I was originally going to post something on my blog about some inane thing I experienced, or some incredible stupidity I endured – you know, the normal posts. But then this incredible thing happened to me yesterday – and all a bit suddenly. You see, yesterday I became a semi-married man.

My partner and I have been together for nearly 10 years (9.5 if you really want to be picky). After being together for 2 years, and buying a house and car together, we decided that we wanted to take the next step in our committed relationship. Since we had all our family and friends together for the house-warming, we’d decided to use that time as well for our commitment ceremony – you know; the killing-two-birds-with-one-stone thing. So in 2005 we were “married” to each other in the sight of God and before 30+ of our family and friends packed into the house, the ceremony being officiated by my parents. It was a beautiful day, and everyone in my family accepted us as “married” from that day forward, even though we didn’t have the legal pleadings, the state, and the federal government to back it up.

In the mean time, other states legalized “gay marriage” or same-sex civil unions. And as these other states did it, we watched people we knew making trips to one of those states or even Canada just to be married. Yet after their ceremony they would be right back, continuing to live in their home state that didn’t even recognize their union! (I have to tell you – at least one “wedding” we knew of was embarrassingly lavish in a moronic attempt to mimic a “straight” wedding ceremony complete with a church setting, white satin, choral arrangements, and the hung over and slightly inebriated priest officiating. We actually heard people came out of it scratching their heads and saying “WTF was that?” But I digress…) So when the state of Delaware finally legalized same-sex Civil Unions beginning January 1, 2012, we thought we’d finally get our chance to do it. So we immediately jumped to do exactly what most every other man would do…

We waited and eventually forgot about it.

Then, just the other day when we were getting together some other court documents to sue someone, I thought “why not fill out the application for the civil union license?” (Isn’t it amazing how the one thing led to the next?) So we sat down, filled out the forms online, picked up the license together a few days later and scheduled the date of the ceremony right then and there (to be held at the Office of the Clerk of the Peace). For us, technically, it’s just “paperwork” to make what we did 7 years ago legal according to the State. We did the first ceremony with my parents and family which we felt made it legal in the eyes of God; we did the second ceremony with the Clerk of the Peace to finally make it legal in the eyes of the State. So from the time we applied for our license to the date of our civil union was about 2 weeks. And now we’re finally semi-married!

The reason why I refer to it as “semi-” is simple – though it basically comes out to the same thing, same-sex couples are technically not allowed to “marry” each other in the state of Delaware. They are, however, permitted to Civil Union each other until they go blind.

Now, let me put it on record that I am NOT complaining. After all, I’m very grateful that we at least live in a state that will let me Civil Union (Civilly Unionize…?) my partner of nearly 10 years. And we have Jack Markell (Delaware’s Governor) to thank for that (We voted for you, Jack! Holla!) For all intents and purposes, though, in Delaware, a Civil Union and a Marriage are basically the same thing, disregarding terminology. The rights are nearly identical. But we are hoping that one day soon, Delaware’s Jack Markell will sign the bill that simply calls it Marriage. Period.

I find it hard to think straight couples would go through all this red tape. Sheesh! My guess is most straight men would just say “Aw, fuck it… Let’s just forget the wedding and live in sin.

As for me – I’m glad I’m able to do it with my partner; even if it is in a round-about way. Here’s to another 10+ years! Maybe by that time, even the federal government will accept us as real people.

Photo courtesy of Cari Coyle

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