succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Freedom To Marry

Yes, I know, I'm behind on summarizing my travels, but in honor of the week (or, as someone over at Bitch PhD suggested, Week to Legally Recognize Marriage) I thought I would tell a story. Some of you know it already. It is not my story, it is my aunt's. She's a lesbian. It took me longer than it should have to put two and two together and figure that out, but as early as I can remember she was in a committed relationship with a lovely woman. This lovely woman had somewhat tragic, soap operatic details to her pre-my-aunt life. She was married and had two children, as people did in those days, regardless of sexual preference. Her daughter died, but not before giving birth to a beautiful baby boy. The boy's father remained in the picture, but was an unreliable parent, so my aunt and her partner raised him. The dad would appear, randomly, from time to time, and essentially kidnap the boy for unknown periods of time. But the two women did the best they could, providing the boy with a loving home and high-quality yuppie existence. About four years ago my aunt's partner died. Leaving my aunt with no biological ties to the child she had been raising as her own for eleven years and a (unfit) biological parent waiting in the wings. I am happy to report that after several years she eventually won custody, one of only a handful of non-biological parents to do so when a biological parent is still living. But the point of the story is that a stable, loving family had to prove themselves in the eyes of a court, simply because their 'radical' lifestyle didn't fit the bland vanilla idea that some politician decided defined family. It would have been difficult, but if they weren't gay, my aunt's partner would have been able to gain custody of her grandson. If they weren't gay, their marriage would have been recognized, and when my aunt's partner died my aunt would have automatically had custody of their child. No multi-year court case. No additionally traumatizing threat for a child who already has abandonment issues of being sent to yet another home. The fact that we still have to have these arguments in 2007 would be mind boggling if it weren't just so damn sad and infuriating.


Anonymous Adam4Adam said...

After decades of hard work and tireless commitment from supporters and advocates, same-sex couples across America now have the freedom to marry.

11:07 PM  

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