The Right To Experience Joy

I can remember how I felt that day sitting on my front stoop. I was looking at my hand. I was looking at my ring. It was a simple, tiny diamond, in an almost non-existent setting. But to me it was hope, it was security, it was a symbol of love.
I was in a relationship. I knew what I had, what that entailed. We had a home, a huge beautiful yard with a view. We had furniture and dishes and we had a bed that we shared.
I remember that feeling I had. Being engaged meant that we were ready to share what we had with others. For some reason I cannot fully explain, being married meant that it was real. It seems silly now to think about it, how I wanted to tell the world that I was in a relationship, that I was loved. I was young and I wanted to be married. That ring said a lot of things to me and to anyone who saw it. It made me proud to wear it. I felt as if I was a new person. I felt as if I was chosen. Someone had selected me. Someone loved and cherished me.  Our relationship was solidified. That is how I felt when I looked at my hand. He said he felt all of the same things. For a time it brought us joy.
How do you tell someone that they can never get to feel those things, feel that way? How you do you tell them that the person they have fallen in love with somehow disqualifies them from experiencing all of those things that marriage inaugurates? How do you tell them that they are not considered an equal person under the law? How do you tell them that their relationship cannot and will not be recognized in any real way by the society in which they live?
When you vote you do it with the understanding that someone fought and maybe even lost their life for your right to do so.
If you then exercise that right to curtail someone else’s rights—well that’d be the definition of irony.
There is no joy in that. 
Quintesse Quintesse
51-55, F
15 Responses May 12, 2012

Woman. I just ran into a couple that I am friends with the other day. It makes me kind of sad to think about them, but only because of this whole thing, this whole second class citizen thing; it must hurt. How can it not? <br />
I like to see people open, like what you describe, free to express themselves and be seen etc. There are pockets of places like that everywhere I think (except for those in the teaching profession for example--they tend to be closeted I have found--for obvious reasons--still unfair) But thank you for sharing what you witnessed. It gives me hope, makes me happy.

These people are in the teaching profession, in higher education though. But there's plenty of hope out there!

Higher education is different, but I agree that there is hope. Thanks, you.

I've been in England this past week and a half. One of the main things I've noticed is the (apparent) total acceptance of same sex couples at least in the circle I'm mixing in. It's a while since I've lived over here (having been in Ireland for seven years where such things are not accepted) and the contrast is quite striking. And very pleasant. And totally natural and normal as far as I can see. The gay men have pictures of their same sex partners on the desktop and relationship and family memorabilia is displayed the same way that heterosexual couples do. Diversity should be celebrated across the board, no question.

Thanks for the Amen. It's a polarizing subject I guess ( I get accused of that a lot--always bringing up inconvenient subjects) but it shouldn't be. Love is love.<br />
Thanks for reading and commenting sista.

Amen, sista.

Paddy--My second favorite thing about all of this is that they think government should stay out of people's lives.<br />
Excuse me?<br />
It is a handy phrase when it suits them, but it is embarrassing (one would hope) when they have it thrown back in their faces ie. reproductive health and same sex marriage. <br />
Willard is a puppet.

I like to think of him as a marionette with two somewhat different people working each set of strings instead of one person working both sets

And the two people are not paying attention at all. In fact, I think they are both talking to each other about how much easier it all would have been if Huntsman had been the nominee.

Since when have the Conservatives decided that they are Moral on Everything and decided they are going to save us?! Ifa particular Church decides against Same-Sex then that is their business but pray tell why will we need a Law to say such as Mitt has proposed? What ignorance and arrogance. He needs to be spending some of that offshore wealth of his and start being Human. I know it was a decision for President Obama and it took soul searching but he manned-up to it and made it. All Mitt can do is hide behind his millions and his gutless wonder Con-Friends. Everyone deserves happiness and a chance to love and be loved. Talk about interferring in peoples lives! Too many people fade into the sunset never knowing or experiencing the ultimate feeling just because some bigots who never give Anything much less their wealth to see that their fellow travelers in life could have something rejoice about. These same people have skeletons in their own closets but instead pay to have them hushed away, a bunch of hippocrits right down to their pathetic core. What was it said about being the first to cast a stone?

Dancer--My favorite part of the opposition's argument is that they feel that a same-sex couple wishing to marry will somehow erode their sense of what a family is (and destroy the social fabric of our country). That is ignorance. They might as well have T-shirts printed up--<br />
"I Don't Know Any Gay Couples And I Don't Ever Want To Because Then I Might Discover That They Are Just Like Me (And My Spouse) And Then I Would Have To Admit That I Was Wrong." <br />
Thank you for the link.

Beanz. <br />
States here are banning same sex marriage--amending their constitutions. Gay couples manage, they often have what anyone would consider a marriage, but how society views them matters, and legally it matters. So, the fight goes on. I am happy for your friends though.

Beanz, I knew you would understand, especially considering your circumstances. Here is how I feel about Civil Unions though, not that you asked, but I'm going to tell you anyway, haha.<br />
A civil ceremony is still considered a legal marriage, it is just performed by a lay person in a courthouse as opposed to on an altar in a church. <br />
However, suggesting a Civil Union to a gay person (the way it is defined by some states) is like saying, "Sure, you can ride on the bus, but you have to sit in the back." Or, "Your water fountain is THAT one over there." <br />
We've determined that separate is not equal; it's not in this case either as far as I am concerned. I do believe that someday that distinction will not be made, that most people's positions will "evolve" on this matter. Until then we wait / fight for equality for all people.

Yes, I hear what you are saying and I was thinking it as I was writing my comment! It is a bit like giving people a sniff but not letting them take a bite. Patronising - here have this snack and then you wont complain about not being able to have the whole meal. I have a few gays friends who I have discussed the issue with - one in particular is extremely out spoken regarding politics - they at least seem happy enough with the way civil unions are in NZ. Perhaps the definitions here versus US are a little different? Perhaps even marriage in NZ is different from the US? I am not sure. But I do feel good that my gay friends think positively about civil unions - and when I attended my friends ceremony it was as beautiful and heart-warming and joyful as any wedding should be.

I have come back to this story 4 or 5 times. I love it. It absolutely sums up my feelings and emotions - I think that is a key point - on the subject.<br />
In NZ we don't have gay marriage as such - but we have civil unions which give a homosexual couple the same legal rights and acknowledgements as marriage. A straight couple can also have a civil union - its sort of like a non-religious marriage. <br />
And the negative impact on society is...??? <br />

I'm with you Quercus. I just don't get it. I've tried. I really have tried to understand the justification for denying another person basic rights--no matter what they are. We are all equal under the law and in God's eyes, and while most will pay lip service to that fact, there are many who somehow feel that they are above others. <br />
It actually hurts my feelings when I am confronted with issues like this in American politics because I want so badly to believe that we are above this kind of ignorant wrangling on this subject (and others involving rights), and yet measure after measure, bill after bill, referendum after referendum gets defeated.<br />
And I double checked Oscar's numbers and the percentage is well below 40% in favor of gay marriage. That's not enough to overturn anything.

Very poignant. Very heartfelt. Very True.<br />
<br />
Hey lady..., where'd you get all these smarts, and all that compassion ?<br />
<br />
I love your posts.

Thank you, you.

No..., seriously. Can I buy those things at a thrift shop or something ? I could use me some smarts. ;- p

Thanks Oscar. I know. North Carolina has me a little miffed but I do know that things are changing, and I'm glad that it's an issue that is being talked about. It's different when you know people though, it's harder to be patient, and it is frustrating trying to make other people understand who don't have the same perspective.

Thank you. <br />
I think it is the only way to think about it.

Very interesting story .. I have never thought of it like that before