Food for Thought on DOMA

Let’s take a little break, just for a day or two.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments against DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law promoting traditional marriage, or marriage between one man and one woman. Yes, some states have legalized gay marriage, and that’s damned important, but  DOMA denies gay couples of the federal benefits- 1,138 of them, to be exact, that heterosexual couples receive simply by signing the dotted line on their marriage certificates.

What does this mean? It means that you can live with a partner for 30 years and still be forced to pay an estate tax on their estate as you’re not recognized as their spouse. It means no family and medical leave to care for your domestic partner. It means that even if you fall in love in Germany, eventually, you’ll have to leave your partner behind when you go back to the States because your spouse is ineligible to immigrate as a member of your family. The weddings are wonderful, the equality is mounting, but it’s not quite there. It doesn’t make me want to fall in love and tie the knot, because speaking from experience, nothing is worse than going through a big, fantastic, meaningless gesture only to wake up the next day and realize that nothing has changed.

So why bring this up? It’s important. But this is a food blog! I know. But you and I have one thing in common. You read this blog. I write it. I’ve chosen (and adore!) to keep my scope to fancy food, strange edibles, and everything in between. Like it or not, it’s an outlet, however small, and you deserve to know that there’s a real, live person writing these reviews, someone with thoughts and desires like you. Maybe they’re a little pickier, but I digress. And, as I care about food, this is also something I care about, deeply, as a gay woman.

Here’s a secret: I’m not the ideal poster child for marriage equality. I’m not young enough to be considered cute and precocious anymore, and I’m not elderly and partnered and dying to tie the knot. I’m unattached, unfettered, and barely thinking about tomorrow’s breakfast, much less getting hitched. And until I send in that first seat deposit to whatever law school will have me, I can’t be considered the Sandra Fluke of gay rights until I can actually argue coherently about them from a legal perspective. So, I’ll admit, that doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of heft.

But I have desires. And one of them is that someday, I want to know that if I decide to settle, in some long, weird distant future, that I can choose to do so, do it, and move on without getting the throw rug yanked from under my feet. No strings attached. No skim-milk marriage. Full-fat, rich, decadent, unctuous, gorgeously attired partnership at the same level anyone else is at.

Here’s me in Morocco. Jesus, I am so adorable. I’m really cute. Just look at that shirt! Trust me, you want me to be happy and well-fed and partnered. Because I want that, and I’m going to fight for it. And I’d rather have you join me than stand in my way.

That’s all.

So if you like this website, if you read it and enjoy it, if it saves you money, makes you think, makes you laugh, just remember: the support you give for marriage equality (and all LGBT rights!) is for me. And you like me. And I like you.


Here’s where you can go to learn more:

4 thoughts on “Food for Thought on DOMA”

  1. A fine and affecting approach to the topic.
    When it comes to making an appeal for the furthering of civil liberties, I’d say that you are actually fit to be a poster child. You are, hands down, the most cocksure, wonderfully emotive, and consistently insightful writer on the web to ever discuss bubblegum flavored apples. You sit right on the corner of commerce and brilliant, day-to-day confessions. And so it becomes all the more ludicrous that you—an exceptional person—would find your quality of life threatened in this area.

    Keep on keeping on, foodstress

  2. I was going to leave a comment with the same supportive words as Ashley but she said it so beautifully that I can’t even begin to add to her eloquence. So therefore I say “Ditto”.

    Okay well, too, I find it insane that the religious views of a few can invade your private life in such a profound way. Insane! I am mortified on your behalf.

    And in closing, I leave you with this…

    “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― Thorin, There and Back Again

  3. I had no idea what your sexual orientation is, and it doesn’t matter. I have enjoyed reading your blog and you and everyone deserves to be happy with whomever you choose to love.

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