"When tradition is the guise under which prejudice or animosity hides, it is not a legitimate state interest."--Judge M. Brooke Murdock, Maryland
"The more I make love, the more I want to revolt. The more I revolt, the more I want to make love."--Graffito seen in Paris, 1969
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court of a state close to us, New Jersey, will be hearing arguments for and against same-sex marriage. We want the court to find it constitutional, of course. It would be nice to be considered married when we go to the beach, too.
It amazes me that opponents of same-sex marriage can so conveniently just forget that their boogeymen and boogeywomen are actually real people with real lives that are really going to get affected. I guess that's how they're able to do what they do and say what they say, though, is by pushing any thoughts of our humanity out of their heads. My mom is actually hoping that Maryland makes same-sex marriage legal so that L'Ailee and I will be tempted to move to the suburbs of Washington DC, where she works a lot. She wants her kids a bit closer, and she knows we love DC. Granted, I have already spoken to y'all about how much easier it is to love her from a distance, and there would be some arguing either way, but the arguing would have nothing to do with my sexual identity or the gender makeup of my marriage. It would, in fact, sound an awful lot like my kid brother and his wife's discussions with my mom. (They love DC, too. At one point, we all lived within a block or so from each other in an Orlando suburb--wouldn't it be weird if we ended up all being a few miles apart in DC?!)
The homophobes don't want to think about that, though. They don't want people on the fence to think about mothers who want both their daughter and son to move close to her and bring their wives. They don't want people on the fence to think about what a surfing accident could do to a same-sex couple and how the laws affect us driving from state to state. (Knock on wood!) I'm proud to chronicle our lives together as not only a vent for my own emotions, but a way to *get* people thinking about these things. Like the Who in "Horton Hears a Who," I'm going to go "Yop!" whenever a big ol' elephant thinks it can just sit on me!
L'Ailee and I had Valentine's this weekend, we told ourselves and each other. She's working tonight. But still, we had lunch together, and we exchanged rings we'd bought each other from Sundance without each others' knowledge this morning. (We'll be eating ramen the rest of the month, but we'll love looking at our hands while we do it!) I made heart-shaped pancakes, too. We love Valentine's Day. Of course, I'm aware that it's an easier holiday to love when you're in love, but there it is--we're in love. Let it be acknowledged!
Garth Brooks is reassuring me right now through his song that "Love Will Always Win." He would know. He and Trisha Yearwood loved each other from afar for years. It was a scandal in country music when they ended their marriages and moved in together. They finally married last December, and some people are still pissed at them. I'm not--a lot of people don't get it right the first time, and it's wonderful to see people who got it right eventually.
To me, that's what Valentine's Day is really about. Hearts and flowers and cards are nice, but it's really about how radical and revolutionary love can be, and how it can cause seismic shifts in the world around us even when it's being tamped down. The story about St. Valentine is that when the Roman emperor Claudius made marriage illegal in 270 CE, on the grounds that single men made better soldiers and he needed some, he married soldiers to their sweethearts in secret anyway. It's not often that I find a story of a saint inspiring. I was never Catholic. But I've always been a sucker for a good story about love.
Here's hoping everybody who reads this is living an amazing love story or will begin one eventually. :-)