By: Henry Amador
My husband and I were married on October 10th 2009 in Boston Mass.
In the five years that we have been joined, in the 1,826 days that we have lived and loved together, not a single one of those days had been legally recognized by the State that we called home.
Not until yesterday.
This anniversary began much like the others, we kissed and exchanged gifts.
My husband gave me the perfect pair of Hunter rain boots and I surprised him with his first Tallit as he is nearly finished with his conversion classes.
Our three year old happily gave his papa the card I had picked out for him although he was not very pleased that it didn’t play music, and we began our day.
Joel had to work and I was driving Ben over to his Mimi’s for the weekend so that we could have some quiet time.
Never did I expect that our wedding anniversary would soon share it’s glory with another amazing and significant moment in history, not only our history but the history belonging to an entire State, States and the Country.
On Monday October Sixth the Supreme Court of the United States refused to take on the issue of gay marriage, of marriage equality, which essentially made way for same sex marriages across the country. Virginia was one of the States affected by this decision or as some felt, lack of decision, and my home State of North Carolina was tied into Virginia’s future.
The LGBTQ community here at home was buzzing with excitement and with hope.
It had only been two years since this State passed Amendment One which actually amended the States Constitution and made it unconstitutional for the North Carolina to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.
This horrible act essentially stripped away the rights of all LGBTQ families and individuals in North Carolina.
When Joel and I decided to move here last Summer we were asked why, why would you move to a State with one of the worst climates for your family?
Our answer was two fold;
Firstly no one dictates how or where we live our lives, no one. Our family lives here and our son deserved that tie.
Secondly, the best place to fight a fight is within. Remember the Trojan Horse?
On October Ninth, Thursday, a Judge gave the GOP until noon on Friday to file more papers, to waste more tax dollars to prolong the inevitable.
So our normal and lovely anniversary turned into a roller coaster ride.
Friends, loved ones, waited in courthouses all across the State for a ruling, for a signature and a statement that would forever change the course of their lives and of American history as it is presently written.
Noon came and went.
With each hour that passed the thought of Marriage Equality in North Carolina began to take on a new vibration, it was here and it was ready, we were here and we were definitely ready.
Just when it appeared that the decisions would not be coming down until the following Monday or Tuesday a Judge in Asheville, the Honorable U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr, struck down the State’s marriage ban clearing the way for same-sex weddings to begin immediately.
I have often said that not a once in the five beautiful years with my husband did I not feel married to him, regardless of what the law said, however the day our son was born was the day that fear began to slip in to our lives.
Fear for our safety and for our survival.
What if something happened to one of us how would our boy be protected?
What if God-forbid something ever happened to him, how would we be protected?
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, in the stroke of a pen it was over.
The fear drifted away without even a word, without even a glance back.
I was home alone, my husband at work, my son at grandmas and all I could do was cry.
Seeing all my brothers and sisters saying I do and watching the celebratory cheers rise up above the hate, the obstacles and those that would have kept us from our rights, was literally breathtaking.
I cried happy tears for all the dreams that were coming true and I cried the happiest of all tears for my family and for my little boy.
Although he is really incapable of grasping the historic meaning of this day (his daddies fifth wedding anniversary) he will one day read of this amazing moment in history when his family legally stepped up and out into the light of full marriage equality.
Yesterday, October 10th 2014 was #DayOneNC for marriage equality.
Yesterday, October 10th 2014 was day #1826+One for the Amador-Batten family.
Yes, love is love indeed but LEGAL love, well that just rocks!
Illustration by Alejandro Sierra.