A few weeks ago my husband and I celebrated 31 years of marriage. Truthfully, it was less “wahoo” and more “how the hell did that happen?” You see, sometimes he really, truly pisses me off. As I do him. Yet, we have grown together for so many decades that we are now two plants that intertwine so thoroughly that we can’t be separated. We support and caress each other in some spots, while in other places we grow at odds so that we can each allow the other the sunlight and space that we need. I suspect, for all its ups and downs, that our friendship and our love is what a good marriage is. And yet, what we have is apparently under vicious attack. The Supreme Court just announced that it will consider U.S.A. vs Windsor, a constitutional challenge to the “Defense of Marriage Act”, a law that is supposed to be protecting my husband and I. DOMA. And it is protecting our relationship from what exactly?
There are two romantic relationships in the novel y1. Heterosexual couple Joy and Toby have challenges to overcome but, of course, love triumphs. I am at heart a romantic. Homosexual couple Zane and Afi have the same issues and a good many more. International boundaries separate them, and their is love is actually illegal in Afi’s home. It will take nothing less than fully recognized marital status to resolve their issues. Legalities matter. Oh but wait. Fully recognized marital status for these two young lovers is a threat to my marriage, because …. because?
What does it take to make a marriage work for thirty one years? My husband and I had the blessings of society and few of the difficulties often faced by others. We are the same age, race, and religion. Most of our problems we caused all by ourselves. Luckily, we dealt with them. The biggest threat to finding solutions? A cynical society that often conveyed the message of “oh, just give up if gets tough”. Romance is dead. No relationship can last. Nobody’s ever happy in a long term relationship. It’s a powerful message that is out there and, I know from experience that it does not help a couple push through those tough times and find a way to make it work.
So today, I am picking up my pen and defending my marriage. Yes, allowing two people in love to have all the legal support for making their relationship last, helps my marriage too. That’s right. A world where love and long term commitment between any two people is honored is a world in which making ones own long term commitment work is just a little bit easier. It helps every single married couple if every time two people, any two people, find the courage and desire to make a commitment to each other, we don’t just tolerate. We celebrate with them.
Obviously, I am not saying that marriage is right or preferred for everyone. But if it is what you have chosen, consider defending your marriage now. Allow me to suggest signing Kirsten Gillibrand‘s petition to repeal DOMA by clicking here. Let’s really defend the institution of marriage!