Life / News & Politics / Sex & relationships

Call for Submissions: Lawfully Wedded Life

LawfullyWeddedLifeMarriage equality is on many peoples’ minds these days, not least the legal teams preparing to make their arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in just a little over three weeks from now–March 26 for the Prop 8 case, March 27 for the DOMA one.

Thereafter, the legal arguments and consequences will be on the Justices’ minds for the next few months as they deliberate. A decision is not expected until late June, at which time this facet of LGBT civil rights battles will either rocket forward ten or twenty years, or be set back ten or twenty years, or lurch both forward and back simultaneously. The least likely scenario is that nothing much will change. Just what will change, and how widespread will the change be, is the question.

During this lead-up and wait, we at Lesbian Family want to solicit and showcase your thoughts on the swirl of issues surrounding marriage equality, which we’ll run in a series called Lawfully Wedded Life. We’re interested in your stories and your thoughts.  We’d like to share your voices, your life experiences, as they answer any number of the following questions:

  • Does legal recognition of your relationship matter to you? To what degree, and why?
  • Did you find yourself feeling one way about legal recognition of your relationship before having kids, and another way after?
  • What do your kids think about the issue–if indeed they do at all? Does what your kids think about legal relationship recognition have an impact on your beliefs?
  • If you live in a state that has recently fought this battle at the ballot box or in the courts: what was your experience of that battle? If you had kids in your life during the battle, what was its impact on your kids?
  • If you got legally married: tell us your story! How did it feel? If you had kids yet, did they come? And what did it mean to you as a family?
  • If you’ve had a commitment ceremony before same-sex marriage was available, what significance has that event continued to have for you? For those who later married: how did the two events compare?
  • If you’ve not been legally married: would you, if you could? Why? Or why not?
  • For those of you active in or watchers of LGBT politics: what impact have you seen the marriage equality struggle have on the larger LGBT civil rights movement? Salutary, or distracting? Who do you think is driving this thing, and why? What other issues are being neglected as so much attention is on relationship recognition, and at what cost?

Clearly any one of those questions is enough. But we list them all to help pry the thoughts and stories out of you, even if you feel you may not have one. We’re especially interested in hearing from folks who feel that their viewpoint on the whole marriage equality issue is in the minority, or controversial, or overlooked, or disrespected, or misunderstood. It’s a complex issue, and we’ll only get at that complexity by telling our stories and listening carefully to them.

Submit your story, or a short (less than five minute) video, and we’ll include it in the series, which we’ll run weekly on Wednesdays up through the Supreme Court’s decision.

To kick things off, here are three minutes’ worth of Kris Perry and Sandra Stier’s story. One’s from California’s Central Valley, the other’s from rural Iowa. They’ve been together since 2004, they have four boys, they both work in social service, and they quite evidently love each other and their kids, just like you do.  Oh. And if you’re wondering why they may look vaguely familiar: they’re two of the four named plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case.

 

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