It has been a heartbreaking week to be a North Carolinian. As I've been making bridal gown appointments and chatting with perky wedding gown consultants, I've been thinking about how my state has not only added another layer of discrimination against gay and lesbian couples who want to marry or otherwise have their relationship recognized by the state, but also it's added a new discriminatory precedent for those couples who, for whatever reason, have decided not to marry.
A few weeks ago I watched the denomination that baptized me uphold its stance that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching." In the debates, I heard over and over that "we love everyone." But if someone were to say to me that they loved me, that they loved Carolina Man, but yet they believed in all seriousness that God condemned our relationship, our love, our being together? That is not love, at least not the kind I want. The kind that judges what only my partner and I can know--the way that we honor, respect, and love one another when nobody else is around.
I feel torn. Ought we to marry at all, knowing that in so doing we are buying into a political and in our case, religious reality that says no to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters? I used to question if I'd ever marry, but only because I thought I'd never find someone, not because I legally couldn't. I've taken my freedom to marry for granted.
Perhaps it all is too easy for us straight folks to get married. Because honestly, if there really is a threat to the institution of marriage as we know it (and honestly, I have no idea if it's truly worth saving in its current state), the threat is how lightly it's portrayed publicly and how nonchalantly it's entered into privately by us straight folks. And no, I'm not saying divorce is evil or anything like that. God knows, it was best for my parents to get the hell away from each other.
But, in my eyes, nothing could be better for the "institution of marriage" than for more committed couples--in whatever form they take--to be part of it.