There will be a time, in the not too distant future, when everyone will look back at this pathetic process of asking strangers for permission to be equal and shake their heads. Make no mistake, that is what this state-by-state begging for marriage rights is about – letting others decide if the words the founders wrote really ring true. I know that in the end, fairness and love will prevail. But the passage of Question 1 in Maine yesterday, repealing the rights of gay and lesbian couples in the state to marry, is just another reminder that equality is a process.
Progress is never easy; it’s slow and it’s painful and there are always setbacks. Last night, just like a year ago, I felt that familiar queasiness in the pit of my stomach because voters picked H8 over love. But progress will happen, it always does. Humans evolve, it’s in our DNA. That’s how we made it out of the primordial ooze the first time and how we will climb out again when it comes to gay marriage. Still, just as there will always be progress, there will always be those who try to stop it. They hate without reason, they fear change of all forms. But the small-minded bigots’ days of telling us how we can live are numbered.
The thing is, I believe in the deepest, most optimistic part of my heart that there are more fair-minded people than hateful ones. But, for whatever reason, they don’t all make it to the ballot box when it comes time to stand up and be counted. Those who hate progress, they’ll always make it to the polling places. Extremist will go to any extremes to ensure their views are enforced. But with what looks like a domestic partnership victory in Washington State, the inclusion of GLBT anti-discrimination protection in Kalamazoo and out candidates coming out on top in Chapel Hill and Houston, the tide is slowly turning.
So now we stand at a tipping point in this struggle for equality for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Will those who believe that marriage is a basic human right finally come together and say enough is enough? Will we have a president who has the courage to say that equality cannot be voted away, but must be given unequivocally to all? Will we finally cut through the fear and loathing that cloaks these discussions and realize, as a people, that love can never be stopped? Yes, yes we will. The only question now is when.