A couple of friends of mine just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month, an accomplishment over hard times, government overthrow, and even the German Holocaust. Wil and I, like a number of our friends, have been together over 20 years - some of us married, some of us not. Some of us are not married because we choose not to be, some because it isn't legally recognized.
I'm not for marriage personally. I tried it once and learned just how incredibly unfair it is to women, especially those who can't afford proper legal representation to file for divorce. That doesn't mean I'd want to deny anyone else the right to take a run down the aisle or a trip to the justice of the peace.
Civil rights don't become recognized because those being oppressed raise so much hell they get noticed and the fair-minded decide to set the situation correct. It takes those effected and those who aren't to stand together to for recognition and for legislation to pass. At this time in our nation's spirit of progressiveness, we have the opportunity to correct a wrong and move forward to completely define and expand the institution of marriage for those who seek to make it part of their lives.
The National Marriage Boycott is on! This effort is student-driven so far, and the goal is to see the repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).Â All that is being asked is that people refrain from getting married until it is legal for every one to have a civil marriage.
The pledge is as follows:
â€œPresident Obama has advocated for the repeal of DOMA, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages - and yet this discriminatory law still stands. Under this act, same-sex couples are denied more than a thousand rights, including the right to visit a dying partner in the hospital. To demonstrate our desire for an immediate repeal of DOMA, we choose not to participate in marriage until everyone can marry.â€
Married couples can support the Boycott too by replacing their wedding bands with Equality rings the group is selling. Singles are encouraged to wear the rings also as a visible show of their support.
Sensible people know gay marriage is no threat to traditional marriage. I hold the belief that gay marriage will actually make marriage between heterosexual couples an equal union between men and women. (If you think it is, try filing for divorce.)
I don't get questioned when I accompany Wil to doctor appointments. No one even stopped to ask me if I was married to him when he was hospitalized. It was assumed. A gay or lesbian couple would not have gotten through the ER door together as we did.
This issue is so much more than having access to a loved one if you are ill or making sure the person who knows your heart best is there to speak up for you in a time of crisis. Marriage is often seen as a cornerstone for the family. It gives people a point in which they can say, "This is when we started our legacy." It recognizes the commitment to building a future together.
As I mentioned, marriage is not something I see necessary in my life. My children may choose one day to get married and I'm cool with that. But to think that someone would deny them that happiness if they did not choose partners of the opposite sex, is a slap in the face of all that a loving union is supposed to represent.
Stand up for your friends, your children, your friends' children, and even total strangers who are asking for nothing more than to have the basic civil right they were afforded when they were born - until they choose to live as nature made them.