Post-Election Emotion: Elation With A Touch of Bittersweet
In what I can only describe as a marriage equality election result which exceeded all of my expectations (three states legalized same-sex marriage and one state defeated a ballot measure to ban gay marriage), I find myself feeling the joy and elation of this victory for the LGBT community, but not without a touch of sadness since my partner of twenty years and I still cannot get legally married. It's an irony not lost on Kristin Fisher of WUSA News, who recently interviewed me for a piece on same-sex marriage in Maryland (see below).
Because we live in Virginia -- a state which has amended its Constitution to specifically prohibit same-sex marriage -- we can celebrate with our many friends who live in neighboring Washington, DC and Maryland (two states where gay marriage has been legalized), but our union is not legally recognized in our own home state.
My partner and I were amongst the first of our friends to tie the knot (we did so back in 1999 on the Eastern Shore in Maryland) and many of the gay and lesbian couples who attended our wedding are now legally married (and a few, sadly, are already divorced). And, because you are reading this, you also know that I've been working hard professionally to support same-sex couples since then.
So, when one of my Maryland friends mentioned to me that there was no way she and her family would move to Virginia now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in her home state, all I could say is: "First to wed, last to marry. Virginia Is (still) For Lovers."
I cannot stand the thought that we are not treated equally in the eyes of the law here in Virginia. I love my neighbors. I love our neighborhood. I love where we live. So, for now, we will bide our time, feeling the comfort of the love and the support of our community while we wait for Virginia to catch up with the times.
Here's hoping for a favorable result. Soon.
About Kathryn Hamm
Kathryn is one of the original "Poster Brides" of TwoBrides.com. She joined her straight mom (and company founder) as a full partner in the family business in 2005. She holds an M.S.W from the Catholic University of America and an A.B. in Psychology from Princeton University. Prior to becoming the President of GayWeddings.com, Kathryn spent 10 years as an educator and school administrator in the Washington, D.C. area. Though she and her partner exchanged vows in a memorable ceremony on the Eastern Shore in 1999, they are not yet legally married.