When John and I were married, we had dated for over five years and lived together for a year and a half. We had done the long distance thing, and we had traveled across the world together. We had shared each other’s grief with the passing of loved ones, we had rejoiced in new births, we had faced adversity and overcome obstacles together. I didn’t think marriage would change our relationship profoundly.
I was wrong. It’ll be four years this summer, and I still can’t explain it. There is just something about choosing and declaring to be each other’s family before all others. Marriage might not be everyone’s preference, but I love being married to him, and I feel proud to be his partner. I am elated that my daughter will grow up in a nation that supports marriage between any two consenting adults–very soon, any law against same-sex marriage will be the ugly past.
And I am thrilled that she will legally be able to marry the woman or man she loves. As I write, I’m remembering this post, which leans toward an embarrassing heteronormativity on my part. In case there is any question, I would be just as happy if Ari were so lucky as to share a love with a Rowan (as shown below on Anne’s back), or a Hayden, Caroline, Ellie, Julia, etc.
I recently read a chapter of Barbara Herman’s The Practice of Moral Judgment for a bioethics class. In short, she (in my mind) effectively reconciles some of the problems with using the Categorical Imperative as a tool for moral deliberation (apologies for the jargon). She goes on to suggest ways in which we can expand our moral tools as our understanding of morality increases. There are some guiding rules that apply to how we live our lives, but they change and evolve as we do.
Another way of understanding this theory is through the words of Thomas Jefferson (John and I are both double ‘hoos; I had to break out a TJ quote at some point):
We know that attitudes about same-sex marriage are changing, just look at these demographics. I don’t mean to say that our values and laws should be governed simply by a majority, but surely these trends (with a shockingly great portion of the younger generations in favor of legalized same-sex marriage) demonstrate the evolution of our society.
But, by far more important than a cool discussion on evolving morality, as Keith Olbermann so eloquently spoke over four years ago, this matter is “about the human heart”:
And my heart is with my friends in D.C. today who are working hard to make sure our laws reflect our evolution.