Normal old Friday morning. I'm at home, debating the merits of making a quiche for dinner. My partner is at work, debating the merits of biological processes. And then...
-- Viber message from my partner, 9:19 am, June 26, 2015
I stared at my screen in shock for nearly a whole minute, the timestamps tell me. My response was one of disbelief. I don't remember the world starting up again until after I read the link she sent me.
Everything changed. The whole world shifted. I got married March 13, 2014. I got married June 26, 2015. These are two different events with different meanings, but they boil down to the same thing--thanks to a fluke of American judiciary bullshit, I was married in 37 states but had moved to be with my partner into one of the 13 states where I was not, in fact, married.
Federally, sure, we were. We could file our federal income taxes together (our state, fortunately, does not have state income tax or our tax season would have been a little bit like the tasks of Heracles. Zeus didn't impregnate either of our mothers, so we might have been defeated by the tax man). We could, and did, apply for immigration benefits (I'm Canadian, just moved to America at the beginning of June). Those kinds of things.
On the state level, though, that was a whole different matter. My partner works for the state government. They were mandated, by state law, to specifically exclude me, a same sex spouse, from being eligible to be on my partner's health insurance. If one of us had been hospitalized, we don't know what would have happened, which would have been a problem if it had been me in hospital since my only family, other than my spouse, is my ailing grandmother who lives in Canada and cannot travel. We don't yet have children, but we certainly would not have done so here. It wasn't safe. I didn't feel safe or secure here because I didn't feel protected by the law (note: there are still reasons I don't feel safe. America, some of your police are just completely fucking nuts. But it's better now that I actually have next of kin in America).
So many of the nuts and bolts of living together, of being a family, were denied to us until we got remarried by Supreme Court decision. With the magic of one man reading a court decision, apparently the queer fairies dropped some pixie dust on us and made us... what? Better people? Love each other more? More deserving?
None of these things. We were still exactly the same two people we were when we woke up that morning, the same people we were at 8:57 am on June 26, 2015, minutes before the ruling came down. Just now, we have more rights, which is still not the same rights as a straight person, but is a little closer. We still have work to do, was the message of the day, at events we went to in order to celebrate, but this weekend, we celebrate, we feast, we enjoy.
And to the county clerks who have refused to issue marriage licenses, the governors who have sworn to fight and the assholes that say that a bunch of judges can't change the law of the land, I say, 'Fuck you. Fuck you very very much. If you don't stand with us, you stand against us, and we will never lay down, never give up. We are stronger than you, because we have to be, and every word you speak against us is a pigment we can use to paint your portrait in the history books.'
Tay is an afab bi/panromantic asexual who lives in a liberal oasis in the middle of the desert of southern sensibilities. They like cats, dogs, gila monsters and komodo dragons and hope to one day have a small apiary and bottle their own mead