27 February 2013

Now We're Married; Now We're Not

My spouse, Matt, and I just got back from a week in California. We love vacationing in California because it's close to us, has oceans, has Hollywood, and tons of great history. We love vacationing there for another reason: when we're in California, our marriage is legally recognized. When we cross the border into California, I remind Matt "Now we're married," and when we cross back into Arizona I remind him "Now, we're not married." It's a schizophrenic kind of existence, but it's also fun, in it's own way.

In about a month, the supreme court will hear oral arguments about whether California's ill-conceived Proposition 8 (to ban same-sex marriage) violates the federal constitution. Their decision could have quite a number of different results ranging from allowing same-sex marriage across the country, to saying it is not protected under the constitution.

On a personal level, whatever the supreme court decides won't affect me. The same-sex marriages that happened in California during that brief window in 2008 (like ours) have already been declared legal. This ruling won't change my status. However, although no one will know how the supreme court decides until probably June, the effects of the case are already being felt around the country.

Seriously, did you ever think, in your lifetime, you would read this headline: "Top Republicans urge court to support gay marriage"? That was Tuesday. Today, I was greeted with this headline: "Nike, Apple, Facebook Among U.S. Companies that Intend to Back Gay Marriage in Coming Supreme Court Cases." (insert rubbing of eyes in disbelief here)

It's been long known that the general trend around the world is to support marriage equality. America, once known for leading the world in all kinds of arenas, is lagging far behind MANY other countries in this regard. Is it that we're smarter and know better? Well, no. It's because too many special interest groups (and you know who they are) are desperately trying to keep a strangle hold on the past and their particular way of life (read: institutionalized discrimination and bigotry). Slowly, these antiquated groups are losing their grip on the world, and we're seeing many changes -- marriage equality just the latest among them.

It is possible the supreme court will not uphold marriage equality; but it doesn't really matter what they say right now. As I write this, history is being written around the world and in America. That history will one day look back at all this dithering and wonder what the fuss was all about. Future generations will look back at this debate over same-sex marriage the same way we look at some of the inexplicable elements of our own past: different drinking fountains for whites and blacks? women not being allowed to hold public office? Jews not allowed in certain hotels? I can't understand how any of those things were ever true -- just like I cannot believe marriage equality will not, one day, be a universal truth.

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