I was sort of thinking about this since last week when my oldest sister's husband remarked on the civil union laws and off handedly said:
Well, now everyone who is married already can make that marriage a reality.
This has been a recurring theme of thought during the course of my adult life and the subject of gay people who get married? As a child I was very certain what marriage was, when it began, how it could end and what it meant? Obviously growing up and the relationship I ended up forces a person to knock everything they thought and believed on it's ear? But honestly, not all of it went right out of my mind.
The oddest thing I suppose is that sometimes the comments I overhear from most likely very well meaning people, or perhaps out of unknowing bias, are comments I have sometimes silently agreed with. To a point?
Comments like the one from a nice young mother at a baby shower several years ago that smiled very approvingly at Adam and I, and said, 'My goodness, how cute, you both even have rings!' It was mildly shocking to hear it but then the more I thought about it, I understood it? I sort of felt the identical way when a pair of Adam's very crunchy mates announced their 'marriage' of exchanging necklaces by an ocean and declared it by themselves?
It felt rather less legitimate. It sounded less important, or official or even serious? It sounded less than second best to a church, and the entire affair of year long planning, family gathering from across the world and on and on and on?
To a point, I understood that when I was 'married' we had done no more or less than the people with necklaces quoting the Rolling Stones? In the end, how much different was I actually from that hippy hetro couple that I considered silly and trite? That realisation was quite sobering that not only was I viewed much like they were by perhaps the world at large, but that my marriage was even considered less of a reality.
I also felt the same when homosexual couples I knew of announced they were married or referred to each other as husband when I knew even that small gesture of ceremony hadn't even been attempted? It disturbed me when they weren't together the next month or year and their 'marriage' just sort of dissolved with their feelings for each other. Was it if you just fancied yourself married, you just were?
I am, in all honesty, still not quite sure! XD
Adam suggested I take the religion out of it and ask myself the same question? I suppose that is where the little boy in me that sat in church and dreamt of a wedding one day, really cannot ever be told to go away? It is a union under God, and I think that is what makes it more special than announcing to the clouds, grass and Mick Jager that you have been married.
However, that is what makes it more special to me? If anything, maybe I have just learned over these years how personal marriage is to everyone who decides to enter one, in whichever form they have chosen? I suppose that your marriage becomes your reality whenever you sort of want one?
*taps ring on the keyboard*