OK, have another:
That last bit, especially, I understand exactly what she's talking about. It is amazing to me the number of people who stop and make it a point to congratulate me on our marriage.
There have also been those people who ask why.. What's the point? For me, I already had the option of adding her to all my medical and whatnot. So why go this extra step?
Society sees marriage as a fundamental right of passage. No matter our relationship and commitment to each other, until June 17th, SweetPea and I were "just living together" in the eyes of society. Now that we're married, society has accepted us into "the club". Marriage is also a touchstone, a shorthand. Everyone understands the commitment implied by "we're married", but things like "partner" or "girlfriend" or "lover" are seen by society as lesser relationships. No matter how committed the partners are to each other.
OK, yes, so there are, like, a bazillion and one federal protections granted to married couples that partners don't get.
But the day to day part that affects me most is the way society treats you as the result of being married. Which makes it super ironic that I've had a lot of people ask me why or what's the point or why is being able to get married such a big deal if you can do the registered domestic partner thing and she's already on your medical. Because these are the same people who do that "welcome to the club" congratulations.