Let The Day Begin! Post Marriage Equality Ruling Thoughts
Posted on June 29, 2015
There are three times I can remember sitting down and watching the news for several hours. The first was the start of Gulf War back when I was in college, the second was 9/11, and the third was last Friday. I cried two out of three of those times and all three scared the hell out of me. Did I think marriage equality would win? I honestly didn’t know. And I was very, very afraid to believe it would because I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
The odd thing is that had it gone against us, it would have thrown so much into chaos, especially for those states that previously had same-sex marriage bans overturned by a federal judge. It would have turned into—if you’ll pardon my Norwegian—a clusterfuck. It also would have set the LGBT community back a very long way. I can’t help but think the justices had to take more than the law into consideration when making their decision. Is this a country based on and ruled by religion and God as so many Republican presidential candidates insist? Or was it based on a separation of church and state? If the latter, then we must evolve.
Much has been said about how the fight for gay rights will continue. Businesses whose owners have deeply held religious beliefs against the gay community want to be able to deny us services. Churches want protection from having to marry us—which they fail to understand they already do. Religious leaders and far right radio/TV personalities are screaming that it will be the end of days for their shows or right to speak their minds about homosexuality. Of course they’re scared. They’ve done good business instilling fear. God forbid they have to start addressing other issues.
The whole “let’s address some other issues” is where I’m at. Instead of spending millions of dollars each year spreading misinformation and downright lies about the LGBT community, how about putting that money towards cancer research? Alzheimer’s research? The environment? Schools? Public assistance? Social programs? The arts? The roads here in Michigan?
There have been murmurings, too, that gay culture now stands to be eroded or diluted. What will hold us together? Maybe it’s time we started to evolve as well. Maybe we share our culture with the larger group more so than we’ve done before now. Maybe our books will find their way onto store shelves instead of having to order them online. Maybe our films will be carried at Best Buy on New Release Tuesday instead of constantly seeing NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES on their website. Maybe we’ll see a little more selection when picking out a greeting card for our spouses or other holidays. I love shopping for cards, so that would thrill me to no end.
Our culture isn’t going away. It’s just starting to be explored. We’re just starting to be heard.
I didn’t cry for myself last Friday. Yes, I was overwhelmed because my home state of Michigan now had to recognize the three year marriage my husband and I have. I cried because of the looks on the faces of those who hadn’t gotten married yet and now could, who were afraid to and now didn’t have to be (or least as much), and for the youth who will now grow up not having to loathe themselves or wonder why they aren’t good enough to be treated like everybody else just because of who they’re attracted to. That is worth shedding tears over.
There was only one bitter moment that came from me. The governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, issued a statement after the Supreme Court ruling. This is part of it: “Let’s also recognize while this issue has stirred passionate debate, we now should focus on the values we share. With this matter now settled, as Michiganders we should move forward positively, embracing our state’s diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Yes, the values we share. Respect and dignity. Snyder just signed into law something that allows religious-run adoption agencies to deny their services to gay households. This is a man who sought to void the 300 marriages performed last year when a federal judge set Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban temporarily aside.
I responded to him on Twitter. “It might have been nice if you’d focused on dignity earlier. You’ll pardon me if my husband & I doubt your sincerity.”
That was the only time I allowed myself a little irritably to show through in an otherwise incredible day. And it was incredible!
Anybody care to share your reactions to the news when it was announced?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
6 Responses to “Let The Day Begin! Post Marriage Equality Ruling Thoughts”
Patricia Hebel says:
June 29, 2015 at 8:56 am
I look at the LGBT community as a caterpillar that will blossom into a beautiful butterfly in the climate of freedom. I don’t blame you for being skeptical of Snyder. I trust him not at all.
Lee Martindale says:
June 29, 2015 at 10:43 am
I cried. I cried happy, watching the coverage of people celebrating the decision and what it meant for them and people they loved. I cried sad, for Tim & Mike, David & Jeff, and others who didn’t live to see it. I cried a little proud, because activism is the Long Game, and it’s not often one gets to see such a win.
And I started looking into what it takes to officiate weddings in Texas.
June 29, 2015 at 10:57 am
I could totally see you officiating, Lee! That’s awesome! Moxy officiates. I told her if I can ever convince the hubby to renew his vows, we’d have her do the ceremony.
You know…maybe we ought to put you in a Trek outfit and the two of you can officiate a wedding next year at OutlantaCon. We can even decorate your chair to look like the Enterprise. lol
Patricia Logan says:
June 29, 2015 at 1:49 pm
I cried. A LOT. It was a happy day. The only question is… are all employers who allowed domestic partnership benefits now going to take them away? Since DP benefits weren’t limited to LGBT’rs, I hope not. A lot of families would suffer by losing their insurance unless they decide to now get married.
Carl soontobe Prytula-Charron says:
June 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm
OMG! I got the call from Ted. He had only a couple minutes left on his break. We were both busy, but I teared up after our ‘I love you, see you after work!’ He calls me almost every day. That day I had trouble working. Getting the high fives and congrats from people all over the plant. I cried so much and was emotional, still am! Just signed our license today and after Sunday, the papers mail out to validate our marriage! This 23 year engagement has been fun, the future will be better together. The changes will come. People have to open their minds and hearts, not hide behind old ideals that make them feel, um, comfortable?
Jordan L. Hawk says:
June 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm
I was glued to SCOTUSblog since that seemed the fastest way of getting the news. Instantly texted David (who was stuck in corporate training that day), then burst into tears. I’m on deadline, but I ended up spending the whole day online to celebrate anyway, because it isn’t often you get to see history lurch forward.