Alicia Rizzi and Marcy Taylor
We met in jail. You read that right! We both worked for Weber County Sheriff’s Office, as correctional officers, when we struck up an intense friendship. From that friendship the most magnificent relationship was forged. For the last 9 years we have had the privilege of not only being partners, but being best friends as well.
When thinking of how to put on paper our story, it felt impossible. How do you show the middle of the night comforting sessions for our children when they get sick or have bad dreams? How do you render, with proper timbre, the family singing songs in the car while traveling across so many states for family vacations? How do you articulate the pain of homophobic slurs being hurled at a family of five minding their own business in a bookstore?
Instead of using my words to explain our relationship, I reached out to family and friends to explain who we are. This is what they had to say:
“Two people who love, balance, honor and respect one another just as they are. Never trying to change the other, just completely supportive and unbreakable!!!”
“You are two of the most supportive, strong hearted, encouraging, nurturing women I’ve had the fortune to meet, making a life together against the odds. The beauty lives in the way you approach life together and it overflows to those lucky to know you.”
“Two souls entwined, balancing and complimenting each other. Two people who love, honor, respect, support and challenge each other and in doing so, touch all who know them. They make me smile and get a warm glow in my heart.”
It was on a December evening, as I sat with friends at a local pub, that Rizzi asked me to marry her. I was unaware of the changes made by the Federal courts, invalidating Amendment 3. It took no thought. Of course I would marry the person I had already committed myself to.
On Christmas Eve our family (kids, parents, sister and her family) arrived at the home of Amy Wicks, a city council member for Ogden City. It was a bitter sweet day. The rush to marry, before a stay was put in place, had me angry. This is not how I imagined we would marry one another. I wanted a party. I wanted a Halloween wedding, with costumes, black cakes and an open bar. I wanted written wedding vows that would make my parents cry. I wanted to be treated normal. I wanted to be something more than a rush job. But as we faced each other, staring into the eyes of the woman I have loved for nine years, the wants disappeared and the realization that we would be protected legally set in. I cried. She cried. And as we kissed and our tears intermingled, I realized our family was protected. As I hugged our kids a new notion of taking care of them was born. Our kids would no longer be relegated to status of “other”, as they could proudly proclaim their moms as married.
But the euphoria would only last 17 days. The insurance card in her wallet, that claims she is single, will remain a lie until the court process is completed. Our children hang in legal limbo. But what is sustained are the very things my friends and family wrote about our relationship. We still love with a fierceness that can never be defined by paper. We still respect, love, cherish and enjoy our day to day family life. That euphoria will remain much longer than 17 days. It will take an eternity for us to be apart.