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UMD associate professor of English and Director of LGBT Studies Program gives opinon on marriage equality. 

By Marilee Lindemann, The Diamondback 

I have lived happily in a state of unlicensed love with a same-sex partner for more than 28 years. We were both born in this country, so we didn’t need marriage to ensure our rights to live and work here and obtain health insurance. When we reached middle age and realized we needed to give some thought to long-term planning, we could afford to hire an attorney to draw up wills to give our relationship protections similar to those enjoyed (for free) by married couples.

We haven’t needed marriage, and in many ways we didn’t want it. You might say we hated marriage before hating marriage was cool, though we are not really the hating types. As feminists we tend to view marriage skeptically, as an institution that oppresses women and shores up the social and economic powers of patriarchy and heterosexuality. We are proud of having built a secure, loving and mutually supportive relationship. Years before queer critics of marriage railed against the unfairness of forcing couples to marry in order to prove their worth or secure a set of rights and benefits, my partner and I were happy to sing along with Joni Mitchell: “We don’t need no piece of paper/From the city hall/Keeping us tied and true.”

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