This past Friday was a huge day. In case you’ve been without any sort of contact to the outside world, on June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
“No longer may this liberty be denied,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the historic decision. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
Marriage is a “keystone of our social order,” Justice Kennedy said, adding that the plaintiffs in the case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”
I have to admit, when I woke up on Friday in my hotel room in Detroit (I was away for a Direct Sales event) I immediately had tears streaming down my face when I read the news. FINALLY!
Friday’s ruling made my heart happy. Why? That’s easy, because I choose love.
I chose to love when I was in college and a close friend opened up and told me that she was in a relationship with another female. She was the first person that I knew personally that was out. I remember the look in her eyes, the fear that I would turn my back on her when she announced her secret. I remember her telling me how it hurt when she heard other friends talk about gays. I remember her telling me “I didn’t fall in love with a gender, I fell in love with a person, with someone’s heart. Love does not have a gender” Wow. I knew from that day, that I was an ally, an advocate of love. Straight love. Homosexual love. Genderless love. Just Love.
I chose to love when I sat with another friend while she came out to her parents. I held her hair back when she was so worried about what the conversation was going to be like that she physically made herself sick worrying about it. I remember closing my eyes and wishing that I wasn’t hearing the words correctly that were coming out of her parents’ mouths. The words of disapproval, ignorance, and hate. I held her as she broke down after the conversation and we spent the night watching Super Troopers and Napoleon Dynamite hoping that laughter would help erase the previous hours.
I chose to love when another friend came out and after a year of harassment and hate couldn’t take it anymore and took his own life. He was only 22 and the words and actions of others over something they thought he “decided to become” could not be pushed out of his mind.
I chose to love when a friend from my hometown expressed how much he needed to move to a town with more acceptance. So he packed up everything that he owned and with a close friend moved west, where he felt more free to be who he was.
I chose to love when a relative brought his boyfriend to Christmas dinner this year and quietly introduced him as “a friend”, it was his quiet way of coming out to those of us that picked up on it. After a late night Facebook conversation with me assuring him that it did not change my opinion of him, he admitted how fearful he was that it would change how others in the family looked at him. It broke my heart that night… not because a relative was gay, but because he was so afraid that those that love him would change their minds once they found out who he loved.
I chose to love when I watched the documentary “Bridegroom” and bawled during 95% of it. (It’s on Netflix if you haven’t watched it.) I cannot imagine having to fight to see my husband in the hospital or to not be able to have a say in his funeral if something happened. I cannot imagine not having basic rights as a spouse.
I do not expect everyone to believe the same things that I do. However, I do expect others to understand that everyone should have the same rights.
September 10, 2011 (yes, 9/10/11) was an amazing day. It was the day that my husband and I got married. We were able to stand in front of our friends and our family and declare our love. We didn’t have to worry if our marriage wouldn’t be accepted or honored if we left the state. For the longest time, I couldn’t imagine my friends and family not having that same right to share their love with those that they care most about. And now, because our country chose to love… I don’t have to imagine that anymore.
This was done so beautifully, Heather. So many people just blast their feelings on social media without any story or thoughts to back them up. You really pulled me in and I understand how you feel about same-sex marriage in a non-threatening or defensive way. Thank you for being so open about this subject and providing others with some personal experiences and insight. Well done!