Happy 21 Today

Posted by Censor Librorum on Nov 14, 2008 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays, Politics

Lori and I celebrate our 21st anniversary today.

Our love and respect for each other has grown over the years and we are still very much in love.

Like other gay  couples, we have have said “I Do” to each other several times.   We started off with a domestic partnership in New York City on April 8, 1993; a marriage with a nondemoninational minister in Hawaii on August 27, 1998; and  a  wedding in Massachusetts with a justice of the peace on August 15, 2008. We celebrate all of   them with a fancy dinner and nuzzling, but our biggest anniversary, even beyond our legal wedding, is the day of our  first date   – November 14, 1987.

The amount of “I Dos” we have experienced started to border on the humorous to both us and our families. “How many times are you going to do this,” Lori’s mother asked after our Massachusetts wedding announcement. “Until we get a toaster,” I quipped back.   Lori’s younger brother and his wife and daughters  surprised us with a beautiful toaster after our vows in front of the justice of the peace. happytogether.JPG

Like other couples, we want the  emotional, cultural and one day, I hope, religious affirmation of our commitment of a life together until death do us part.   We also want all the legal protections and economic benefits of marriage. And yes, there is a seriousness, dignity and closeness that comes with the commitment of marriage.

On the front page of the October 30, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal was the article, “Why Just One Wedding Isn’t Enough For Some Gay Couples.” A lot of what other couples go through resonated in our own relationship.

“Daniel McNeil and Patrick Canavan joke they’ve been married four times–to each other.   The “I dos” started with a Washington, DC church  wedding in 1998. Since then, the two men, both 46 years old, have chased evolving laws across the U.S. to secure a civil union in Vermont, a domestic partnership in the District of Columbia and in August, a marriage in California.”

“Mr. Canavan met Mr. McNeil, a bubbly former Franciscan brother and math teacher, in 1994 at a   retreat for gay and lesbian Catholics. They moved in together and got engaged but wanted to demonstrate their commitment publicly. In October 1998, the grooms, in tuxedos, held a Catholic wedding ceremony at an Episcopal church congenial to gay marriages in Washington. The pair picked readings from the Bible and exchanged rings blessed by their Catholic priest, before family and 200 friends. They went to Spain on their honeymoon.”

“It was probably the best day of my life,” Mr. McNeil recalls, speaking of the marriage.

“When California allowed same-sex marriages in May, Messrs. McNeil and Canavan jumped at the chance. In early August they flew to San Francisco with their son and daughter for a ceremony with a few close friends in City Hall. The children acted as witnesses.”

“Mr. McNeil says the wedding felt more like a 10th anniversary. It doesn’t confer any additional rights for the couple back home in Washington. But Mr. McNeil says he now feels emboldened to check the “married” box on things like insurance and health forms.”

Lori and I are starting to say “wife” in describing each other  instead of   “partner” or “spouse.”  It’s still a little uncomfortable, but as we  say it we are getting used to it.    I checked “Married” for the first time in filling out forms at a new dentist.  

We are also in the process of adding each other as the beneficiary to our pensions.   As unmarried partners, we would not have been able to claim this benefit.  The additional monthly check will help the surviving parter to be more financially secure – peace of mind and assurance we are happy and grateful  to have as we grow old together.

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5 Responses to “Happy 21 Today”

  1. justme Says:

    I send heartfelt congratulations, with gratitude for yours and Lori’s courage in being out and setting such a wonderful example of commitment for others.

  2. Thom Says:

    Congratulations to both of you, and many blessings.

  3. Michael Bayly Says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary and on this great blog!

    I recently shared an excerpt from one of your posts on my blog, The Wild Reed. It generated some interesting comments that I thought you might be interested in reading and perhaps even responding to.

    They can be viewed here.



  4. Karen Says:

    Thank you all for your good wishes! It meant a lot to hear from you. I will certainly share them with Lori.

    Mike – thank you for letting me know about the discussion. I just posted. The remarks may spark a continued lively conversation! I’ll keep checking in.

    Thank you all so much again, Karen

  5. Benny the Bridgebuilder Says:

    May the title of your blog come true for you both.

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