I know that I promised on May 5th (wow, 11 days ago) that there would be more posts here. If there’s any one thing I hate, it’s blogs that go for weeks without getting updated, and then there’s the post that says “sorry I haven’t updated in a while, life has been busy!” I don’t know how many readers we have , but this blog is important to Heidi and me. We will attempt to be a bit more diligent in our writing.
Now having said that, life has been a whirlwind around here. There have been the standard things to get caught up in – the school year is winding down and we’re also getting ready to take a vacation. But it’s been more than that. Over the last 10 days, we have witnessed a dear friend of ours go from being merely sick, to being hospitalized, to being moved to ICU and finally put on a ventilator. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, and after a tense week, she is well on the road to recovery. Youth (she is significantly younger than me) is definitely on her side and she has a fighting spirit that will see her through this and the path to a complete recovery.
It was during this time that I realized why marriage really matters. Her husband is considered next of kin, and with that came the authority to make medical decisions for his wife when she was unable to make her own medical decisions. Not even her own mother could override the decisions that he made. Legally, he had the final say. It got me to thinking about how were he her boyfriend or even her fiance, that assignment would not immediately fall to him. Without the legality of a marriage, he could have easily found himself on the outside looking in, while decisions regarding the woman he loved were made, possibly without his input.
Now, of course that is overdrawing it for effect, but is it? What I was really surprised by was how much those of us who have been afforded the luxury of being married before April 27th really take all that for granted. Because the history of HIV and the ensuing AIDS epidemic is of such interest to me, it made me think about how many gay men were denied the right to simply be with their dying partners because they were not family, at least not in the legal sense.
So to those who would deny the LGBT community these simple rights, I would ask them to honestly think about how they would feel were they were overruled by their spouse’s immediate family in making health care decisions.
In the meantime, marriage equality will have been the law of the Iowa land for three weeks tomorrow. Miraculously, the sky is still there. Life has gone on. But don’t get complacent. Things may be quieter now, but this is but the eye of the hurricane. With 2010 a gubernatorial election year, the entire Iowa House and half the Iowa Senate up for re-election, you can bet that this is only the beginning. Keep on fighting and most importantly, walk the walk.