Skip to comments.Newlywed Gays Brave Critics in Search of Security (Bible thumping involved) Technicolor BARF
Posted on 03/12/2004 7:45:09 PM PST by Libloather
Newlywed Gays Brave Critics in Search of Security
Fri Mar 12, 3:43 PM ET
By Teresa Carson
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Daffodils line the walkway, a tricycle sits by the front door and family photos are proudly displayed on the shelves in the house where two-and-a-half year-old Avery is trying to finagle himself a cookie.
This tranquil domestic scene belies the turmoil, including death threats, lawsuits, Bible thumping and a bitter national debate prompted by this family and others like it. Avery's parents, both women, just got married.
Kelly Burke, 34, and Dolores Doyle, 38, have been together for 16 years, since meeting at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. They bought a house and fixed it up. Burke has put her career on hold to stay home with Avery, who is almost ready for pre-school.
They and more than 1,800 same-sex couples -- many of them women in long-term relationships that include children -- have gotten highly controversial marriage licenses issued by Portland's Multnomah County since March 3.
The county stepped into a national firestorm ignited when a handful of local governments -- from San Francisco to Asbury Park, New Jersey -- began issuing same-sex licenses for the first time.
The subject of gay marriage has become a major presidential campaign issue, with President Bush calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
In an era when celebrity marriages are sometimes measured in hours and trashy reality television shows lampoon traditional weddings, the uproar over same-sex marriage is vexing to gay rights advocates.
"It is funny, we are more traditional than most modern families. We shoveled our elderly neighbors' walks when it snowed. I stay at home with our child," Burke says, shaking her head.
Burke is a massage therapist and Doyle an electrician. Their families "for the most part" support their relationship, though not without some tension.
A decade ago the two crafted wills and powers-of-attorney allowing them to make medical and financial decisions for each other. When Burke gave birth to Avery, who was conceived with the aid of donor semen, Doyle adopted him, adding her name to his birth certificate to give him added protection.
"Avery legally has two moms," Burke said.
But the extensive legal planning was never quite the same as marriage.
"Over the years we have had to invest and arrange things differently knowing we would not inherit each other's pensions, for example," Burke says. "For 16 years, we've acted with all the responsibilities of marriage and none of the protections."
"We never travel anywhere without taking all our paperwork with us," Doyle says.
Shortly after Avery's birth, before the adoption was final, Burke developed dangerous blood clots in her legs. As she was rushed to the emergency room, she frantically scribbled a statement that Avery was to stay with Doyle if she became incapacitated or died.
"I was sobbing, writing this letter. It was really awful and frightening," Burke says, tears welling up at the memory.
Doyle and Burke exchanged vows at a local theater, where hundreds of quickie weddings were performed earlier this month. Like many others, they feared a court injunction might close the window on this opportunity.
"We really did not think this marriage thing would ever happen," Doyle says.
They recited the same vows they used on their 10th anniversary, when they threw a three-day bash at a local inn.
"But it was wonderful to say them and know there was legal weight behind them," Burke says.
Whether or not their marriage will survive an onslaught of legal challenges is unclear, and Doyle and Burke are realistic about the prospects for greater rights for gays nationwide.
"Ultimately, it will end up in marriage (for gays) but it may take another generation," Doyle predicts.
Hot damn. Can't wait to hear their opinion about national security...
Jesus said: "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." -from THE BIBLE: Matthew 19:4-6
For some reason, this phrase just seems so appropriate to the article.
Well, I won't need this anymore.
Toxic waste cleanup on the weekends can be expensive...
Gotta love that impartial media.
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