I’m not that into weddings.
I was never a little girl who dreamed of eating multi-tiered wedding cakes; escorting a phalanx of bridesmaids in brightly-colored, coordinated bridesmaids’ dresses; or marching down an aisle in a big, frilly, white dress to the tune of Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these things. They just weren’t my bag. They just never really interested me.
I always just assumed that if I met someone who I wanted to spend my life with, I would just go ahead and do that. I didn’t put much thought into the pageantry of the wedding or the logistics of marriage itself.
Weddings, and, on a much larger scale, marriages, were things I took for granted because I had the luxury of being able to take them for granted.
As a woman who happened to want to marry a man, there were no obstacles put in the path of my nuptials. Everyone, including my state and federal government, was willing to say that my marriage had value and afford it all the rights and privileges that come with that recognition.
All in all, it was a pretty sweet deal for me and I think it’s the same deal all loving, committed couples should receive.
I don’t deserve any more or any less than individuals in same-sex couples simply because I happened to marry a man. I just happened to want to marry a man. If I wanted to marry a woman, I’d want, and, more importantly, deserve, no less. That union would be just as meaningful.
I don’t believe that any marriage is inherently more valuable, simply because of the genders of the individuals involved.
My ability to be in a healthy, loving, committed relationship, like a marriage, does not depend on my gender or my spouse’s gender. Our genders have nothing to do with our abilities to love, care for, or respect each other, not even a little bit. Anyone who loves someone is able to do these things and I think it’s unkind to suggest otherwise.
I’m not saying that anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is intrinsically unkind, because I don’t believe that to be true. I just think that if opponents were able to see the issue from the other side more clearly, they would change their minds. And I really want them to change their minds.
Contrary to the popular argument of marriage equality opponents, I don’t think that allowing same-sex marriage threatens or undermines the institution of marriage. If anything, I think allowing same-sex marriage just makes marriage itself that much more awesome.
Just, in general, I don’t see how allowing someone else happiness should make you less happy. I don’t see how extending kindness is a bad thing. I don’t understand how allowing others the right to have their union recognized as valid and valuable makes your union any less valid or any less valuable.
I don’t think marriage equality does that. I don’t think it does the institution of marriage any harm.
If anything has been decreasing my faith in the institution of marriage lately, it’s been marriage equality opponents, who, frankly, have been offending me on a fairly regular basis.
I’m tired of hearing marriage equality opponents argue that same-sex marriages are not as meaningful, simply because the couples can’t “sexually conceive a child.” I’ve heard that phrase used in their arguments multiple times. It’s offensive and unkind.
There are plenty of happily-married couples who simply choose not to have children. Their love and their relationship is no less valid simply because of that choice.
Likewise, there are also happily-married couples, who, for whatever reason, are unable to conceive a child. To imply that these marriages are any less loving and in some way less meaningful, is not only incorrect, it’s just,well, not nice.
Sure, happy marriages that lead to children are great, but so are the ones that don’t.
Bottom line, any marriage, same-sex or otherwise, that is based on love and respect is a good thing.
And good things deserve to be shared–with everyone.