"Please don't divorce us"

Bust out the Kleenex for a video protesting the case to invalidate 18,000 gay marriages in California.

By Kate Harding

Published February 6, 2009 7:32PM (EST)

They say three makes a trend, right? Well, on the heels of Melissa at Shakesville and Ann at Feministing, I can now declare a hot new trend: Straight feminist bloggers bawling at this video by the Courage Campaign. Even with both of their warnings, I didn't expect it to hit me the same way -- like Ann, I'm not all that much of a crier -- but it sure did.

I can't tell you why I was so moved by these images of gay couples holding signs that say, in response to Ken Starr's case seeking to invalidate the 18,000 gay marriages performed in California between May and November of 2008, "Please don't divorce us." Or maybe more to the point, I can't tell you why I haven't cried reading articles about bigotry being written into state Constitutions, watching other videos, and attending rallies in support of gay marriage since Election Day. But I can tell you this: Six weeks ago, I eloped. And I mean, really eloped -- my boyfriend proposed on the last morning of our annual Vegas vacation, and by that night, he was my husband. We got hitched at the same chapel where Britney Spears married a childhood friend 55 hours before having it annulled -- it was cheap, tacky, ill thought-out (the wedding, not the marriage), entirely secular, and the farthest possible thing from a sacred rite of passage. But no one questioned our right to do it, and no one can take our legal marriage away from us, because we happen to be heterosexual. The fact that gay couples aren't allowed the same freedom of self-determination is the very definition of a crying shame.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.


Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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