Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dear Ellen Degeneres . . .

Dear Ms. Degeneres,

(Obligatory, but subtle, gushing here . . . I really enjoy your personality!)

When I'd heard of the same-sex marriage inroads that California is making and that you plan to marry Portia, I wanted to send you a congratulatory note (so, Congratulations!). My husband and I have been married 4 years this May 20. We were married in Massachusetts, having applied for a license on the first day it was allowed, May 17, 2004. Now we live in West Virginia, where I am a full-time college student and a part-time bartender and although our love is very real, our marriage certificate (at least in W.Va.) is worth less than the paper on which it's printed.

When filing taxes and filling out official forms we must still check the 'single' box and we do not enjoy "the total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges.” (GAO-04-353R Defense of Marriage Act - Update to Prior Report).

I think that we are living in exciting and changing times, and am hopeful that you and I and others in the same boat will see the days of marriage equality. I am also hopeful that your celebrity status will add visibility and credibility to our plight. (Our plight being that we are unable to automatically enjoy all those marriage rights without the additional expense of lawyers drawing up legal contracts for privileges that even less committed male/female spouses receive, i.e. medical decisions, visitation, inheritance, etc.)

I am even more hopeful that your marriage and relationship is successful, fulfilling, eternal and full of love and the 'sanctity' of marriage.

The 'sanctity' of marriage, - to me - means the dynamics of building a life together. It's a comfortable melding of personalities and wills and coexistence which offsets the outside pressures of bills, car inspections and evening news. If anyone believes that same-sex marriages will destroy the sanctity of marriage, they probably don't know any life-committed same-sex couples.

Mike, my husband, and I are living 'the American dream,' which means a lot of debt, a few acres of land and building a home, (one board at a time), three dogs, a cat, and looking forward to the rest of our lives together. With or without the marriage license, we are happy together and enjoy the 'sanctity' of marriage (well, not so much enjoying the bills and the evening news), and we wish you, Ellen and Portia, an even greater happiness as well.

Congratulations again,
Chuck Walker

1 comment:

Jerry Rhoads said...

I hope that marriage will be equal in all 50 states and the district! Problem: there are so few of [us] forward thinking Americans!