New Zealand passed marriage equality today. I wasn’t writing this blog when the UK parliament added gay marriage to civil unions (though that is still ongoing logistically, the biil has passed). These moments make me so happy and thankful to be living where and when I am, to have been born when I was.
Whenever I refer to B, I either say my partner or my wife. Mostly, I say my wife. I say we got married. I say she’s the Best Wife Ever, and she says the same thing about me. We (and most of the “civilly partnered” couples I know) have already co-opted the language of marriage. But it is nice to have that made official.
When I was in my twenties, before I met B, before I’d been in love really, I thought this sort of thing didn’t matter. I didn’t believe in marriage, and if I’d ended up with a man, I would never have gotten married. I think the institution is patriarchal, and its history so horrific for women, its very vows based in inequality – I never thought I would get married. And I didn’t get involved in the fight for gay marriage. I wanted equal rights, and I understood the large scale argument about the importance of equal rights, but didn’t really want the institution of marriage for myself.
The ignorance of youth I guess. The ignorance of not being in love, more like. B changed my attitude very quickly. And I guess it is true that the more politics applies to you, the more you care, because I certainly was a lot more concerned with equal marriage after B. Though that being said, maybe it’s just age and experience, because as much as I care about equal marriage, if B didn’t want to, I wouldn’t actually convert our Civil Partnership to marriage – I like the idea of committing to each other forever without necessarily bringing all the weight of the problematic history of marriage along.
But I want the option. And now, if I lived in New Zealand (and in the UK at some unknown future date) I’d have it. Today is a good day.