We like to tell people that we're as married as two guys can be. A few years back – when we were living in Portland, Oregon – our county (Multnomah) took a brave stand and opened up marriage to same sex couples. Blown away, we were glued to the news. We watched as couples were hollered at, belittled and spit on as they waited in line to receive marriage licenses. We decided that it was time to join them in line.
We wanted to take a stand - to be a part of sending an important message.
We'll never forget that frigid March day. We hung out in the bone numbing cold with other pumped-up couples and a lot of enthusiastic supporters. Honestly, the words and garbage being flung our way wasn't a deterrent at all. Strange how, in those situations, opposition can make you stand taller in the truth. Marriage, as an institution, was never really important to us. Heck, we had our own version – the one that really mattered to us – several years prior in Costa Rica. This day in March was about doing the right thing and lending our voices.
Not long after, once all the dust had settled, the county got majorly beyotch slapped and all of us once officially married couples got annulment notices and a refund. Thanks for being a law abiding, tax paying citizen of Multnomah County BUT.
Why we took a stand (and continue to).
All over the globe, people are – by law – imprisoned or executed on the basis of their sexual orientation. In our own communities, people are injured, threatened, killed, denied jobs, and treated as second-class citizens for the same reason. It happens in your country, your state and in your town. Here, yes even in Seattle (SEATTLE for chrissakes), we get harangued by haters. Just a couple months ago, we thought for a second that some guys in a truck we're going to pull over and beat the shit out of us.
It goes without saying that extreme forms of rage surrounding this issue are incomprehensible. The more severe acts lead to the more common, day-to-day forms of discrimination, and vice-versa. It’s a destructive cycle. Somehow, through this enduring pattern, people get the message that it is acceptable to marginalize entire classes of people for no good reason. There is simply no valid and worthwhile argument for denying equal human rights, not to mention mere civility, based on sexual orientation, etc.
The on-going equal rights debate along with our experience being married (officially married) for a few months taught us that we really have to watch out for how our fellow world citizens are treated. We consistently learn the same kinds of lessons as we travel the USA and the world. There's a lot of bad stuff going on out there. All of this has reminded us of how critical it is to know what's important in life - to be mindful of what we give our energy to.
Take a stand - send a message that's important to you.
The list of human rights atrocities that occur around the globe is daunting. Young children act as soldiers in many countries. Woman are – simply because of their sex – tortured and murdered. Unregulated arms trading is responsible for countless human rights abuses around the world. You get the idea.
This week we're taking off for a long string of travel. It all starts in Washington D.C. where we'll advocate for the world's poor. Doing things like this helps to keep us in-check and focused on taking a stand for what we believe in.
In a world full of mind-numbing white noise, materialism, celebrity gossip, etc., it’s easy to loose sight of those things that are most deserving of our time, effort, and mind-share. Yes, we talk a lot about things like "the kick ass run" "the awesome grilled cheese" and "the best movie ever." Just look at our Twitter feed. We're human and multi-faceted guys. Nothing wrong with that. But we're very deliberate about where we put our real attention - the things we save the "big guns" for.
We want to have fun, but we also want to raise the bar – elevate the conversation – so that we can look back and say we stood for something and made the world a better place.
Are you in? What do you take a stand for?
*Sidenote: Being married for a few weeks also taught us that "havin' that piece of paper" is actually pretty cool.