Marriage Counts, When You Least Expect It

RingsSometimes we sense the paradigm changing when we least expect it. My partner and I married in Massachusetts last fall. The first time I used my marital status to obtain something, though, was for a service based out of state, from a firm not known for LGBT inclusiveness.

My partner and I get our insurance through USAA, a company that ensures only current and former military personnel and their families. (My partner is a former Air Force captain.) I’m of mixed feelings about this, since the company does not have very inclusive policies for LGBT employees. They have such low rates, however, that we save enough to give a bit more to various LGBT causes, among other things. Also, despite their stated policies, they’ve been nothing but supportive of our relationship. Many years ago, when my partner first called them to put my name on her car insurance policy, she hemmed and hawed about our exact relationship until the rep said cheerfully, “Oh, you mean she’s your domestic partner?” and immediately added my name to the account.

The other day, I called to ask a question about our car insurance. The rep wouldn’t answer, but asked “Do you have a power of attorney on the policy?” I replied that I’d been on the policy for many years, and had never been asked about POA. The rep still hesitated.

Give it a shot, I thought to myself. “We’re married in Massachusetts.”

“Oh,” said the rep. “So you’re her legal spouse?” Matter of fact, not with any surprise.

“Yes,” I replied, and the rep went ahead and gave me the information I needed.

This from a call center in Texas at a conservative insurance company focused on serving the military. Marriage means something, and the better people of the world recognize it, whether official laws and policies do or not. To quote another famous Texan, “Freedom is on the march.”