Today our friends Abbie & Mira are getting married in Vancouver.
Same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in Canada in 2005.
I’ve known Mira since I was 3 years-old, and in the state where we grew up, Virginia, and where she now lives with Abbie, it is not legal for them to marry.
In fact, Virginia has an amendment to its constitution banning marriage equality for all gays and lesbians in the state, and denying legal relationship recognition to all unmarried couples.
Same-sex couples in Virginia cannot have civil unions and therefore have no legal protections or contract rights as to status.
It is permissible in Virginia to discriminate against someone in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation is not included in the state’s hate crime laws.
Virginia courts have routinely discriminated against gay and lesbian parents in Virginia in second-parent adoptions, finding them “not in the best interests of the child,” as well as finding against other forms of adoption and custody/visitation rights.
Which means my two friends have a lot more to consider as they start a family than most.
‘Virginia is for Lovers’ is the state slogan, but it should have a footnote.
Mira & Abbie still have faith in Virginia, and so do I.
But today, I am only happy. Mazel Tov my beautiful friends.