I never knew how many decisions one had to make when you travel around in an RV. Before we left my niave understanding of RV life was filled with assumptions about how far you can go without water, power, and the oh-so-important dumping station! (In case you don't know what a dumping station is, this the the place where we dump the waste holding tanks of the camper.) We have had to really think about when and where we stop at a campground as this has taken on far greater importance as we make our way west.
This awareness has made me think more deeply about the decisions that we are awaiting from the US Supreme Court as regards the Prop 8 and DOMA cases heard earlier this spring. I have begun to realize just how little people know and understand about the limitations that same gender couples face because of our second class status when it comes to family law. Even among our most progressive communities there is little awareness about the impact that our lack of federal protections has on our lives.
This was brought home to me most powerfully when a legally married lesbian couple had to go through a second parent adoption process because they knew that if they left New England there would be no protections for the non-biological mother in the eyes of the law. Not being in the child bearing part of life anymore this was a shock to me as well and I was again reminded that I live in a separate and unequal no persons land as a tax paying citizen in these United States.
We fight for the word "marriage" and yet it is the legal and communal rights that we seek, not simply the dresses and tuxedos, cakes and ceremonies. We want the right to NOT think about the layer upon layer of decisions that come with the institution of marriage afforded to opposite sex couples. We want water and power and those all important dumping stations!
So as we await the Supreme Court's decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA this month (and not with a little irony that it is both PRIDE and WEDDING month!) remember that welcome and affirmation includes the right to NOT make decisions too.