My Marriage is Over


These people have ruined it forever.

I remember covering the marriage equality demonstrations in Chicago in 2004, and interviewing a young woman who had been on the phone with her partner. She was pacing up and down in front of City Hall fretting. “She’s late. She’s late for our wedding. Late on our wedding day.” And for some reason (maybe because I was late to my own wedding, something Mr. A has yet to let me live down), that was what got to me.

Not that I’d ever been anti-gay-marriage, but being a straight girl the reality hadn’t been something I’d ever had to consider. That woman, though, made me consider it. She was a bride, nervous about the arrival of her love, just as I’d been. And the look on her face when her fiancée finally came running up the walk — apologizing profusely for her tardiness, carrying flowers — reminded me of the look on my husband’s when I walked up the aisle.

The couple I talked to wasn’t married that day, though they stood in the hallway of the County Clerk’s office, quietly insisting, “Marry us, or marry no one.” No one was married that day; the protest ended when the office closed. They will be married one day, though, they and many others across this country. People were so nervous in 2004, that seeing all those weddings in San
Francisco would set the cause of equality back decades, and it seemed,
in the aftermath of the 2004 elections and again in the aftermath of
Proposition 8, that maybe America would never get on board with what
was right. But that’s not the way it’s going to stay. Look at those faces from Iowa.

Joy is infectious. Love is contagious. Faced with love, faced with the reality of love, it’s no wonder the
tide of public opinion in this country has changed, so that even people
who HAD been uncomfortable with the idea of full civil equality changed
their minds. When you are happy, you want happiness for everyone. When you are safe, you want safety for all. This is how we grow, how we expand the circle of those we call our own, by admitting everybody. There is no other way this happens. There is no other choice. We take one another’s hands, toss the bouquet, and step out into the world together.


8 thoughts on “My Marriage is Over

  1. Beautiful! Love is great, and it only gets bigger the more it’s shared. Hate is what takes away part of everyone’s soul/humanity…

  2. That was a beautiful post. Hopefully, the tides will continue to shift in favor of equality.

  3. unfortunately where love isn’t considered, gays have it harder to just live. maybe we need to flood the word w/ harlequin novels, chick lit/flicks and little copies of the joy of sex.

  4. I think you are right. As average Americans are exposed to the beauty and love of LBGT relationships, they will come to appreciate them.

  5. Wow! Excellent. Indeed, who are we to deny others’ happiness?

  6. There’s a scene in “A Room With A View” where the preacher gets all in an Edwardian tizz over the carriage driver and his girlfriend being a little PDA’ish and makes the driver PUT HER OFF the carriage altogether!?! The protesting in favor of the couple Mr. Emerson fires off the line “Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?” is something that has stayed with me since seeing the movie the first time some 20+ years ago.
    Happiness is something to engender, to propagate, not shut down. I am so bitter about my own romantic disasters, my heart is pretty much nothing more than scar tissue, but even I cannot grouse about people who are in love and want to marry. (Heck, I even found out Trent Reznor – deep sigh – is engaged this morning, and I cannot do anything but wish him and his intended every bit of happiness, even if his beloved ‘she’ is not ‘me’! :))

  7. Your marriage is over? Yay! Uh, not that I have been patiently waiting for your marriage to fail so I might catch you on the rebound. Um, how ’bout those ferrets?

  8. Damn right. I am proud to be an Iowan (although an ex-Iowan, I spent the first 28 years of my life there), and it makes me incredibly happy to see all the happy people able to love and marry whom they choose. One day, everybody will be able to make the same choice.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

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