FROM MADDOWBLOG.MSNBC.COM: Photojournalist Meryl Schenker took this picture very early this morning in Washington state, in the first hours when same-sex couples could get marriage licenses. Meryl writes:
One month after Washington State voters approved the state’s marriage equality law in Ref. 74, same-sex couples get marriage licenses for the first time on December 6th, 2012. At around 1:30am, Larry Duncan, 56, left, and Randy Shepherd, 48, from North Bend, Wash. got their marriage license. The two plan to wed on December 9th, the first day it is possible for them to wed in a church in Washington State. They have been together for 11 years. Originally from Dallas, Texas, they moved here 7 years ago because it’s more gay friendly. Randy is a computer programer and Larry is a retired psychology nurse.
until… kids aren’t walking around a hallway
plagued by pain in their heart
a world so hateful some would rather die
than be who they are
and a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
but it’s a damn good place to start
NO LAW IS GONNA CHANGE US
WE HAVE TO CHANGE US
Whatever God you believe in, WE COME FROM THE SAME ONE
Strip the away fear, underneath IT’S THE SAME LOVE.
I think that marriage should not be a legal institution.
Rather, it would be a religious institution within the church and the definition could stay “between one man and one woman,” but wouldn’t grant any rights through the government. Every couple could then file for a different union, through the government, that would grant all the rights that a marriage does now. I don’t want to fight over words anymore, I don’t care that marriage is between one man and one woman. If your book tells you that and it means so much to you, then keep it. However, just because we have different beliefs doesn’t mean that I should be barred from the same rights that you are granted just because our atoms formed in different ways and the person I fell in love with happens to have been born the same sex that I was. I love my girlfriend and would really like to marry her one day, and although I’m sure we’ll have some kind of ceremony and take whatever civil union we can get, it’d be a whole lot more dignified and celebratory of an experience if we didn’t have to defend why we should get the same rights as everyone else. This whole discriminating thing is really behind the times.
I understand that maybe to everyone else this doesn’t seem like a big deal and they want us to just be happy with what we’re given, but that’s privilege. Being straight is a fucking privilege in this society. I didn’t ask to be gay; I didn’t choose to wander a path more corrupted with snarls and turns and cliffs; I wouldn’t take it back, either, just because the road is narrow and dark. I fell in love with someone who fell in love with me. That’s so damn lucky. She’s my best friend and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We don’t need your acceptance or blessing to do it. We’ll live a happy life together but it would make the road easier, in an already tough existence, to have the same legal rights granted to us that can be too swiftly given to any straight couple that stumbles into a drunken white chapel in Vegas.
Trust me, I know life’s not fair but the opinions strangers have over the dinner table at night over how I love should not affect where my partner and I can buy a house to raise our children in, it shouldn’t affect our ability to share custody of our children, it shouldn’t affect whether or not my partner can get my health insurance, it shouldn’t affect whether or not we can visit one another in the hospital, and it shouldn’t affect us someday when we need to plan the last moments of our lives together.
It shouldn’t affect our life together because our life together doesn’t affect them.