I care about marriage equality.
I care about it in part as an ally to my friends who are gay and deserve to be just as legally married as I am... and I care, to be honest, because I'm old fashioned. I care because I believe in marriage.
I care because I want my kids to marry. I mean, when the time is right for them, I want them to settle down with ONE PERSON and grow deep roots with that ONE PERSON. And that desire of mine for them does not change according to who they are attracted to. If my sons want to marry men, that's fine with me but I want them to be MARRIED.
I feel the same way about my daughter Moxie, who has Down syndrome. When she decides the time is right for herself, I don't care if she wants to marry a woman; I just want her MARRIED.
But this is the thing: Moxie and most others with Down syndrome can't marry without being penalized by their disability benefits. And most people who need the safety net that disability benefits bring, really do need those benefits. That net is absolutely crucial and I cannot state that strongly enough.
If they get legally married, their income will be reduced, and disability benefits are already below the poverty level. There is no way a couple could live with less. So there are these pretend marriages in the Down syndrome and disability communities, and more often than not, people just live together.
So yesterday, I cried.
I cried so fricking hard, all day, every time I opened Facebook, every time I thought about it. I cried for joy for equality, I cried that justice has been seen to. I cried because this has been a hell of a long wait, a lifetime of struggle for so many people. I cried because I'm proud of my country.
I cried because it's now absolutely fair of me to expect all of my children to marry, whatever their sexual preference may be.
And I cried some more.
This victory will be perfect and complete only when we are ALL afforded equal rights and opportunities with marriage, when people with disabilities no longer face a marriage penalty with their benefits.
Some other posts Meriah has written on disability include 10 Dumb Things the Hearing Say to the Deaf (featuring Captain Picard), Tell Me Why - an essay on Down syndrome and prenatal diagnosis, and Disability Word Policing (with Star Trek gifs). She likes Star Trek a lot.