For Better Or For Worse

On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s existing statutes which limited marriage to opposite-sex couples. The ruling found that “equal respect and dignity” of marriage is a “basic civil right” that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples, that sexual orientation is a protected class like race and gender, and that any classification or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the California State Constitution.

Anniversary

On August 29, 2008 Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy and his partner of more than eight years were legally married in an outdoor ceremony under a grove of Eucalyptus trees, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. About fifty friends and family attended the ceremony. Afterward, we had a reception at my sister’s residence in Sonoma County. We spent our honeymoon weekend in downtown San Francisco.

One that beautiful day one year ago today, my husband and I committed to take care of one another – for better or for worse. Our combined journey of living with rheumatoid arthritis during this past year is just one more piece of evidence of the vows we took that day, and of the promise we made many years ago when we first became a couple.

On November 8, 2008 the citizens of California voted to revoke the right of same-sex couples to marry. While our marriage license (shown on the bottom right) remains legal, we will not rest until the civil rights struggle to recognize same-sex marriage around the country and around the world is complete.

My husband previously wrote a blog post here, in which he spoke of the caregiver’s perspective of living with rheumatoid arthritis: Voices Of RA: The Caregiver.

There is also an active conversation going on in the RA Information Library on Marriage/Relationships & RA.

Today we will celebrate our first anniversary  with a day trip back into this trees. This time around, though, things will be just a little more adventurous! We will drive down the World’s Most Dangerous Road (yes, it really does exist – and this is it!) towards the direction of the Amazon Basin – into a misty, jungle-filled valley.

Flare or not, here I come!

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

22 Comments
22 comments
  1. sara says:

    Happy Anniversary- I hope you and your husband enjoy what sounds like an adventurous and amazing day, and absolutely!!!- we must keep fighting both for RA awareness AND for marriage equality!

  2. Millicent says:

    Have the happiest of anniversaries today!!! Life itself is a “dangerous drive,” so go for it!

  3. Jules says:

    Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mr. RA Guy! I hope the two of you have a wonderful day. I wish you many, many, many more years of shared happiness and love. <3

    I can't tell you how completely disappointed I was in California's decision last November. I sincerely hope that, in my lifetime, the rest of the states will follow Massachusetts and make gay marriage legal. Though I feel is it just semantics when it comes to civil unions- it should be across the board. If "marriage" is a religious institution, then any commitment ceremony performed outside a church (gay or straight) should be considered a "civil union" rather than a "marriage". I should step off my soapbox before I really get heated this morning. LOL. I just hate that many of my friends cannot enjoy the same rights that I have just based on who we love.

  4. Moira says:

    Over here same sex couples are allowed to marry, only they call it a civil union, straight couples have those too esp those who don’t like the religious connotations of marriage. I feel blessed and thankful for my friends that we live in such a liberated little country of course there are pockets of discrimination, but on the whole we have an awful lot of personal freedoms when I look around. All the best for your anniversary and the upcoming battles, it is really good to have a non arthritis focus to (if you need to find a positive in it all). I just got married in Jan in the middle of being horrifically depressed. It’s wierd but although I had a lot of anxiety and was prob a nightmare bride to deal with it was the best thing for me. Having an event to focus on, something to do with my time off work, and knowing of course that this sweet and loving man was willing to commit to a lifetime of caring for me no matter what. Go love.

  5. LMSUK says:

    I can’t believe what you just wrote (the californians voting against same sex marriage)- what a backwards step. I am truly surprised. Congratulations on your anniversary and hope you enjoy many more, as pain free as possible!

  6. Magda says:

    RA Guy, congratulation to both of you!

    My husband and I are outraged by the discrimnation being done in the case of Gay Marriage!!! We too fight this discrimnation, so you can count on two more votes here and our ongoing battle against this discrimnation!!

  7. Laurie says:

    Best wishes for a Happy Anniversary and another year filled with love, hope and dreams come true. Everyone deserves the right to be equally and lawfully married, and hopefully one day soon that will come to be.
    Have a wonderful day!

  8. raandme says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!
    I believe in my heart that one day it wont even be an issue. And that our children and grandchildren are going to be appalled to learn about our country’s stance on gay marriages.

    Just think of how far we’ve come as a country in regards to women’s rights. And the civil rights movement. And that was only a generation or two ago.

  9. Cathy says:

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you have a lovely day. You are blessed to have such a supportive and caring husband. I really enjoyed his blog post about being a caretaker – my husband and I read it together. (I’m also blessed with a great husband, and he has also struggled with understanding that he has a right to ALL of his feelings about my RA.)

    I’m from California too and was ashamed of our state when Prop 8 passed.

  10. Helen says:

    One day, I really believe, all people who love one another will have the same rights as straight couples, and will be able to commit to one another legally in the way you and your husband have done, but we can’t stop fighting for it until it happens.

    Your relationship is a wonderful example of the power of love to triumph over even the pain and uncertainty of RA. Congratulations to both of you on your first anniversary – have a beautiful, special day today.

  11. Sunita says:

    I’m so pleased for you. You inspire so many people…please continue!
    This jungle business is all very well…just make sure there’s a good meal at the end of it. AND champagne!!!

  12. cateepoo says:

    I read this post in the car yesterday from my iphone. I am glad I came back to view it this morning. Seeing the words large enough to actually read allowed me to have a vision of you driving down the World’s Most Dangerous Road! I hope it was a blast. Happy Anniversary to both of you!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>