27 Mar


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.


12 Responses to “marriage”

  1. Alice D March 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    thanks anna! 😀

    • annaojesus March 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      oh goodness, my pleasure 🙂 you’re wonderful!

  2. Tricia March 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I hear you on the heteronormativity, my dear! during training for res staff, we tried to make a point that you don’t want your first presentation to your new residents to make them feel like an outsider – talking about overnight guests/friends/partners instead of guys/boyfriends/etc. I always loved when my friend Sarah spoke of her significant other as her “partner,” “love,” or “sweetheart” & definitely want to get better at embracing that approach 🙂

    • annaojesus March 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      I agree, it’s so tough to change the language we grew up using.

      Before we were married, John and I used to refer to each other as “partners” as well (I never liked the term “boyfriend,” and then “fiance” didn’t seem right either). When I first moved to Boston, some of my new friends thought I was gay until they met John–I was also bald at the time 🙂

  3. fraint March 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    You are, as always, a lovely writer. And that video clip of Olberman is powerful!

    • annaojesus March 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Ellen, thank you so much! I love the Olbermann clip as well…I remember so clearly when my friend first sent it to me in 2008. His arguments are strong, his sincerity beautiful. Thinking of you today–hope all is going well at our nation’s capital.

  4. ericrosoff March 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    A lovely sentiment. I often feel awkward describing Caleb as my boyfriend, too – weird word. I do it anyway, though, because of heteronormativity. If I say partner I think at least some people will imagine we’re in business together.

    It’ll be exciting to see how the Supreme Court business happens, but I have to say, for the first time since I came out 15 years ago, I don’t really care! I’m at peace with any decision they make because the tide of support for marriage equality is rapidly and clearly changing. The Supreme Court may be able to advance the issue, but it doesn’t have any agency to stop it – no matter what decision they make.

    In fact, the whole Prop 8 thing is particularly interesting because I’m sure if there were a do-over in California today, Californians would favor marriage equality.

    • annaojesus March 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      I agree with you…all of it. Though, maybe because I have a child now, I do feel some rush to getting same-sex marriage legalized. (I definitely do NOT think marriage is all about procreation…I strongly dislike that argument but love Justice Kagan’s response :)) As Justice Kennedy addressed, there are 40,000 children of same-sex couples in the state of California. If the couples want to be married, I hope they can be as soon as possible.

      • ericrosoff March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        Yes, it is high time to stop letting those who are anti-gay co-opt the “protect the children” argument. Gay children and the children of same-sex couples are those who truly need protection – from bigotry.

      • annaojesus March 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

        Strongly agree.

  5. Ash March 28, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    I love this post so much. It is timely, and it really made me see a new angle of this issue. Obviously I am in wild support of gay marriage but after reading your description of being married to John, and having been lucky to witness this in you two over the many years, it makes me incredibly sad for people who have been shut out of that right for so long. I thought about it when I heard Edith Windsor talk about marrying her wife only two years before she died and thinking that they were truly robbed of something precious.

    • annaojesus March 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Thank you, Ashley! What a wonderful thing to say! I am similarly heart-broken by Edith Windsor’s story, and I appreciate Justice Kennedy’s regards for the some 40,000 children of same-sex couples in California who want to be married. xoxo

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