Let me tell you a story. Sometimes it’s the only thing I can do.
Kim and I met three months after Aimee died. While we’ve had support from our closest allies from the very beginning, the naysayers gave us plenty of action.
"He can't be ready."
"Don’t they know they have six kids?"
Some weren’t ready for me to move on. Aimee was a public figure in Lawrence. She was well known and well loved by those in the mental health and education communities. I felt restricted. This was my life, after all, but some folks felt like they owned a piece of it--folks who knew little or nothing of my home life and the struggles Aimee and I faced during her illness. Few people knew the grieving process I started long before she took her life.
But this story isn't about Aimee. It's about two people who love each other and are committed to one another being able to marry. I easily fell in love with Kim. It's easy to love her. We are kindred spirits, and we've known that kinship from the beginning. When you meet your kindred spirit, there's no going back. Those are Kim's words and I wish they were mine.
No, there is no going back. Only forward. While naysayers may have been a little more vocal months ago, they've quieted their voices. If they still speak of reasons why Kim and I shouldn't be together, those conversations take place where even their whispers don't find my ears. Kim and I are marrying. We've been taking steps with our kids to prepare them for step-family life for months now. There will be growing pains, but we will have them together, in love and committed to one another.
The United States Supreme Court hears the second of two cases regarding marriage rights today. I look at my experience with Kim and wonder what I would do in a world where I couldn't marry my partner. What would I do in a world where I couldn't vow of my love and commitment to my kindred spirit in a very public way? What would we do without the legal protections granted us by the institution of marriage--how would it affect our kids and their future?
Two of my closest friends are gay men. The boys call them "Uncles." They helped when Aimee struggled, they were there when she died, and they've been the biggest supporters as Kim and I came together. They have never once questioned my commitment to Kim or my plan to marry her. And I want them to have the same gift that I do.
All I can do is tell stories--and I'm happy to tell this one. Regardless of the decisions the Supreme Court hands down, I will continue to know in my heart that love is love, commitment is commitment, and two adults who wish to marry should receive constitutionally protected liberty to do so.