Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heart of Dixie

And now, the South. Yesterday Alabama became the 37th state to end its ban on same-sex marriage. Couples across the state got hitched were filled with all the smiles and all the kisses and all the hope that comes requisite with a wedding. A marriage, after all, should be a supremely optimistic act which reaffirms our belief in the possibility of a happy future. And, finally, I feel that way about marriage equality across the United States, too.

The steady drumbeat of states expanding the right to all has been more than heartening. It’s history before our eyes. Normally, when the Supreme Court agrees to hear anything I reach for the antacids. And it was the same when the court agreed to hear the cases of four states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee – where the courts have ruled their marriage bans are still constitutional.

But in denying a stay in Alabama, where a federal judge ruled that the ban was unconstitutional – the majority of the justices tipped their hand on the impending marriage equality cases before them. Heck, even Clarence Thomas (yes, him, ugh) said so in his dissent writing: “This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the Court’s intended resolution of that question.” Yeah it does. Boo-yah.

Granted, I’m not telling everyone in the hold-out states to buy rings just yet. But definitely start browsing. Sure, a lot can go wrong because this is our Supreme Court. They’re wacky and not in a good way most of the time. Still, the momentum is clear. We have won this fight in the arena that matters most – public opinion. Everyone who still vocally opposed same-sex marriage seems like the troglodytes that they are. With each ruling and each state that opens people see that, no, the foundation of marriage has not crumbled under their feet. It has only gotten stronger. Now it’s all over but cleaning up the foot-dragging straggler states for the courts.

Still, there’s so much left to do even after full marriage equality is realized. Full LGBT employment non-discrimination rights. Full LGBT anti-harassment and hate crime protection. I could go on. It’s important to remember, even after we can all get married, we have not arrived at the promised land yet. There’s still a lot of road left.

Yes, there is work to do. Yet I still can’t help but feel like the love sick fool with each new picture of smiling, happy, optimistic couples beaming at the possibility of “I do” in each new state. How can you not?

p.s. Wanna know more about Alabama’s adorable first legally married same-sex couple in Montgomery pictured above? Of course you do!


Anonymous said...

I remember when I posted that marriage equality was an inevitavtlibity every-time you questioned it, now you are finally on board with reality?

Carmen SanDiego said...

Next stop ENDA