A Stolen Moment

Earlier today I showed a friend of mine a post I wrote a while ago, but never put up. I didn’t put it up because once I had written it, I realized what I had written was for myself. It was a way for me to examine my own personal feelings and see them more clearly. After my friend had read it he urged me to post it for several reasons, none of which I’ll bore you with here.

I’ve re-read the post several times today, and I’ve decided to post it. I was going to apologize for the inflammatory language at the beginning, calling people bigots and what not, but it’s how I feel, honestly. That’s all this post is. Raw emotion. I’m not arguing for anyone to change their minds. In the end all I can ask of anyone I suppose is for them to do what they honestly and wholly feel is right in their heart.

Today, the love of my life and I went to get our marriage license so that we could legally be married. It should have been nothing less than exhilarating, but we were forced to partake in other people’s bigotry. It was—to me—a disgusting sensation, and although I had done nothing wrong, I felt I was on the wrong side of something. My simple desire to exclaim to the world who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with was being done in a fashion that excluded others from doing so, and I was forced to proclaim someone else’s need for superiority and separation as my own.

We were asked to raise our right hand, swear that we were not already married, swear that we were of a capable mind, and that one of us was a man and the other was a woman. I paused for a moment, struck with the sudden realization that I was fortunate to be born the “right” way. Fortunate in that I could decide to spend my life with someone and be protected in doing so.

And my heart broke for those who cannot.

Looking back on American history it seems one of our virtues has been our ability to protect the minority, which lives in the shadow of the majority. To ensure that the masses do not trample the few. There have been countless times in which history has shown us how the majority can stampede across the minority grinding them—quite literally at times—to dust.

Someday, hopefully, we’ll look back on this oppression and tell our children those were different times, and we’ll regale them with the story of how we had to swear that we were not same-sex partners in order to be wed. It will seem nothing short of archaic and barbaric in the eyes of a people who are wiser because of our mistakes.

I know there are many other injustices out in the world much worse than this, but experiencing this one really struck home. I’m simply upset that today a moment was stolen from me and the person I love. A moment that we, and any other couples in love, deserves to hold close to their heart.

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“You want to fix the Pledge of Allegiance? Put a disclaimer at the end: ‘With liberty and justice for all…must be 18, void where prohibited, some restrictions may apply, not available in all states.”

Doug Stanhope

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