In less than four months I’ll be married. I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet, and it probably won’t until sometime in September.
As a child of divorce I often thought I would never get married. What was the point? Why spend all that money? Do you really need a piece of paper to validate a relationship? Is all of this just societal pressure? What if we have a kid and his life is spent bouncing around two different houses if we get divorced?
I am not necessarily sure about the answers to these questions, but I do know that my outlook on marriage has changed. I am excited about it now. I am excited to have a teammate for the rest of my life. I am excited to be able to lean on someone when things are tough, to share in the joys of life, and everything in between. I am excited to compromise, to get frustrated and work through it, and to become a better person because of a relationship.
To be fair, this all can be done without a legal marriage. We could just live together for the rest of our days and many of these things would happen. However, the act of being married is a special validation of a relationship in our society. It is a milestone achievement in people’s life.
I met my fiancé over 11 years ago, in a chemistry class at our high school. Marriage is not only the next step in our relationship, but it also provides a venue to for us to make the ultimate life long commitment to each other. I am excited for it.
As a white, heterosexual male, I haven’t had to worry about society’s view of my relationship, or what rights my partner and I would have when we wanted to get married. All I had to worry about was finding the right person for me, falling in love, and some how convincing her that spending the rest her life with me would be a good idea. It’s been pretty easy in a sense, and I am excited that the same road for my gay friends just got easier too.
On June 26th, the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage in the United States. I’ll forever remember where I was when I heard the news. I’ll remember who I texted and I’ll remember the joy I felt for my friends who could now be married and have that marriage recognized in every state.
I remember telling my friend a few years ago that gay marriage would be legal by the time I was 50. He laughed it off and argued that it wouldn’t be. Little did I know that it would only take a fraction of that time.
I am proud of a growing public opinion that supports gay rights, of the countless amount of same-sex couples that fought for this day, and of the fact that our beautiful system of checks and balances worked out so well. As July 4th approaches, I’ll be especially proud to be an American.