My Selfish Wedding: Using My Marriage Rights To Benefit Equality
What if every straight couple in North Carolina used their wedding day to raise money for Same-Sex Marriage Rights? Just pause for a moment and think of the statement we’d be making for unity.
When I was in college, I vowed that I would not marry until everyone else in the United States also had the unequivocal right to do so. I figured that, with such a large portion of our population restricted from this basic human liberty, what right did I have to enjoy what they couldn’t? By freely giving my own rights, I’d be an example to others. I’d be the change I want to see in the world.
It was in college that I was shocked to first discover the truths of the hardships and dangers members of the LGBT community suffer through every day. I got involved as a Straight Ally in my campus chapter of P.R.I.D.E. The more I learned of the injustices, the sicker I became with the state of our legal system. What right does anyone have to say who another person is allowed to love? Our government certainly doesn’t.
The problem with my vow highlights the very heart of this civil rights movement: The “change” I want to see in this world is everyone being allowed to marry the person they love, but my vow had me “giving up” marriage. I couldn’t keep that vow. I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should.
Because here’s the truth of the matter–in giving up my own right to get married, I realized it was an impossible task. Marriage is a sacred bond, more important to me than even my civil rights ideals.
Simply by trying to sacrifice my freedom to marry, I realized how vital that union is. People argue, “Why can’t they just live together, but not get married?” Maybe that sounds logical to some people. But until you lose your own freedom, you shouldn’t even try to understand. It’s painful. For many people, myself included, marriage is a sacred and spiritual bond. Everyone deserves to have it. Denying it is cruel on a spiritual level. Just “living together” or just “being in love” is not the same.
Only a few brief years after settling into my way, I met Heather. I had never known someone quite like her.
She was a bouncing ball of fun with a sweet and gentle face. And despite her tiny frame and cutesy features, she had a commanding presence that she used in speech and example to lead her fellow human along the path toward kindness and compassion. She volunteered in many an impassioned capacity in bettering the community at large, and also co-founded an organization aimed at helping others find the volunteer experience that was right for them. And with nearly all of our interests and dispositions coinciding, I quickly and easily fell in love with her. She was a superhero if I ever saw one.
The longer we spent together, the more I knew that this was a chance I could not afford to pass up, and the desire to wed her and become her husband grew every day. She, of course, knew of my edict to not marry until it was right of every American citizen and respected it. However, in 2013, I made the decision to forego my romantic fast and connect with her on the deepest and most sacred level when I asked her to be my wife.
As the “day of reckoning” drew ever closer, I found myself looking back on the man I had been and the man was becoming, and I felt a twinge of regret. I felt as though I had forsaken my brothers and sisters in a very real way. Heather suggested I get involved in the local Human Rights Campaign, attending several events and doing some real good in the LGBT community. The HRC fights every day for the betterment and equality of all citizens in the United States, regardless of sexual and romantic predisposition. Through a very generous invitation, Heather and I were able to attend the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Gala in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was inspired by the many powerful and influential and voices that spoke out against injustice in the United States, as well as in our own proud state.
And it was at the Gala that Heather and I decided to use our upcoming wedding registry to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign. So to go along with our socially conscious and superhero-themed wedding, we set up a donation page for Human Rights Campaign so that, someday sooner, everyone in the United States could tie themselves to their partner in the same way we were. We’ve already been blessed with one over $200 toward that goal, but this is where we ask for your help.
If you are interested in helping HRC fight for what is right, to help people in your area or maybe even people you know bind themselves to their partners, to be a part of this social change movement, we urge you to make a donation.
Even if you donate a dollar, you will be making a difference in someone’s life. I’ve included the link at the bottom of the page.
So what if we all set up donations pages for our weddings? Seriously, who needs more pots, pans, and patterned plates, when your wedding guests could support true love across the country instead? Putting 100% of the money donated to causes we care about in order to end inequality and social injustices. We could swing this fight much further in our favor and win it that much more quickly! But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. But just think about it– how easy it would be to be someone’s superhero?