As many of you are aware, I have written about the marriage debates that are headlining in the news around the country. A few minutes ago as I was scanning today’s headline’s it jumped out at me — The lesbian couple whose lawsuit led to legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have announced they have separated.
So the first question to pop into my mind was: so what? Why is that headline news? But then, this is a country that thrives on a variety of news sources from the mundane to the exotic to the popular images of our movie stars.
Julie and Hillary Goodridge are separated and living apart amicably according to a local political consultant who made a statement on their behalf. At this time, there is no word whether they are going to file for divorce. What is interesting to me, is that if they do divorce, then they are two women coping with the problems many married couples face – how to reconcile their differences.
For those of you who do not know who the Goodridges are (I didn’t until this article), they are one of seven gay couples that filed a lawsuit and thrust Massachusetts into the center of the debate over gay marriage. The state Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in November of 2003 in their favor and found that gays and lesbians had the right to wed under the state constitution of Massachusetts.
The Goodridges continued their trailblazing by marrying on May 17, 2004, the day same-sex marriages became legal under that court ruling. The women share a ten-year-old daughter and it was for their daughter that they pursued their legal recourse to seek marriage. When Julie Goodridge gave birth, it was a caesarean section. Complications ensued and Hilary Goodridge, having no legal relationship with either the mother or the child, was barred by the hospital on several occasions from being able to see either her partner or their daughter.
Their marriage and their commitment were to protect their child as much as to affirm their relationship with each other. Now these trailblazers are separated and personally, I’m hoping they find it within them to work out their differences and reconcile. The commitment to marriage should always include the commitment to try and make it work. The news reports say they are amicable – let’s hope that means there is an opportunity for them to continue with the commitment they fought so hard to be able to make.
Have a great Friday and a great weekend!