The story of the untimely ending to Shane and Tom's love is heartbreaking. It doesn't matter what one's sexual orientation is; love is love, and loss is loss. The urgent underlying message in the story of Shane and Tom is that they had no legal means of legitimizing their relationship. I have written before that my significant other and I are purposefully not married. The difference between this couple (and the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ couples just like them) and my significant other and I is that we have the option. We can marry if we should so chose -- and we would be granted all the legal protections that heterosexual married couples assume as their God-given right. Because we have chosen not to take advantage of the legal protections afforded to us by marriage, he and I threw down a large chunk of change to create an estate and living will, allowing us legal protection should one of us suffer an unexpected death. This is something I encourage all couples to invest in, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status.
Please take 10 minutes and watch this story about Tom and Shane. It is difficult to watch this video and not be moved by the genuine love and commitment that these two shared for one another. This is a monumental week for our nation as we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on Prop 8 and DOMA. It's stories like this one that compel us to go beyond the national debate and into the personal realm of love. There are hundreds of thousands of committed couples just like Tom and Shane who await the privilege of being able to solidify their relationships just as easily as any straight couple can. Take a step away from the legal and religious arguments and relate to the people who are at the mercy of this week's Supreme Court rulings.
Please join the movement and raise your voice for equality, no matter what your sexual orientation may be. There is a population of people who need our support. The tide is turning in this country, but it is not without great turmoil for the couples who are walking paths of loneliness, rejection and isolation. Stand up. Speak out. We are in this together.
You can watch and share this video through YouTube here.
"Like" the official Facebook page EqualLoveEqualRights.
There is a documentary in the works called Bridegroom, detailing the life and love of Tom and Shane.
You can view the memorial page for Tom Bridegroom here.