This April, after many years together, we decided to get engaged. Most engagements are marked with a fabulous ring and a bended knee, but we consider ourselves fairly nontraditional, so that just wasn't for us. We really wanted something unique that spoke to what we care about as a couple. We wanted to create a new symbol of love to mark this huge "next step" our life together was taking.
We came up with a pledge. We pledged publicly to our friends and family that we would not marry until Oregon allows gay couples to marry.
We know full well, given that we both make barely over minimum wage and have student loans to pay, that this is a considerable financial risk. We think that is what makes it so crucial. We couldn't help but think of gay couples who are just like us and rely on each other for everything.
We believe strongly in a quotation of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." I feel that there are so many allies like us who are heartbroken over the things that happen to the LGBTQ community, and yet they just stay silently supportive. That's why we wanted to do this. We wanted to loudly display our support to our LGBTQ friends and to inspire others to be just a little bit louder with their own support.
Our goal is to inspire thousands of heterosexual couples all over this country to make this pledge and put gay marriage in the spotlight, especially in these troubled economic times when these couples need these protections the most.
Most of our family and friends have been incredibly supportive. Some of our family members are not pleased because they worry about what the "unnecessary" hardship we are putting on ourselves, but they promised to support upcoming legislation. Other family members have yet to respond, but we will be instigating individual conversations with them in the near future.
We wanted to let everyone know it is not an April Fool's joke: we are engaged for real! We got to share the happy news late last night with our Emerald City Comicon crew, and it was awesome.
We have been together as a couple for four and a half years, but we have been dating for nearly five and a half. We have lived close by and far away and now, finally, together, and it has been the most wonderful and momentous time of our lives. It's all this that makes the decision to be together forever in marriage very easy.
We are also very privileged.
We are privileged because if we decide we want to get married, we get to because we are of the opposite sex. The government is ready to give us over 1,000 benefits that include tax relief, medical decisions, death benefits, and insurance breaks that civil unions don't offer... just because we are heterosexual. That is disgusting and unfair to us.
This is where we get the pledge portion. We can't sit by and be happy with our ability to get married as so many couples in love are being denied these critical protections. As you all know, we both consider ourselves allies to the LGBTQ community and consider their issues our issues and that we must do something in honor of the continued fight for marriage equality.
We are pledging, to all our family and friends, that we will not take advantage of our right and privilege to marry until gay marriage (with identical rights and protections that are currently allowed) is legal in Oregon.
We believe strongly that love is the most important thing in this world, and people and governments that try to discriminate against consenting adults in love is inexcusable. Our love is not more or less legitimate because our genitals are different. That is ridiculous.
We are optimists, and we believe love always wins out over hate... at least eventually! We want you all to be with us on our wedding day (and trust us, it will be amazing!), but that can't happen until we all help the LGBTQ community in our state win this crucial battle.
Remember, they are our friends, family, co-workers, mentors, and fellow human beings. We need to give in to love, not bigotry.
Help us get married and support all candidates and legislation that come forward in the following months and years to make this happen.
With all our love,
Kyle and Megan
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