or, xJane gets mushy
Yesterday was DH’s and my 3rd anniversary. It gave me a chance to reflect on love, marriage, and rights. Specifically on why I did (and did not) get married & what that makes me think about the rights of others.
I did not get married so that I could bear DH’s children. I did not get married so that his father’s name would be carried on. I did not get married because it was a “respected social institution” that I desperately wanted to be a part of. I did not get married so that I could be a “wife”, nor did DH because he wanted to be a “husband” (whatever those words are supposed to mean). I didn’t get married because my religion told me that marriage was good. I didn’t get married because marriage was the only way for me, as a woman, to be completed or live a full life.
I married DH because I love being around him. I got married because when I am with him, I feel like I’m with only myself—that I don’t need to be anyone else but the true me. I got married because his presence makes me smile. I got married because, when I come home & find him there, the tensions of the day disappear. I got married because I love waking up next to him & watching him sleep (in a totally non-creepy way). I got married because DH is a great cook and I’m a great baker. I got married because we are equal partners in life—each supporting the other. I got married because we love playing video games (separately and together), camping, judo, and computers. I got married because even when he pisses me off, I love him. I got married because even when I piss him off, he loves me. I got married because DH makes me happy.
I got married so we could own property together. I got married so that we would have enforceable rights if anything happened to either of us. I got married because he’s got great insurance benefits & I’ve got a great credit union. I got married because when we weren’t married, the world seemed to look at us differently, like we weren’t really in love. I got married because it made everything (taxes, renting, car ownership, illness, life insurance, nearly everything) easier. Just one document & so many issues simply evaporated.
And that surprised me. Social issues, family issues, governmental issues—completely resolved simply because I had a different last name, a legal document, and a [white] gold ring.
For these reasons and for all the reasons I didn’t list, I cannot condone restrictions on marriage between consenting adults of any gender. Nor can I sit idly by while bigots and homophobes attempt to restrict rights on the basis of religion at best and ill-articulated arguments at worst.
Marriage is not an institution I like. I think it’s misogynistic, religious, and unequal. I think it has been hijacked by people who still believe that women should be property and held in too high esteem by people who think a wedding means white dresses & expensive blood jewelry. I think it needs to be reformed or dismantled. But it’s what we’ve got. And it’s powerful—powerful enough to get my parents to talk to DH, powerful enough to allow me to speak for DH in forums where he is uncomfortable (and he for me), powerful enough to change part of my name for no good reason (but not his). And because of that power, it cannot be denied to people who want it.