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Standing for equality

There will be precious few times in this blog when The Legal Genealogist will take on a non-genealogical issue.

But today is one of those times.

I stand, firmly and unhesitatingly, for marriage equality.

This is not some abstract notion to me.

A little more than seven years ago, I stood in a church in a little town in Virginia to celebrate the joining of two lovely young people.

In all the years that I have been alive and of all the weddings I’ve attended in those years, none other has come close to equalling the sheer joy of that wedding. Two people hopelessly in love with each other, ready to stand by each other, to pledge to each other, to support each other in good times and in bad.

No-one, and I mean no-one, left that wedding without being uplifted by the joy of that couple.

And yet the law did not then and does not now recognize the legality of the wedding we all were there to celebrate.

The wedding of my beloved niece and the love of her life, her partner, her gentle lady.

More than half of all American marriages end well before the seven-year mark. Theirs is going strong. These two have faced some enormous stresses, and shared some enormous joys. And I’d bet they’ll be hopelessly in love with each other, standing by each other, pledging to each other and supporting each other long after most of us reading this post are long gone.

So to me, marriage equality is an issue that has faces. And it has names. Of friends, of colleagues, and of those I love with all my heart: my niece and her partner, whose faces and names I am not at liberty to use because they are what they are, two women who love each other in a country where the law allows them to be discriminated against for that fact alone.

I cannot and do not accept such discrimination. I cannot and do not understand it. That they find joy in a partner of the same sex is so much less important than that they find joy in a partner.

So as the Supreme Court hears arguments today and tomorrow on the question of overt discrimination against non-traditional couples, I stand with my niece and her partner and all those like them.

Firmly, unhesitatingly, for marriage equality.

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