Today is an historic day. A cause very close to my heart won a large battle in a long war today when the Supreme Court ordered that both same-sex and heterosexual couples have the right to marry in all of the 50 states. To me, it seemed like it was always just a matter of time. Surely people would come to realize that gay men and women are nothing to be afraid of. I know that when I was little, though I didn’t know it and was shielded from it, most people likely did not share my attitude.
Both my husband and I grew up in Los Angeles where a progressive attitude toward most things is typical. Personally, I grew up surrounded by several gay men, my mother’s best friends, who have been as instrumental in my life as any parent. I call them Uncle Wen & Uncle Brian, but the relation is not of blood, but just as important. Uncle Wen, for example, was in the room when I was born and uttered the first words ever said about me. “She has long fingers just like her mom.” Uncle Wen and Uncle Brian co-officiated our wedding. They are as important to me as it is possible to imagine.
It feels appropriate today to tell the story of when I was four years old. I was out with Uncle Brian and I asked him if he planned to get married one day. He said, no, he didn’t think so. I said, “Oh of course, he would have to be someone very special.” When my uncles were younger men, there was no real “it’s actually going to happen” discussion about same-sex marriage being legal. They did not expect to have marriages or children.
I could tell things had changed dramatically when I roomed with Andrew all throughout college. He would speak about his eventual marriage and family. I realized right away that he had grown up with entirely different expectations. He believed that he would see a day like today in his lifetime.
Kids growing up from here on out, both gay and straight, will never think twice about their sexuality when they are dreaming (or not dreaming) of getting married. It just doesn’t factor into that decision anymore. A whole bunch of sweet new benefits are conferred on these legally recognized spouses and their families. That is wonderful! So, so wonderful! And honestly, the country should really be commended for having changed the tide of public opinion for the most part, even before this historic ruling today.
We should not forget that the battle for human equality across the board wages on. We should be aware of the fact that women are still not receiving equal pay to their male counterparts. We should acknowledge that in many states a gay man or woman can be fired from their job for being gay and the same goes for transgendered individuals. We should not stop wanting to progress, and days like today should give us hope that we are a country that does believe in progression. But, tonight, we should celebrate!