60 days.

I found out after work today, that in 60 days, Levi and I will finally be able to fill out our domestic partnership forms. Last night it was rumored that president Obama would sign the certification that the US military was ready to accept Gay and Lesbian individuals, starting the countdown to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” – and today, as rumored, it happened. I was quite pleased to unlock my phone to see the notification staring me in the face! (Thanks, CNN app!)

I can’t really put into words how happy I am, but at the same time I am a little disappointed at how much still remains to be done. Not only is it ridiculous that this process took so long, but also that there are still people who feel like it isn’t OK. The LGBTQ community might have won this single battle, but there is still so much to do. What happens if the next president decides to overturn the repeal, or if some “pro-family” organization decides to strike it down? It’s possible, the best we can do now is hope it doesn’t happen. Even worse than that possibility, is the very real fact that the US military is refusing to recognize same-sex marriages – even with the repeal in place.

Same-sex couples in the military will not receive any benefits that different-sex couples have at this time. No independent access to the military bases, no pay when their spouse is deployed, no housing, no medical, nothing! This is simply unacceptable that it is to be like this. Just when you think you’ve won something, this technicality slaps you in the face. For two years Levi and I have lived with the fear that he might lose his job over this situation, and now we must live with the fact that we still aren’t first class citizens. Where do we go from here?

On September 21st, I will be filing for a domestic partnership. It seems so strange that for the first time in two and a half years, I will be able to say I have a husband, and it won’t be a lie. When somebody asks me “when are you getting married” I no longer have to say “well, it’s complicated..’ Two and a half years. I’m sure it feels even better for those individuals who have been waiting even longer. Even if this is supposed to be a happy situation, I still can’t get over the fact that I will still be denied the same rights that heterosexual couples receive. What if Levi gets deployed? Am I supposed to just sit idly by, while my husband risks his life for his country – with no means of supporting myself while he is gone? Am I supposed to just accept that I am not as good as somebody else’s husband or wife? My husband risks his life for this country, and all I get in return is my name on the life insurance papers – something that I already had?!

News flash! ANYBODY can have Levi’s life insurance if he dies, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” did not make this possible. He could go out on the street right now, and ask anybody if they wanted to be the beneficiary, and he could sign it over to them. I am thoroughly disgusted that this was something they said was a “benefit” same-sex couples would receive after the repeal was lifted.

Stephen Battey

Stephen is a 25 year old amateur photographer, blogger, and husband from Tacoma, Washington. He shares a cute ass house with his husband, cat, and two dogs. He generally hates all weather patterns.

Tacoma, WA