Eight years ago this month, Luisa and I stood before our family and friends and promised to love each other. We renewed our commitment to each other and vowed to stand together in the face of challenges like snoring, blanket-hogging and the fact that one of us drinks milk and then puts the glass in the sink without rinsing it which leads to a dried milk circle in the bottom that is damn near impossible to get out and is just plain annoying. We didn't need a piece of paper to validate our relationship. Our friends and family recognized our relationship and that was enough in that moment. But something else happened that day, our first child was conceived. Before we donned our lesbian finery and walked down that aisle, Luisa and I paid a visit to our reproductive clinic for a quick insemination. It stuck and, nine months later, Miguel was born. This is where it gets a little tricky, that whole legal recognition thing. You see, Miguel came into this world with only one legally recognized parent - me. Despite the fact that Luisa and I planned the pregnancy together...despite the fact that she had to endure the Clomid-induced mood swings...despite the fact that she held my hand when he was conceived and went to every pre-natal appointment...despite the fact that she held me during 14 hours of labor and cut the cord when he was born, she had absolutely no legal relationship to her child. Had we been legally married on that chilly October day, her rights would have been guaranteed...just like the two parents in a heterosexual marriage who conceive using donor sperm. We are fortunate that we live in a state that grants second-parent adoption and, three months and a couple of thousand dollars later, Luisa was able to adopt her own child. When same-sex marriage became legal in California, I talked about it with Miguel who wanted Luisa and I to fly out there and get hitched. I told him that we would wait for it to become legal in Minnesota. He gasped and said, "Mama, what if it never happens here?!" I told him what I believe...it will and it will happen in my lifetime. Love makes a family but I look forward to the day when all families are legally protected. Plus, if anything happens to Luisa (god forbid), I'd like to get her pension. She's a public servant so, you know, I could buy a small latté each month with all that loot! In order for that to happen, however, we have to support the right to marry wherever it is under fire...even if it is not the fight we want to have right now. The fact is that our relationships matter. Our families matter. Legal recognition matters and what happens in California matters.
So, what can you do?
- Donate money to No on 8
- Pass this story around to everyone you know and ask them to donate
- Speak out
- Hug a queer today...just because we are so darn adorable!
- Visit these other bloggers who talk about the issue with much more eloquence and/or humor:
My readership is small but mighty and I think we could raise some money for the cause! If you donate from this day forward, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I'll take your word for it because the honor system rocks...and I'm lazy and am not going to take the time to set up a donation dealy on here...and, oh, lying about donating to a good cause will guarantee you a special place in hell where you will have to watch reruns of Hee Haw for all eternity. If you donate, I will enter you in the first ever Up Popped A Fox Giveaway! That's right, when the election is over, I will draw a name randomly and the winner will receive a copy of Sarah Vowell's new book The Wordy Shipmates. That's right...fight for same-sex marriage and get a book about Puritans. What's not to love about Queers and Puritans?!