Friday, June 26, 2015

The Gay Thing: Marriage Equality Arrives in All 50 States (Plus DC, Puerto Rico, etc., etc. . .)

Wow, where to start? In this space a couple of days ago, I detailed my thoughts on the then looming big Supreme Court decisions. I was optimistic, but nervous, and figured the Supremes would find a way to "split the baby." As it turns out, nope. We just won.

We won.

Finally. I mean, I know we've made such rapid progress over the last couple of years, it seemed "too fast" to people. But this is a battle firmly rooted in the movement started almost 50 years ago at Stonewall. And Stonewall itself didn't spring fully-formed from nowhere, there were smaller, less visible efforts before that. So, no, it wasn't too fast. Or too soon. And to people it affects, and people who have been involved and following this? It was long overdue.

The good Supremes, in this case, anyway. Image from Huffington Post.
Chief among the tactics of the anti-gay marriage side was delay. If you can't win, delay, and delay some more. Stays and appeals were requested and often attained, even when it was obvious they'd be denied. Anything to drag it out just That. Much. Further. And of course, the process itself has built-in delays. Justice just doesn't move quickly. My mother was surprised I complained about how long it's taken, because again, from her perspective this has been dizzyingly fast, this cultural revolution.

But, even this last stretch has seemed tediously slow. I got married seven years ago tomorrow. We were determined to get in under the wire, during California's initial 2008 marriage legalization. We knew that conservatives would try to shut it down. And naturally they did, crushingly on the same night we elected our first African American president. I followed every part of the process, through the Perry case, through the appeals, and to the last time the issue was before SCOTUS. All of that took five years, nearly to the day. SCOTUS kicked the can down the road, leading up to today, this time exactly two years later.

Admittedly, the past two years have been more fun to follow. One by one (and sometimes much faster than that), we watched the pro-equality states fill up the map. Once powerful groups like The National Organization for Marriage became more and more impotent and desperate. With very few setbacks, we watched the tide turn in our favor. That part was a rather stunning and relatively fast occurrence.

Image from Huffington Post.
I was on pins and needles awaiting the announcement this morning, even not knowing if the announcement would come today or Monday. The butterflies in my stomach were ravenous. Then the announcement came, and I burst into applause. Phone calls rolled in. I scanned Twitter and Facebook and flipped the TV channels. It was awesome! Rainbow flags and happiness all over! Well, not all over. . .FOX "News" was talking nothing but negatives, and the conservative blogosphere has officially lost its freaking mind. My ravenous butterflies have been feasting on their sweet, sweet SADZ ever since.

The huge squadron of GOP candidates for president are almost uniformly talking smack about SCOTUS, some shooting their mouths off about openly defying the court. A bunch of hot air. Sour grapes, personified. And already, we're old news, with one of the New York escaped convicts shot dead. Which--yay, okay, woohoo, you got him--but he's dead. What more is there to say?

Anyway, conservatives, do not expect gay folks and their supporters to calm down that quickly. Don't expect us to stop celebrating and turning metaphoric cartwheels. Don't expect us to be respectful of your "sincerely held beliefs," or to tone down our enjoyment of those of you who are having a hard time with this. This is too big. This is SCHADENFREUDE on an unprecedented scale for our movement. Most of us couldn't tone it down if we tried. If it bugs you, unplug for the weekend. Or the week. Because I will make no apology. I've waited too long for this.


Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

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