HRC Blog

Why Here?

Guest posted submitted by Kristen Eberhard

ringsTonight at dinner my son asked, “Why here? Why are they coming here to get married, Mom?” I took a deep breath and told him, “We are lucky to live in a state where someone on their deathbed, fighting a terminal disease, doesn’t have to fly across the country to make their union legal. We are fortunate to live in a place that recognizes the sanctity of a marriage between two men or two women.”

My cousin, Lisa Dumaw, an attorney and former Goldman Sachs employee, having valiantly fought her battle with ovarian cancer for the last 5+ years, is in the last days, weeks, moments of her life. This time around, remission slipped ever so quickly through her grasp.

Lisa, 47-years old, having spent the last 15 years in a dedicated and loving relationship, is a resident of Colorado, which does not recognize same-sex marriage.

So, while her body is failing her, all 90 lbs. of her is willing to travel across the country to New York, a state where such unions are acknowledged.

It is her last wish.

The trip will be arduous at best. She will be shuffled between terminals in a wheelchair, yet I will be blessed with the opportunity to orchestrate a magical wedding night in my living room.

But, why here?

Because sometimes desire trumps practicality. Lisa and Therese love Woodstock, and Woodstock is in a state that affirms their choice. I choose to live in a place where I can celebrate this and throw an impromptu wedding as a gift to a cousin who has been like a sister to me my entire life.

The trip will undeniably take its toll upon her physically, but it’s a risk she is willing to take.

But what about all of the other loving, committed same-sex coulpes?  What about the people who don’t have the means to jump on a plane to make their last dying wish – a legally recognized wedding?

What about them? How long must they wait? And what if they don’t have time?

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