Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Caught Off Guard

“What does that sign say, momma?” I was playing around on Facebook while Lucas was sitting in the chair next to me. Earlier in the day, I had changed my profile picture to a person holding a sign that read: Did I vote on your marriage? Lucas was curious.

“It says, Did I vote on your marriage?” I tell him.

“What does that mean?”

“Well....,” I begin. I knew the time was quickly approaching when I would have to explain to my children the upcoming vote to constitutionally ban gay marriage in Minnesota. I just wasn't quite ready to do it last night. I was caught a bit off guard. “Well...,” I continued. “There is a vote coming up next year. People are going to vote on whether or not girls should be allowed to marry girls and boys should be allowed to marry boys. They want to make a law that says girls can never marry girls and boys can never marry boys.”

“Like you and mom?” he asks.

“Yea, like me and mom. And like Amy and Claudia. And Maya's and Ben's moms. We're all going to vote no because we think it's not a fair law. People should be able to marry whoever they fall in love with. Right?”

“Right. So if people vote yes and girls can't marry girls, do you and mom have to break up? Get divorced?” He asked this with an obvious hint of terror in his voice.

“Oh honey, no. Not at all. Your mom and I are going to be together forever. I promise” My anger about this stupid amendment grew tenfold when I heard the fear in Lucas' voice.

“But you're already married, right?” Lucas has seen our wedding pictures. He knows we had a ceremony. He knows we got “married” before he was born.

“Yes, honey. Mom and I got married years ago. But it wasn't a legal wedding. In Minnesota, girls can't marry girls. So our wedding wasn't legal.” I try find the right words, but I know I am flailing.

“You mean like running a red light? That's not legal.” He is also flailing. Trying to understand this foreign concept in eight-year-old terms. As far as he has ever been concerned, his parents are married and his family is as normal as any other family.

“Yea, I guess. Running a red light is illegal because it is dangerous. Girls marrying girls is illegal because some people just don't understand. Getting married should be legal. All people should be allowed to marry whoever they love. So we are going to vote no. And we're going to talk to people about it and try to convince them to vote no. We are going to get a sign to put in our yard so all of our neighbors know that we are going to vote no, too.”

He smiles. “We should get t-shirts, too.”

“Absolutely. We'll definitely get t-shirts, too.” I smile back at him. “When you and your brother and sister grow up, I want you to be able to marry whoever you fall in love with. I want you to have the choice to marry whoever you want.”

“Cool,” he says. I think he is “getting” it. Then he announces, “When I grow up, I am going to marry Nicky.”

His younger brother, who had been listening quietly from the sideline, suddenly grins from ear to ear. He jumps up and down and pipes in excitedly, “I'm going to marry Lucas, too!”

Hmmmm.......better not let the evangelicals hear that one.


Anonymous said...

One discussion always leads to another one. How cute that Lucas had it all figured out but now marrying brothers and sisters is a whole other conversation for a much later date. Can't wait to hear how you explain this one. I would vote no as well if I had the chance.

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