Thursday, January 12, 2012

Will You Marry Me?

Bill is not happy about being outed 
This morning, on bended knee, still weak from my week long bout with a cold/flu, I asked Bill to marry me.  He accepted!

After forty-seven years, we're going to make it legal...sort of. As of January 1st this year, Delaware now has in place a civil union law that same sex couple can marry.  I'm not sure is the world "marry" is exactly right but that is the word I'm using.

There he is, my Life Partner and Best Friend - Bill

While this new law is little more than a feel-good law for same sex couples, it does provide some statewide protection for hospital visits, insurance benefits within the state, and some inheritance rights.  We are still a long way from truly equality that our heterosexual counterparts take for granted every day of their lives.

Bill isn't going to like me writing about this, and usually I accede to his requests but this time I'm writing about our situation anyway.  Bill is a very private person.  And he is of the old school of gays when they are called "homosexuals" and you were not seen nor heard from lest you offend the straights.  Of course anyone who knows me, know that I am the exact opposite.  I make no apologies nor do I accept being discounted as an American citizen or human being because I just happened to be born gay.  If anyone has a problem with me being gay it is their problem, not mine.  Of course this attitude has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years but that is my lot in life.  I accept the challenges and deal with them as they come.  Most battles I have won, but I have lost a few battles including two job just for the very fact that I was known to be gay and didn't disown that fact.

Now how are we going to handle the details of ACTUALLY getting married? Bill didn't want me writing anything about it on my blog.  Good luck there Bill!  No way I'm not writing about it.  I'm not sending out wedding announcements though.



After the "me first" fervor of the local gay couples dies down, Bill and I will take a trip to Georgetown, the local county seat.  We have a justice of the peace who has made it known in the local newspapers he doesn't approve of same sex couples but he is performing the ceremonies anyway because he wants to keep his job.  Hey justice of the peace!  It's called the LAW!  Obey it!

Double click to enlarge 

I know of other couple who are traveling to Kent County or New Castle County were they will receive a friendlier reception of the local officials who are also obeying the new law of civil unions for same sex couples.  Not me, why should I go out of my way just to accommodate this guy who DOESN'T APPROVE?

Now I'm not going to get into all the arguments of "this will ruin the institution of marriage" by allowing same sex couples to marry (most of my best straight friends are of this opinion by the way), because that is just a waste of my time.  There are some people whose minds you will never change and I'm not going to waste one more minute of my time trying to make them "accept me."  I'm 70 years old and I'm tired of these people and I'm tired of dealing with this attitude  Tired.

So some day, maybe next month, Bill and I will take the short ride down Rt. 9 to Georgetown and jump through the whatever hoops necessary to finally get some legal protection and community recognition that we too are a loving and committed couple who contribute to our community and provide a better place on this earth for us all to live.  We're all in this together folks, get used to it!

34 comments:

  1. Congratulations! What was the significance of popping the question today?

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  2. Sean,

    Nothing significant about popping the Question today, it was always assumed by both of us that we would get married as soon as the initial fervor died down. When I got up this morning I thought I would make it official. I don't think I'll carry him over the threshold to our home when we do tie the knot though. You have to draw the line somewhere.

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  3. Simply MARVELLOUS, Ron. So happy for both of you - and I offer my sincere congrats from Britland.
    Even if what you are going for is not officially 100% what you'd like to have, you will be achieving the very best that's available as at now until total equality arrives - and it will.
    Delighted for the two of you, my friend. Keep us posted on the details, arrangements etc.

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  4. Ray,

    It will be a simple civil ceremony. I'm lucky I can get Bill to agree to that! I would love to do the whole wedding cake and white bridal gown thingie but Bill would never go for that. I count my blessings that he's going even this far. I just have never been able to get him out of the old mentality of his generation that thinks they have to hide their sexuality lest they offend straights by making them uncomfortable.

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  5. Yay! Congratulations to you both!!

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  6. Congratulations.
    And I bet, even if he grumbles a bit, Bill is pretty excited about it!

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  7. Congratulations! That's terrific news!

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  8. Congratulations Ron & Bill! I think this is so beautiful. Just so you know, I'll be imagining you in tux and white lace with fancy wedding cake and all the glory. Much love to you both, Bobbie

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  9. Congratulations!

    After 47 years, it is about time that you made honest men of each other and did the right thing.

    Rejoice and be glad!

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  10. anne marie in philly1:03 PM

    "this will ruin the institution of marriage" by allowing same sex couples to marry (most of my best straight friends are of this opinion by the way) - NOT ME, BAYBEE! do what you feel and feel what you do! the statement should read "this will ENRICH the institution of marriage".

    "we too are a loving and committed couple who contribute to our community and provide a better place on this earth for us all to live." - PREACH IT, BROTHER!

    "I would love to do the whole wedding cake and white bridal gown thingie" - OMG, who would wear the gown? and cha-cha heels? :-)

    "his generation that thinks they have to hide their sexuality lest they offend straights by making them uncomfortable." - I am glad bill did not hide the special person he is when I visited last year. flaunt it, bill, flaunt it! you make me feel happy.

    CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH! (throws virtual confetti your way)

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  11. Congratulations Ron! I think your hubby has a wonderful name....Forty Seven years, that is absolutely amazing and a testament to your love for each other. A handsome couple of guys.

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  12. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Congratulations Ron & Bill.

    Ron some of your comments/posts make be smile and at times laugh out loud (only in the best way:-))

    ex. Bill doesn't want me to say anything, but I am anyway.

    You are tooo cute.

    ARF

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  13. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Hi,

    Congratulations Ron & Bill!! This is the best news I've heard lately. I hope everything works out for both of you. This must make the two of you very happy.

    Fran

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  14. Thank you everyone for your good wishes. What a pleasant surprise to receive so many nice comments just because these two old men are finally getting married. Very nice. Thank you all again.

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  15. Ron,

    Okay, go get that tripod you keep saying you'll get. Then you can set up your little Flip and record it all for posterity and to look at on your anniversaries. My best to you and Bill.

    Now, where's the Honeymoon? Maybe one of those heart shaped bathtubs for two in the Poconos. Would definitely want that picture.

    Lar

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  16. Lar,

    You know I have to get a picture of the Event but how? Maybe I can ask someone in the justice's office to take one with my iPhone. This should be interesting. I'm not countining on too many more anniversaries to look at this picture though.

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  17. Congratulations! 47 years is a heckuva commitment!

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  18. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Ron, I have a different take on gay marriage. If you ever drive through Baltimore, you will see huge billboards put up by the Catholic Church that say things like "kids whose parents are married do better in school, kids whose parents are married are less likely to do drugs, kids whose parents are married are less likely to live in poverty, etc". And, all of those facts are true. It is very clear that kids who have married, stable parents are far better off than kids who don't. That is why states have a vested interest in promoting and protecting marriage.
    Marriage makes it harder for a couple to split. Marriage binds a couple financially as one. In my state, MD, you have to be legally separated for a full year before you can divorce because the state wants couples to stay married and not impulsively split up.
    So, in my view, not allowing gay couples to marry discriminates against the kids of gay couples. Children of gay couples should have all the advantages from having married, stable parents just like the kids with straight parents.
    As a society, are we saying we want to promote stable families or not?
    Marriage makes two people family. Congratulations on your 47 years together.
    Lynne

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  19. The great Etta James song, keeps going through my head.....
    "At last, my love has come along
    My lonely days are over
    And life is like a song
    Oh, yeah, at last..."

    Congratulations on your impending nuptials!

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  20. Congratulations, Ron! Awesome news. I prefer your daily reportings over the Delaware papers hands down. Jill and I are very happy for you guys.

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  21. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Thank you for taking these steps. They are so important for the next generation who will not even have the faintest ideas of the struggles of your generation...oh yes...please tie your shoe!

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  22. You old romantic!

    Congratulations to you both :)

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  23. Kim,

    Thank you so much for your good wishes. I am overwhelmed by all the good wishes I have received from so many. I wasn't expecting this. Very heartwarming.

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  24. Liberty and Independence,

    Thank you so much for your good wishes. My secret pleasure is reading your weekly blog post of the doings of your family. I am a believer in families, all kinds!

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  25. Lynne,

    I agree with you 100%! Do you read the blog "Our Simple Lives...a Daddy and a Papa and Their Four Children?" I met the daddy and papa and two of their children. That is as good a family as anyone could ever hope for. Times are a changing!

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  26. Slugmama,

    I LOVE "At Last" by Etta James. Thank you for your good wishes.

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  27. Jon,

    Thank you for your good wishes. Forty-seven years is indeed a long time. At times it hasn't been easy and almost broke more than a few times but we weathered the storms and are now at a good place. This is the way life should be.

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  28. See what happens when I turn my back!!!
    I too want to join the conga line of congratulations!!
    Where are you registering? I can't locate you two at Macy's or at Williams-Sonoma, so what gives?

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  29. Hi Ron, I hope that you won't feel that I'm intruding, but I left a little comment for you over on John's 'War Horse' post. x

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  30. HI Elizabeth,

    I"m sorry but I cannot find your comment on John's War Horse post.

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  31. Mazel tov to you and Bill!

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  32. That's odd, Ron - it must be one of these blogger anomolies! I'll repeat here -

    'John, may I use your post to offer my sincere congratulations to Ron and Bill. Thank goodness that their area of the world has seen the light.

    Many years ago,I worked with Aids/HIV patients, at a time when our own country was not so enlightened.I saw partner after partner refused access to their dearest one's bedside because they were not 'next of kin' and wept with them as funeral preparations and post death affairs were executed with those who had been closest to the deceased side-lined in favoour of relatives - who, in many cases, had hitherto wanted nothing to do with their 'black sheep'. Thankfully, our own nation has moved on from those grim days 'though pockets of discrimination still exist.

    Ron, please assure Bill that it isn't simply about the two of you expressing a public love for each other, but much much more.

    As the mum of a young gay man, I sincerely hope that, wherever he rests his hat in this world, the going will be so much easier for him than it has been for previous generations and I thank those who have fought for ongoing rights that should have been a given.

    Again, many, many congratulations. x'

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  33. Elizabeth,

    I received your comment! Thank you very much. Yes, life has changed dramatically for same sex couples since I first came out at 21 years of age. Never did I think in my lifetime that it would be possible for our relationship to be recognized and receive (some) legal protection in the state of Delaware where we live. Now we are hoping for federal recognition of same sex marriages. I actually believe now that will be possible in our lifetime.

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