52 RI Bar J., No. 6, Pg. 13 (May, 2004). Speaking Out - Enriching The Institution Of Marriage.

AuthorBarbara L. Margolis, Esq.

Rhode Island Bar Journal

Volume 52.

52 RI Bar J., No. 6, Pg. 13 (May, 2004).

Speaking Out - Enriching The Institution Of Marriage

Speaking Out - Enriching The Institution Of MarriageA forum for Rhode Island Bar Association members to express their personal viewpoints on issues of interest.Barbara L. Margolis, Esq.On March 31, 2004 I delivered a version of the testimony below before the House Judiciary Committee. The issue of same sex marriage is important to me personally, and

it is also an issue the legal community will be dealing with over the next several years. I forwarded this testimony to the Rhode Island Bar Journal in the hope that we can begin a dialogue about the issues.I have known I was a lesbian since I was 21. I did not choose to be gay, and it is not a political statement for me to be in a relationship. I am who I am, and I make no apologies or excuses for it. I am a member of the invisible minority, and coming out is an ongoing and never-ending process. Until now, I have attempted to keep my public and private lives separate, fearing that making my private life public will hold back my lifelong career goal of becoming a judge.

But, as I acknowledged before the Senate, I have been a coward for too long. I need to acknowledge my own homophobia before I can expect you to acknowledge yours.

I believe that the more we tell our stories and the more you can see how boring and normal our lives can be, the closer we will come to bridging our differences. We are your neighbors and coworkers, your family members and your friends. Colleen Gregory and I have lived together in a neighborhood in South Kingstown for over 10 years. In our neighborhood, we are known as the professional women who keep a nice yard, and as Teddie and Bella's moms by the people we see on our morning walk. At our marina, we are known as the girls. We go to work everyday and on weekends we do what any other working couple does, we go to the dump, the grocery store, do household chores, and if we are lucky, we find time to recharge our batteries for the week ahead.

For those of you who don't know me, I am currently employed by the Supreme Court of Rhode Island as Deputy Disciplinary Counsel. As a State employee I have had the benefit of providing my health insurance coverage to my domestic partner since 2001 when you passed the bill extending such...

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