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March 29, 2013: I Still Do

March 29, 2013

I found out yesterday that two extended family members are having major marital problems (as in splitting up). I really feel sad about it. The only thing I can do is give them my love and support, and I will do that. Ironically, immediate family members are also disappointed about those breakups, yet they would like to see my marriage with Mara break up. But that isn’t happening. I said “I do” 16 years ago, and I still do.

I heard the news this week — the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases involving same-sex marriage: California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state, and the U.S. “Defense of Marriage Act,” which says that same-sex couples do not receive the same federal benefits as opposite-sex couples. One of the arguments that same-sex marriage opponents give for their position is that same-sex marriage threatens the institution of marriage (hence the name of the U.S. law). I read somewhere that same-sex marriage doesn’t threaten the institution of marriage; divorce does.

Anyway, my marriage to Mara is not affected either by the current laws or by her transition. While we were doing taxes this year, our tax preparer and I found out that there is no need to amend the marriage certificate with Mara’s name, and that the marriage is valid despite the transition. The only thing that would invalidate it, according to California law, is if one of us entered into the marriage illegally or fraudulently (e.g., if one of us was already legally married to someone else).

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