How Marriage Equality Affects my Family (Spoiler – It Doesn’t)

Rainbow RosesSo it happened! (Again?) Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia!

Oh my goodness! What are the implications of this? What does this mean for my family and my marriage? What does this mean for society in general? What does this mean for other couples I know? What will I tell my kids???

Will there be celebratory parades? Protests? Looting? Protest parades followed by looting? Celebrants clashing with protestors?

As it turns out, none of the above. All that happened here is that some people went out and got married.

This summer, when it looked like we had marriage equality in Virginia, my friends’ overall reaction was “YAY! WOOHOO!”.

Then a few weeks later when it looked like oh-wait-maybe-not the reaction was “Really?”

So now, after a few months of upper-courts air hockey on this whole issue, we’re being told “It’s really official now! It’s actually going to stick this time!”

To which, my friends, who are not legal experts (and neither am I), reacted “Yay??”

And as for my friends who are in same sex relationships, well the world kept right on turning while all this debating was going on. And, it’s not that they aren’t thrilled about this, but, honestly? Like most people, they’re too busy taking care of the kids/business/adult life in general to publicly celebrate. And maybe they are just a little hesitant as to whether this is actually for real this time.

And as for my family, this was how the conversation with my teenage son went:

Son: “So, like, is gay marriage legal now in Virginia now, or not?”

Me: “I think it was. Then I think it wasn’t. Now I think it is, because the Supreme Court said so.”

Son: “So, like, are they finally done with it? Are they done arguing about this? Can they spend their time on other more important stuff now?”

So that pretty much sums up how the marriage equality issue has impacted my family. It has nothing to do with the definition of/sanctity of marriage. As far as my son is concerned it is just one more demonstration of our legal institutions/government spending time arguing about stuff that just isn’t important.

And this, actually, is the real issue that I have a difficult time trying to explain to my kids…


A professional “trailing spouse” and mother of two, Suzanne has lived in several different countries. Her fifth corporate relocation (yes count ‘em, five!) brought her family to Richmond VA in the summer of 2011, and she is really excited about exploring all of the possibilities that Richmond has to offer! Also, she in not moving again. Really. She means it!