Marriage Week: Equality Stops At The Border

I’ve been following, as best as an ignorant mollusk can, the analysis of the recent decisions by the Supreme Court to take on a couple of cases on same-sex marriage. What I can’t wrap my head around, though, is that there appears to be a very real chance that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land… only in part of the land.

I just can’t see it happening. It’s just too… “a house divided against itself” springs to mind. So an encore, today, just because of the last line. I wrote this when New York passed SSM (which made me happy, cos I was married in NY).

Half a lifetime ago
As chronologies go
I was married, in upstate New York
There were family, friends,
And some strange odds and ends
When we, husband and wife, popped the cork

But today it feels strange
As if something has changed
Though our vows are the same, to the letter
Because, as of today,
Why, “marriage is gay”
And equality’s oh so much better

When marriage was straight
And the church barred the gate
And kept part of humanity out
They tried to define
In society’s mind
What a marriage was wholly about

Though they struggled with words
Their whole view was absurd
And historically, simply untrue—
And sanctified bigots
Just opened their spigots
Letting sewage and prejudice spew

They poured this pollution
Into my institution;
My marriage was tarred by their brush
But—long story short—
I am glad to report
They are getting their long-deserved flush.

With this change in the laws
I feel better, because
I’m not part of a bigoted order
So today, let’s have fun
But there’s work to be done
Cos equality stops at the border.


  1. Joan says

    From Wikipedia: ” In 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that at the time still enforced them. However the active repeal of the laws was not complete until Alabama did so in 2001 after failing to do so in several earlier plebiscites on the matter.”

    Look how ‘enlightened’ we have been about interracial marriage. You would think the Surpremes would actually get the parallells between the two situations but obfuscation and cowardice seems to be the way they are leaning.

    What must it be like to be legally married in New York, and not married when you drive into the next state? What are the legal ramifications not to mention the emotional ones?

  2. sanban says

    Worse, NY state may acknowledge your marriage, but the federal government won’t. According to the feds, you might as well be living in Alabama. Same if you’re married in any of the countries that recognize marriage equality. The US federal government will only recognize as “married” those that conform to the “one man, one woman” description, and that pretty narrowly too. E.g., no trans- or intergendered persons allowed. It’s all quite absurd!

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