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Why gay marriage is really about marriage neutrality

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the potentially landmark cases against both DOMA and California's Prop 8. I congratulate my LGBT friends and am glad we're a step closer to gay marriage across the nation. Of course, we still have the sticky problem of whether the Court will go ahead and rule on the Full Faith and Credit issue. Will newly legal marriages in Washington, for instance, now be required to be recognized in Alabama?

What I really want to discuss today, however, is that I don't really care whether gays get married or not. And that is the real victory for family life in the United States as we move forward. Get married. Don't get married. It's none of my business. It's none of the government's business, really. The big story here is that we're moving closer to marriage neutrality. However people choose to pair off and be a family should largely lead to equal treatment from our government and be a non-issue.

I'm not anti-marriage. I think sometimes it is assumed that I must be...or we must be, since Kelly is a party to our unmarried status. I wouldn't call either of us pro-marriage either. It just is. It's a choice. Call her my "wife" and I won't complain. I'm not offended. But we've chosen to partner, live together, have children, and run our family in a structure that currently doesn't include marriage. Doesn't mean it always will be that way. It's just nobody's business but ours.

But being unmarried--like gay couplehood--leaves many legal and financial challenges. What would happen to the house and car, which are both in her name, if she died? I can't make medical decisions for her. Thankfully, hospital visitation is changing. And we could get around many of these issues with proper legal documents. But I'm currently without health insurance since I left permanent work at the museum. In a better world, sure I could just hop on hers. We get no tax breaks as a "married couple." Gotta have that piece of paper for that.

I care for the children as a SAHD. I currently do the grocery shopping. Wash the kids' clothes. Do the dishes. But in the eyes of the government there is no union here. But change is coming. We're slowly figuring out that freedom TO marry also means the freedom NOT to marry.

And until ALL of us have the option to form loving relationships the way we see fit, there is work left to do.

To all my gay and lesbian friends, I wish you nothing but the best. Enjoy your moment. Thank you for your work. I'll celebrate with you if you promise to celebrate the day we can quit checking "single or married" boxes and start being asked the simple question of "how many in your family?"