How You Can Support Marriage Rights for Everyone

Posted by Azure on September 23rd, 2009
Special to OneWed by Melissa Johns of QueerlyWed
The official poster for the National Equality March, an event in support of gay marriage to be held

This October, Equality Across America will hold the National Equality March in Washington D.C.. This march is aimed at ensuring equal rights, including equal marriage rights, for all people. Melissa Johns, co-owner of Queerly Wed, a wedding planning website for gay couples, explains here why she’ll be going to the event, and why you should do so as well.

I am pretty lucky. I live in a major urban area in a state that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. When I fell in love and wanted to marry my partner last year, it occurred to me for the first time, that in some major ways I’m a second-class citizen. All I want to do is marry the woman I love but I can’t. Yes, we could go to Massachusetts or Iowa to marry, but as soon as we crossed that state’s border, our rights as a married couple would vanish. Our loving, committed relationship has no status outside of a few states.

Many people say they don’t need a piece of paper to prove their love and commitment. I don’t either, but that piece of paper comes with 300 or so state benefits and approximately 1,100 federal benefits. In other words, people who cannot marry are denied about 1,400 benefits and rights. Among those rights are the right to visit your spouse in the hospital, the right of inheritance and the right to collect survivor’s benefits from Social Security. These are very important things! Imagine not being able to visit your partner in the hospital!

We need everyone who believes in equality to stand in solidarity with us. Straight and gay alike must stand together in D.C. in October. The time is now because it’s the right thing to do. You can read more about the March on Washington, including an interview with gay rights legend Cleve Jones on our website. Melissa Johns and Stacy Jacobs are an engaged couple. They run, a nationwide directory of queer friendly businesses for people planning their wedding or commitment ceremonies. We look forward to regular posts from them!
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