One of the most common questions I am asked by straight people when they hear I’m getting married is, “Is it legal?” I know that they don’t ask with malicious intent. However, it stings each time it’s asked and I will tell you why.
Love is not illegal. Gays can love all they want and call themselves committed in their relationship for however long they want to. Many of us decide to make that solemn vow of love and monogamy until death do we part. This is an immensely joyous occasion for us, just as it is for heterosexual couples. We prepare the venue, hire a photographer, etc. With giddy excitement, we call our closest friends and family to ask them to be in our wedding party. None of this is illegal.
We are painfully aware that our love and commitment to one another is not recognized by our federal government. Nor is it recognized in most states. You can rest assured that the same-sex couple in question has done their homework and found out the legalities in their community and state.
When a straight person asks “is it legal”, he or she is drawing attention to the fact that we are “other” and to the fact that our lives are filled with struggle for mere recognition. Please keep this in mind and do not ask that question. If you are curious, look it up for yourself and just be happy for the couple. A wedding is supposed to be a happy occasion, not a downer thinking about politics!
The attached video is from an Irish marriage equality campaign. Watch it and see what you think.
Melissa Johns and Stacy Jacobs are an engaged couple. They run QueerlyWed.com, the premier nationwide directory of queer friendly businesses for people planning their wedding or commitment ceremonies. To be listed as a vendor or if you have general questions or comments, contact them!