Warning: rare rant alert.
The other day at the office, New Guy (well, he’s been here more than a year now, but he still is the newest member of the staff and at a rookie rank) returned from his honeymoon after his wedding of two weeks ago.
I congratulated him, and then he revealed his true character…
…when he said, “yeah, I am really married. Happy about that. By the way, how’s your partner?”
I paused. He knows that I am married.
I said, “you mean my husband?”
His reply, “well, not in the sense that I am husband to my wife. You know, you have one of those activist judge kind of things.”
What? “Activist Judge?” Okay, so now NG is revealing his true “red” colors. He is among the conservatives who strongly believe that same-sex marriage was forced on the United States by the U.S. Supreme Court in two decisions: 1) when a part of the “Defense of Marriage Act” was found unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, that I wrote about here; and 2) of June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right that I wrote about here. That’s when that nutjob county official in Kentucky refused to issue marriage licenses because it was against her religious beliefs. Other ultraconservative State Attorneys General also resisted on grounds of “religious freedom.”
As my friend WC told me yesterday,
Conservatives see same-sex marriage as a direct threat to traditional marriage, and a sign of the decay of our nation and their right to religious freedom. SSM is the ultimate rallying cry for the right. It is the Everest against which all other battles are gauged.
While here in my home state, Maryland was the first state to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote after defeating a referendum to repeal the law allowing same-sex marriage in our state. No court of law imposed same-sex marriage on the state or the county officials who issue marriage licenses. But that does not affect this guy’s opinion about my marriage being valid and equivalent to his.
When NG said what he said, I got hot, my face was red. My heart was pounding. I do not have a poker face — NG could tell that I was angry.
But I replied with calm resolve in a low, measured tone: “Listen, [NG], I am as married as you are. My husband and I have the same rights and responsibilities as you and your wife have. You may not approve of or like same-sex marriage, but you just have to get over it. I love my man with all of my heart and he loves me equally as much. We have built a solid, respectable life of integrity and are contributors to our community in many ways through exercising civic responsibility and leadership. I hope that some day you and your wife build the life that my husband and I have. And until then, wise up about your wrong misunderstanding about Maryland law that you have been misled to believe.”
By then, a couple other people had entered the room and stood there watching.
NG just stared at me.
Then another colleague said, “[NG], I am as married as he is” (pointing to me.) NG said to him, “but I have met your wife. You have a wife, not a male partner.” (NG can’t say “husband.” Grrrr…)
Colleague said, “That’s the point. I am as married as he is.” And that was that. We went our separate ways and got to work.
Life is short: respect the law, even if you disagree with it, and respect marriage. A marriage is a marriage.