Today, even though the man felt the need to insert some words that I don’t care about from a religion I don’t practice, our “Certificate of Marriage/Civil Union” document was signed. It’s not enough. It won’t be enough until there is no legal difference between my status and a heterosexual’s status in terms of the rights we can expect to be honored in every state in the US. It’s not enough until a judge can just sign a damned paper, or at least have the courtesy to ask whether we want him reciting words from Christian ritual to inaugurate the “secular” (in the US, that term is almost meaningless, given the Christian-centric nature of Western culture) protection of a union between two Jewish woman.
I don’t want to have a civil union. I want to have a marriage. I don’t want to say, “This is my civil partner.” I want to say, “This is my wife.”
I didn’t want a civil court judge to recite words which originated in a Christian wedding ceremony; I didn’t go to him for the sake of a ceremony at all. I just wanted him to sign a document that would guarantee me some of the rights of marriage, and which will eventually be replaced by actual marriage rights when my country decides to honor my right as a human being to have legal protection of my partner’s right to carry out my wishes when I can’t do that for myself — medical decisions, distribution of my worldly possessions upon my death, et cetera.
But today that document was signed, and in ten days we will have the full legal certificate to show that the papers were filed with the state. My online handle, MrsIpstenu, is even more fitting today. I got to stand beside my beautiful Ipstenu, who looked extremely dashing by the way, and say yes, I will view her as my full partner throughout our lives. The court worker who took our documentation and our photograph has a daughter who also recently became civilly unified with her girlfriend/wife, and he was a darling, and he wished us over and over a long and happy life together. He couldn’t have been happier for us if he were one of our own fathers. “Long, happy life!” he kept repeating with a big smile and little tears.
Kein, y’hi ratzon. Yes, may it be (G*D’s) will.