Family / Life / Sex & relationships

The Why (and Why, and Why) of Marriage

[Cross-posted from West Philly Mama.]
My brother-in-law (outlaw?), Jared, is getting married this weekend.  It’s all very exciting and there has been no shortage of wedding and marriage talk around our house.  Leo, my two year old, has been asking questions about what marriage is exactly.    This paired with the fantastic “Why? Why? Why?” phase he’s in the middle of has really made us pick apart what marriage is.Leo:  Why do we need new clothes?
Mama:  Because Uncle Jared’s wedding is this Saturday.
Leo:  What’s a wedding?
Mama:  It’s when two people that love each other invite all their family and friends to witness them promising to love each other forever.
Leo:  Why?
Mama:  So that they can all celebrate love together and the couple can share their happiness.
Leo:  Why?
Mama:  Because when people decide to spend their lives together it’s an exciting time.
Leo:  Why?
Mama:  Because it means they will always have each other and they will be a family together.
Leo:  Why?
Mama:  Because love makes a family.
Leo:  Like you and dad?
Mama:  Like me and dad and you and Zoe.

Tsaratanana No matter how many questions and whys he pressed with, the answer was never something that could be legislated.  As important as the legal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage are, that’s not what drives people to marry.  That’s the truth behind DOMA and the state amendments that try to legislate love.  You can’t write a law that will stop love or erase families – it just hurts families.  After this last election I’m hopeful that when it comes time to explain laws like this to Leo it will be as a chapter of our history.

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  1. So true. I am always saying that ban gay marriage all you want–we’ll still be here, queer, raising these kids together. The gay won’t go away, you’ll just hurt our kids.

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