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Then Comes Marriage

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Marriage, the highest and holiest commitment we make in this life, is often treated trivially. Today, many approach the marriage altar with one eye, if not both, on the exit door. As members of the Church, we may think we're "safe" from divorce because of a statistical advantage, but that is not the end of the story.

Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA

We are not merely about not getting divorced,we should expect more out of marriage than that. The purpose of this book is to assist in gaining the fulfillment and joy that is designed to come with an eternal union. Our Father in Heaven wants us to have heavenly joy,to experience true wedded bliss. No other relationship demands as much attention as your marriage.

Yes, marriage is work! But it can and should be an enjoyable labor of love. Until recently in Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis obstructed the rights of gay couples to receive wedding licenses, claiming "God's authority" as a defense. That this is bigotry, pure and simple, should go without saying, but then, as Kaplan persuasively argues throughout her book, old and discriminatory attitudes tend to die hard.

Excerpt: 'Then Comes Marriage' From DOMA Defeater Roberta Kaplan

And yet, "Then Comes Marriage" insists, this is what the law is for, to make a case for or even lead us toward equality. Certainly, that's what United States v. Windsor and Spyer had been together for 44 years when Spyer died; they got engaged in but had to wait four decades before marrying in Toronto in In the middle of "Then Comes Marriage," there is a photograph of the couple, taken in the late s, and they are fierce and beautiful and in love.

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Much of what makes "Then Comes Marriage" so compelling is the saga of these remarkable women. Although their marriage was recognized by New York State they lived in Manhattan , the existence of the Defense of Marriage Act meant that key protections, including those around inheritance, were withheld. At heart, then, the issue is fairness: "If Thea had been 'Theo' — in other words, if she had been born a man rather than a woman —," Kaplan writes, "then Edie, upon being widowed, would not have had to pay a single penny of estate tax on her inheritance.

At the same time, Kaplan deftly uses their story as a lens through which to consider a broader set of inequities, less about marriage than common human decency.

One particularly heartbreaking narrative is that of U. Army Staff Sgt.

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Donna Johnson, killed in Afghanistan in Johnson's wife of her death, but instead notified Sgt. Johnson's mother. Johnson's wedding ring was not returned to her wife, but was given to her mother along with her personal effects. By zeroing in on benefits, Kaplan smartly shifted the focus in United States v.

Windsor away from sexuality and into practical concerns. She does something similar throughout "Then Comes Marriage," using her experience of coming out — the day she told her parents she was gay, her mother "walked to the edge of the room and started banging her head against the wall. Bang" — as well as that of marriage and parenthood, to highlight the aspirations many of us share. Among the most chilling anecdotes in the book is the story of a home visit by a social worker, required before Kaplan could legally adopt her son Jacob.


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Lavine was his birth mother.