Saturday, November 3, 2012

Same Sex Marriage in Minnesota

Same sex marriage is illegal in Minnesota.  Precedent was set in 1971 with Baker vs. Nelson.  While no law against same sex marriage had ever been written into the state statutes, the inability to procure a certificate of marriage license for same sex couples due to the restriction to different sexed couples was enough to cause the case to be decided against the plaintiffs.  The case was appealed to the Supreme Court and died there.

Until 1997, this precedent stood as reason enough for same sex marriage to be outlawed by court decision.  Then, in that fateful year, a law was passed that put the standard against same sex marriage into the Minnesota statutes.

Deeming that this was not enough, the Republican-controlled legislature of 2011 decided that they needed the banning of same sex marriage to be written into the Minnesota State Constitution.  This would, in their view, make it more difficult for a paltry 1997 law to be overturned by "activist" judges (a term which is meaningless as a negative, being that all sides of any debate are perfectly willing to find those same "activist" judges that will agree with their side).  All changes to the Constitution requires a majority vote by the citizenry of this great state.  Thus, we find ourselves going to the polls to decide the fate of thousands of same sex couples that desire the same rights as everyone else.

The reasons for and against this law have been hashed and re-hashed ad nauseam with the pro-crowd (the ones that want same sex marriage banned) landing on either religion as the reason for the ban or thinly veiled religious ideas. 

But I don't want to argue reasons.  I want to tell you a story.

In 2000, a friend called me and asked me if I would like to come to a retreat in Duluth, MN.  I agreed and went.  While there, I met a woman.  A beautiful woman.  She smelled of a perfume that I had never smelled before and I wanted more of it.  She wore a pullover Columbia coat which she had to pull over her head hundreds of times during the weekend, revealing a perfect chest and every once in a while, the perfect stomach. 

Everything about this woman was perfect.  I loved her voice, her hands, her feet, her knobby knees, the form of her lips, her long nose where the middle of the nose extends down further than the outer nostril layers.  Conversation flowed.  While it rained for most of the weekend, we sat together under canopy after canopy, talking. 

I fell in love.  Two months later, I proposed.  A year after we met, we were married.  12 years later, we are still very much in love.  I love my wife like the air I breathe.  She is perfect in every way imaginable and I am indebted to my friend for inviting me to this retreat so many years ago.

But I remember going to the licensing office and paying for a marriage license.  The lady behind the counter was nice enough.  We hugged and kissed through the whole process while the entire state office rolled their eyes.  They were sick of love while we were lovesick.  But we were never questioned for our intentions.

We had sex before marriage and were reviled by many.  But, in the society we lived in, we learned that there were many who looked on us and celebrated our love for each other no matter how physical we became or artificial lines in the sand we failed to cross before enjoying the pleasures of one another.  We felt at home in society.

We loved each other and the world loved us for it.

I wish the same for all my friends and all people.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Joe. You have a beautiful story, and you and Kristine's support has meant so much to us. :)