Getting to share a love story every day is a gift, like when you’re a kid and your grandparents start telling you how they met and you’re trying to picture the scene — the world scrubbed and bright. The best version of itself. And you can feel it. You can feel their devotion. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
When I think about marriage equality, I think about my moms — that is, my mother and her partner, Kathy.
Kathy is family, and not just because she calls me with her computer problems. She has laughed with me and comforted me, given me a roof to sleep under and sometimes a piece of her mind, too. She’s the best step-parent I’ve ever had (and there have been a few), simply because she made room in her life for my brother and me when she fell in love with our mother. It wasn’t a struggle; she just embraced us. What’s more, she’s wonderful to my mom, a true “all in” partner in life.
Kathy also has multiple sclerosis. She’s still getting around pretty well most days, but her medical care is expensive. Though my mom is able to provide her with insurance coverage as a domestic partner, it costs much, much more than extending coverage to a spouse. Because they know that the claims of their relatives could still carry more legal weight than their relationship, my moms have been very careful in preparing for the inevitable—formalizing their wishes, naming medical proxies, etc. I’m glad they’re diligent, but I wish they didn’t have to be. It’s clear that inequality carries actual costs.
Marriage equality is more than an ideal to me. It’s personal. I do believe that if our nation still aspires toward liberty and justice, this change must happen, and it must be sweeping. But I also just want my moms to feel the security of knowing that their commitment to each other will be honored by the community-at-large. They’ve faced a lot of disapproval over the years, so I imagine it might be some small compensation to feel that their rights are affirmed and protected by the state. And while a legal certificate couldn’t make Kathy more important to me, it would still feel good to know that it’s official. We’re family.