Sunday morning when you curl up with the latest Modern Love column in the New York Times, you’ll be reading a voice from Capitol Hill. Writer Margot Page penned this week’s essay about finding new meaning in the words “husband” and “wife” in a post-R74 Washington. Here’s a passage:
In the months and years that led up to Washington State’s vote on R74 last November, a referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage, I was adamant that my marriage was in no way threatened by someone else’s. I never got the logic of how anyone’s marriage could defile mine. But I also didn’t anticipate that, in taking on the words of the institution, same-sex couples would bring those terms back, refreshed, to me. That my friends Knox and Victor would fluff up those tired old words and, in doing so, brighten the entire institution. (Really, I should have seen it coming.)
Two months ago, we Washington residents, gay and straight, finally rose up together to say, “It’s time.” We passed R74 on Nov. 6, and immediately my Facebook newsfeed erupted with vocabulary that suddenly didn’t seem tired:
“My soon-to-be-legal husband is outside planting leeks … “
“We will be getting married, and I might actually, legally, take my wife’s name! Should I? Discuss.”
NO one could accuse the gay community of being stuck in a tired paradigm or of following old habits and expectations. And yet here they were, claiming the old language. Using the lexicon of traditional marriage not as I had, to poke fun and create distance, but in the spirit of the vows they now got to speak. I watched in wonder as my friends claimed the words “husband” and “wife” with reverence and delight and gusto. more…
We asked Page if her friends Victor and Knox wouldn’t mind sharing a few pictures from their wedding day. Congratulations to all husbands and husbands, wives and wives, husbands and wives.
Page describes herself as a longtime Hill resident – except for the one time when she threw all her family’s stuff in the basement and hauled them off to live in Costa Rica. She has written a book about that experience – You can read an excerpt here.