Love is Love

Last Election Day, I wrote a post about marriage equality. It was a big deal to me, especially because the Maine legislature had already voted in favor of same sex marriage in 2009 before a ballot referendum resulted in a "people's veto" of this important law. It felt like our state's second chance to do the right thing.

Now that the issue is on a national stage, I feel much the same way, which is this:

I remember when I was growing up, I thought it was incredibly odd that my parents remembered segregation and the civil rights movement of the 60's. I was all, "dude, you guys are super old. That was, like, ages ago." Except that to them, it really wasn't. And in the grand scheme of American history, it really wasn't. Now, in 2012, on a day where I cast my vote in favor of a second term for our first African-American president, I want the same for my kids.
 
Here's what I mean. By the time my kids are in grade school, I want them to think marriage equality is a given. I want them to make snarky comments about how archaic and antiquated the thought process by which you tell Americans who they are and are not allowed to marry is. I want that so badly it hurts.
 
I generally do not talk politics socially – I do not think it is polite, and I am not particularly passionate or well informed about many political issues. But this marriage equality thing doesn't feel political – it feels like a human rights issue.  (You can read the rest of the original marriage equality post here.)
 
Three little words about three little words – Love is Love.

 

Veterans Day (Gratitude: Days Eleven and Twelve)

Double gratitude today. On the one hand because I didn't get to post this yesterday, the actual Veterans Day holiday. On the other hand, because it is something that deserves, at the very least, double gratitude. 

For those of you who have wondered "when is Veterans Day" or "what is Veterans Day" or even "is today a holiday", I feel like you should know. Veterans Day is every November 11, but is often observed on the preceding or following business day if it falls on a weekend. It is a day dedicated to honoring Veterans – those invaluable individuals who have served our country, past or present, in the armed forces. 

To me, Veterans Day is a reminder of my grandfathers and of a simpler time. While I know people of my generation who have served in the military, I don't associate them as veterans as readily as I do "the greatest generation." Not because they are any less selfless or I am unappreciative of their service; this is a different time. These wars are a different kind. 

I don't know whether the military feels supported the same way now as they did back then, in the first and second world wars. During a time when men were lining up to enlist not only because it was what was expected but also because it was right – and those things were not mutually exclusive.

Things seem a lot more gray now. I know people who enlisted in the military in peace time and ended up in Iraq or Afghanistan. People who went, and served, and returned but were never the same again. People who never intended to go to war.

Meanwhile, domestically, many people were questioning the war and who we were really fighting and why it was costing so much and taking so long. Why we kept sending troops and why men and women kept getting killed by things like friendly fire. 

I do not know much about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do know that since becoming a mother, I'm leaning left toward being liberal and pacifistic. But whether I support a foreign war or not, I will ALWAYS support the men and women of our armed forces. They are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country – on behalf of me and my family, to keep us safe.

For some things, there are no words. For families who have been forever separated by war, for spouses and children who live each day trying not to think about the "what-ifs", for anyone whose life has been irrevocably altered by their service or a loved one's – I am so, so grateful. There are few people who are so selfless and willing to make this type of sacrifice. It is not unnoticed and it is not unappreciated. You are, collectively, my hero. You deserve so much more than one Veterans Day per year and a few words on a blog page. 

Proud to Be An American (Gratitude – Day Seven)

Sometimes, there are no words to express what I am feeling. Except, today, for these –

Proud of you, Maine. Proud of you, USA.

Today (and hopefully every day for the next four years at least), I am grateful for the election results.

 

Maine Marriage Equality Vote (Gratitude – Day Six)

Hang in there on this one – I'll get around to the "gratitude," I promise.

I remember when I was growing up, I thought it was incredibly odd that my parents remembered segregation and the civil rights movement of the 60's. I was all, "dude, you guys are super old. That was, like, ages ago." Except that to them, it really wasn't. And in the grand scheme of American history, it really wasn't. Now, in 2012, on a day where I cast my vote in favor of a second term for our first African-American president, I want the same for my kids.

Here's what I mean. By the time my kids are in grade school, I want them to think marriage equality is a given. I want them to make snarky comments about how archaic and antiquated the thought process by which you tell Americans who they are and are not allowed to marry is. I want that so badly it hurts.

I generally do not talk politics socially – I do not think it is polite, and I am not particularly passionate or well informed about many political issues. But this marriage equality thing doesn't feel political – it feels like a human rights issue. So I hijacked my Facebook status and published it for all 344 of my "friends" to read, and this is what I said:

"No one is going to 'forget' to vote today. Some will make a choice not to, because 'it doesn't matter anyway.' I am not interested in debating the electoral college or how the election process is irrevocably broken. I am interested in telling you, if you are a Mainer, YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT IN THIS ELECTION. Please, please, please, even if you skip every other question on the ballot, VOTE YES ON 1. To me, it doesn't feel like a political issue; it feels like a human rights issue. Please help me make my job as a mom a little bit easier by ensuring I never have to explain to my babies why two people who love each other aren't allowed to get married because they happen to be the same sex."

I haven't lost a "friend" (yet), and I think that status has garnered more likes than my reporting that I was incubating a human being (both times). That makes me feel hopeful – for our state and bringing my children up here. So today I am grateful for the opportunity to vote on the single most important issue I have ever voted for. Do the right thing, Maine. I am begging.

Marriage Equality Maine