A Road Trip to Visit Our Marriage

Us-large
Our Family

In 2008, 18,000 same-sex couples were legally wed in California. We had married two years earlier in a ceremony unrecognized by our state, Washington. We knew Proposition 8 was looming, so we trekked to California and tied the knot again, this time with papers.

Voters approved Prop 8, and the Supreme Court of California ruled they had the right to do so. But those 18,000 marriages, including ours, were grandfathered in.

Currently four states perform same-sex marriages: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and most recently, Vermont. New York State and Washington, D.C. recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Including California, that makes six states and one city that consider us legally married.

On September 30, 2009, we will embark on a road trip to visit our marriage everywhere it is recognized. With us we will bring our six-month-old daughter and our two dogs. During the journey we will reside in our travel trailer, affectionately named Rachel.

Along the way we hope to talk to and interview people who would like to get married but can’t, and LGBT… people who are married. We will post blog entries, pictures, and the occasional video or podcast. We’re headed for the National Equality March on October 10-11th, and we’re hoping to do some volunteering in Maine to help defeat Question 1.

What does it mean to have a marriage that resides somewhere we do not? Does it affect how we see ourselves and how others see us? Does it affect our relationship? How does marriage equality intersect with other socio-political issues of our time? What’s the big deal, anyway?

Join us in our quest as we explore the question (maybe a mite ironically), “Are We Married?”

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Our Band of Travelers:

Left to right, from the top left: Ami, Ruby, Frances, Esmerelda, and Hank
Left to right, from the top left: Ami, Ruby, Frances, Esmerelda, and Hank

Ami is a front-end web developer and the family’s resident mechanic and tech support desk. But really she’s a humanities nerd, and she has a degree in the Comparitive History of Ideas to prove it. She hails  from Los Angeles, CA.

Ruby is a creative and technical writer and editor with a long history in non-profit. Originally from the Bronx, she has spent the last 13 years adjusting to life west of the Hudson. You can hear remnants of her accent if you make her say the words “orange” or “horrible.”

Frances is six months old. She likes her binky, her exersaucer, her squeaky giraffe, Pat the Bunny, and her dogs. She is working on the word “Mama.”

Hank and Esmerelda enjoy runs at the dog park and long walks on the beach. They look forward to getting to go. They are 11 years old (Hank) and 11 months old (Esmerelda), and what they lack in manners they make up for in charm.

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Want to write to us or meet with us when we roll through your state? You can e-mail us at arewemarried @ gmail.com. (Minus the spaces.)

0 thoughts on “A Road Trip to Visit Our Marriage”

  1. I just wanted to thank you all for coming to the Milk and Cookies Event at the Madison in DC. As the host and the head of Families for the NEM it was great to have be apart of the day. I wanted to wish you all the best of luck on this amazing journey. Please keep in touch and let me know about your adventure.
    Sincerely,
    Wendy M. Forbes
    NEM Steering Commuittee Families

  2. I’m a staff writer for Seattle Gay News; Seattle’s LGBT News & Entertainment weekly. This is an amazing story! Reading you blog entries, which are penned so well I feel like I’m watching a movie, is a delight. I’d like to sit down with your family when you return and do an in-depth feature about all of this. Would you consider?

    Best wishes,
    Shaun Knittel

    1. Hi Shaun,

      Thanks for your encouragement! We’d love to talk to you when we get home. I will e-mail you our contact information.

      Thanks,
      Ruby

  3. Hi Ami and Ruby
    Your journey is both personally moving and inspirational for the struggle for marriage equality everywhere. We are a British lesbian couple, legally married in Canada in 2003 (when one of us was temporarily living and working there). In 2006, back in England, we brought a High Court case to have our marriage recognised in our home country. We lost (see http://www.equalmarriagerights.org). Travelling across Europe for us is much like travelling across the US for you: our marriage, too, mutates or dissolves at borders. We are considered civilly partnered in Britain and (recently) France, married again in Belgium and the Netherlands, unmarried as we reach Germany, and so on. Telling people this has been a powerful conscioussness-raiser. Our admiration and very best wishes are with you – and may you continue to change hearts and minds wherever you travel.
    Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger

    1. Hi Sue and Celia,

      Thank you for reading, and for your encouragement. I am sorry that your case wasn’t successful, but very glad that you pursued it, anyway.

      We’ll keep working on it, as I’m sure you will, too.

      To equality,
      Ruby

  4. Hi there —

    Just writing to say that I LOVE your website. Love it, love it, LOVE IT. You will change hearts and minds all across the nation.

    You are both true American heroes.

    David Wertheimer

  5. Hello ladies!

    I love your story, your sense of adventure and courageous spirit! I’m at the University of Idaho Law School in Moscow, ID and am a member of the UI college of law ACLU chapter. When you ladies roll back up into this corner of the world would you be interested in coming to speak or participate in a panel discussion for some of the students here? We’d love to host you and hear all about your travels and experiences visiting and revisiting your marriage and the challenges you faced along the way.

    Thank you and I hope you consider our request, we’d be thrilled to benefit from your unique insights!

    – Sarah Hood

    1. Hi Sarah,

      We’d love to come visit you and talk to your group. We’re honored that you’d have us.

      I’ll send you some contact information. We should be back in Seattle by Thanksgiving, if not before.

      Ruby

  6. Hello Ami and Ruby,
    My husband David and I live in Tucson, AZ. We were married two years and 6 months ago while we were visiting his family in Canada, where he is still a citizen despite having lived in the States for over 30 years. We refer to one another as husband when speaking with others and it is more often than not something people don’t say anything about. I proposed to him in front of the entire staff where we worked at a non-profit, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. The staff there were 100% supportive of our marriage and when we were at the clerks office in Toronto there wasn’t even a raised eyebrow at our request for license. My husband had been a pastor at the MCC church in Toronto and we were married in that church by his friend who is now pastor of that church.
    We are registered partners here in Tucson but so far we have met with no issue about our marriage. He is today in hospital recovering from surgery and pneumonia and released today. While he was there I was treated with respect any spouse would have been. Only one person felt uncomfortable with us but when I stood my ground she relented and allowed me in ICU past visiting hours. While Arizona does not recognize our marriage if we wanted to become a matter in court we could but so far we’ve not had reason to be,yet.
    my love for my husband has not faded since we were married but everyday seems to deepen, but since realising my love for him over 5 years ago it has been the greatest journey of my life.
    Paolo

    1. Paolo,

      Your story is very touching. I hope your partner has had a complete recovery, and I’m very happy for both of you that you’ve found each other. May your days together be long and lovely.

      Ruby

  7. Hello Family! I came across your blog while Googling Grafield County. Looking forward to catching up on your previous posts and introducing your blog to the readers of Pam’s House Blend.

  8. Ami! Ruby! Frances! Meg just told me about your adventure blog. I had not heard before. This is awe inspiring. You guys don’t play small potatoes. I’ll share this with my friends. Rock on, married people, rock on. ~sharona

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