Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gay Marriage

"Is Ange going to move with you?"

Do you know how many times people have asked me this in the past 6 months? Way too many. I've been sitting on this post for a week because although I love politics and soap-boxing I've mainly kept my blog focused on funny things, old family stories and travel related stuff. Light-hearted stuff. But lately, there's just been so many things that have really annoyed me or pissed me off and I can't hold it in anymore. I just need to get it off my chest and hopefully I'll feel better. Things won't change, but I can at least put it out there and set it free from my body of worrying.

There is lots of information out there on the interwebs about gay marriage. You could read and read and read for about a million years about the perceived benefits and perceived cataclysmic events that would happen if gay marriage was legalized. I won't bore you with all of those "facts" or details.

I want to tell you a personal story.

This is my life and here's how not being able to be married affects me.

I am on the job market and will hopefully be accepting a full-time tenure track faculty position in the next month. Part of earning a PhD is the realization that you can't be employed just anywhere. I mean, I could probably get a job at a fast-food joint if I wanted, but really, why would I do that after I've worked so hard? People looking to hire PhDs are fewer and far between than jobs that don't require a PhD. I've chosen to stay in academia which means I have to go where ever a university may be hiring. That means my job search has been nation wide. There have been a few jobs in Indiana but mostly not. And frankly, I'm ok with that. I love my family and it really hurts my heart to think about moving away from them. But it also is exciting to think about moving away to a new place, particularly a place that is more liberal and accepting of my values.

Now let me be clear, my partner Ange moved in with me almost a year and a half ago. We'd been dating for a year before that. When she moved in we made the decision to open a joint checking account and to handle our finances together. First of all it made it easier to manage household expenses, but it also made us equal partners in this relationship. I didn't want her to write me "rent checks" because she is not a renter. She is my partner. We are equals who are equally invested in this relationship. Furthermore I believe it is a mark of seriousness about our relationship. Intertwining one's finances with another person's indicates a level of commitment that is more than just casual. I trust her and she trusts me and we make financial decisions together. This is not a secret. We are open about it.

So why is it that when I talk about possible job offers that I am entertaining many people (who are lovely and wonderful in all other ways) ask: Is Ange going to move with you?




Would you move across the country without your spouse? I have a very hard time believing that if my sister decided to up and move across the country that people would ask if her husband was going to move with her. They might ask "How does your husband feel about this?" or "Will your husband be able to get a job right away?" but they would not assume that my sister is going to up and leave her husband behind. So why do people assume that I would leave Ange behind?

Why? Because we aren't married so our relationship is clearly not as serious as my sister and her husband's relationship. Nevermind that we have the same structure and functions in our relationship that they do in ours, but they are married and we are not. Clearly, domestic partnerships and marriages are not the same.

Indiana recently passed a bill in the House of Representatives banning gay marriage. I was reading an article and I just got so pissed off:
"Nothing, nothing in this legislation in this resolution interferes with (the ability of) people to live with whomever they choose, to love whomever they choose," Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville, told lawmakers Tuesday. "But loving friendship is a different relationship than the relationship between man and wife, and we should represent that in the law."
You know what Rep. Foley? Fuck you.

My relationship with Ange is not a "loving friendship" though we do love each other and she is my best friend. We are more than friends. And my relationship is not different than the relationship that my sister and her husband have. What the hell do you know about my relationship anyway? Have you visited our home? Have you seen the ways in which our relationship are different? No you haven't because it isn't. So fuck you again for speaking of things of which you have no experience.

For the longest time I've had no interest in getting married. I have always believed that gay marriage should be legal but I have never been that interested in attaining it for myself. I was never the little girl who dreamed about my wedding day and it was never something I really felt that I needed.

Until now.


And perhaps gay marriage won't solve all these issues, but it is the only step that will get us started in the right direction. I don't expect that overnight people will start realizing that gay marriages are just like straight marriages and I'm sure I'll still get stupid questions about our relationship. But until we can even claim to be married I know that will never happen.

Ange and I have started researching states (& countries) where gay marriage is legal. Even though we know that our current state of Indiana will never recognize our marriage and states where we may move might not recognize them either, we will at least be able to say "Yes, she is my wife and our marriage is legal somewhere." Again, it's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction. This way when I call her my wife (as I often do) people won't say 'Well, she's not really your wife." She is apparently only my wife to me until I get a silly piece of paper than says otherwise. And maybe then people will stop asking me if she is moving with me or stupid people will stop referring to her as my "loving friend."

And if not? Fuck you again.


ange said...

Great post, babe! Way to switch it up.

And for the record, I don't give a fuck what anyone else says. You. Are. My. Wife. Forever and ever and ever. No one can take away the love that we share. It's all about us!

Also, I can't wait to move up outta this beast with you!!!

Oh....AND...B A B I E S!!!!

PBJdreamer said...


you are on the right soap box!

I get very emotional about this subject too.

It hurts so many people to continue to minimize their relationships.

Asking if Ang is going with you, is insulting. Tell them:


why would YOU ask that?

This you tube post addresses this a bit with fundemental Christians.

I support you and confirm your relationship and I wish the rest of the world did.

Keep posting your thoughts!

Shireanian said...

"Loving friend" -- WTF?? So apparently there are only heterosexual couples and "loving friends" in the world now??