Am I Qualified to Marry?
“Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.” — U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale
When I read this, my first thought was that it was right on in capturing why anti-marriage laws are so injurious and unjust. But what quickly jumped out at me next was the phrase “unqualified to marry.” It made me wonder what qualifies people for marriage.
I still sometimes grieve the loss of my marriage, and the thought has stalked me for years– though never with the words “Am I qualified?” til now– Should we have gotten married in the first place? I can’t answer that in one blog post; I may not answer it in one lifetime.
But I’m wondering, was I qualified to marry? At nineteen, and pregnant, and in college, and not fully understanding or acknowledging my own sexuality, was I qualified to marry? I was of legal age and I was a woman marrying a man, so my church and home state said yes. But was I? Really?
And here I am now: Thirty-four and raising a family, well employed, and finally living out my own heart. Am I qualified to marry? I’m divorced, so the Bible says no; I’m in love with a woman, so my home state says no. But am I? Really?
That one I can answer in a blog post, and I’m grateful it didn’t take me a lifetime. I am qualified to marry because of the person I love.
I am committed to living my life in a way that makes Casey’s better: growing together in our individual, entwined relationships with God; sharing our hardest cries and our hardest laughter; raising together the children we love fiercely; turning my eyes, thoughts, and heart away from anything that might threaten to capture what belongs only to her; living with her every day in an intimacy that only physical death could separate.
I know the answer for me. What do you think qualifies people for marriage?