We dated, moved in together, got a couple of dogs, and eventually had children.
In other words, we became a family. We didn't get married, however, because we were two women. But in Junewe moved to Vermont and took advantage of the state's unique provision for civil unions, which come with all of the privileges of marriage except for sez name. We were one of 5, same-sex couples to be "civil-unioned. I wish the story of my gay divorce were gayer.
Don't get me wrong. The decision to break up our family was devastating. I doubt either one of us will ever fully recover from the heartbreak of it. Yet the divorce itself, like the marriage, feels like a farce.
Neither Liza nor I needed the state to recognize our relationship. Our civil union was about saving thousands of dollars a year in health insurance bills: We could only qualify for the discounted "family rate" if we were civil-unioned.
I know our unromantic attitude must be a grave disappointment to many courageous gay activists. Sfx whether a couple is gay or straight, I don't think that legal rights should follow from emotional and sexual alliances.
Given how unfairly restrictive marriage is, I can't take it seriously. So I thought of getting civil-unioned as paperwork.
We'll perform the ceremony as the sun sets on the lake behind you," a voice responded eagerly. We turned down the lake and the sunset and showed up at his office an hour later, cranky children in tow. All of us were sweaty from a day at the beach.
Some poetry perhaps? Can you hurry up?
Our oldest daughter, then 5, took her toy microphone in hand: "Ladies and gentlemen, come one, come all, to see the wedding of my mothers. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, two women are getting married even if that bad, horrible president guy doesn't want them to. For just one dollar, you can see this lesbian Esssig. They may even kiss on the lips.
Fisticuffs began. The J.
Though we never mentioned it to anyone, Liza and I filed a t state tax return and checked "married or civil-unioned" on every form we filled out in Vermont. Which means that now we have to get a divorce.
For Liza and me, this was a matter of mutually agreeing to divide up our property and parenting obligations and then filing the papers in family court. But only Vermont recognizes the right of a gay couple to dissolution.
As a result, a lot of the out-of-state couples who happily traveled here to tie the knot are now stuck in legally binding relationships. A Connecticut court recently ruled that it couldn't grant a dissolution to two men because doing so would mean recognizing a civil union, which state law forbade. In West Virginia, however, a dissolution was granted in December to two women with a Vermont civil union.
The judge who heard their petition Lad that he could recognize their civil union. It wasn't a marriage, he reasoned, but rather an entirely new legal entity. Same-sex marriage advocates hope the West Virginia ruling will serve as an example for other states.
Gay divorce may then be the Trojan horse that gets gay marriage into the courts. It figures that the break up of queer families could prove more acceptable than their union. Laurie Essig Lay the author of Queer in Russia.