last," i.e. making it last on your list of priorities. As you can probably tell from the rest of this blog, that's not really my point. I thought I'd post this not because I necessarily need it now, but because it's good to have information about what to do to make a strong relationship even better. I haven't read all of Making Marriage Last, but here it is anyway.

I have long been a firm believer in "enrichment" programs for engaged folks, married people, and committed couples who want to celebrate and enjoy what is going RIGHT with their union, as well as learn more skills that can help them reach even deeper and more meaningful levels with their partners. Like a Boy Scout, I believe in being prepared (unlike them, I think it's find for gay people to be Scout leaders) and "stocking up" on good tips and techniques for staving off problems. I think a bit of nurturing and planning goes a long way! Now gimme that Relationship Badge and pass the s'mores...

I've heard of Marriage Enrichment groups, but I wonder how welcome Tara and I would be, should we decide to attend. I also know that Gay and Kathryn Hendricks have seminars meant for couples that aren't necessarily having problems, and I've heard they are GLBT-friendly.

Here's a list from Making Marriage Last:
  • Treat your spouse like your best friend or most important colleague.
  • Don’t expect to get more from your spouse than you give of yourself.
  • Don’t lose your sense of humor; have fun with your spouse.
  • Don’t demean your spouse in public or in private.
  • Learn to listen, learn to hear.
  • Learn to argue respectfully.
  • Look for resolution rather than victory.
  • Assess your own mistakes and acknowledge them.
  • When you apologize, mean it, and sound like it. Be short on blame and long on forgiveness.
  • Be willing to change your opinions and attitudes.
  • Look at changes in your life as an opportunity to grow.
  • Don’t try to change your spouse; accept your spouse “as is.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Gone Fishin'

When I think about marriage, I think about love, passion, and a desire to spend both the big events and quiet moments with someone I love immensely. It also means letting go, compromising, forgiving and never forgetting to have fun.

I read this question about a lost engagement ring and its Wal-Mart replacement, and I thought the responder's advice was great.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetïme that it becomes a miracle. - AmyBloom


You know, so much in life comes down to respect.

I respect the wishes of churches and groups that don't want to legalize or condone gay marriage. I know that within their belief system, my relationship isn't equal. I won't ask for equal rights in their space, in their churches and communities, because, fundamentally, that's not okay within their paradigm, and really, as an outsider, it's not my place.

In the secular world, however, in terms of the Government and American law, I should have the same rights as every other US citizen: the right to marry the person I love, create a family, be protected from harm based on discrimination etc.

And that SHOULD be the beauty of the USA, with its separation of church and state. I respect your religion (or lack thereof), you respect my religion (or lack thereof), and ultimately, we are all equal in the eyes of the (human, governmental) law.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cheesey Poem

Well, what's a wedding blog without a cheesey poem? I came across this and thought I'd post it. It's not great poetry, but the sentiment is one I try to live by. I sometimes get told I tell people too often that I love them. What is really happening is that I deleted that filter that keeps you from saying nice things you think about people. It means when I think "I love her" that the next three words out of my mouth are likely to be "I love you."

If I knew

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say " I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be ther to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say " I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our " Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, hug, or a kiss
and you were to busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them you'll alway hold them dear
Take time to say " I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or " It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

Copyright © George Michael Grossman

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Danger: The Love Nest

Today I'm in a bit of a funk, I'm afraid. I am torn between writing about the really cool stuff that's happening in my life right now and the other unfortunate matters. I guess it's a good sign that there are still positive things in the running! :)

Okay - let's start with the good: 1) My parents are having an engagement celebration for us in July at their home which will include some family and a few friends. Mama-Deb (my amazingly cool, wacky and loveable step mommy) is organizing and she sounds excited and on-task. I would expect nothing less. Deb is one of my favourite women in this world... so for those of you who think you've got the bestest-parents-ever, I offer a challenge;) She is currently training (post chemo and radiation) to walk a marathon distance to raise money and awareness for breast cancer through the Avon Walk in SF. She is a recent breast cancer survivor and a survivor in life. Hope you get to meet her someday! And of course I have the best dad too - that goes without saying.

Good thing today #2: Supa J., (that's her "ghetto" name for when she's nursing at Highland hospital) sent us a beautiful bouquet of multi-colored roses and lilies - and a really sweet card! They are beautiful - and I know that Supa J. can totally "get" the whole same sex marriage deal since her brother and his partner just took the cover (in a very hot photojournalistic sort of way) of a gay oriented magazine's "marriage issue". Anyway, she thought that she was only sending congratulations for the upcoming nuptuals, but really, she was offering a taste of salvation and sanity to cope with the rest of my day. Thanks a million Supa J... (and for the 1 o'clock a.m. ride from the airport, etc.)

So... the rest of the week goes something like this: the cute little abode that is to be the love-nest of one T & W turned into a water park, complete with wading pool and fountain.

I bought this really great house in November 2005, and while I love the place, it hasn't been without problems so far... and still, it's hard to explain exactly why it is that when you come home from work, you arrive at a place that really feels like home; one where you can see such potential and can envision living for a long time to come. I walk in the house and I see quaint built-in cabinetry, crown molding, original 1934 hardwood floors... and someday, a deck where Wen and I can drink coffee in the mornings and have room in the yard to plant sunflowers. I *really* want this to be our home.

What I bought though, more realistically, is an adorable home which needs a little TLC. The kitchen has been renovated and it has good appliances and cabinets... but aside from that, the house has original electric, telephone and plumbing - and original paint in some areas! Without going into full detail, that should give you a bit of an idea. Cosmetically though, the place really looks cute and I understood that it was going to need work when I aquired it - hence the good price for the neighborhood. What I had figured though, was that the work could be done gradually.

I got home from work on Monday night and discovered that my water heater had blown, emptying it's contents all over the floor and continuing to pump fresh water through like a sieve. I found myself standing in the "wading pool", trying to throw contents from the pantry to avoid demise. I found the shut off valve for the water, but discovered that it closes off water to the entire house (without option). Long story short... a lot of the water went under the house in the crawl space and that gap in the flooring (to the crawl space) probably kept the whole house from flooding. Still, the crawl space is now wet. Part of the hardwood floor is destroyed and will be pulled up in the morning. The wood beams are saturated and we will attempt to dry them then treat them with fungicide. The walls are saturated and will be tested tomorrow for asbestos before they can be safely cut away. If there is asbestos, an abatement company must come and remove the hazardous material. Work will begin tomorrow morning... and the new water heater will arrive on Friday or Saturday to keep me from getting too ripe. I had a shower this morning at Wen's and since the house smells so bad from the leakage anyway, I figure I'll fit right in and no one will notice.

I knew the water heater was old, but no one could tell me *how* old when I moved in. It didn't give signs of going out. Unfortunately, the last house I lived in was built new and so I never considered things like running drain lines to the great-outdoors for a water heater, or nifty new overflow valves that will just shut the whole thing off. This one didn't have any of that.

When the inspector was here today, I asked him to look at an area downstairs where I noticed the plaster bubbling a short time ago. The house is a tri-level and I don't really use the "downstairs" much because it's a guest bed/bath... but I had friends coming for the weekend and so I realized a defect in the plaster recently. He assessed the area today and discovered that the inner wall is saturated. From what? Don't know. Related to the water heater? Nope. Separate problem.

So... in addition to the water heater guys, a mold specialist must come to assess the downstairs wall. A "water leak specialist" must come to determine the cause of the damage. Likely, the entire wall must be removed and rebuilt.

Will insurance cover it? I do have homeowner's insurance. Well, when I bought the house, the Only company that would write my policy was Lloyd's of London. I was told that this is primarily due to the fact that the plumbing is original and has not been upgraded. It seems that California/US companies are scared of water-related claims because of potential mold and dry-rot. Huh. Well, when I called my ins. broker yesterday, they said that I should *seriously* consider whether or not I want to report this claim (now 2 separate claims) because there's about an 80 percent chance that if I do, Lloyd's will cancel me this November and I might not find another company to insure the house. No insurance = no mortgage. If I tear up my walls and upgrade all of the plumbing, might someone else insure me? Possibly. They will get back to me tomorrow to discuss potential options... or maybe I might not know until November comes around. Or - I can pay cash.

It seems that if you live in an older home and you buy homeowner's insurance, you should really consider it the same as "fire insurance" because if you try to use it for anything water-related, you will no longer have a policy. Oh yeah... and you probably can not sell your house in the near future either (for fair market value), or at least I'm told.

That's the story, folks. So... the great wedding that we were hoping to save money for?... I would love nothing more, but right now, I'd also love for us to have a place to live once we're married. (The realist in me!) I avoided the aneurysm and the heart attack never did hit... thank God, but as I said, I'm in a bit of a funk today so I'm trying to hold on to all things positive.

I thank God I did not have an aneurysm. (A positive thing.) Repeat: I thank God I did not have an aneurysm.

Anyway, if ya'll don't hear from me for a bit, it's because I'm drinking Apple-tinis and eating chocolate chips out of a big vat of peanut butter with a spoon. And praying for about $40,000.

Sort of still my constitution

Well, the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage failed--for now. That's the good news. The bad news is that just about one half of those who voted thought it should pass. It was one vote from a tie; luckily, they needed a 2/3 majority.

It's weird to think that if the folks who voted actually represent their constituents' views, then approximately 50% of the people I pass in a day don't believe that I should have equal rights, so much so, in fact, that they feel it should be FORMALLY WRITTEN INTO the highest document in the land. Can you imagine us doing this with other groups? Say, Latinos? Or Mormons? We don't even have anything in there about child molestors and sexual predators, and if any groups shouldn't be rushing out to get married (and having children), it's them.

This whole thing is divisive, and truly, the political equivalent of "hey, look over there!"--let's focus on a largely law-abiding segment of the population and how to ensure they don't "damage" the rest of our marriages, rather than looking at the real issues--Iraq, poverty, the US healthcare crisis, crime etc.

I want to say to these people, "How does my and Tara's impending nuptuals strip you of your rights? How does it hurt you or your kids? It's time to realize that we are your neighbors, coworkers and friends. Your marriages aren't a threat to us, although many of us envy your ability to just go get hitched in a legal manner. Why should my little slice of happiness bother you that much?"

As my friend Keri says over at her blog:

I think guns are far more destructive to family values and the upbringning of healthy children than any gay or lesbian person I have ever met. How many headlines do you read in the paper each day about a family being blown away by people with guns? How many headlines do you read every day that a gay or lesbian couple has killed or destroyed someone's family? I'm sure you could do some scientific studies to prove my theory.

I agree with her. After all, how many GLBT folks accidently kill children when left unlocked and unattended in the home?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Prideful weekend

I love Pride month. For my non-GLBT bretheren who might not understand the significance or history of a bunch of queer people (and their allies) often dressed in flamboyant clothing (or lack thereof) and congregating in large public spaces, the abridged version is basically that Pride celebrations are held throughout the world during the month of June because these celebrations were born out of the NY city stonewall riots which took place in June 1969, and are a commemoration of the original "Pride March" that took place the following year from Greenwich Village to Central Park. 1969 wasn't that long ago. In 1969, Police raids and arrests of patrons in gay bars like the Stonewall Inn were routine.

Today, we get to march down the streets with police escorts (or often, the police march themselves in *cute* little police uniforms!). We can wear what we want, be as public as want and hold hand with whomever we choose. What's not to love? Yes, it's sometimes over-the-top flamboyant, very public, etc. and my dear, that's the entire point.

Yesterday, Wen and I attended the Santa Cruz Pride celebration. Santa Cruz has it's drag queens and boys in tight shorts, but oddly enough, I didn't see anyone naked or in partial states of dress. Hee hee. Yes, SC Pride is a lot smaller and mundane than it's SF counterpart (smoke, alcohol and probably even scent free), but we had a great time. We danced through the parade route with the Santa Cruz women's dance contingent, listened to some music in the park, ate ice cream, admired interesting goods at the local booths, then went for tacos and marguaritas downtown. All in all, a great day.

What does this have to do with marriage, you might ask? I guess I just love the fact that I can sit in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon amongst transgendered people, kids wearing t-shirts that say "I love my 2 mommies", queer cheerleaders, parishoners from the Univeralist church, a latino men's dance group, etc. and announce to a bunch of people that me and my girl are gettin' hitched - and it seems like the most normal thing in the entire world. It's a cool time of year and it makes me smile.

We'll be marching with the Gay Games contingent in the SF parade later this month. If you've never been to SF Pride, I'd highly recommend checking it out - whether you're gay, straight, asexual or even Republican. There's no excuse not to have fun People!!

Love is in the air

Congratulations to good friends Gina and Sue, who went commitment-ring shopping together this past week! Sue said that they were inspired by my post and decided to go shopping at Simayof (same jewelers I used for Wen's ring) where they evidently found two simple, yet elegant bands. They are celebrating their 3 year anniversary and while they are not getting married, they did recently buy a home together and each wanted something to symbolize their commitment to the relationship. Cheers to you guys!

Will the Monkey Go to Jail?

There are so many things wrong with the arguments uttered in support of the marriage ban that I truly don't know where to start. Bush says "Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all." So, obviously 10% of the population (the approximate percentage of gay and lesbian folks) is excluded from "all."

Honestly, people, if you want to sanctify marriage, outlaw divorce, don't stop loving couples from getting hitched. The heterosexual divorce rate is 50%. All those marriages! Gone! Poor childen, not being protected! The fabric of society eroding! You'd think that if someone was removing 50% of anything you'd want to protect, say business assets, or even Godiva chocolates or your favorite socks, you'd figure out why and then take a measure to remove whatever was causing the shrinkage, right?

Not that I'm for outlawing divorce, mind you, I'm just saying that, to me, this is a more logical "protection of marriage" stance than discriminating against consenting adults whose only crime is craving the legal and social protections afforded all other adults--including child molestors, convicted felons and, in some states, 15 year olds.

Plus, for centuries, marriage wasn't about love, it was an economic and familial bond set up to protect the interests of the married people's families. So, the "roots" of marriage in Western society might not be exactly what the conservative right would have you believe.

Marriage, like every other social institution, changes over time. Women didn't used to have the right to vote. And interracial marriage? Forget it. In fact, Tara's parents (who, btw, are very supportive of our union) would not have been able to legally marry before Loving vs. the State of Virginia. And that was in 1967.

Don't even get me started on kids. "Marriage between one man and one woman does a better job protecting children better than any other institution humankind has devised" the article says. Alas, studies have shown that gay and lesbian parents are equal to heterosexual parents, and that our kids, well, most of them are straight, just like everyone else's.

I can't imagine a more loving set of parents than my friends Andrea and Liz. Their newborn (May 16th!) is adorable, and they are thrilled to be parents. They didn't get drunk and do the deed in the back of some car and then "pay for it" 9 months later. They thought about this carefully, for a long while. And they arranged their lives around this wee being, to make sure she's well-cared for, like any good parent would do. If marriage does a great job of protecting kids, okay, sure, but then let ALL families have that protection.

An aside: As for people who say GLBT foks shouldn't have children because the kids will get teased, let me assure you that every child gets teased. Buck teeth, a name that rhymes with something unfortunate. Weird clothes. A stutter. Being Chinese. Saying something stupid one time in 4th grade science class. Being fat. Being Jewish. Having the wrong haircut. Being poor. Being devoutly religious. Are the kids of straight parents absolved from playground tyranny? I think not. Sure people say "why add one more thing to the mix?" Me? I think that a loving homelife is sometimes worth a bit of razzing on the playground.

But I digress...

If you want to learn more about the fight for marriage equality, please check out the Marriage Equality site. Currently, gay and lesbian people can only legally marry in Massachussets. Those rights do NOT transfer back to one's home state, and there is action pending that will reverse the Massachussets decision, so even those people aren't necessarily safe for the long term.

My pressing question, however, is will the Monkey go to jail for performing an unlawful marriage or is it okay if we couch it as a religious, rather than secular, ceremony? (Hee hee.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gay Marriage

I don't want "gay marriage", I just want regular, ordinary marriage. The kind where you say "I do," and get a license. The kind where two people are recognized legally and spiritually as having made a serious oath to one another.

Explaining to people what's going on can be tricky, but it can also be an opportunity to educate. I want people to see this as a "real" wedding, as a proper union of a loving, committed couple, and to treat it as such, rather than as some weird gay party we are throwing ourselves. Yet, I also want them to understand that our marriage does not confer any legal rights. So, yes, in that sense it's not a "real" marriage, if the definition of marriage includes the civil ceremony and its legal accoutrements.

I need to come up with a couple-sentence "sound bite" that explains that Tara and I are treating this no differently than we would had we been marrying someone of the other sex, but that the government and some segments of society certainly do.

I liked what the African American lesbian judge who officiated my friends Kristin & Jean's wedding said at the end: "With the power that will SOME DAY be vested in me, I pronounce you married!"

Not So Different

I was over reading the fine blog of AmyFritz! and happened across this post, where she describes her civil ceremony as basically a bunch o' paperwork in California, and suggests that she'll be feeling married when she says "I do" in a church in Rome.

I found myself leaving a comment and thinking that while it'd certainly be nice to have all the legal protections of an official US-govenment sanctioned marriage, that Amy and my situation will be similar in that the meaningful ceremony won't confer any rights and responsibilities.

Tara and I will have to visit a lawyer and draw up papers that allow us basic rights, such as visiting each other in the hosptial.

But hey, Monkey Marriages are certainly cheap! You can literally pay them peanuts to officiate.