By the end of this week the Illinois General Assembly will either vote on civil unions or table it for next year. Springfield been conspicuously quiet on the subject, so I'm assuming it won't be going to a vote anytime soon.
It's maddening. I finally want to get married for all the right reasons and can't...at least not in any meaningful way. We can have some sort of commitment ceremony, but to what end? We're already committed to each other and to the relationship; a ceremony with no legal muscle behind it seems like a waste of champagne.
Last night Lori and I were laying in bed talking about our day. She was telling me about an elderly decrepit patient who came shuffling in on a walker. Turns out the patient was only 68! Yeeks! That's only 20 years away for me, and less for Lori. We've got some time pressure here, folks. It's all well and good for marriage rights to evolve organically during the lives of our children, but we need to get on it now. There's no one who doesn't know it's coming...why don't we speed the process along so that nice middle-aged dykes like us can provide for our partner's security.
We both work in health care. My employer provides me with health insurance, but Lori's employer doesn't. I asked my H.R. department if we provide domestic partner benefits and she said, "No. There's really been no interest in something like that."
No interest? Who did they ask? It wasn't me or any of the other LGBT employees. Maybe there's no interest from the hospital administration or the insurance providers, but there's a lot of interest from those of us who have watched our partner file down a broken tooth with a Dremel tool or split her blood pressure pills in half to make them last longer.
We need for President Obama to do what he promised and be an agent for change. We don't need someone to pontificate about their moral conflict or sanctity of their marriage or the need for patience while the religious right gets used to us and sees what nice gals we are. We need an advocate in the White House that will tell the country that doing the right thing isn't always comfortable for everyone, but it's the best thing for our nation. That we've wasted enough time debating, and it's time to correct this injustice and move on.
Stand up and do the right thing, Barack. Don't study "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for another decade. It's been studied to death. Even the Joint Chiefs think it's dumb. Sign the Executive Order to repeal it, and lets get down to the business of keeping the promises you made.
Start speaking out on behalf of the civil rights of 20 million gay Americans. Don't piss away your chance to be a visionary while you waste your time trying to make nice with Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. Do the things we put you in office to do: be a voice for those of us who have gone unheard for the last decade.
I want to marry my partner. That's it. I want what you and Michelle have, what Rush Limbaugh and his last five wives have had, and what every oppositely-gendered American couple have: the safety net that the legal contract of marriage provides to our citizenry. I don't really care about your moral dilemmas and your political squeamishness. Those are your problems, made worse by the empty promises you made that are coming home to roost.
My dilemma is that the safety and security of my family are in the hands of someone who cares too much about the Bank of America, and not nearly enough about the families of America. Tear yourself away from the bailout of Wall Street for a minute and look at the families on Main Street that need your help.
Do the right thing, Barack, and do it right away. We'll be coming to see you in October. Let's make it a victory celebration instead of a protest march, okay?