May 8, 2011
By Adam Bink
A well-done op-ed published in today’s NY Daily News (h/t Towleroad):
For Mother’s Day, I want marriage equality: Give my son and his partner the right to marry
It was quite a Mother’s Day gift. At long last, just as his older brother, Michael, had years earlier, my younger son, Jonathan, had found “the one.” From the moment he enthusiastically introduced my husband and me to the new person in his life, I knew this was it. For months after, I witnessed their relationship blossom – watched as his eyes lit up, listened as his “I’s” gave way to “We’s.” And like any mother, I was elated to see my son so in love and so happy.
After all, since Jonathan had never been a bar-frequenter, it had been my gentle coaxing that had convinced him that the best way to meet people in a new town was through community service. I was right.
With my encouragement, Jonathan eventually joined a volunteer group for active gay singles. Soon after, he met Eric.
Fast-forward 11 years. Jonathan and Eric are as much devoted to each other as ever.
They have a wonderful life together, complete with a lovely suburban home and an adorable dog. In 2001, they launched their own volunteer group, which, over the years, has become one of the nation’s largest service organizations for LGBT volunteers. They’re as devoted to their community as they are to their relationship, and I could not be more proud.
It’s a joy and a relief that both of my sons have entered that special, slightly mysterious realm that spouses share. That deep, abiding love and commitment. That bedrock knowledge that even if everyone else does not, that one person will remain true to the end. The simple pleasure of sleeping better at night, warm and snug in the knowledge that you are not alone in this world.
Every mother wants that for her children, to know that even when we parents are long gone, they will still be loved with every bit of fervor that we’ve loved them with from the moment they were born. It is a human condition, at the most basic level.
Michael’s marriage to Teri was a given and politics never entered the equation — of course they could marry! They were in love and had chosen each other, till death do them part. Jonathan’s relationship, on the other hand, requires a lot of explanation and even more paperwork. He is denied the rights and protections civil marriage provides.
Even children understand that this is unfair. Michael and Teri’s two sons, both years away from voting age, have written to their state senators for help – they want to see Uncle Jonathan and Uncle Eric get married, here in our home state of New York and in front of their friends and family. And so do I.
Because what matters — the only thing that matters — is love. And that is universal. It’s time that marriage was universal, too.
This Mother’s Day, I don’t want another scarf. I don’t want any flowers. My dear son can’t give me the gift I want now — he’s done all he can do. Who would have thought that the best gift this mother could ever receive would come from the New York Legislature?
It’s time to pass marriage equality legislation. I’ve got a wedding to plan.
Blumenthal is a mother from Syosset, L. I..
Any Mother’s Day thoughts or plans for you all? Anyone talking to their mom about marriage or equality?