Posted by: mydarkestplaces | October 13, 2012

Question 1 Redux

This morning I had a very real world, tangible reminder of what’s at stake with Maine’s Question 1 this November.

Thanks to Keith Luke for this picture :)

This is the baby of two of my friends, Erin and Jill. These two have been a part of my life since I graduated college. They were in a monogamous, committed relationship for years before I met them and – in 2010 – exchanged vows. In the subsequent time, Erin and Jill decided that they should pass along their beautiful and smart genes to the next generation. This is what hundreds of married couples go through. Every. Day. It’s the progression of things in today’s society.

Unfortunately, while I was planning on meeting up with Erin AND Jill (and the petite bébé) this morning, only Erin was able to make it.* As the wee little one slept, curled into my neck, Erin explained where Jill was.

Jill had to be at some state office getting finger printed so that she could legally adopt her daughter. Both she and Erin had to undergo extensive background checks. After Jill legally adopts the baby, Erin is going to have to REadopt the baby that she physically brought into the world. Erin has been carrying around power of attorney papers with her until the adoption goes through because as it stands, right now, Jill has no legal rights to her child if those papers don’t exist and something happens to Erin.

Question 1 asks Maine voters if we “want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples”. Opponents say it’s a thing about religious freedom; domestic partnerships and civil unions are the same thing; why does it have to be “marriage”? Too many opponents are even more hateful and spiteful. For me, listening to all the steps that Erin and Jill are having to go through so that they can both be recognized as Elsa’s parents has really proven why a legal marriage is so important.

Jill and Erin made the decision to bring a child into the world. A child that they are planning to raise with love and support. A child they want to give every advantage to. A child they will raise to be a good person, a good citizen, a smart thinker (and, knowing them, a smart talker ;). They are doing it right. And Erin has to carry around a piece of paper stating that, should the worst happen, Elsa’s other mother is designated caretaker of her.

We should be celebrating and enabling love. We shouldn’t be limiting or dictating who can and can’t love and start a family. When having a child is already so difficult and expensive, we shouldn’t be layering unnecessary legal fees on top of it just so that families can be confident that should worst case happen their children will be looked after. No family should ever be told they’re less than another, whether a straight, same-sex, bisexual, open, polygamous, monogamous, or abstinent family. Whether a foster family, adopted family, or biological family. Whether a religious, agnostic or atheist family. What difference does it make? Love is love. And that should never be confined to one narrow definition.

*Not that it was “just” Erin, but that Jill wasn’t there.


Responses

  1. Beautiful and so, so important!!!

    • It was eye opening for me.

      I have a very definite world view. So, to me, Erin and Jill are married. They had a baby. They’re both the parents. That’s that. This was the first time I’d really heard/thought about the legal aspects of having a child and what being legally married means versus everything else.

      • My sister and I were just discussing how the right to be married LEGALLY is about so much more than the emotional committment (which you don’t need a judge to sanctify!).

        I should probably add–Congrats to Erin and Jill your baby is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. Reblogged this on Mama Mia's World and commented:
    This came across my facebook page through my younger sister (this is her friend’s blog) and I felt it was too important NOT to repost! The post is about making marriage between same-sex couples legal in Maine but it’s about so much more than that.
    When voting this November think long and hard before you vote to deny anyone rights. There are so many more ramifications than just not allowing same-sex couples to have a piece of paper that says they’re married. Think about what you’re voting for and then think again–laws have implications and consequences far beyond the main issue. Allowing same-sex couples to be legally married ENSURES solid families and strong homes for children. It’s about so much more than filing taxes jointly or checking of the “married” box on official documents. It’s about LEGAL rights as a family. Even if this is not the issue on your ballot in a few weeks make sure you’re really voting for what you think you’re voting for. Know the issues before you arbitrarily vote “No” because you don’t like the idea or personally wouldn’t choose to do something.

    Thank you, that is all.


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