Top Of My Head

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Tag: marriage

We were married!!!

Giving Cheryl her ring

Photo courtesy of “Loki” David Lott

On November 14th, just after 7PM, Cheryl and I did what thousands of couples before us have done – we were legally married.  We’ve been together for nearly 19 years and it has been an amazing ride.  We’ve gone through home ownership, trying to have children, having grandchildren and more.  Our journey isn’t ending, but this new beginning is, well, just something.

I honestly didn’t think that when I awoke on the morning of November 15th that I would feel any different.  After all, Cheryl and I had married in 2001 in a ceremony complete with gowns, unity candle and the breaking of the glass.  I have considered myself married for the last thirteen years.  How can a piece of paper make that much of a difference?

Lighting the Unity Candle on April 28, 2001 - our first wedding. (Look how young I was!)

April 28, 2001 – our first wedding.

Well, it does.  I feel closer to Cheryl, more involved, safer.  I know that my family would never be the kind that would toss her out on her ear if something would happen to me and I’m pretty sure her family wouldn’t do that to me,.  But, I’ve been kept out of her hospital room (not for long) and a nurse did tell me that I wasn’t Tommy’s grandmother, so I wouldn’t be able to be in his room.  No one will ever be able to tell me that again.

Cheryl’s daughter, Kim, has always treated me as a true step-parent.  She’s always respected our relationship and I’ve always treated her like a daughter. Dustin took a little time to warm up – accepting your wife’s family can be

Listening to Pastor Dana

overwhelming – but he’s always called my parents grandma and grandpa and he’s been a pall bearer for my family, I think more times than for his own.  His acceptance of Cheryl and I extended to his family.  Having all of them be a part of our wedding day was amazing.

The outpouring of love from friends and family was amazing.  Having our relationship be recognized by the state, as well as people close to us is an indescribable joy.  I can’t wait for the whole country to come to their senses and legalize gay marriage.

Our first official introduction as Julie and Cheryl Totsch

Photo courtesy of “Loki” David Lott

 

Marriage Equality

Going to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married…

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal cases for Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Indiana.  This means that marriage equality in those states have won.  Virginia has already changed their forms.

This morning at around 11:30, I called the Racine County Clerk’s Office and spoke with Pat. She very sweetly informed me that yes, they were issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  I cried.

I’m really torn and stunned by this.  I’ve overjoyed that Cheryl and I can now make it legal, but I wish my mom was still here.

For a very long time, my mother was against gay marriage.  We went round and round.  Then, one day, I either explained it better or she just gave up the fight, because she agreed with me.  For the rest of her life, at least once a month, she would say to me, “Why don’t they just let you get married?”

Now, they are letting us get married and she’s not here to see it.  In the year and four months, since she’s been gone, I don’t think I’ve missed her more.

So, now, Cheryl and I have to pick a date.  I think we’ve narrowed it down to two.  🙂

 

Gay Marriage Rights…

‎”Marriage is a tax shelter and a smart way for a couple to combine assets. Love is the thing that’s sacrosanct. The sooner we understand the difference, the sooner we’ll understand why Kim Kardashian’s wedding was never holy, and why countless gay couples around the United States who love each other despite marriage bans are truly righteous.” – Cord Jefferson

Wedding Bells for Everyone

Have you ever gone to a wedding and heard someone whisper, “I give it six months”?

Have you ever been the one doing the whispering? Be honest now.

Well, I’ll be honest, I have.

I have known couples where I didn’t give them six minutes who are still together twenty years later. And, I’ve seen couples whom I thought were perfect for each other who split up.  My mother always taught me that you don’t know what goes on in someone else’s relationship. She isn’t often right, but she is in this case.

Which brings me to the topic at hand – gay marriage. How can someone actually think that not allowing marriage for gay people is protecting straight marriage? How can anyone in this modern age propose to decide who should marry and who should not?

Isn’t that the samething as sitting in a church and passing judgment on your fellow human being’s love? And, in passing this judgement, you don’t even know the couple!

Why do Boehner, Palin and the rest of the right feel the need to “protect marriage”? Why isn’t he out to protect civil rights?

How can we decide that one couple deserves protections and special tax breaks while another couple doesn’t? I don’t think I would want that much power over another person – to determine the love of their life. It is a decision that should be left up to the individual couple.

You really want to protect marriage – how about mandatory pre-marital counseling and making it harder to get a divorce. That might “protect” marriage.

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NOM at it again!

MG from NOM is propagandizing again in an upcoming OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) program. This link goes to an article about it before the show and asks “what does marriage mean to you” It’s asking for input in the comments section.

http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/meaning-marriage/

Let’s tell NOM that marriage is for everyone and not the chosen few, like they believe.

Credit to Jennifer White.  I saw this on her facebook page!

Killing Marriage

There’s an article on MSNBC that quotes a new survey about marriage.  According to the article, 4 in 10 people believe that marriage is becoming obsolete.  By my calculations, that works out to 40% of the people out there.

Ironic, isn’t it?

At a time when gay people are screaming for our rights to be married, 40% of straight people aren’t feeling the need to get married.  All of those anti-gay marriage groups keep proclaiming that you have to stop gay marriage in order to protect marriage.  I think they need to change their tune and their focus.

Instead of picking on the people who want to marry, they should start taking a good look at those people who don’t want or don’t feel the need to get married.  Maybe, they should hold Pro-marriage rallies for straight people and let them know the advantages of marriage.

And, there are plenty of advantages to be married, including inheritance rights, health care decision making and tax advantages.  Married couples – when the marriage works – offer a  stable environment for their families and friends.  Saving money on your taxes is a good thing, as well, so why wouldn’t straight people want to get married?

It makes no sense at all.

What does make sense is that the decline of the idea of marriage as an institution to which one would want to strive cannot be blamed on us gay people.

To straights every where:  Start working to save your marriages!

The Constitution and Gay Marriage

I don’t understand how anyone can claim that gay marriage is against the Constitution.  I really do not understand.  The 14th Amendment clearly states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (emphasis mine)

Whether you like gay people or not.  Whether you agree with gay marriage or not.  The 14th Amendment clearly states that we are to all be treated equally.  The ability to marry in this country isn’t a right, it is a privilege.  Being able to file taxes together, make medical decisions for each other, inherit from each other and make legal decisions for each other is a privilege.  If all couples are not treated equally under the law, then there shouldn’t be legal marriages.  Period.

What makes my brother, Brian’s, marriage to Tara better than my marriage to Cheryl?  Why should they be allowed to file taxes together?  Or, inherit from each other?

Case in point – and something I’ve discussed with my brother – if one of my siblings proceeds our parents in death (God forbid), their heirs (i.e., wife and children) inherit a third of my parents’ estate.  However; if I proceed my parents in death (again, God forbid), Cheryl gets nothing.  Because the state refuses to acknowledge our relationship legally and morally, Cheryl is not considered an heir of my parents.

Is that fair?  Is it just?  Is it right?

No, no and no.

Do my parents consider Cheryl less of a daughter-in-law than Robyn and Tara?

Again, no.

But, legally, there’s nothing to protect her.  Granted, my parents could make a provision in their will, my brothers could split my parents’ estate with her or whatever.  That really is beside the point.  They shouldn’t have to do anything.  She should be my legal heir via a marriage license – just as Robyn and Tara are Scott and Brian’s legal heirs.

Anything less is unconstitutional.

Woman finds out about Husband’s double life

On the day after a Federal judge struck down California’s Prop 8 (which bans gay marriage), news comes out about a wife discovering that her husband had married another woman.  I wonder if that will lead to divorce or if the right wing, anti-gay groups will still claim that gay marriage is bad for straight marriages?

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