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The Forgotten Color in the Rainbow

The Forgotten Color in the Rainbow

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I care about marriage equality.

I posted stuff about it on Facebook, even changed my profile photo. I did everything that was happening, as it was happening. I did this in part to be an ally to my friends who are gay and also, to be honest, because I’m old fashioned. I did it because I believe in marriage.

I did it because I want my kids to marry. I mean, when the time is right for them, I want them to settle down with ONE PERSON and grow deep roots with that ONE PERSON. And that desire of mine for them does not change according to who they are attracted to. If Micah or Mack want to marry men, that’s fine with me but I want them to be MARRIED.

I feel the same way about Moxie – when she decides the time is right for herself, I don’t care if she wants to marry a woman; I just want her MARRIED.*

But this is the thing: Moxie and most others with Down syndrome can’t marry without being penalized by their disability benefits. And most people who need the safety net that disability benefits bring, really do need those benefits. That net is absolutely crucial and I cannot state that strongly enough.

If they get legally married, their income will be halved, and disability benefits are already below the poverty level. There is no way a couple could live on half. So there are these pretend marriages in the Down syndrome and disability communities, and more often than not, people just live together.

So yesterday, I cried.

I cried so fricking hard, all day, every time I opened Facebook, every time I thought about it. I cried for joy for equality, I cried that justice has been seen to. I cried because this has been a hell of a long wait, a lifetime of struggle for so many people. I cried because I’m proud of my country.

I cried because it’s now absolutely fair of me to expect all of my children to marry, whatever their sexual preference may be.

Except one.

meriah nichols

And I cried some more.

This victory will be perfect and complete only when we are ALL afforded equal rights and opportunities with marriage, when people with disabilities no longer face a marriage penalty with their benefits.

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* This is with everything understood of course, that marriage is the most important official connection to another human being you can make – it is not something to be done for the sake of doing it. It’s to be done because you have met the person you want to grow old with, you are physically, mentally and spiritually attracted to. ://end sermon

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People with Down Syndrome Can Be Assholes Too

Thursday 20th of December 2018

[…] b) we also ALL know that our kids have so much discrimination that they face. We  know that people are so scared of Down syndrome that they are aborting their kids with Down syndrome left and right. We all know that it’s very hard for people with Down syndrome to find meaningful work, create independent lives and have meaningful relationships – I mean, they can’t even get legally married without losing their health benefits! […]

Sheryl

Monday 29th of June 2015

I totally agree with you, disabled people have been getting the short end of the stick for far too long. And all because they're disabled?? How does that make sense to anyone?? As far as I see it, disability is enough of a challenge. Piling on struggling to survive on an income that is on the poverty scale, now that is just cruel, unusual, and undeserved punishment! And it's time the government gets a clue, and changes the law. It's time to stop treating disabled people like they're second-class citizens. The Constitution says we're all equal, how about making the words real??

chris

Sunday 28th of June 2015

Meriah, probably one of your best titles ever! I absolutely loved how you expressed what so many of us with kids with a disability are thinking. I'm sending this to all my friends and family.

Meriah

Sunday 28th of June 2015

thank you!

BW aka Barbara from Boston

Sunday 28th of June 2015

There is another part to this puzzle also. If you marry and you are both disabled -my situation- you cannot be each others PCA (personal care attendant) and get paid for it. Massachusetts is just staring to address this - house bill 70.

Meriah

Sunday 28th of June 2015

good grief - they can't??? that's not right.

Marissa Stalvey

Saturday 27th of June 2015

Although I am super excited about the Supreme Court ruling, I also know that it's not "full" marriage equality until people with disabilities are included as well. Historically, there were many laws passed to deny people with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities and genetic disabilities, the right to marry. This fact sometimes gets lost in other marriage equality topics.

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