THIS I BELIEVE
I believe that I have met my soulmate, my beloved, what we in the Jewish tradition call my bashert. It happened ten years ago this September. I was the executive director of Affirmations, a small nonprofit organization serving the gay and lesbian community of metropolitan Detroit. I remember the first time I saw her. It was at a café, probably a fundraiser for Affirmations, with over one hundred people there. She was the only person I saw in the room. I was mesmerized. Eventually she became involved in the community center and joined the board of directors, though after we confessed our attraction for one another she had to resign. To be together, we had to reorganize our lives and extricate ourselves from other relationships. It was a messy time, but we were young. We were in love. It was worth the work that we did to be together. There is no one I love more in the world, and I have never felt such love as I feel from her. I believe in us. I believe in the life we have built together in four separate states, Michigan, Colorado, Virginia, and Maryland. I believe in arguing and fighting and making up, knowing that we will argue and fight again. I believe that she will never separate the darks from the lights for the laundry; I believe it will always bother me, though it will never really matter. I believe that ten years is a long time in scheme of marriages in the United States today; I believe in celebrating our milestone, but I believe more in the many years of our future. I believe that there is something holy about two people cleaving to one another. I believe in the words of Ruth, the Moabite, who said to Naomi, ‘Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” I believe in marriage. I believe our relationship is as worthy of support and civil recognition as a relationship between a man and a woman. I believe in my marriage. I believe in my wife. I believe I will live to see my community and my government recognize and respect my life in its fullness. Today, I am practically married, but we live without a license. We live without the benefits and responsibilities of marriage from local, state, and federal governments. I believe that will change. I believe one day I will be married, legally. This I believe.
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