History is undefeated. Someone said that once, right?
And history won again today when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay men and women can legally marry across the country. As much as scared old people and misguided middle aged and young people tried to dig in their heels, it was going to happen. A majority of the country supports gay marriage, something that seem unfathomable just a few years ago. Hell, it’s hard to get 57% of Americans to agree on anything. Did you ever think that gay marriage would be something that garnered Reagan in ’84 type numbers?
I say it was inevitable because, no matter how many moral, biblical, and ethical questions its opponents raised, like every civil rights battle, once the momentum began to swing that way, even if gently, there was no stopping it. Most people are for fairness. And denying folks who work and pay taxes and serve on juries and volunteer to fight overseas and run businesses and line next door and complain about the weather just like us the same rights we have was a hopeless battle once the general public realized that was our reality.
I’m very happy today not just for people I know, live near, or am related to. I’m also happy, and proud, of my generation. It is us, as we moved into middle age and control of our business, political, and popular cultures, who said, “Enough.” While we may not always embrace what is different from traditional “normal,” our generation has made great efforts to moving our society toward being more fair. Several guys I know who were afraid to wear Levi’s on “Wear Jeans If You’re Gay” day 25 years ago are celebrating today’s ruling on Facebook.
And while gay marriage has often been considered a traditional, Left-Right issue, I know an awful lot of otherwise reliably conservative people my age who have no problem with gay marriage. They may come to it from a different angle than those of us on the left side of the political spectrum, but arrive there they have.
Certainly there are still a lot of people, of all ages and political beliefs, who think today’s ruling is an awful day for America. I hope they come to realize that the ruling is not about their lives, or about heterosexual marriage. Allowing people who are in love and make a commitment to spend their lives together the same protections before the law that hetero couples have in no way diminishes those rights. In fact, it reassert them and makes them stronger.
Love and history won today. You don’t have to like it or understand it. But it sure makes the world a better place if you are able to.
- My apologies for using the word normal. But I speak of mainstream America’s view of the LGBT community. I’m not making a judgement or declaration. Which I bet most of you knew already, rendering this footnote moot. ↩