When I woke up to people cheering in the street that morning, my partner, Molly*, was already awake working at her desk on the other side of the room. “Gavin Newsom is marrying same sex couples at City Hall,” she informed me, without turning around. I had imagined this moment would include hugging and crying and kissing with the full gravitas of every moment in queer liberation since the Stonewall Riots – instead, I spent the day wondering whether I wanted to take on Molly’s student loan debt while the relationship was going so poorly.
We’d already had a domestic partnership two years before, so it made sense to get legally married. But how could we combine ourselves further and more permanently when we couldn’t make it through two days without fighting, and we split the cost of pizzas so ungenerously as to charge each other per slice? As the relationship had fallen apart, it had been convenient to say, “I’d love to marry you, but it’s illegal, babe.” I wasn’t a commitment-phobe, I was a law abiding citizen.