It’s a momentous time for a lesbian hoping to marry.
More important, to me and millions of others, the United States Supreme Court is likely soon to decide two questions:
- Can a state limit marriage to a straight couples?
- If it can, must it nevertheless recognize gay marriages from another state?
From a purely selfish point of view, my Love and I want to be married.
Currently, we could marry here in New York, no matter what the Supreme Court says. New York law permits same-sex marriage. Famously, Roy McDonald, a Republican from a very conservative district upstate, voted for the bill:
[Y]ou try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f*** it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. … They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.
It’s more complicated in our home state.
The state constitution was amended to restrict marriage to a man and a woman. A federal court has held that to be unconstitutional, so currently we could get married at home.
However, if the Supreme Court rules that states can restrict marriage to straight couples, the constitutional ban would likely be re-imposed. Worse, the Supreme Court might rule that our home state need not recognize a New York marriage.
Practically, getting married in New York would be a good idea. It would be easier to buy an apartment together. It would be easier to deal with medical crises. It would make it far, far easier to have children together. It would make thousands of smaller things easier.
But we want to marry in a real wedding at home, on my Love’s family ranch. We’re old enough and foolish enough to want to wear white dresses and have a minister and bridesmaids and flowers and Champagne and a big cake. Have dads give away the brides. Exchange rings. Have a reception with funny and syrupy toasts and dancing cheek to cheek. A drunken relative or two. Sneaking off on a honeymoon.
That won’t happen before next summer. But I would like it to happen, and to be meaningful. Not just a nice party with no legal effect.
I thank my Love’s lawyer for helping me understand the legal issues and their status in New York, my home state and the United States. Any errors are mine, of course, and, for goodness sake, don’t take legal advice from me!