Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day. Now can I please marry my partner?

Ah yes, love is in the air. My sweetie and I will be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate this international day of love. We've been together for almost 10 years, through graduate school, career changes, unemployment and underemployment, no health insurance, home buying, surgery, family deaths and births. In other words, through sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy.

But god forbid we get in an accident tonight and one of us has to go to the hospital. You see, we have basically no legal rights to make decisions of health or welfare for each other. For example, although we both pay the mortgage, only my name is on the deed. The cost of adding my partner's name is prohibitive. It is easily affordable to add one's spouse to a deed, but of course, she's not my spouse. In the eyes of the law, she might as well be a renter. And thank god she has a job with health benefits now -- for 5 years she didn't, and I couldn't add her to my health insurance. We paid a lot of money out of pocket during those years for a trip to the emergency room and for prescription drugs.

We, like so many of your neighbors, are taxpaying good citizens. We mow our lawn and plant flowers. We recycle. We're members of the neighborhood association. We live in a committed relationship of marriage. Yet in an instant our lives could be turned upside down should some health or financial tragedy strike.

This is the 11th annual national Freedom to Marry week. The Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and the right to marry belongs to us all. Please join me in signing the marriage resolution from the Freedom to Marry to help end this discrimination. When we protect and value all of our citizens, we build a stronger and more stable community -- and nation.

10 comments:

Cootamundra W said...

I hope you have a wonderful evening (with no untoward events).

You and your partner are a family and should have all of the rights of a family!

May you love well!

Sue J said...

Thank you Cootamundra -- and I hope you and your sweetie have a lovely evening as well. Thanks for your support!

Randal Graves said...

Oh, I suppose I could sign it, though if you WERE able to get married, that would obviously end my heterosexual one, then what comes next? Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! ;-)

Sue J said...

I know, Randal. I mean, to be honest, I already HAVE dogs and cats living together at my house.

It's a real sin city, I'll tell ya.

krazy kat said...

First, please be careful tonight. Second, love to you and your partner, you are great neighbors and good friends! Keep on keeping on. :)

Sue J said...

Krazy Kat, I know that part sounded a little morbid. Sorry. But I just wanted to make the point that we do have to think about things like that, something that married straight couples can (and should be able to) assume.

And right back at ya, Hon! We feel very fortunate to have landed on our street. And also up the street from the World's Biggest Crabcakes, which is where we'll be tonight!

Cootamundra W said...

OHHH! Ohh!!! Crabcakes!!!?!!!!

You...

AARRGGHHH!

Yum!!! Enjoy!


(let's out a PATHETIC sigh...)

donald said...

signed, sealed and delivered. hope you had a great evening! it takes a little more work than should necessary, but you can protect yourselves. my ex and i went to great lenghths with our families to assure that if an emergency happened, our spouse would not be shut out. hoping someday we will not have to take extra steps for this to happen.

Sue J said...

Thank you Donald! We are trying to do what we can to protect ourselves in these situations, but we always have the feeling that it might not be enough.

BAC said...

I would image you have some sort of legal document that would allow for visitation should something happen to one of you. I first met Karen Thompson in 1991, and will never forget her experience with her partner Sharon Kowalski. Fortunately it had a happy ending, but only after years of heartbreak. Protect yourselves ... it can be a cold cruel world out there.


BAC