3 June 2004

Marryin’ thoughts

So some of the furor over allowing gays to marry civilly has died down, and, predictably, I have some thoughts about it.

God, it’s a good thing.  Just from the legal standpoint alone, it
simplifies a number of matters.  BF and I are going through the
process of designating each other as our health-care proxies. 
What this means is that in the event that either of us is unable to
make our own decisions regarding the care that we wish to receive, the
other will be the person empowered to act.  We’re doing this for
two reasons.  First, for both of us, the other partner is the
person we believe best knows our wishes and desires for how we want our
health care to proceed.  Secondly, since we have no real legal
status toward one another, our next-of-kin would be the person
empowered to make health care decisions; in my case, at least, some
members of my family don’t approve of my relationship with BF and I
want to make sure both that he is the ultimate arbiter of my care and
that he is not excluded from taking care of me if something were to

We’re also going to go about registering as domestic partners in a
couple of months when our travels are over, primarily for the benefits,
as Harvard grad students are much better taken care of than students at
his university.

But all of this reminds me of how incredibly complicated the creation
of legal pathways to respect one’s wishes can be.  And with the
marriage option finally open, there are plenty of people who keep
asking when we’re gonna tie the knot (which has even sparked an article in The Onion). 
But our situation is more complicated than the simple act of getting
married.  BF’s future employers, which will likely be Catholic
theology departments, may not look kindly upon his having a civil
marriage to another man, and they may even deny him a “mandatum” (a
sort of teachng license for Roman Catholic laity) because his marriage
would violate church law and teaching.  So part of the decision
comes down to job versus marriage benefits.  It’s not solely that,
but that’s at least a moderate consideration.  And I’m not sure
how we’ll navigate that one.  We love our jobs and we love each
other, and I don’t think either of us wants to have to choose.

Posted in RmAuNsDiOnMg on 3 June 2004 at 6:51 pm by Nate

Travelling anxiety

As I get older, I enjoy certain forms of travel less and less.  I
think that by nature, I am something of a “nester” who’d often prefer
to stay in the area and enjoy the people around me rather than strike
out on my own for a long period of time.

I say this because I embark on five weeks away tomorrow.  I have
four weddings to go to over the next six weekends, and they’re all in
the Bay Area.  Hence, rather than commute to the Bay every couple
of weekends, I just decided to stay with friends out there for the
duration.  I’m also going to see my family for the first time in
about 18 months.

BF left this morning for a couple of professional conferences, so he’ll
be gone for about 10 days.  And then he’ll join me in California
at the end of the month.  But I won’t see him for about
three-and-a-half weeks.  It’s been a long while since we’ve spent
that much time apart, and it feels a little sad that I won’t wake up to
him, make dinner with him, or any of the other things that you do when
your partner’s at home with you for what seems (right now) like a very
long time.

I have to take the car out to a friend’s house in the suburbs tonight,
since I park on the street, and the local parking officers are pretty
nuts about getting you to move for the weekly street sweeping. 
But I’m biding my time until later, trying to find stuff to do. 
Packing’s mostly done….

Posted in Day2Day on 3 June 2004 at 4:14 pm by Nate