What does Thanksgiving look like to you? Are you still crammed
at that damned kids’ table with your 12 cousins? Or maybe there was
always room for you at the adult table as long as you behaved
yourself. Or maybe it was always fully-grown crazy Uncle Joe who
instigated the mashed potato fight and although your mother never
fully condoned your participation, she did slyly edge more sweet
potato ammunition your way.
Do you have Tofurky or the standard bird? I can’t imagine a
Thanksgiving without my mother’s oyster stuffing, because although
I can’t stand the stuff, I honestly think my grandfather would cry
without it. In fact, I know he would. I’ve seen it. It’s not
The thing about Thanksgiving is that although it may conjure
different feelings of nostalgia, pleasant or not, one theme remains
constant. Thanksgiving is about family. You may picture your
parents and two siblings, or an array of extended family members
creating an endless stack of dishes to be done, or perhaps a simple
gathering of friends, but however it’s done relationships are
formed and families are created not only by blood but by bonds that
are as strong as the smell of a beautifully cooked Turkey.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be told who I could
consider family or not. It’s something that I’ll never have to deal
with, because as much as my two sisters may scream at each other
next Thursday or my grandfather may insist that the stuffing be
tainted with oysters, no one will deny that this is my family.
This is not the situation for Jacynda and Angela. The two have
been living together for nearly two years in one of the most
committed and loving relationships any two people can have. It
shocks me to think that they will never be recognized as family in
a court of law and in many situations.
What also shocks me is that a representative from the state my
family’s been a part of since it was still a territory is leading
the charge against family. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has vowed to “do
what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.” To
Ms. Musgrave, the recognition of the relationship between two
loving, mature, committed adults is a threat to the very nature of
marriage and she’s willing to amend the Constitution to prove
There are many concerns Musgrave should have about the
sacredness of marriage, like the ostracism of people who don’t want
to get married, the various 24-hour chapels in Las Vegas, the
shotgun wedding and the wedding of convenience.
Jacynda and Angela should not be amongst them. …unless, of
course, they want Elvis to perform their wedding. Call me
Priscilla, but that’s making a mockery of marriage. Funny? Yes.
Upholding the “sanctity of marriage”? Probably not so much.
I don’t see any amendments banning Elvis marriages. This is
probably because like Thanksgiving and family, people have
different visions and definitions of what it means to them.
There is no such thing as a typical family, wedding or
Thanksgiving. Whether it’s a single parent household, a Little
Mermaid-themed wedding or vegan pumpkin pie, recognition of who you
are and how you express yourself, purposefully or not, is vital.
Recognizing the importance of family and whom you love is even more
I’m grateful this Thanksgiving for the ability to express myself
to those I love and care about without the threat of a
constitutional amendment against me. I am also grateful to those
who may not have this legally recognized right, but continue to
fight for it every day. Oh, and oyster stuffing because, disgusting
or not, it makes my grandpa happy.
Marika is the news director for KCSU. She is a senior studying