Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Love Letters Project

As I've said before, my husband and I were lucky enough to be married when everyone in the state of California could be. We were thrilled that our marriage license read "Party A" and "Party B" (though I think two lines with "Spouse" might have been nicer). We filled out the license at 8:30 in the morning before we headed off to work, and knowing that many other couples were filling out the same lines at the same time, made us even more giddy.

To be honest, for most of my adult life, I was a bit ambivalent about the politics of marriage. I figured if the religious right was going to throw a hissy fit about extending marriage rights to all, then why not just change the semantics. Legalize "civil unions" for everyone and leave "marriage" to the religious folks. In other words, let everyone go to the courthouse to obtain all the rights provided by the state, but if you want to have a it recognized by whatever god you believe in and be "married," more power to 'ya, but that shouldn't have anything to do with the law.

The problem is that uniting two people with all of the legal obligations and privileges of the state ignores the heart of the matter - just that, the heart. Thankfully, in the U.S. we have moved past the origins of marriage, you know things like kinship and dowries, so that for most of us marriage really is about love. And there is just something far more romantic about telling people, "We're married," than, "We are civilly unioned!"

Which is why I think The Love Letters Project is a very powerful way to work toward marriage equality. Crystal and Christina were married in Iowa this summer, but their marriage is not recognized in Wisconsin where they live, nor is it in much of the country, and of course not by the federal government. Which is why Crystal has been writing a letter to President Obama every day, relating the daily joys of her marriage and asking him to extend civil rights to everyone. She even sent him postcards from their honeymoon in Spain:

Thanks to Laura at Adventures of a Young Feminist for the heads up.

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be nice.


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