Our country is moving toward marriage equality and our gay children will be able to choose to marry. But for gay couples who’ve been living as partners for many years, there are some things that won’t change — at all — with the passage of marriage rights.
Photo credit: Thinkstock/ Stockbyte/ Getty Images

Gay women and men and their allies have fought tirelessly for the passage of the marriage amendment. And one state at a time, we're falling on the right side of history: Marriage equality bills are passing and gay couples are being recognized as married couples. But there are some things that won't change — a single bit — with the passage of the marriage amendment. These couples' love is still the same, the give and take of their relationship is still the same, the negotiating, the unwashed dishes, the laundry battles will all stay the same. What has changed is the recognition of what has always been there throughout the duration of their relationships. Gay families share what the marriage amendment changes and what it — really and truly — doesn't.

Marriage equality- Vikki Reich

Vikki Reich writes about the intersection of contemporary lesbian life, parenthood and pop culture at Up Popped a Fox.

Reich and her partner have been together for 21 years. About the marriage amendment, she says, "Sometimes, I forget we're legally married. I remember the vows and the party so I know we're married but we still laugh and bicker and love each other and our kids as much as we did before legal recognition. The only change is that the rest of the world sees us differently now. As my son would say, we're legit."

Photo credit: Vikki Reich
Marriage equality- Deborah Goldstein
Photo credit: Deborah Goldstein

Deborah Goldstein is the co-publisher of VillageQ, a community website that celebrates LGBTQ families and provides news, personal narrative, entertainment and support.

About the marriage amendment, Goldstein says, "When we were married, federally married, in New Jersey, it was our fifth public declaration of coupledom. From our big, gay, Jewish wedding in London to a barefoot ceremony in Canada to domestic partnership and then civil union in New Jersey, our fifth and final wedding was anti-climactic. The federal government in the United States was the last institution to deem us married, and after 19 years together, two kids, a house and a mini-van, they made little difference to our day-to-day operations. But on that day, the day in October that our country finally deemed our marriage equal to all others, we were overwhelmed with the surreal feeling that we were visiting a future about which we only dreamed. It was just another signature on another piece of paper, and yet it was so much more."

Marriage equality- Jeff Ta
Photo credit: Jeff Ta

Jeff Ta and his partner Andrew Slakey have been together for eight years.

About the marriage amendment, Ta says, "Nothing has really changed in our day-to-day relationship since California's legalization of gay marriages. My work day starts earlier and ends later, so Andrew is in charge of walking and feeding the pooch and making sure that the dishes are done by the time I get home so I can start making dinner as soon as I get home — I can't work in a dirty kitchen!"

Marriage equality- Jen Bauer

Jen Bauer blogs about traveling and outdoor adventures with her wife and three kids at Adventure Moms.

About the marriage amendment, Bauer says, "Not much would be different in our day-to-day lives [with the passage of the marriage amendment]. We'd still be changing diapers, taking our kids on hikes, celebrating birthdays and doing the laundry. The love we share needs no external validation — it speaks for itself and won't change a bit. Yet the legal rights afforded to us through marriage have been invaluable, especially now that we have children. Knowing they, and our family, are protected, brings a peace of mind to our everyday lives."

Photo credit: Jen Bauer
Marriage equality- Two Dads, One Big Girl Diva
Photo credit: Two Dads, One Big Girl Diva

David's blog Two Dads, One Big Girl Diva is about his family, Vince and Bella, and his stay-at-home parenting experiences with the one and only Big Girl Diva.

About the marriage amendment, David says, "Vince and I have been together for almost 12 years. In fact, we're marrying on May 10, our 12th anniversary. We are to be married in my hometown of San Francisco at Grace Cathedral. Having never, and I do mean never, considered marrying, once realizing that now was the time, we chose to 'do it the right way' ...uber traditional, cathedral, mass-like wedding ceremony. We'll be wearing white ties and tails and our little one will be giving us away. She'll be the one in the white dress."

"Our upcoming nuptials signify that we're expressing our love and commitment to our friends and family, and 'in the eyes of God.' We've noticed, since announcing we were to marry in a church, how much more 'accepted' our relationship — our family — is. Required to complete a marriage counseling course, we scored the '...highest any couple can' on the heterosexual-oriented questionnaire. We laughed, knowing we've been together long enough that we accept all there is to know of one another. We've loved each other since we met. You know, that old adage, Love at first sight? Well, it worked for us. Having met on Match.com, we've been inseparable since day one."

"We realize, having a daughter, a family, that life changes daily... however, so many things will remain the same... our love for one another, our commitment and dedication to family, our silly and irreverent attitudes and soon, our marriage."

More on the marriage amendment

When will homophobic Americans realize the country has abandoned them?
Why my kids support marriage equality
Barilla steps away from anti-gay scandal