Marriage Now/Wedding Later
My partner of 38 years and I got legally married yesterday. We will have the wedding in 6 months. Never let it be said that we do things in the usual order. Even parenting we did backwards from what most people do. We started with a 14 year old, a nephew. Then we had a 9 year old foster daughter. Then we decided to have babies ourselves, and my partner gave birth to our oldest son. Almost 4 years later, I gave birth to our twins.
That old jump rope rhyme is running through my head today. Theresa and Anne sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (pick a name) with a baby carriage.
Marriage certainly wasn’t an option for us when we got together in 1975, and only became a real choice for us to consider after the Supreme Court decision just two weeks ago. Yes, we could have had a religious ceremony at any point and yes, for the last ten years or so, we could have gotten married in a number of different states or foreign countries. We have lots of friends that did both, and I admire them all for their trailblazing courage. But until the the DOMA decision granted federal recognition, getting married just felt sort of fake. It wouldn’t be completely real anywhere in this country. It would have also been a huge hassle trying to figure out taxes and other legal issues. Our marriage is still not recognized by the State of Utah, but here’s the key – it is recognized by federal agencies even in Utah. Utah will eventually have to come around to equality, and in the meantime, our marriage has real economic benefits. Yes, I will have to file state taxes as a single person while we will do a joint federal return. Weird that is, but then again, even ordering a drink can be very quirky in this state.
The big deal for us was inheritance rights and the federal estate tax. We own two houses jointly in two states and if one of us had died before we were married, the federal inheritance tax might have meant that the survivor would lose at least one house. At the very least our California house is now safe. This is why we got married before our wedding. We want a real wedding with a minister, rings, music, the whole shebang. You can’t plan something like that in 3 days. Doing it this way, we will just have more anniversaries to celebrate. I think we deserve it. We have waited a long time.