Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back home again in Indiana

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that my home state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. So now, in Indiana, one of the reddest of red states in the union, gays and lesbians began saying “I do” legally. I’ve lived for well over a decade now in California, a state known for its progressive politics. (Though, dude, Iowa beat us by four years – tsk, tsk. My journey is mirrored by countless LGBT people in America. Grow up in a conservative place, long to live in one of our so-called meccas, leave as soon as you can. After college, my goal was to get to a coast. That the West Coast came calling first was almost chance, but I happily took it. Leaving Indiana for California was a complete flipping of my previous political environment. Here, the right wing huddles angrily in the minority, not the other way around.

In the life of this transplanted Midwestern girl there has been a beautiful symmetry at work in this steady march toward full equality. In 2008, my adopted home state of California in June 2008. Pride month, of course. There was the ugly blight of Proposition 8,but then five years later on June 27, 2013 same-sex marriages began once more, for keeps, thanks the Supreme Court ruling invalidating Prop. 8 for good. And now, here we are once again in June just days away from Pride, and a the courts once again have said let now unconstitutional law tear asunder what love has made obvious in my former home state of Indiana. So, it seems, you can go home again after all.

As the moral arc of history begins to bend its bright rainbow over more and more of this country (20 states and counting), one has to wonder if the narrative of LGBT kids might start to shift, just a little. While the big cities and liberal communities will always beckon, there is an undeniable satisfaction in knowing that staying home is becoming a better, safer option as well. There will always be more liberal and more conservatives pockets of this country. We are a nation deeply divided by party and politics. But whether you vote red or blue, it shouldn’t matter because the white of our constitution need to protect and respect all of us. And with each new judgment and each new law, we are getting there. Both my homes, separated by so many miles and so much ideology, say so. Congratulations, Hoosier state. So, next time I visit, I’ll know how happy I will feel to be back home again in Indiana.


Kristina Bowers said...

My gf just moved to Indiana and I had to text her at 4 AM to celebrate one more step towards equality. :D

smokeylonesome said...

Meanwhile, in my home country Finland, the bill for same-sex marriage was turned down by the legal affairs committee just this week :(.

Jack said...

Congrats. On a positive side note things besides laws are changing too.

At my church a few Sundays ago our pastor gave a pretty pro-gay sermon. Love your gay neighbor, Jesus broke bread with all walks of life, and let God worry about the details kind of thing. Being the pessimist I am I thought we'd lose some parishioners or at least look around and see a bunch of disgusted faces but nope just another Sunday.

Virginia isn't the beacon of the south anymore but it's still pretty southern and red but in the last ten years I've noticed a big change in peoples attitudes toward gay people. You guys are on your way!

Molly said...

Whoa! I've been reading your blog for a few years and it is so cool to find out you are from Indiana! I'm a Hoosier transplant finishing up my last year of university out east, and I am so happy to know that when I graduate my Indianapolis-residing girlfriend and I can plan our wedding with our families there! Seeing other states get marriage has been exciting, but i was surprised by how emotional I was when I saw the news yesterday. If you are ever passing through Indy---find a blonde Molly on Couchsurfing and we'll take you out for a celebratory drink!

Michelle said...

I'm really proud of my state right now. I knew things were changing when we went blue in the 2008 election.

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katefate said...

Hello from a Hoosier who got married a week ago today just under the wire before the harmful stay went into effect!