An Open Letter to the State of Maryland: How to Lose the LGBTQ Dollar
You lost. You lost our confidence, our sense of citizenship, and yes, our money. How much? About $3,000, all told. And Maryland’s loss will be California’s gain.
To quote many a parent: I’m so disappointed in you.
Let me back up. Maryland was one of those states that was considering gay marriage this year, but basically, the state legislators caved to the usual right-wing special interests. Meanwhile, as everyone and their gay uncle knows, California’s Supreme Court did the right thing. There has been lots of coverage about the economic benefits of same-sex marriage for California. But what I want to highlight is how states (such as Maryland) that are dragging their feet on the issue are losing out financially.
I was hoping we’d be able to get married in Maryland. I love my partner, and while I don’t think love needs state sanctioning to legitimize it, there are good economic reasons to get married if you’re in a long-term, property-sharing sort of romantic partnership. There are even better reasons if you’re co-parenting. Kids like stability and clarity; marriage provides that. And as a Maryland tax payer, I feel entitled to all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in my home state. I’m not a Californian, Spaniard, Canadian, Brit, or so on, so why should I have to get married elsewhere? I’d rather put my marriage dollars into the local economy.
But Maryland, you failed me. I am therefore not only spending money to fly my family to California to get married, but once there, we’ll spend our summer vacation dollars on a honeymoon at the fabulous gay-owned Chateau de Vie in the Napa Valley. We had thought we’d rent a place on the Maryland shore, but instead, we’re rewarding California with our queercents.
We’ll give you a second chance, Maryland. I’ll make you an offer: if you end gender discrimination in marriage (i.e. legalize same-sex marriage), we’ll celebrate our honeymoon right here in the free state of Maryland. Deal or no deal?
In the meantime, I hope you’ll wish us and all the other California-bound Marylanders (and their queer, married money) the best.
Jennifer Natalya Fink
A (soon-to-be-married!) Maryland lgbtq Citizen