I watched anxiously this morning as line after line of the live SCOTUS blog blipped across my screen. I sighed at the announcement of no more decisions today. Then I wept when it was announced that tomorrow will be the last day for decisions to be handed down.
Tomorrow, June 26, 2013, I learn if my government will endorse codified discrimination against me and my family and so many other families like ours. Tomorrow, I find out if my government will continue to consider me a citizen of a lesser class than those who are in heterosexual marriages.
And I’m undone, simply undone, by the thought of nine justices, who have their own prejudices and political leanings, not to mention a desire to be remembered in History as SOMEONE who did SOMETHING, deciding which civil and constitutional rights I will enjoy or be denied for most, if not all, of the rest of my life.
My heart sends images to my brain: waking up next to my wife every morning and smiling back into her sleepy smile. Mowing the lawn, planting flowers, taking family vacations that leave us exhausted, but happy. Crying into Scout’s shoulder when my Gran died, and holding her when her nephew was killed so tragically. Placing memorials to family pets in our back yard. Sweltering in an elementary gym for sixth grade graduation. Smiling ear to ear and high-fiving the teenager when he was accepted into the high school firefighter academy. Our sons walking us down the aisle in our swirls of white as our family and friends smiled; while the Dixie Chicks crooned “How long do you wanna be loved? Is forever enough, is forever enough?”
Isn’t this the same sort of life that straight married couples live? So many moments of ordinary that are cast into something magical, not by pixie dust or delusion, but by love? Isn’t love the lowest common denominator that exists between “gay” marriage and “straight” marriage?
Love is love.
The decision handed down tomorrow can not take anything from Scout and me. The irony of having so few rights as a homosexual is that little can be taken away. They can tell us tomorrow that our love, our family, and our lives are inconsequential and will remain subject to discrimination.
They cannot change the sleepy smile I wake to every morning. They can’t alter the commitment we have to one another as we live out our very normal life of parenting, cooking, cleaning, laughing, shopping, arguing, exercising and celebrating. Our marriage will thrive whether we get “permission” to call ourselves married on our tax return. We will take care of each other whether I can carry Scout on my insurance or not. We will continue to build our lives, and our nest, together whether we can inherit without penalty or not.
No court, no matter how high, can take anything away from us that really matters. But they could, they very well could, give us, and couples who come after us, something wonderful. Something intangible, despite the very tangible components. Something that we advocate for in strong voices but, privately, often catches in our throats in a fearful sob. Something that I’m astounded we have to hope and pray for in this day and age in our civilized society.
The opportunity to have the same legal status of any other married couple. The opportunity to take care of each other in ways that mere love does not afford. The opportunity to sit beside the sickbed of our significant other without fear of being ushered out as a “visitor” rather than family. More than one thousand basic rights afforded to other couples.
Our world may change tomorrow, but our love will not. That is my mantra.
Meanwhile, I hope with every fiber of my being ….