On Love

Let’s play Spot the Difference.

Can you see anything dissimilar about these two couples?

What about these?

Or these?

Aside from the owl and the fact that Anna, Clare and I and our spouses are comparitively overdressed, I see very little difference in these pictures.
I see 6 couples, very much in love. I see 6 couples who are so in love they’ve taken the leap and gone and got hitched. These are snapshots of 6 couples on, for a dizzingly wide variety of reasons, the happiest day of their lives.
The most obvious difference I can see is that 3 of these couples took their chance to have that day for granted. Not a lot, and not in a Paris-Hilton-takes-her-private-jet-for-granted way, but a little. Because in 2009 and 2010 when Clare and Andy, Anna and Mr K and Phil and myself were planning our weddings, these other 3 gorgeous couples weren’t allowed to marry. Not legally.
Those 3 same-sex couples, live in New York. The fantasy (and reality for the lucky ones!) holiday destination of nearly everyone on the planet, one of the uber-trendy, cultural, celebrity, political and historical capitals of the world. Yet until the 24th July of this year, same-sex couples could not get married. It’s been a long and tiring process to get to this point. It’s taken many years and thousands of people standing up for what they believe in and standing up for each other. People have served time in prison. People have been physically injured during protests and marches and emotionally scarred during the years of legal battling. And when we plan our weddings, we seldom give those who don’t have that same luxury a seconds thought. But we should.
I can’t pretend to be fully au fait with the laws and the timelines and the reasons why the New York courts were such muppets for such a long time. What I can do is recognise that this is a step in the right direction. That although it should have happened YEARS ago, that although there should never have been any question as to whether same-sex couples ‘deserved’ the right to marry…it is right and good that they can now. Because looking at their faces, looking at the unmitigated joy and love that those couples share, how can it be anything else?
Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Marriage, Politics and Feminism
11 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Esme
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Hear hear x

  2. Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Six states down…. still forty-four to go… Px

  3. Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Awww, when I first saw these pics the other day they made me well up. Thanks so much for sharing them again. Damn right, Penny! Oh, and I LOVE the owl ;)

  4. Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    We not only take for granted that we can marry, but that we can choose who we are married to….but that's a whole other post! Love this post. We should all remember how lucky we are.

  5. Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    It's not even the US that gets me, its the fact Europe is still so behind in so many ways. I am writing my masters dissertation on the issue, and it saddens me that gender-neutral marriage laws aren't more common. Only 7 countries in Europe allow is. The topic has made me think more about what marriage is, what it means and how important that choice is. The Civil Partnership Act in the UK was a step in the right direction, but it is by no means the final step. It still separates same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and until marriage legislation is changed, there will never be full equality. I will rejoice when that day comes.

    Sorry! This is just one of (many) issues close to my heart.

    P.S. Thank you for justifying my reading of the blog today! Not that I need justification, it just relates very well to my research so should my boyfriend moan at me for not working, I can point to the screen and tell him I am :P

  6. Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I was just about to comment on the situation in the UK but Crysta beat me to it. Amazing to think that it's taken until 2011 for New York to do this, yet it's still one of the first.

  7. Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Great post, loving the blog ladies!! Robyn x

  8. Posted August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Yes very yes.

    I hate that it is called a civil partnership in the UK.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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