Tuesday, June 17, 2008

As California, so goes the country...

So, today marriage equality is introduced to a nation.

Last night, in a special ceremony Del Martin (87) and Phylis Lyon (84) were legally wed after over 50 years together. My favorite part of the new coverage has been the protesters- one of their signs was quoted as saying, "Homo sex is sin." Ironic to picket a wedding ceremony of ancient lesbians with that one... it just sort of reinforces that this isn't really about sex as much as love, commitment, and equal rights.

California isn't the first state to allow 'the gays' to marry, but unlike our beloved MA, Cali doesn't have an antiquated, racist law on the books that is used to enforce a residency requirement. Nation-state, California has sent an engraved invitation to boys and girls in love: come here and get hitched.

It may not be legal in the home state of those destined to wed on the west coast, and the federal government will not recognize the marriages any more than they recognize our civil union, but this is huge. It is a big deal because how are you going to say to someone who has a valid marriage certificate that they are not married. I don't mean in a legal battle or court system. I mean in school system when someone is saying you are not a parent-figure, or at the gym when someone says you can't get a "family membership" or in an airport or hotel or rent-a-car dealer when someone says that you are not related... or in a hospital waiting room when someone says you are not next of kin. Every day citizens are going to have a problem with that, because everyday citizens recognize when something is unfair, and generally people are uncomfortable with something that is unfair. For some people that is about ethics, but for others it is more about:

"If they can do that to you, then they can do that to me... and I don't think that's right."

This is real and it's bigger than MA b/c even if is not "legal," it is more than people have ever had. Even in conservative states and towns, newly married couples will go to CA and bring their marriage certificates back to and in even greater numbers, they will come out of the closet and demand their fair share.

And on a much larger scale, just as has happened in MA, people will realize that nothing falls apart when two ladies or two gents get married. It is just doesn't change anything at all, except for the families that get some legal backup for their relationships.

Favorite bumper sticker:
Gays and lesbians are getting married, recognize it.

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