It’s a question that many gay couples hear when they announce their engagement: “Why get married, if it’s not legal?”
Our answer is simple: “For the same reasons that straight couples get married.”
We know a lot of straight couples, and we doubt than any of them, if asked, would say that they got married so that they could file a joint income tax return, or visit each other in the hospital, or put the other on their health insurance. Sure, straight couples automatically get all these benefits when they marry, but is that why they do it?
Of course not, they get married because they love each other, because they want to spend the rest of their lives together, because they want to stand up in front of their families and friends and declare to the world that they are now one, and because they want those family members and friends to stand beside them and support their union.
That’s why we got married, too – even if it’s not legal.
Would we like all the benefits that come with legal marriage? Of course, that’s why we want same-sex marriage legalized, and why, when it is, we’ll be at the front of the line, but we’re not going to wait until then to declare our love to the world.