|Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images|
Finally, following twenty-three years as a couple, Siegel, 77, and Kopelov, 85, were not only able to make their partnership legal, but also they were able to have their love for, and commitment to, each other formally recognized. Yesterday was truly a momentous day for them and 823 other gay and lesbian couples, who were also married throughout the state on the first day same-sex marriage became legal.
You know, when I look at these two women--obviously seniors, obviously very much in love, obviously at the latter end of their lives--I'm moved to tears at the thought anyone would deny them the right to be legally married, to legitimize their relationship. That anyone would think their love is less valid than the love between a man and a woman (or, for that matter, between two men). That anyone would misuse some outdated reference in the Bible to presume God doesn't approve of what these women share. If you don't get it, then you are truly without a heart.
On this occasion, I think about how shameful it would have been had either Siegel or Kopelov passed away before Sunday, having never been legally married. I think about the injustice that would have been done to them, not to be extended the same legal rights as all heterosexual married couples, not to have the world recognize the love they have for each other. And I think about the other forty-four United States of America where people just like Siegel and Kopelov still can't be legally married. What about them? What about their rights as human beings? What about their love?
I'm subtitling this post, "The Beauty of Love," because that's what I see when I look at this picture. All gay men and lesbian women around the world want is to love someone of the same sex without being judged for it, without being told they're wrong or evil or immoral or going to hell because of it. All gay men and lesbian women around the world want is for the love they have for someone of the same sex to be recognized as valid and legal and beautiful, and for that love to be looked at no differently from the love between a man and a woman. Because, I assure you, there is no difference. Our love is exactly the same.