Same-sex marriage: Who does it harm? |

Same-sex marriage: Who does it harm?

My partner and I have been together for 27 years and have been domestic partners for as long as that possibility has existed.

We own a house together and pay our taxes – jointly to the state this year for the first time.

We have supported each other through deaths, economic ups and downs, family issues, etc. I could not think of living my life with anyone else and neither could she. If this is not a committed relationship, I don’t know what else you would call it. I do not understand how our loving each other and commitment to each other threatens or harms anyone.

The state Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. After 27 years together, we are getting married. We are so happy. I was finally able to propose and she accepted.

The California economy will be boosted by thousands of couples getting married in the coming months. Florists, caterers, clothing retailers, airlines, hotels, event venues, musicians, county clerk’s offices, supermarkets, liquor stores, limousine rentals, to name a few, will not be feeling the effects of our current economic downturn.

There is already an initiative ready in the wings for the November ballot to go against the state Supreme Court’s ruling. A lot of signatures have been collected. A lot of money has been raised, a lot of money from outside this state. What if we took this money and used it for the homeless, the disadvantaged, the people who really are suffering? Imagine a world where we looked around to see who needs our help instead of who we should attack next.

I am reminded of a news article a couple of months ago that told the story of a legally married lesbian couple who were on vacation in Florida with their children. One of the women collapsed and was rushed to the local hospital. She was terminally ill. The hospital refused to allow the woman’s legal partner or children to visit her because the state of Florida did not recognize their designation as family.

Who would it have harmed if the hospital had allowed the dying woman last moments with her beloved and their children? No one. But it did harm the people involved. This was simply an act of downright meanness on the part of the hospital. And it is unfortunate that we are sometimes forced to look to our courts to help us stamp out meanness.

Every time I read the ugliness and hatred aimed at my loving my partner, it breaks my heart. I feel personally attacked by strangers who know nothing about me, my partner, or our life together. But this time, I am not gong to let that ugliness interfere with my happiness. The state has ruled that human beings who love each other and are committed to each other, can marry, and that is exactly what we plan to do.

Lesley Schneider lives in Nevada City.

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