Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who knew I was so invested?

The last blog entry discussed the upcoming rulings from SCOTUS on Prop 8 and DOMA. Nine days later, SCOTUS still has not issued rulings. Starting last Monday, Mommy B, and sometimes I, have been on the scotusblog when the court was in session....Monday morning, Thursday morning, Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and now we will tune in tomorrow, when the remaining 3 opinions will be released, including Prop 8 and DOMA.

I have known these opinions will affect our family and many other families, couples, and individuals, but I am surprised that I have had this growing ball of energy in my stomach each day SCOTUS does not release the Prop 8 and DOMA opinion. What does it mean? What will the ruling be? Will be celebrating or groaning? How will the rest of the country and world respond? Tomorrow we will get a glimpse of these answers, although the dialogue will occur long after that.

I am surprised at how invested I am .....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Evolution of a Relationship

On June 21, it will be the 10th anniversary of the public commitment ceremony of Mommy B and I. Yeah, you get a lot of interesting looks and responses when you say "We have been committed for 10 years!" Between the anniversary and the upcoming decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), I have been reflecting on how the sociopolitical environment affects LGBT individuals, couples, and families. And, reflecting on how LGBT individuals, couples, and families, as well as allies, affect the sociopolitical environment.

Here's a short evolution of our committed and loving relationship:

  • 1999 - private exchange of rings
  • 2003 - public commitment ceremony
  • 2009 - married in Iowa, but doesn't cross state lines
  • 2010 - LB born
  • 2013
    • Federal recognition of marriage equality for purposes of federal law, such as taxes and inheritance??? (Will SCOTUS strikes down section 3 of DOMA?)
    • Marriage equality in all fifty states??? (Will SCOTUS rule broadly on Prop 8? See here for a graphic of the possible rulings)
At each step, the recognition of our relationship was shaped by the sociopolitical environment. In 2003, with no hope of marriage equality and wanting a public recognition of our loving relationship, we had a wonderful, wonderful commitment ceremony with family and friends. We took what society gave us, while working to make change. We are activists in quiet ways, such as placing a marriage announcement and photo in our Sunday newspaper (2009). But together, with many people, in different capacities, we have influenced the sociopolitical environment for the better.  Brave, courageous people living their lives continue to move this country forward on ALL social issues, not just marriage equality.

So, as these decisions come down, remember that they affect real people and real couples and real families. Hopefully, we can say that SCOTUS affirmed that all loving and committed couples deserve equal legal respect and treatment. And, that Mommy B and I will have access to the over 1,100 rights and responsibilities afforded to other married couples. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Already going off topic...

A friend of mine post a link to the article on Facebook:
Briefly, we, as a culture, are putting our kids in bubble wrap, physically and emotionally, so that by the time they reach college, they just cannot cope on their own.

Maybe this comes from having our child later in life (me, 41), but I think we try to fight the urge to baby-proof our child. Heck, he's already had two bloody noses this week, and the bruising is impressive. We try to avoid interfering on the playground, to let the kids sort out any issues themselves.  When he gets hurt and says he wants to go home, we try to encourage him to stick it out - after drying his tears.  We are so pleased that he plays with the neighborhood kids, all of whom are 3-9 years older than he. And they organize their own games.  Frankly, I see the older kids as pseudo-babysitters and I am thankful for the break.

Oh - so there is a mama robin with 3 babies in our backyard. The nest fell within a day of the babies being born, but we were able to save them by setting the nest right and placing the 3 babies back inside (what a strange physical sensation to have those tiny birdies in my hand).
And mama robin is now chasing and shooing a squirrel who dared visit the yard. I think she even pecked it.  Now there is a protective mama!

Mommy B

Monday, June 10, 2013

The other mommy

Today, we brought LB, newly turned 3, to a summer program where we drop him off for 2.5 hours. Because he has not been to day care or nursery school, this is the first time we have left him somewhere without one of us or a babysitter. I dropped him off and needed to tell the instructors that my spouse was going to be picking him up. I intended on saying, "his mommy will be picking him up." As I got up there, I realized in our society, that possibly negates my relationship, as mama, to him. I sure didn't want to be thought of as a friend of the family. So, I ended up saying, "his other mommy will be picking him up."

Oh, the crazy language negotiations I do in order for society to make sense of our family....