I try not to be too political or too personal on this blog space, but the events of this past week are too big and close to my heart to stay quiet about. Civil rights were front and center. One step backwards with the rollback of a decades old legislation that supported the right for everyone’s vote to count and one step forward with eliminating a roadblock to who can marry. Add to that Texas politics and Paula Deen and well…it’s been a helluva rollercoaster of a week.
I am a proud daughter of the South, even if my extended family members are sometimes crazy. Crazy is, after all, a proud Southern tradition. It’s why we say, “bless their heart” down here so often. I live in South Louisiana. I’ve always felt this little pocket of the South is it’s own special world. It’s epicenter, New Orleans, embraces it’s diversity and tolerance with a wild joie de vie. I’ve stood in line for brunch in the French Quarter in the shadow of St. Louis Cathedral with Bloody Mary in hand and watched as a six-foot drag queen sashayed by in miniskirt, fishnet stockings and cowboy hat and no one turned a head. Black, white, cajun, creole, hispanic, vietnamese, gay, straight, young and old, we all simmer together pretty well in this big ole gumbo pot.
I work for a healthcare organization that has a noble mission, to improve the health of women and infants. It’s a caring place to work and that care is not just extended to the patients but to the people who work there. This caring place also extends benefits to same-sex couples.
It dawned on me when my sweetie moved in—even though we’re not the same sex—that those benefits might apply to me. We’re not anti-marriage, but with grown kids and he’s been divorced and widowed and I’ve been divorced, we kinda have a been-there-done-that feeling about getting married again. It’s also not a good financial decision for us. If circumstances change, we may fly to Vegas some weekend and have Elvis marry us, but until then we’ll keep living in sin. Bless our hearts.
In order for my sweetie to receive benefits from my employer, we had to prove we’ve been living together for a year, fill out a form and get it notarized. And poof, we did and our domestic partnership was legally recognized. That’s how we became, what we call, Gay Married.
Civil rights and equality for women, blacks, gays should be the same as for men, whites and straights. Some days it’s a step forward and others a step back, and yet other days it’s that half step that moves it forward. This bumpy path toward equality is a slow journey, but it is moving forward. In the two years since my sweetie and I entered our notarized domestic partnership, real same-sex marriage has started to happen.
It’s Gay Pride week. I cheer with my gay friends the step forward this country has made this week. I walk with you on the path of love and equality. And I’m proud to say I’m Gay Married!
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