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.
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.