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09/19/2010

Commitment? They do -- no ifs, ands, or out-of-touch Senate votes

by Jeremy Hooper

There hasn't been much said or written about New York City's decision to perform commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples who go in to obtain their domestic partnership paperwork. Largely because NYC couples can already go to a neighboring state (CT being the closest) and get a legal marriage, which the Empire State must then recognize. Or, alternately, there is a civil union option across the river in NJ. And then there are those New Yorkers who are waiting for their state and city to catch up and actually perform (rather than just recognize) same-sex marriages, refusing to have any sort of ceremony until full, unqualified marriage equality is a statewide reality. The months-old commitment ceremony option has been undeniably overshadowed.

But the New York Times has found a couple for whose lives the domestic partnership and associated commitment ceremony struck just the right balance: An ability to profess love in front of the law (and a mother's camera), as well as the access to crucial protections that would protect their bond in a future that's always, inconvertibly unknown. Go check out one NYC couple's story:

Ms. Glazer learned she had breast cancer. A double mastectomy followed, then five more operations, along with radiation and chemotherapy. For Ms. Glazer, who had had ovarian cancer at the unimaginable age of 11, it was all too familiar. For a relationship that had been built on lightness and fun, it was a wrenching change.

Ms. Glazer survived, and so did the relationship.

Far smaller crises have driven other couples to break up or get married. For same-sex couples, though, marriage is not an option in New York State. So Ms. Glazer and Ms. Bacolas, who exchanged rings back when they first moved in together, figured they would wait until the law changed, then have fun with a big wedding.

In April, Ms. Glazer learned she had kidney cancer.

The couple had always avoided doing any legal planning, but this summer, after an operation to remove part of Ms. Glazer’s kidney, they realized they had to.
The Best Two Women Could Do [NYT]

Someday this commitment choice, markable only because of lack of larger access, will be just as mundane as it is for any heterosexual person. For now, it's still a story. A sweet, human story that will never be conquered by unfounded, anti-intellectual fears.

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