The Sanctity of Marriage and the Sweetness of Justice

My third husband put the kids to bed tonight because I was baking cookies for a fundraiser in memory of my second husband, and with all that time in the kitchen, I got to thinking about my first husband.

Seriously. If you’re new to this site, here’s the quick guide:

  • Husband #1, aka “Fartbuster” (divorced after he got someone else pregnant)
  • Husband #2, Richard (died of leukemia at the age of 38)
  • Husband #3, aka “G” (still hangin’ in there)

So anywho. Everybody is talking this week about Kim Davis, the clerk of court in Kentucky who has been defying the federal law by refusing to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples. Tonight, she’s in jail for contempt of court. And rightly so–I agree 100% with that ruling. Either do your job or leave your job, but you are not allowed to define your job based on your convictions or beliefs. Nope. The law is the law. Imagine if a Quaker decided not to issue gun permits because her religion does not condone violence? Or a Muslim health inspector flunked all restaurants that didn’t serve halal meat? If you don’t want to allow citizens equal access to their legal rights, then you don’t get to be clerk of court. Go work at the Dress Barn.


Ms. Davis has been pilloried for the hypocrisy of being three times divorced, four times married, yet still braying about the sanctity of marriage. Well, I’m not going to mock anyone for taking multiple trips to the altar (see above). I was just exercising my right as a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen.

When Fartbuster and I went to the courthouse to get a marriage license, we joked about how the same counter handed out marriage licenses and gun permits. The woman who handed us that important piece of paper wished us luck.

When Richard and I decided to get a license, he was too sick to go downtown to the clerk of court office. They came to us–two court officials, a notary public even–came to the house to deliver our license and witness that everything was in proper order. I appreciated their kindness so much that I offered them a glass of champagne. They declined–still on duty, y’know. I wanted to thank them, so I pulled two long stemmed coral roses from a bouquet my writing friends had sent and paid them each with a flower. That’s what it should be like when you do the paperwork for marriage–met with kindness, touched by joy.

While I was baking for the Leukemia Society fundraiser and thinking about this woman who has taken it upon herself to deny American citizens their legal rights, I could have gotten all riled up. I could have gotten distracted by her sideshow. But there is too much living to be done. Too much sweetness to be shared. I dwelled instead on the kindness of the people who spend a few hours making something to share in the bake sale. We’ve raised well over $10,000 with these cookies and cakes and pies.

My neighbor rang the doorbell and delivered a pecan pie, still warm from the oven. We chatted for a minute then she went back up the street to the home she shares with her wife. They’ve been together since I was in high school.

Somewhere between the third and fourth batches of oatmeal cookies, Tommy posted a photo of the lemon cream cheese pound cake he’s donating to the bake sale. He’s still mourning the death of his husband a few months ago. He and Ed were together for almost twenty years. These days must be so strange for him, all this time on his hands that used to be spent taking care of his beloved.

Both of these couples had to go to other states to get married because they didn’t have the right here in Georgia. I always had the right to get married when I chose to. Now we ALL have that same right.

The law will take care of Kim Davis and her noise. I’m going to keep on baking, keep on fighting leukemia, keep on loving my friends. That law is settled. Now it’s time to get on with the sweetness of life.

davis bye

7 thoughts on “The Sanctity of Marriage and the Sweetness of Justice

  1. Michelle

    I had the pleasure of attending a same-sex wedding for the first time last weekend; Hard Labor Creek State Park– right there in the middle of some of the most conservative parts of the state– two lovely brides said their vows to each other. The ceremony has been planned for 6 months; it was going to be followed by a trip to another state to make it legal. The SCOTUS made that extra trip unnecessary, and it was all the sweeter.
    In lieu of a traditional reading from the bible or of poetry, someone stood and read the following:

    “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. It is so ordered”

  2. Tommy

    Ashley, THANK YOU for the acknowledgement of Ed. I’m so touched that you thought of us. I’m sitting here crying now. They are good tears…remembering out time together. Sunday will be his birthday (the first since he transitioned) and I’m thinking about baking a cake for him. If a cake can help cure cancer….who knows, it might just be able to help me. Also, thank you for your kind words and hugs over the last few months.


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