[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ODAY, May 11th, millions of families across the country are celebrating Mother’s Day. Some children will send their mom flowers; others may present a handmade gift. For me, the greatest gift of all would be full marriage equality for all committed couples here in Colorado — so my son, Caleb, and his partner can finally legally marry in the state they call home.
As a mother, one of the most important things to me is my family. Family is the backbone of society, and recognizing my son’s freedom to marry the person he loves and protect his family only strengthens our society and our state.
I’m proud to say I have a little bit of real-life experience when it comes to this topic: my husband, Jamie, and I have been married for 32 years. I can attest that marriage takes hard work, but when you find someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, there’s no question that it’s worth it. Jamie and I know how much our marriage means to us, and that’s exactly why we want Caleb to be able to have that same opportunity.
Two years ago, we had the joy of seeing our daughter get married. It was a celebration of love and commitment between her and her husband — one of the happiest days of my life. But as happy as it made me, it pains our family just as much to see our own son being denied that freedom. I can’t imagine being told I couldn’t marry the person that I love; no one should ever have to go through that.
When we spend time around Caleb and his partner, we are always so touched by the clear love we see between them. They are always there for each other no matter what, in sickness and in health. Watching them reminds Jamie and me of our own relationship. It has made us realize that all committed couples – gay or straight – share similar reasons for wanting to marry: to make a lifetime promise to each other and to share the joys and challenges that life brings.
At the end of the day, there is no substitute for marriage, which says plainly and clearly that two people will take responsibility for one other – and that in times of crisis, they will be there for each other. But for same-sex couples like Caleb and his partner, the ability to make this commitment only exists in 17 out of 50 states – and Colorado is not yet one of them.
Still, on this Mother’s Day in particular – with marriage equality resting on the soon-to-be announced decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado – I am hopeful that change is on the horizon. Today, 61 percent of Coloradans now support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples – a clear sign that most people in our state understand nothing compares to marriage in protecting couples and their families.
In the meantime, I try to remind myself that someday the time will come when my son can proudly walk down the aisle. And that will be a happy day indeed.