I’m sometimes struck by the difficulty of the mundane for lesbian and gay couples. reading this press release from Patty Murray was one of those times.
(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, led a letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki calling for an expedited waiver process granting same-sex veterans and their spouses burial rights in national cemeteries. Currently, only members of the opposite-sex are buried next to their veteran spouse in national cemeteries.
Christ. It’s 2013 and we’re having this conversation. It’s 2013 and this isn’t an obviously done deal. It’s 2013 and instead of this just being a matter of some paperwork because vets’ spouses should be buried with them as a matter of course if that’s what they want, this is a fight. It’s 2013 and only 15 senators agreed to sign the letter.
When you think of the progress we’ve made in the last few decades as a society in treating same sex couples with basic respect, and then think this is still a fight, it’s jarring. When you think the solution — at least for now — is a waver and not fixing the policy, it’s dispiriting how much work is involved in just getting half measures.