Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NOH8

NOH8 - Hartford, CT - May 2012 - Photo by Adam Bouska

mar·riage/ˈmarij/

Noun:
  1. The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
  2. A relationship between married people or the period for which it lasts.
One of life's more controversial topics of conversation is over same sex marital rights.  I am proud to say that I live in the first state that legalized same sex marriage.

This year, I will celebrate my twentieth wedding anniversary with my husband.  On top of those twenty years, we had five years before that, where we dated, fell in love and got engaged.

I am of the belief that there is someone for everyone.  In my case, it was my husband.  For many though, that someone might be the right woman for another woman, or the right man for another man.  

People talk about marriage being defined as one man and one woman. That marriage is about procreation of children into a family with one father and one mother.  I would fit into that classic definition.  However, I don't think in 2012, that definition fits society as a whole any more.  

More and more heterosexual couples are having children out of wedlock, living together, breaking up when the relationship gets too tough and they don't feel like making it work.  More people are getting divorced for the same reason, because to work at it might rob them of something they aren't willing to give up emotionally.

I see same-sex couples who want to have the same basic rights as heterosexual couples.  They want the same legal recognitions when it comes to property, taxes, parental rights all because they love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives with one another.  Honestly, what is wrong with that?  

California became the second state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, but in November 2008, Proposition 8 was passed to amend the California state constitution, to ban same-sex marriage.  Couples who want to be married, are not allowed now.

NOH8 (pronounced No Hate) was started by celebrity photographer, Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8.  It is a photographic silent protest, photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest.

NOH8 - Boston, MA - March 2011 - Photo by Adam Bouska
Last year, NOH8 came to the City of Boston. It was a proud moment when my son and I joined a group of friends, comprised of fellow photographers and models from our photography group, and "voiced" our protest.  It wasn't just posing for the photograph that made that day special.  We met so many like-minded people--gay, lesbian, and straight.  In that lovely spring day, we all came together sharing the same voice, the same message.  That same-sex marriage is marriage.  And those who want to be married, should be allowed to be married.  Period.

Messrs. Bouska and Parshley, along with their dedicated staff, continue to get the message out to the world.  They continue adding to the protest, city-by-city.  

It was my honor to participate in this 'fight' again, this time in Hartford, CT.  I attended the day with a dear friend, who if she wanted to marry her girlfriend, she could here in Massachusetts. I have a friend who lives in California with her girlfriend.  For all intents and purposes, the life they lead is a marriage.  It is my hope that someday I can celebrate with them, their love for one another in the form of their legalized marriage.

mar·riage/ˈmarij/ (as defined by me)
Noun:
  1. The formal union of two people, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife, husband and husband, or wife and wife..
  2. A relationship between married people or the period for which it lasts.

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