Justice Is Coming and So Are We

My yet-to-be lawfully wedded wife and I are sitting in front of the computer screen weeping. No, the system hasn't crashed. Nobody died, and neither of us has PMS. These are tears of joy, baby. It's happening. Equality is in the air and on the bandwidth. Justice is coming, as no doubt are many of the happy couples who are free at last to consummate their finally legal matrimony.

Wifey leans in close and we read about how San Francisco's City Hall continues issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, no matter how hard Governor Rumpelstiltzenegger jumps up and down. These marriage licenses are for real - as legit as vehicle registrations, as undeniable as birth certificates.

We can hardly believe we are witnessing this historic moment (thanks to our Internet connection). The whole world is watching as hundreds of "Spouses for Life" celebrate their love.

"Will you marry me?" I ask my beloved.

"Yes! Will you?"

In our 16 years together we have pledged our troth so many times I've lost count. We will seal the real deal, we've agreed, when it's legal not just in San Francisco or Massachusetts, but in every Podunk town in the whole country. I know it will be. Marriage equality is barreling down the pike. We're hearing rumblings in Chicago and Salt Lake City and New Mexico's Sandoval County. We feel it in the stream of reports documenting San Francisco's 3,000-plus same-sex weddings so far. Nothing can stop the flow of freedom - or tears.

Guest Column

By Sally Sheklow
My gal and I cuddle up in our cozy den on this drizzly Sunday morning, passing each other the Kleenex and holding hands, our matching gold bands twinkling. I blubber my way through a photojournal account of well-wishers throwing rice and rose petals as each pair of beaming brides and gleeful grooms emerges from City Hall waving their official papers. Midwesterners send flowers from the heartland addressed to "The Happy Couple" to anyone waiting in line for their marriage license. Photo after photo shows joyous newlyweds receiving this enormous outpouring of love. Love that has been dammed up behind years of discrimination and hate. Now the dam is bursting. Under all this loving attention, the myths and stereotypes of our subhumanity are washing away, as are the contents of my sinuses. Wifey and I hug, grab more tissue, and let it flow.

The love surging out to the newlyweds in San Francisco spreads over all of us who endured all these years of coming out of the closet only to face disinheritance and excommunication and dishonorable discharge. Here is the long-awaited payoff for all the marches and rallies and campaigns to get our human legitimacy recognized. Finally, decades of panels and speakers' bureaus and telling the truth of our lives to the people next to us on airplanes have brought us to this day.

This is the cherry on top of all the organizing, lobbying, and canvassing; of being here, queer, and getting used to it; of all our work to relegate our second-class citizenship to the history books; our love for each other touches people's hearts. When we publicly take the one we love to have and to hold until death do us part we turn the tide of history.

My cousin Kim calls from San Francisco. She and her girlfriend just got married. There was no time for announcements or invitations or planning. Not knowing if Bush's storm troopers will swoop in and shut down City Hall, the brides-to-be waited in line four hours. San Francisco's city clerks and deputies volunteered to pull extra duty and made Kim and Deb's devotion official at last. Then the twosome went out to dinner with their new in-laws, and the chef came to their table with a special flaming dessert - no charge - in honor of their nuptials.

My gal and I blow our noses and effuse our Mazel Tovs. We're so happy for them, so happy for everyone. So proud. •

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