A personal note:


I walked down the aisle amid the smiles and clapping of my family and friends on the arm of my handsome son. I shed a tear as I heard the song I'd chosen to make my entrance to played and I got closer to the person I loved and had decided to spend the rest of my life with. I stood before the minister with the love of my life and we vowed before God and our loved ones to cherish one another no matter what "until death do we part". We were declared a couple and walked out arm in arm amidst more clapping and cheers; smiling and happy to now be "one flesh". We received the well wishes and toasts of everyone in attendance, ate cake, took photos and danced the night away, all the while feeling as though I would burst from all the happiness and joy I was feeling.

Later, at the hotel where we spent our honeymoon we accepted the best wishes and congratulations from the desk clerk on our marriage and new life together. Those same wishes were extended to us everywhere we went, the bank as my name was added to the bank account, the restaurant we ate at later the next day, even the building security guard "welcomed me to the club".

As I lay with my new spouse the night after our wedding I thought about how grateful to God I was for giving me this person to love and for having them love me in return and about how unfair it was that thanks to the laws of most states in our country, everyone was not allowed the right to feel the way I was feeling at that moment. You see, I am a female and I married a male, but what if I had fallen in love with another woman? Would the bank teller and hotel clerk still "wish me well"? Would it have been totally acceptable for me to plan the wedding of my dreams without the caterer, florist and even perhaps the musicians looking at me as if I were not entitled to have a wedding? As I stood before the minister reciting my vows, I wondered to myself what made me so special? Why had I been allowed to pledge my life to my beloved only because I was female and he was male? What kind of society would take away the happiness and joy I was feeling at that moment from anyone solely based upon sexual orientation? It is not right!

Everyone should be allowed to marry the person they love no matter what and I will do all that I can do to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to feel as happy as I felt Saturday, December 6, 2008!

The ACLU of Illinois is committed to full legal marriage equality for all Illinoisans. Fairness demands that the state treat all Illinois couples the same when it comes to important legal rights and benefits that marriage can provide. We support HB 1826, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act as an important step towards full equality. You can help by contacting your state legislator at http://action.aclu.org/ilcivilunion.