n. A relative by marriage.
I was sharing a funny story today about the video below with a friend of mine and some of the details were about a drive from my house to my in-laws house...which is a pretty good distance.
Now, I know that when I say "in-law", we all get different pictures in our heads and we've all had quite a bit different experiences as well. There are jokes galore.
A lot of us have heard the term, "Monster-In-Law" and most of us have seen the movie Meet the Parents. We get that there's been some less than stellar relationships out there.
I actually have amazing in-laws. I'll admit that it was a bit rocky at first. Their eldest daughter comes out of the closet and reveals that she is gay AND is in a relationship with yours truly. We had our moments as everyone was evolving to this revelation and the true reality of who my partner is...
It's 6 years later and I look forward to the times that I get to spend with them. They treat me as one of their own and I am humbled and blessed to call them my family.
As I was thinking about all of this and in light of the 2 cases that the Supreme Court of the United States, I came to a terrifying reality.
THEY ARE NOT MY IN-LAWS.
My partner and I are not married. I've called them my in-laws for years now...it's what everyone understands...it's our social indicator, our culture. When referring to our spouse's/partner's/husband's/wife's family, they are our in-laws. These are the words we use but by the very definition they do not represent my relationship with my partner's family. This was a sad moment for me. I want to be able to call them my "in-laws" and what its very definition means - a relative by marriage.
With all of this rolling around in my head, it all became clear to me. Marriage Equality isn't about religion, pro-creation, science, politics, or even love. We don't say, mother-in-religion, father-in-science, sister-in-love. We say IN-LAW. Marriage is about protection. Protection under and by the law. That's what I want. That's what I want for me, my partner, my daughter, my sisters, my brother, my parents...and my in-laws.
It's not just about me and my partner...this is about my family.
The Love part? Well...it's a bonus. A great and wonderful bonus.