I have waited to comment on the Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages nationwide. I anticipated a backlash and was waiting to see locally what would take place. After reading that Laclede County judges in Missouri would no longer be performing marriages, I feel that the time has come for me to say something.
My wife and I were married 5 years ago in Iowa because it was illegal to marry in Missouri. We did not attempt to invite family and friends due to the 6 hour drive and cost of room and board this would have caused for them. When we returned to Missouri, the confusion began. What should you check on the form at the doctor’s office — married or single? Technically, in Missouri, I was still single. What about health care decisions? When my spouse became ill and was hospitalized, I worried about whether I needed to bring along a copy of her medical power of attorney so I could speak for her if she couldn’t speak for herself. When I filled out my employer life insurance beneficiary form, I wasn’t able to list my wife as a beneficiary in Missouri. She has no claim to the social security benefits I have paid in for years. Only recently have we been able to file our taxes together.
This ruling by the Supreme Court means to me that all those problems will go away. I will be legally recognized as married to her no matter where we travel in the U.S.
The Supreme Court has no bearing on what you may or may not think is a sin, is right or wrong. Some people think divorce is a sin. Some people think pride is a sin. Some people believe the thought is as much a sin as the action–be honest with yourself, none of us are pure. I was taught a sin is a sin. None outweighs the other. So if you have never lied, never thought a lie, never been prideful, or gluttonous, if you have never sinned, then you can hold yourself above those that you believe have sinned through marrying someone of the same sex.
All I ask for is the ability to live my life with my chosen spouse with the same opportunities and benefits as the heterosexual world. It would probably be too much to ask for all of my family and friends to celebrate my marriage as I have celebrated many of theirs in the past. Just understand if I find it difficult to be supportive of those of you that want to see same-sex marriages outlawed, that support tactics like the decision of the Laclede County judges, tactics that will make it harder for other couples like my wife and I to find their joy.
I usually avoid confrontations, have done it all my life. I don’t apologize for that, it’s just who I am. I don’t write this to “rock the boat.” I just hope to give you an opportunity to see things from my side.