What is Marriage Equality?

Marriage Equality

So I was not going to weigh in on the bickering about same-sex marriage but when people who claim to be Christians start to “judge” and throw scripture at the situation I have to give my two cents!

First and for most you must understand I am a woman of strong faith.

I was raised in and around church all of my life from Baptist, Pentecostal and them my final teenage home of faith was Episcopal.

I have struggled through my adult life with finding a new worship home but because of my “lifestyle” it has become very difficult. You see there are churches that have a prominently homosexual following but I found those churches did not fulfill my inner spirituality because a great percentage of their members tend to be crusaders for the homosexual community. To this I say “yeah” there always needs to be crusaders for equality and justice. But for me it did not fuel my inner spirituality. I have tried more traditional churches but feel like a hypocrite because those congregations do not accept me and my family as a unit. So I have spent most of my adult years keeping my faith and worshiping in my own ways through working on our farm and appreciating what God has given us.

Now that you have some background on me I would like to remind those who do “Judge” our relationships there is scripture for that too.

Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

The family, Morgan & Korban Smith (Bentley Blake), Kammie Baker, Dedra & Michelle
The family, Morgan & Korban Smith (Bentley Blake), Kammie Baker, Dedra & Michelle

My family:

Michelle and I have been together for almost ten years. We do not show affection in public. We do not believe what goes on or doesn’t go on in the bedroom is anybody’s business. We go to work, pay our bills, raise our children and work on our farm just as anybody does.

There are some who may be reading this now and it is posing a huge question mark above your head. Yes I am a lesbian. You did not know this because I do not wear a name tag that say “Hi my name is Dedra and I am a Lesbian.” Those who have taken the opportunity to know me as a person I would venture to guess don’t care about my “lifestyle” because you know me the old lady grandma in class who laughs at your jokes and carries on daily conversation with you.

So the question I ask is does me being a lesbian alter what I would say, NO because that is a small part of whom I am. I am a Momma, Partner, Grandma, Daughter, Granddaughter, Student and Horse Lover FIRST before I am a LESBIAN!

 

The love of my life!
The love of my life!

What Domestic Partnership or Marriage means to me?

While I do understand that my children are grown and some of this does not apply to me anymore but it does to so many.

The very first thing heterosexuals need to do is put yourself in our shoes. We live a life of uncertainty daily because our unions are not recognized in a majority of the states and by the federal government entities i.e. IRS.

There are so many benefits that you have as heterosexual couples and take for granted that we do not…

Joint filing of taxes – Michelle and I have been together for almost 10 years and we have to file separate forms although we live together and she supports my children.

Visitation in the hospital – If I was to be in a car wreck and in ICU a hospital could deny Michelle visitation because we are not technically related through marriage or blood. Which leads to communicating with medical personnel, they could also refuse to talk to her. The police would notify my eldest child as next of kin not my “spouse”.

Health Benefits – I am a student and do not have medical insurance. Michelle fortunately works for an organization that supports domestic partnership so she can provide me health benefits but for so many this is not a reality.

Child custody – If something would have happened to me my children would have been split up and sent to their fathers. Now how is that justice for my children when my daughter had not seen her father since she was 7-years-old. Her brother is the only true male role-model she has ever had.

So what does marriage mean to me…..SECURITY.

Now I say to you….Before you cast judgment on same-sex marriage 1) read the above mentioned scripture 2) think about what your family would do if put in the above mentioned situations!

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