Changing History in Maryland with Question 6

How the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the state of Maryland changes our lives.


Blaring from the television set the election results are announced, my wife and I are curled up in our bed with iPhones and laptops frantically refreshing the four webpages that we are watching for results. The difference between us and almost every other household in America—we aren’t waiting to hear who is going to become the next president but to hear the outcome of Question 6.

At some point I realize that I’ve been clenching my jaw for 15 minutes. Facebook and Twitter are on fire once President Obama is projected to win, we are still refreshing webpages.


Hearts racing.

Trying to remain positive but as the numbers continue to fluctuate between 1 and 3 percent our spirits begin to deflate and worry begins to creep into the back of our minds like an unwanted visitor.

We are a gay couple, raising children right here in your neighborhood; the decision of Question 6 changes our lives.

It means our children will grow up in a world where same sex couples have the same rights and protection as heterosexual couples. It means that when I introduce my wife to an acquaintance/coworker/friend from childhood no longer will they gulp and have the look on their face, “Your what?” It means that eventually we won’t be the only lesbian moms in our sons’ public school.

Once officially announced by Maryland Equality, we hold each other and cry. After the hours my wife has spent canvassing door to door in neighborhoods all over Prince Georges County, talking to people who looked her in the eye and told her that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman and refuse to accept any other marriage. After the hours that she has spent calling voters at a local phone bank reminding people that this is an issue of equality and fairness—and being exhausted from her day of standing at the Greenbelt Community Center encouraging people with her voice and kind smile to “Vote FOR Question 6” as they walked in to cast their ballot—I can feel her body release all the tension she’s been holding for weeks, and she exhales.

The TV is still blaring election coverage, but it goes silent in my ears and I can only hear us, our sobs. My wife’s body is shaking in my arms, our cheeks are pressed together yet slippery from the tears. We held each other and cried for several minutes. Once we released the embrace we looked each other in the eyes, and the only words we could both utter were, “I love you!”

We didn’t need anyone to validate our relationship or marriage, but it sure feels good to have proof that the people in the state of Maryland are changing their viewpoint and accepting our love as love.

As a country, we are moving forward. We were all a part of history Tuesday night. And whether or not you agree with same sex marriage, right now, you are witnessing history.

And that my fellow neighbors feels incredible.

Gretchen Schock is a mom, a writer and a yoga instructor. Check out her creative writings and crafty goodness on her blog, www.CocktailMom.com. Or come to a yoga class and be inspired! 

Dawn Mooney November 09, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Thank you for sharing your perspective and emotions with us, Gretchen. I'm so troubled by those who can openly and unabashedly express the opinion that your love of your wife is not equal to the love between a heterosexual couple. Suppressing equal marriage rights is horribly offensive to me, and I am raising my children to see love as love. I'm thrilled beyond belief for you and your wife to finally have your marriage legally recognized in our state!
Gretchen Schock November 10, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Me too Dara! I am thrilled!
Gretchen Schock November 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Thank you for reading Dawn. And I truly appreciate the work you are doing to raise children who are open-minded and caring towards everyone. We are thrilled and can't wait to celebrate with everyone again!
Sara Weller November 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I feel guilty that I am just now getting around to reading and commenting on this. Your story truly made me cry too. While I sat watching my TV on pins and needles for the results on Question 6, and how much it meant to me that it passed, as I believe in love for all people. I realize that I can't possibly relate to the relief, joy, excitement, acceptance, and love that you and your family must have felt. You should know that my husband spends a great deal of time on the road, as he is a truck driver. This issue was so important to both of us, that he voted by absentee ballot, because he knew that the vote for Question 6 could be close, and he refused to not have his voice heard. Here's to making changes and loving thy neighbor as thy self!
Gretchen Schock February 08, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Thank you so much for reading, commenting and VOTING FOR Question 6, Sara. We were a part of history...and boy does that feel good!


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