Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equal Rights for All

היום שני ימים בעמר
Today is two days of the omer
גבורה שבחסד
A day of strength in a week of loving kindness

In July 1997, Ken was in a motorcycle accident and was taken to San Francisco General. I was working in Cupertino that day, and hightailed it up to the city as soon as I got the word. I made what was normally a 40 minute trip in under 30 minutes. When I got to the hospital, it was difficult to get information on where or how he was. It felt a bit like being in a medical TV drama--except it was real.

At the time, we were married for almost 6 years. Even though our last names are different, no one had ever questioned our statement of marriage. I think the only time we were asked to show our marriage license was when we bought our house. That day was no exception. When I was having issues finding the right people who could get me to Ken, I used the word "wife" as I had never used it before. "I'm his wife.....I'm his wife......I'm his wife" kept coming out of my mouth as I was shuttled from one place and one person to another. "You can't go there!", I heard as I started down a corridor that someone had pointed to. "Yes I can, I'm his wife" I replied.

There was never any question of my support for equal rights -- but that day made the need very concrete for me. I was able to ask questions, get people to talk to me, find Ken and see him before he went into surgery on his fractured wrist--because I was his wife. I could state it over and over again and everyone believed me. But my friends in same-sex relationships--committed, loving relationships--do not have that privilege. They can be denied access to their loved one because they couldn't use the magic words---husband, wife--that would open those doors.

Hopefully, in a few months, in California and the rest of the country, that inequality will be rectified. 

כן יהי רצון – May it be so

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