08 November 2012
I’ve never written up the specific incident that made gay marriage/equal marriage so important to me, but I think it’s time. I’ve mentioned some of the benefits I got from being married in my post How I Got Married and Donated a Liver, and allude to this story, but I thought it would be off-point for me to put it into that post. It’s true that I’m one of those socially liberal types and had no problem with gays having equal rights before, but I wasn’t really aboard with marriage (as a civil, legal institution) for anyone until after all this happened.
After Richard died from a stroke, I joined a mailing list for people with a common interest in strokes: medical professionals, survivors, loved ones of people who’d both survived and perished from strokes.
One man on the list had been living with his sweetie, who’d had a stroke. They’d had durable power of attorney for healthcare paperwork signed. His sweetie’s family was very homophobic, so they got the paperwork the couple had signed overruled and banned the man from his sweetie’s hospital and recovery.
Catch is, the sweetie had had long-term memory loss. He couldn’t, for example, remember that he needed to use a walker. So he kept asking his family over and over where his loved one was. Day after day after day, unable to remember the answer he’d gotten. One heartbreak after another.
That? Sounds like hell to me. It’s also incredibly evil on the part of the family.
It made me realize that we really did need a legal relationship for gay couples that was legally stronger than blood. Like marriage is.
So I’m incredibly happy with the four states and their ballot initiatives on gay marriage, and that the tide is really starting to turn in groundshaking ways. Thanks to all of you who support gay rights. May there be fewer situations like the sweetie’s going forward, and, one day, may there be none.