I had something else in mind to write for today, but, as sometimes happens, things changed. Today, I’m writing a love letter to my friends and family.
I was just about to write my blog post when I happened to get distracted by Facebook (I know you’re all shocked by this). It took me a minute, and then I saw that my timeline was exploding with the news that DOMA is dead. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me and how proud I am of all the people who have put time and effort into making this happen.
I know, I know. There are some really sad things happening too, and we shouldn’t forget that there are still forms of bigotry in this country. We also need to acknowledge that, on some level, even this victory has a tinge of bittersweetness–it didn’t guarantee rights for everyone, just those in the 12 states where marriage is already legal. Even so, I’m rejoicing with those who rejoice today.
Some of the people reading about the Supreme Court’s decision are going to say hateful, nasty things today. They might spill some of their own anxieties and their own prejudice onto you. They might talk about fighting to have the decision overturned someday. They might talk about how this country has stepped all over the “sanctity” of marriage, as though Marriage has been some unchanging, sacred entity for all of human history. I’m sorry; it’s not right for people to behave like playground bullies when they don’t get their way.
The thing I think people fail to realize is that marriage isn’t a zero-sum game. Your victory doesn’t take anything from anyone else. In fact, I would argue that it makes it stronger. It doesn’t make anyone’s religion or religious ceremony invalid, either. I always find it sort of funny when people talk about things cheapening or demeaning marriage because it’s a holy institution created by God. Sounds like a denial that non-Christians get married all the time and that many same-sex couples are Christians who value the religious sacrament of marriage.
You should also know (and you probably already do) that if you choose not to get married, your relationship is not less-than. It’s not a piece of paper or a government seal or an officiant’s signature or a federal benefit that indicates a commitment. People get married or don’t get married for all sorts of reasons. This just means that if you live in one of the states that recognizes marriage equality, you have some new options available to you. It means that in the future, people in other states will have those choices too.
Today, I will celebrate with you whom I love. I will offer virtual hugs to my loved ones too far away for an actual embrace, and I will continue to hold you in my heart. I will drink to your health and I will “like” your Facebook statuses and read your blog posts. I will honor those who have worked tirelessly for this victory.
Tomorrow, I will get back to work fighting all the other injustice that still surrounds us.