Editor's Note: Our 31 Virginia and D.C. Patches are filled with people who have faced obstacles and overcome them. Their success is worth sharing, and today we share a feature that originally ran last week on our Falls Church Patch. Look for more highlighted stories soon.
Marriage wasn’t a major point of discussion for Falls Church residents Lawrence Webb and Clifton Taylor when they met 13-years ago.
Back then, Webb said, there was hesitation to push for gay marriage. For Webb and Taylor, it’s not about brandishing shiny rings to symbolize a unity, but the ability to join in a union regardless of public opinion.
“I don’t know why there is an issue with gay marriage when 50 percent of heterosexual marriages don’t work,” Taylor said.
As the same sex marriage debate enters the chambers of the Supreme Court this week, some justices, according to an article in The New York Times, are questioning if this is the right time for the debate. Tuesday’s hearing stemmed from California’s Proposition 8, which overturned a State Supreme Court decision to allow same sex marriage.
Same sex marriage is illegal in Virginia after more than half of the commonwealth’s voters approved a state constitutional amendment in 2006 defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, according to a Huffington Post article.
Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, New York and Vermont join D.C. and Maryland as the only places that allow same sex marriage.
In 2003, Taylor, 33, was rushed to an emergency room at a Virginia hospital and Webb was steadfast by his side. When Webb, 38, identified himself as Taylor’s partner, he was told he could not come to the back area where his mate would be treated. It was the reality Webb already knew and understood. There was no argument, no resistance from Webb. His partner was in more physical pain that trumped his momentary mental pain.
“It was us wanting everything that came with marriage but call it something else,” Webb said.
Wearing different-styled red sweaters for unity Tuesday night at a Falls Church eatery, Webb and Taylor told stories of meeting each other’s families and how that dynamic has improved over the years. As the onion rings disappeared from the plastic baskets and the lemonade refills flowed to the table, the couple revealed if they were to ever marry, it would be for family and friends.
“There is a high expectation from our friends to do it,” Webb said. “It’s more for our friends to see us do it.”
Regardless what they call their relationship today, tomorrow or years down the road, the couple said they have been through the same things their heterosexual peers have ventured through. All that matters in the end for Webb and Taylor is they have the same rights as married heterosexual couples.
“What is marriage? Is it a contract between two people,” Taylor said. “As we progress in our relationship, we ask why would we let anyone take away what we have?”