Just over a year ago the State of California processed our domestic partnership paperwork and officially made us “domesticated in the eyes of the state.” Would you like to see what it looks like?
It looks kind of plain right?
About a week beforehand we decided to head over to the notary and get the application signed; it took all of two minutes and cost $53 ($20 for the notary and $33 to the state). Then we dropped it in the mail and grabbed some lunch, all in 30 minutes. Yup, we made things “legal-ish” way before the wedding. I was stuck in a job I detested (there are many other words for how I felt), but I had health insurance and thanks to a misdiagnosis in my teen years I have a big scarlet letter with the insurance industry. It means I cannot purchase individual health care as they decline me every time…but Sweetie Scone’s company provides healthcare to domestic partners (with a domestic partnership in place). We bit the bullet so I could start really looking for a new position without having to worry about healthcare.
We may have ruffled a few feathers in the family when they learned about our domestic partnership, only because some people felt left out and like we had gone to the courthouse and gotten hitched. We don’t view our domestic-partnership certificate as a marriage certificate at all; it was a vehicle for me to get out from under a bad workplace AND it ended up having the added bonus of helping us buy our house together more easily (which was absolutely not on the radar one year ago when we signed a piece of paper). We didn’t get all of the legal protections of marriage, and more importantly our community couldn’t really participate in the process at all (especially in Missouri where we are having our wedding).
There was nothing sacred or special to us about signing the paper in front of a stranger (notary), but it moved us one step closer to where we wanted to be for the wedding. In my past life I worked in vital records and used to witness “courthouse” weddings…signing the form was nowhere near my experience with a “courthouse” wedding. Also, we are encouraged to travel with our domestic-partnership certificate (or a copy) domestically to help protect our rights should bad shite go down. Within the US you aren’t encouraged to do so with a marriage certificate.
After some explanation of these details, the feathers got unruffled and everything went back to being hunky dory.