I remember the first time I realized that the world saw getting gay-married as different from getting married-married. I was maybe four or five, eating kid-food at my kitchen table, when I overheard my mom talking about getting married. It was all hypothetical, of course. It was in the late ’90s, just after the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed, and before domestic partnerships were a thing.
I, being tiny, didn’t understand. “But you can’t get married!” I told my moms loudly. In weddings, the girl had to wear a dress, but I couldn’t see either of them ever doing that.
A lot has changed in the past 15 years. DOMA’s dead. Many states offer domestic partnerships, and state by state, gay people are being allowed to actually — gasp! — tie the real, legitimate knot. I even got to walk my moms down the aisle once New York legalized gay marriage in 2011. But we haven’t made enough progress, and that’s why I’m not that thrilled about Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signing his state’s equality bill on Wednesday.