The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Exactly Like Everybody Else

Ann and Joan got married recently. The brides were radiant in their silk tunics, silvery hair, and sensible shoes. After waiting seventeen years to walk down the aisle, they’d earned their comfort.

Now Proposition 8 threatens to amend the California constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to wed. If it passes, anyone who falls in love with someone of the same gender can forget about honoring that love with a wedding march and the ultimate commitment.

“Anyone” could mean you, your neighbor, your child, your mailman, your favorite niece, your coworker’s son, your grandchild, and your kid’s terrific teacher. Proponents argue that if people like Ann and Joan are allowed to say “I do,” marriage between men and women is somehow in danger.

What’s really in danger is the march for fairness and equality.

If Proposition 8 passes, it will not only shatter the wedding plans of loving same-sex partners: it will deny their mothers the joy of tears and coordinated pastels. Proposition 8 will enshrine discrimination in the California constitution. Are my rosy-cheeked friends really such a threat to warrant taking away their rights?

Like any couple getting married, Ann and Joan vowed to love, honor, and cherish each other until parted by death. They could pledge this with more certainty than the average newlyweds, having already lived so many years together for better and for worse.

Ann vowed to try not to throw things away. Joan promised she would try to throw things away.

That’s what comes from being forced to wait nearly two decades for marriage. You know one another’s foibles so well that what used to drive you crazy now deepens your love. You know it’s precisely your differences that bring balance. You know it’s the trying that counts.

The brides spoke in honor of their dead parents. When Ann first revealed she was gay, her mother responded, “It’s about time you figured it out.”  Ann quipped that her father would have loved to give her away to Joan, if she were the type to let her be given away to anyone.

Joan’s family was less embracing. Her mother died when Joan was twenty-four, fearful that her daughter would suffer terribly from living what she saw as a deviant lifestyle in a hostile culture. Joan knew her mother would be delighted that her fears had not come true, and that her life was rich with love and happiness. She wished her mother had lived to share her joy.

Guests were invited to place a rose in a silver vase and express what this wedding meant to them. By the end, the vase was crammed with roses of every hue.

I grew up dreaming of bridal bouquets and my bridesmaids’ matching sashes. I didn’t know what blooms would be in season when I married, or whether my color scheme would be driven by the daffodils of spring or the chrysanthemums of fall. But as a straight woman, I knew I could count on having a season.

Now there is a season for everyone.

We can’t let Proposition 8 take that away again

Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that gay people shouldn’t be granted special rights. But what is so special about wanting to be treated like everybody else? It’s not just gays who benefit—we all do. My joy in realizing a childhood dream is enhanced because my gay friends and family members are no longer excluded from having such dreams.

Contrary to Proposition 8 supporters’ dire warnings, I cannot possibly imagine how same-sex weddings threaten traditional couples. A marriage that draws its strength from discrimination is not a sound marriage at all. As I listened to the readings about love, friendship, and commitment that Ann and Joan chose for their wedding, my feelings for my husband of twenty-two years only deepened.

Surely Ann and Joan don’t need the state to affirm their love and commitment. At sixty-something, they can buy all the bath towels and appliances and flowers they want. They can even buy a lawyer’s time to secure most of the rights that straight couples take for granted. But without the state’s sanction, something is missing.

Now we all have a chance to enjoy what money can’t buy: inclusion and equality.

At the end of the ceremony, Joan and Ann grinned through their tears while we all cheered and wept.

“This is something we never dreamed would happen,” Joan said. “We never imagined that we could get dish towels and kitchen gadgets, like everybody else.”

At last they can.

And at last we can give them.

By Lorrie Goldin


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Lorrie, thank you for this much needed reminder. I am glad we have it here, in our Writing Mamas blog - how fitting it is that we can stand up for all kinds of families.
What a beautiful piece!
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