The State of Ohio, where we live, does not recognize same-sex marriages and even has a State Constitutional Amendment to that fact.
We had hoped that we could have been married in the State which we have lived, worked, and in the case of my partner, born but that presently isn’t to be.
Many in Ohio have organized under the banner of “Freedom to Marry,” to fight against the Ohio ban on same-sex marriages and overturn the State constitutional amendment to bring about marriage equality.
Petitions are being signed and the efforts to get the proposal on the November 2014 ballot are being made.
Recently the Federal Government, through the IRS, released a statement saying they would recognize same-sex marriages in regards to Federal taxes and filings, no matter where and which State the marriage took place.
This statement was followed several days later by the Veterans Administration stating that they would recognize partners of same-sex married veterans for health care.
After several weeks of discussion and research, on what marriage would mean for us on taxes and health care, we decided that it would prove beneficial for us not to wait to see what transpires in Ohio and for us to get married.
As one friend put it, “…economics is the issue for many long term gay partners not romance.”
So, after making our decision, we traveled 2 and a half hours to New York State to a small town just across the border. There we registered with the Town Clerk who issued us a Marriage Certificate.
I mention a side bar at this point. I asked the Clerk if they had dealt with many “gay” marriages and we were startled at his answer.
Out of the 50 certificates that had been issued for marriage this year, in this small New York town, 25 were to same-sex couples.
After we returned home I posted on Face Book our intentions and was pleasantly surprised as to the overwhelming goodwill and warm “congrats” that we received.
Tho I did notice that several in the “Freedom to Marry” camp have been very silent to our decision.
I want to assure them that we haven’t given up on the “cause” but have made a pragmatic decision on our situation, relationship and needs since being together for 24 years.We will still work, promote and vote for Marriage Equality in Ohio.
The Justice who will be conducting the ceremony also informed us that we will be his 7th “gay” marriage. Three of them female marriages and we make the fourth male union he will officiate.
One final tidbit to offer.When I talked with my married friends who are not for “gay” marriage, but who support civil unions, domestic partnerships or common law, anything but using the word marriage, they also gave us their support. One stating that “…if the Government is giving you the opportunity, you should take it.”
The pragmatic decision has been made; a date confirmed; Justice and place reserved; rings bought and a dream about to become reality.
We hope our decision, in a small part, will advance the equality issue for all of the LGBT Community and next year as we celebrate our 25th anniversary together we will also be celebrating one year of marriage.