Weddings are always joyful events. They are a celebration of love and commitment, a message to the world and to each other: we are no longer two, we are one.
This week, I have the pleasure of driving north to San Francisco to attend the wedding of our best friends, Steven and Lee. Steven was partnered to my husband, Herman, for twenty-one years before Herman and I met, and he’s been my friend for twenty years. Lee moved here from Taiwan a dozen years ago on a student visa, and has been living underground with Steven since he came to this country.
This wedding was not possible while DOMA was still the law of the land, and it is a clear example of why it is so important that it was overturned. For twelve years, Lee couldn’t take a job, couldn’t travel out of this country, couldn’t buy health insurance, couldn’t get a drivers license, couldn’t take advantage of any county or government programs, for fear of being deported, even though he was essentially married to Steven. Had they been a straight couple, Lee would have easily gotten his green card and become a citizen after only a few years while enjoying all the benefits of citizenship.
So it is with great joy that I attend this wedding. I will not only see the celebration of two people who love each other, but also witness a victory over ignorant bigotry that has enslaved people for much too long a time.
We have not set foot in the Promise Land, but we are a few steps closer. So let’s take a moment on our journey to rejoice.