Tonight, I am not going to talk about trains, or ponies, or spaceships… or Valocea or music or games or anything else of the sort. I love all of those things, and generally, that’s what the point of this blog is: to talk about all that fun stuff that I like. But there is something more important than any of that which I’m going to talk about instead, for just a moment.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban, marking the beginning of the latest chapter in the Proposition 8 saga, a.k.a. the ongoing battle for marriage equality. As most anyone who is interested in the case is no doubt aware, the end result of today’s oral arguments were nothing too decisive. While there were some interesting things said, ultimately, it doesn’t appear likely that we are going to get any kind of ruling before summer, and exactly what kind of ruling we will get (and how broad it will be) is completely up for grabs (with the proviso that – thankfully – everyone seems to be in agreement that for the SCOTUS to actually end this whole thing by simply upholding the constitutionality of the ban on same-sex marriage is pretty unlikely). Of course, there are tweets and comments galore, including one that honestly made me laugh out loud, but the point is, the next thing most of us have to do, is just wait.
I’m far from an expert on legal matters, and some of the fine details of everything that was said, and what might happen next, and which scenarios are more likely, and why, etc. etc. are a bit lost on me.
So, that’s all I can say about what went on in the Supreme Court today. These are the things that happened, here are some links to blogs and tweets. I dearly hope for a positive outcome, but we’ll have to wait and see what develops. The end.
This is not why I started writing this post.
I was looking through the article about the goings on at the Huffington Post. As they often do, they had this slideshow of images relating to the subject of the article – in this case, the photos were mostly of the huge crowds that gathered in front of the SCOTUS building to make their voices heard, on both sides of the issue. I was looking through the photos, smiling or chuckling at certain ones (this one was, I thought, just beautiful), and hurrying past every picture of anyone who was holding up a sign expressing an anti-marriage equality stance, lest I just become frustrated.
I kept scrolling, and came across one. That one picture which, for some reason, just got to me. I saw it and stopped scrolling, just staring at this one photo for over a minute. And it brought forth a sudden, unexpected surge of emotion. I felt sadness, hope, and then anger. After tearing up a bit and taking some deep breaths, I began writing this.
Do not deny us.
Those words, that sign, struck me. That’s what this is really all about. Not just marriage, not just rights, not just equality – it absolutely IS about all of those things, don’t get me wrong. But there is something about the simplicity of that statement that I found very powerful. Because it’s a very effective way to sum up so much of what is wrong with not just the resistance to marriage equality, but the continuing attitudes (which are very slowly but surely eroding, fortunately) toward homosexuality in general from many people in this country. People – real people – are being denied happiness, rights, life in some cases, all because of something that is both beyond their control, and completely benign. They would be denied existence, if some had their way.
For the record, I am not gay. I am not being denied. I can never truly know what that feels like, because I will never experience it. I have friends – dear friends, in some cases – who are gay, and have to deal with the realities of what it means to be gay in this country, every day. Even then, as close as I might be to someone, it’s still not the same as going through it yourself.
But even though it doesn’t affect me directly, it has long been something I’ve felt very passionate about, and tonight, after seeing that image, something just snapped – a dam broke, and these words just started happening.
That’s how I feel. Enough. Enough hate, enough bigotry, enough hurt, enough pain, enough denial. This entire situation has been going on for FAR too long, and it is absolutely insane.
There is nothing wrong with being gay. It is not a choice, or something people can just turn off. There is nothing harmful about same-sex marriage. It will have no negative effects on straight marriage, nor will it harm the “institution” of marriage. Churches across the nation whose memberships are opposed to same-sex marriage will not suddenly all be forced to perform them. The “suffering” of those who believe homosexuality is wrong for religious reasons, and who will have to put up with these things happening despite their beliefs as gay marriage becomes legal in more and more places, amounts to diddly fucking squat when compared with REAL suffering… such as, say, someone who is attacked on the street just because they are gay, or someone who is told they cannot marry the love of their life because they are both the same sex. To say nothing of the fact that we shouldn’t even be legislating ANYTHING based on ANYONE’S religious beliefs – not if “separation of church and state” is supposed to mean a damn thing.
All of the above are facts. They are not my opinions, they are not open to debate. They are part of the nature of reality, and they, too, are being denied.
“Same-sex marriage” shouldn’t even BE a thing anymore. I used the term several times throughout this post for simplicity, but really, it’s one that should already have fallen out of use, because it should just be MARRIAGE. Two people – who are both legally consenting adults – get married. The sex, gender, and sexual orientation of the parties involved are no one’s business but theirs. And while I am hopeful that – one way or another – the SCOTUS case will end positively (I remain skeptical that they will hand down a ruling with sweeping, pro-marriage equality implications for the entire nation, but at the very least, California’s ban should be finally and completely destroyed), there’s a certain disconnect I have with the glacial pace of all this. I find it hard to get my head around some of what was said, and around the idea that this needs to be so thoroughly examined and considered and debated…
It is 2013, and somehow, we are still wrestling with this, still discussing this, still not DONE with this.