Luke Melia


February 22, 2004


My own upcoming wedding has made the national controversy over same-sex marriage more poignant. The love and deep commitment that stirs a couple to marry is a gorgeous and joyful thing. Weddings, by extension, are celebrations of that joy.

Josh Marshall has some interesting posts on the issue [1, 2]. In the latter, he publishes an email from a reader who grew up in Missouri and went out-of-state to marry his Japanese-American wife. At that time, interracial marriages were prohibited by Missouri state law.

As a heterosexual white guy from Long Island, it’s exceedingly rare that personally feel the pain of discrimination. (Sure, I’m Jewish, a vegetarian, and an American in the Bush years… but those don’t garner much hatred in New York, thankfully…) But a prohibition on interracial marriages would hurt and anger me.

Imagine that was the reality, and the hetero-colored couples in power discussed it, had a grand old national debate. Imagine then that they deemed that Jeanhee and I could be not be permitted marriage, but could instead join in a civil union, with all the same rights as a marriage but not the name. My response… well, my response would start with “F” and end with “you”.

I’m grateful I don’t have to deal with that. But neither should the mother of the incredibly cute 20-month old girl who we encountered today on their Sunday afternoon walk. A loving lesbian couple bringing a curly-haired, big-eyed, bagel-munching little girl into adulthood. Why make their love and joy bring them frustration and anger over out-dated laws?

The law against same-sex marriage is wrong, like that Missouri state law was wrong 40 years ago. Now the courageous actions of a few give us a chance to fix the law. Our nation has a history of recognizing social injustice and correcting itself, I hope that we can do it again.

One Response to “Marriage”

  1. mike melia chimed in:

    New Yorker Cartoon. Middle-aged guy on a couch in front of the TV reading a newspaper says to his wife in the easy chair: “Gays and lesbians getting married – haven’t they suffered enough?”

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