In October 2008, five years into our partnership and one month into a 30-year mortgage, we knew we were together for life. Here’s where most couples start picking out reception venues. Make it official. We, too, want to be counted among the responsible adults who’ve found someone special in a world of strangers and fused with that person and grown together and crafted a promise called family.
The words "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" weren’t cutting it anymore. We looked at what seemed our one-and-only next step: marriage. The state of Minnesota, our forever home, licenses one kind of marriage. Most think of it as a fundamental right, but in fact in our state it is a privilege. It’s a privilege because it is only available to those of us born straight. Some couples living in profound commitment—some who, in fact, have been role models to us—are left out in the cold.
One thing we love about each other is that we both tend to take even small decisions seriously. We can’t order a burger without asking where the cow was raised; you can imagine the consideration that went into letting the state define the most important relationship in our lives. We couldn’t just gloss over this inequality. So four years ago we made a pact: We’ll get married the moment our home state offers a marriage contract that we can sign with pride.
This might seem obstinate. Maybe you think we just don’t like ceremonies or want to stick it to tradition. Every year we see the wedding season come and go without us. And we want to exchange rings. We want to be counted. We want to share happy news. The fact is, we kind of thought Minnesota would have come around by now. We watch the news closely. Connecticut. Iowa. Vermont.
Our best hope right now is that the Supreme Court reviews the California Proposition 8 case and upholds what two federal judges have already said: Denying marriage to some is un-American. If this happens, Minnesota’s anti-gay-marriage amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot won’t matter. But if the Supreme Court doesn’t take that case, or if it fails, the amendment could mean that marriage equality comes more slowly to Minnesota. We’ll have to undo it as voters, and two embarrassing amendments will forever mar our state’s constitution.
So come on. Do us a solid. Vote no on the marriage amendment. And support marriage equality when it eventually comes to Minnesota. After this is all over we’ll give you some cake.
Morgon Mae Schultz and Patrick Schilling