Friday, June 26, 2015

My Personal Response to the Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality: There Are Rivers of Overflowing Hearts in the U.S. Right Now

My very personal and immediate unvarnished reaction after reading the news of the Supreme Court decision: 

Tears as I read Justice Kennedy's statement in today's Supreme Court ruling:

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Hard to keep from crying right now. I (and so many others, many of whom have gone before us and today's victory, people I loved and cherished who lived towards this day but did not see it arrive), have lived so long waiting to be recognized as full citizens of this nation, as equal in humanity to all other citizens. The stress and complications created by the inequality and injustice have caused tremendous pain and difficulty—for so many including Steve and me, right to this week, as the clock ticks to the end of the period (the end of June, that is) when I can make final choices about Medicare coverage, as the state of Arkansas continues, to its tremendous shame, to drag its feet about permitting legally married same-sex spouses of state employees to receive healthcare coverage through their spouses' healthcare plans.

For years now, we have had to make hard choices about what medical care we can afford, when we can afford it, when we need to defer it. We've still had to make those choices because of the binds that the refusal to accord us legal rights as a married couple has created in the area of healthcare coverage. I was told by a dentist two weeks ago that I need a root canal, but when I called the endodontist he recommended and heard the price of that procedure, Steve and I decided it would be best to wait and see what happened with the Supreme Court ruling, and whether I might finally have a health insurance plan that would include dental coverage (that component of my coverage under the ACA was cancelled this year). Manage the pain in the meanwhile . . . .

Hearts can, for sure, be full to overflowing. There are rivers of overflowing hearts in the U.S. right now.

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