All you need is love, with or without a license

What’s that smell? Oh yes…it must be love. There is nothing that hangs in the air, lingering within the sinus passages, like love. With the coming of Valentine’s Day, there is almost as much love in the air as pollen on our car hoods.

For one, here’s something to love: Earlier this month, our own heroic mayor, Annise Parker was named the seventh best mayor in the world. No, not just in Texas, not just in the United States, but in the whole wide world. City Mayors Foundation, an international organization dedicated to promoting good, open and honest local government awards the World Mayor Prize, bestowed every other year, recognizing mayors “who have made outstanding contributions to their community and have developed a vision for urban living and working relevant to towns and cities across the world.”

As a special token of their love and appreciation of having a world-famous, top-notch mayor, wouldn’t it be lovely if all those mean opponents to Houston’s Equal Rights Amendment would stand down, and just — in the wise words of James Taylor — shower the people with love?

Congratulations, Mayor Parker. And congratulations to you and your wife, Kathy Hubbard, having just passed your one-year anniversary as legal same-sex spouses. That’s probably a first for the City Mayors Foundation.

Here’s another thing to love: For those of you who rail and complain and kvetch about Texas’s archaic prohibition of marriage equality, here’s an outlet to go public with your outrage. The Valentine’s March for Equality begins with a general gathering in front of the Harris County Civil Courthouse, 201 Caroline Street, on Friday, February 13, at 11 a.m. Then, at noon, same-gender couples will attempt to obtain marriage licenses in the County Clerk’s office. Inevitably, these loving couples will be denied a license to wed. Participants will then proceed in an orderly fashion (think Lohengrin’s wedding march) down Main Street to City Hall, 901 Bagby Street, with a rally beginning at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Reflecting Pool.

If you care to participate in the march and/or rally, but don’t have time to come up with a clever slogan to write on a sign — like, “All We Need is Love” or “Will Marry for Food” — organizers will provide a sign for you. Easy breezy!

If you do have time to make your own sign, please make sure you don’t mount it on a stick or pole, because sticks and poles are prohibited. Except in strip clubs, of course. Also, please spellcheck those signs; this isn’t a Tea Party rally.

Not that this march isn’t a noble gathering, but hopefully 2015 will be the last time it is necessary to rally for marriage equality in Texas. If the U.S. Supreme Court does its job in June, declaring that marriage equality must be recognized in all 50 U.S. states, we’ll all have to find another reason to throw a big, old public love fest on Valentine’s Day. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally, here’s a little more love talk for you: Because LGBTs for too long have been denied the right to make legal their commitment to each other, our ‘partner’ relationships sometimes don’t last as long as we original intend them to. Certainly not always, but too often, ‘forever’, in gay couple years, translates to three years, or maybe five if we are lucky.

My first, most enduring ‘forever’ relationship was with a woman I met on Valentine’s Day in a lesbian bar. Corny, I know, but it was love at first sight. We were the embodiment of the stereotypical U-Haul lesbians. And it worked for five years, and then, for various reasons, it didn’t. She got the dog, I got the couch. But we both ended up getting something much more than either of us could have foreseen.

Thirty years later, we’re still best of friends. Even though we’re now separated by 1800 miles (five years ago she moved from Texas to Wisconsin, and has yet to thaw out), we’re still in constant contact, sharing the good and the not-so-good. We’ve supported each other through new loves and heart-wrenching break-ups, personal and professional victories, births and deaths, questionable hair coloring and wardrobe choices, menopause, and everything else that happens in the course of a lifetime. You know — for better or worse, richer or poorer. For thirty years.

So Happy Valentine’s Day, dear Donise. For three decades, you have been the sustaining wind beneath my wings and yes, sometimes, the nagging pain in my ass. I’m sure you feel the same.

This Valentine’s Day, why not take time to send some love to the other Love of Your Life — your best friend? With or without a marriage license, if that isn’t something to celebrate on Valentine’s Day, I don’t know what is.

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:55