On MontCo marriage

On MontCo marriage

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When I get married, I want to worry about the caterers, not wonder about my government. I want to think about my nails and hair, not my lack of benefits and impending court challenges.

These last few days in Montgomery County have been monumental and historic. I am so happy that my friends and allies — D. Bruce Hanes, Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards — are so supportive of equality. I celebrate those happy couples who made the personal decision to be pioneers and get their marriage licenses. Their joy was apparent in every news article or television spot. And, I wish them the very best.

But the phone calls and texts started to arrive at our house too. Would Linda and I go get our marriage license was the burning question. And so, our next chapter of the conversation began.

This is not the first time we have had this conversation. Over more than 15 years, we have stayed committed through the heartbreaking loss of beloved family members, life-threatening illness, job losses, pressures of home ownership and also the high points of job promotions, degree completion, winning elections and more. We have had several friends choose to have same-sex commitment ceremonies over those years but, for us, we decided to wait until we could have all the benefits that come with marriage.

After the recent Supreme Court decisions, we also had friends drive to neighboring states to get married, and we considered doing that. But again, we rejected the idea. Pennsylvania is our home and our marriage would mean nothing in our own state.

Since last Tuesday, we again had the conversation that none of my straight friends have had. Do we go through a marriage that most likely will need a “re-do” to afford us all of the rights and privileges our government has bestowed on married couples? Do we have the “skim-milk” marriage?

So, for our friends who have recently, so happily, asked us if we are getting married, here is our reply: For me, and for Linda, our commitment doesn’t need a piece of paper. But, it does deserve legal recognition and financial security. When this does happen, we will get married. We want to worry about the flowers for the ceremony, not the second-class status of our love.

— Lori Schreiber Abington Township Commissioner


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