Frustrated, Mom told her that actually, I had a girlfriend. Civil unions clearly aren't an end but a means, a stepping stone to the true equality that can only come from marriage rights. It's to change how the law views us, how the law treats us. In California same-sex couples could enter into domestic partnerships as early as , before those glorious few months in when marriage equality was legal. I have the right to pursue what's best for me, even if others wouldn't choose it for themselves, even if it means marrying a girl. This means married couples have 1, rights -- things like social security and taxation -- that are formally denied to couples in civil unions. I have a girlfriend. So it's a great feeling when we're able to show our appreciation to them through random acts of kindness, like Tipperary girl Lorraine Butler who surprised her grandmother Olive Chester with a trip to New York for her 80th birthday. We've been up the Empire State building and around times square and today we'll head off to The Statue of Liberty.
They had a formal wedding a year later, officiated in two languages. We've been up the Empire State building and around times square and today we'll head off to The Statue of Liberty. The heartwarming moment a granddaughter surprises her granny at the airport with a trip to New York Independent. And then came the biggest surprise: I don't care if he likes blackbirds or bluebirds. He speaks eloquently on being raised by two moms: It's not to change our families. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Months after my visit, my year-old grandmother pestered my mother on the phone about why I didn't have a boyfriend. Marital status is a factor in 1, federal laws, according to government memos on the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. My grandmother wanted to marry a man with green eyes, but when she met my grandfather, blue-eyed and Bulgarian like her, she decided to make an exception. Blackbirds and bluebirds be damned, Grandma didn't talk to me for months. The state of Illinois, like many others, doesn't see the urgency for marriage equality that I do. A year ago this June, Illinois began performing civil unions for same-sex couples. When the surprise is revealed, Olive's reaction is so lovely. But they make those decisions for themselves freely, independently of what others believe. Nan is having the time of her life, she's enjoying the food, the cocktails and the craic. Grandmothers are the best, they take our side when we're having a disagreement with our parents, they make sure we're well fed and they keep us abreast of all the latest neighbourhood gossip, especially death notices. What do I care if he likes men or women? It's to change how the law views us, how the law treats us. I never saw them hold hands, but she shouted at the sky and wept when he died. Nothing more, nothing less. She told me later, in tired English tinged with a hearty Bulgarian accent, "I think he is a homosexual. Marriage is a big deal in my family. But to say some relationships merit marriage and others don't? My own parents eloped so that my mother wouldn't get deported to France when her student visa expired after grad school. I don't care if he likes raspberries or blueberries.
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