I’ve been thinking about what if the absolute love of my life was a woman.
I’ve been thinking about gay/lesbian couples I know that honor each other and their children.
Then I thought about how same-sex life-partners share the same care, anger, drama, joy, and tragedy that Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Mary Doe share.
This is not my outing. I am straight, but what if I was lesbian and my partner was Jane not Clif?
I imagine that Jane and I worked together at life for most of our adulthood, bought a home, cars, traveled in our RV, shared a bank account, and named each other as a beneficiary on our investments and Social Security benefits—WAIT. Can’t do that—name each other as legal beneficiaries on Social Security or Veteran’s benefits, and can’t take the financial benefit of joint IRS filings, and may not be able to make end-of-life decisions for each other, even though we know exactly each other’s end-of-life desires. As a matter of fact, even though Jane and I lived together in a committed relationship for the last 45 years—longer than we did with either of our parents, I know that Jane’s mother won’t allow me with Jane when she takes her last breath. If Jane and I had a civil union, just like my father and mother did in Yuma when they discovered she was pregnant with me, then I would have those spousal rights under my belt.
Jane and I raised two beautiful children (both married opposite sex partners, one is a medical doctor and the other is a university professor)—both from my womb. Jane’s mother will not allow our children any visits with Jane as she lays dying in that sterile hospital room.
Jane’s mother believes that our relationship was immoral and unnatural. Never mind that she slept with her husband’s brother, walked out on her family before Jane turned 15, screwed around with her married boss, and so on and so forth. She loved men. But when Jane told her mother that she loved me, her mother disowned her, until Jane’s breast cancer sucked the life from her.
Fortunately—in a legal world—my sexual and marriage preference is male. But even during my lifetime if I loved a man of color, our civil union would have been banned by law—as immoral and/or unnatural.
Apparently I missed the morality boat when I was born. Or maybe I’m too simple. To me love is love regardless of faith, race or sex. (Note. Don’t toss me Biblical or other religious book quotes. I’m talking civil in a country of separation of state and church.)
You can’t argue that only a civil union between a man and a woman is the better choice for the health of society. Why? For one, take a look at the state of marriage from CDC stats:
- Number of marriages: 2,096,000
- Marriage rate: 6.8 per 1,000 total population
- Divorce rate: 3.6 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.)
Whoops! Not so good.
I won’t go into the plethora of the marriage equality debate issues because you can pick and choose all day long from Huff Post to Family Research Council. But on a most basic level, even if the thought of gay/lesbian sex makes you squirm or go “ewwww,” that’s not cause to deny two loving people from civil union. (And while we are on the sex thing, I read the procreation argument against marriage equality. There’s an app for that. Since the far right is hell-bent for leather on ending abortion in the United States, let’s place those unwanted babies in the loving care of those who want children but can’t “procreate.” And frankly, I wonder if I wouldn’t be miles ahead of where I am now in life if two-loving people who wanted me—whether they were same-sex or not–had raised me. Now multiply that by the gazillion people like me raised in marital discord and disharmony… it’s just a thought.)
Love, sex, and law are strange bedfellows. Love and sex stay the same. Law changes with society and history. Law can’t litigate love. When it tries to litigate love, it shoves many back into their dark and ugly closets– but for what worth?
This is not written to glorify or raise to glory LGBT people any more than those of us who are not. I’ve met proportionately as many jerk LGBT folks as I have straight folks. Chump World does not discriminate.
My point is that when John and Billy marry, move next door to me, and we begin to share our neighborly lives together, we’ll discover more commonality than not. John will one day come over for coffee to bitch about Billy’s habits that drive him nuts while I share Clif’s traits that make me want to crawl out of my skin. Billy will watch their first child board a school bus for the first time and shed a tear, just like I did when my first child began school on a windy September morning. Clif and John will try to figure out how to deal with the tree that borders our lots and is beginning to clog our incoming water line. We’ll eventually have our cell phones on speed dial, attend the same neighborhood watch meetings, each salute Old Glory as the U.S. Marine Corps marches down Main Street on the Fourth of July, complain about the ratty neighbor that lives behind us, and discover that marriage is a journey with ups, downs, and legal rights as a citizens of the United State of America.