My best friend Ramona and I were lucky enough to meet and fall in love with wonderful people within weeks of each other. It really was a fabulous stroke of luck, because for the previous several years, through Ramona’s unwilling celibacy and my promiscuous-without-attachment days, Ramona and I had been near inseparable. We spent huge chunks of our spare time together, we helped each other shift, we rang each other if we’d had a shit day, we were each others plus-ones at weddings. In a whole lot of ways, we were like a couple – just without the sex. Our friends even referred to us as each other’s “wives”. So I think that if one of us had fallen head-over-heels in love and the other hadn’t, it would have been difficult on our friendship. As it stands, the anniversaries of our respective relationships are just over a month apart. We are still extremely important parts of each other’s lives, but we’re not the inseparable twosome we once were.
Because Ramona fell in love with a woman and I fell in love with a man, only one of us is allowed to marry our partner.
Although opponents of marriage equality would like to pretend it is, it’s not a damn thing to do with Christianity or the Bible: marriage is not and has never been the exclusive domain of the church. It’s not a damn thing to do with children or the family unit: my love and I have no intention of having babies or raising a family; Ramona is already acting as a step-parent to her partner’s children. They can twist it whichever way they like, what they’re essentially saying – in either weasel words or outright – is that same-sex couples are not worthy of marriage.
The thought that ANYONE would think that my relationship is somehow more worthy, more important, more real than Ramona’s infuriates and sickens me. It makes me quiver with rage. It makes me wonder at whether their hearts and minds are fully functional. To see two people in love who want to be married and to deny them that right requires an incredible lack of heart. To think that gender of the people involved makes any difference to the quality of the love requires, yes, a lack of intelligence.
This notion that marriage is a purely heterosexual institution because heterosexual relationships are more important than homosexual relationships makes marriage less relevant to me. Not just because it excludes Ramona and many other people I love, but because it excludes a huge chunk of my history. I have dated women, loved women, contemplated living happily-ever-after with women. I was banned from taken my girlfriend to my high school formal (but did so anyway, daring the chaperones to make a scene). I’ve seen the disappointment on my mother’s face when I told her I was a lesbian (clearly I’m not any more. It’s a long story which you can find elsewhere on my blog). I’ve been spat on in the street and called a pussylicker (it took me several moments to click that it was supposed to be an insult). Frozen in shock, I watched my sister chase the woman who spat at me down the street, screaming at her in defence of me. I’ve shagged women in the toilets at gay clubs, attended queer youth groups, played in a lesbian sports team, held my girlfriend’s hand walking down the street after dark in mid-90s small-town New Zealand, scared but full of “fuck you” bravado.
For me marry as marriage stands, as the so-called defendants of marriage want it to be, denies all this history. It says it is not worthy, just like Ramona’s relationship is not worthy and thousands of other same-sex relationships are not worthy.
And to that I say, where is your heart and where is your mind?