This post is just to clarify why we haven't told most people of our domestic partnership, and our plans for the future.
Amy and I got our domestic partnership certificate at Denver's municipal building on August 18, 2009. We also plan on getting married at some point in the next year or so but no date has been set and our engagement is not "official" at this time, even though our relationship holds the same values and commitment as a marriage.
In the state of Colorado, opposite-sex couples are considered married (common law) if they have been living with each other for a year and if they share finances. Same-sex couples are not afforded this benefit, and instead must register as domestic partners, which, in Colorado, has no legal standing other than to obtain benefits through an employer (along with extra taxes) if that employer offers same-sex domestic partner benefits.
After we had been living together for a year, and since we share finances, we considered trying to register for a common-law marriage, and realized it would be too stressful (and fruitless). We also realized that it was pointless to pay $25 to become official domestic partners when neither of us were in a position to put the other on our respective health insurances (Amy's employer did not offer same-sex partner benefits, and I wasn't a benefitted employee at the time). Therefore, we didn't take any action.
When I ended up getting moved into a permanent position at my current employer (that offers same-sex partner benefits), then we decided to go and obtain a domestic partnership certificate, because at this point we were in a position where it was actually needed. Thus, we became domestic partners.
At this point, it was the best thing we could have done. Since Amy lost her job (and would have lost her benefits had she not been under my insurance), she would not have been able to receive the testing needed to find the tumor on her head. Instead, she is so fortunate to have insurance and is able to have the procedure she needs to have to remove her tumor and repair her skull while only having to pay a copay.
So. Thank you all for your well wishes and congrats about our domestic partnership. When we're officially engaged, we'll let you know!