“Marriage is a fundamental human right. Same-sex couples should have the same access as others to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations, and benefits of civil marriage. Stable family relationships help build a stronger society. For the welfare of the community and in fairness to all New Yorkers, this act formally recognizes otherwise-valid marriages without regard to whether the parties are of the same or different sex.”
– Marriage Equality Act, formally passed in NY, June 24, 2011
I was back in New York this weekend. In the past month, A. and I have had a bevy of familial celebrations, family visits, baptisms, etc. But this past Saturday when we drove to New York, we had a different type of fête. On the sunny Saturday, we took the Long Island Rail Road into Penn Station and hopped on the C train to the Upper West Side. We walked along Central Park West until we came upon the Fourth Universalist Society in New York. With quiet excitement, A. and I entered, quietly took our seats, and, when the moment came, cheered loudly when our friends Scott and David became legally wed.
Scott, David, A., and myself orbit very different worlds. Scott and David are older and inhabit a world of the upper crust of New York. They live on the Upper West Side and vacation in Provincetown, where David has been active in the architectural history and the editor of Building Provincetown. On the other hand, A. and I live in the ‘burbs of Boston and spend our weekends fixing up our house. We are lucky to spend a week-long vacation each summer borrowing my parents’ summer house in East Hampton. (Not too shabby!)
Normally our paths would never have crossed. However, a few years ago A. became extremely ill with a rare manifestation of cancer. It is something we don’t talk about too often anymore as we have moved on, but during that moment in time we reached out to a freelancer at the New York Times, who wrote about A.’s illness and slow path to recovery. It was here that our orbit collided with Scott and David’s. Scott, as it turned out, had the exact same illness and rare manifestation that A. had. They reached out to us, and while A. recovered, David helped me along. It was comforting to me knowing that I was not alone in my journey as A.’s caregiver. Someone else knew what I was experiencing, the excitement of small steps, the frustration, and the fragility of the human spirit.
I know this is a somewhat rambling post, but to understand what Scott and David experienced, and to make it through to the other side, there is no doubt in my mind that their marriage is built on love and respect. It boggles my mind that in 2012, two adults who love each other deeply can’t get married or have their marriage recognized by certain states. Much like A. and me, these men went through hell together and came out the other side stronger and more resilient. All four of us formed an unlikely bond in our orbits, as we are spinning, colliding, and looking toward the future.