Kevin Emerson is a member of Plan-B Theatre Company’s board of trustees. He and Beatrix (aka Trixi) are also subscribers and donors.
Yes we do!
We had done it! We found each other and knew we wanted to be together; to create something bigger than our individual selves by sharing our daily experiences with one another for the rest of our lives – we were getting married!
For us, the personal commitment we made to each other was the most important. So, when we announced our engagement, we had already had our own two-person “wedding” of sorts. But we also wanted to share our commitment with our community of family and friends through a public and legally-recognized marriage ceremony. Of course, the tax advantages, insurance perks, and other legal privileges were also nice; but to be honest these seemed like “icing on the cake.”
For each evening over several months, we worked together to plan all aspects of our wedding. One night – in the midst of wrapping spring bulbs in tulle – we started discussing how this whole “marriage” thing feels kind of wrong, considering that some of our closest friends are unable to freely and legally marry the person closest to their hearts. The very thing we were so immersed in was out of reach for our many of our friends. We grew quiet in our conversation as we thought of what it really meant to be in love and want to legally commit to one another only to have the law tell us “No” based solely on sexual orientation. Boy, is it easy to take things for granted when they’re not out of reach! With such a sobering thought in our minds, how could we move forward with our wedding? Should we postpone our marriage until all people can legally marry?
Every straight couple has to answer that question on their own. But for us, we knew we had the love and support of our community. We knew that our LGBT friends were excited to offer their blessing on our wedding day, knowing that one day, if we all keep working at it together, we’d be there to celebrate with them on theirs, too. Besides, our world needs more straight married couples to stand up for marriage equality and to explain to those who will listen, that not only is our marriage not threatened by marriage equality, it becomes enriched through it. All marriages become more meaningful when the institution of marriage itself embodies more fairness, acceptance, and love.
Though our wedding ceremony and celebration was overflowing with personally meaningful and heart-felt tradition, it wasn’t a “religious” ceremony, per se (our officiate was a Unitarian Minister, need we say more?). But seriously, “God” just wasn’t discussed much, if at all, during the ceremony. And while many Americans don’t consider our a-religious wedding to be legitimate, it is fully recognized under the law because we’re straight; what ought to matter is love not how that love is expressed, or who you love.
As we approach our ninth wedding anniversary, we look at our 2-year-old son and wonder when things will change. He’s growing fast and we are impatient for the world to be better for him. We aspire for a world that is fair and respectful to all people. We believe it can happen and we each do what we can to help make it so, through our personal actions, how we vote, and how we raise our son. If we didn’t believe things could change, we wouldn’t have brought him into this world. It took a long time to get here and it will take some time to make things right again. By marrying art and theatre with social activism, through plays such as “8,” we believe that the civil justice that our world needs will come sooner.
Plan-B Theatre Company’s Script-In-Hand Series reading of “8″ takes the stage August 4-5. A fundraiser for both Plan-B and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the event boasts a cast of 20 and a post-show discussion with the playwright, Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, and Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts). Tickets and more info available here.