I don’t mean to be a stickler here (okay, maybe I do), but didn’t Gay used mean Happy? Yes, it sure did! So, what is all that I am hearing about “gay” marriage? Are there really people out there who are really that against marriages being happy? I didn’t think so. Our language changed…I like the old definition of gay better. After all, doesn’t everyone really just want to be happy?
The Tide Is Turning!
Gay marriage is a hot topic as the tide is FINALLY turning in so many places across our country to allow same-sex couples the same marital rights as opposite-gendered couples. I like to think of this as an evolutionary process where the majority of mankind realizes what a jerk it has been and starts to pull its head out of its proverbial hiney. Kind of like allowing women to vote (gasp). Or back it up some more – making slavery illegal (you have to actually pay workers now, you can’t steal them from their home countries and treat them like animals. Seriously, it is sickening to think back and realize how many people used to think this was ever okay…and even more sickening to realize that illegal slavery still exists on our planet). The idea of every human being having equal rights as measured against any other human being seems so…well…basic! Perhaps not to everyone, but I see the tide turning away from discriminatory, bigoted, hatred based segregating tactics and moving (albeit painfully slowly) towards equality.
Gay Marriage Becomes Legal
October 17, 2014 was an historical and important day here in my own state of Arizona. This was the day that the ban on “gay” marriage was lifted. I had the absolute honor and privilege to be attending a special luncheon that day to celebrate local champions of equality with ONE Community. Little did I know that morning as I got ready to attend the luncheon that I would be seated next to my friend, Sheila Kloefkorn and her partner Sue Wieger. What a delightful surprise it was as the program got underway and Sheila and Sue sat down. They both were glowing and the energy coming off them was buzzing and contagious. Marriage equality had just been granted a few hours earlier and there they were sporting one of the very first marriage licenses issued in our state! But wait, it got even better than that. Sheila showed me the license and in my excitement immediately asked “when are you getting married?”. She said “in about 10 minutes.” Let the tears of joy flow!
That’s right – I had the extreme honor of not only being present with over 1,000 other people to watch these two amazing women get married right there on stage, but I got to sit next to them and cry like a baby like I typically do at all weddings. Love moves me like that. It was a day fit for history books in the chapter about Human Rights and trailblazers who paved the way for others to get to enjoy the inalienable rights of everyone else– life, love and the pursuit of happiness. I will remember this amazing day for the rest of my life.
We all should. Marriage equality has not reached every state and it needs to. Anti-discrimination laws need to include EVERYONE (or else aren’t they ineffective against discrimination?). At the time this blog is being written, couples of all genders can marry in my state, but not in all states…and while couples can get married in my state, employers can still fire someone for being gay. Seriously? We are not done yet.
As we move along this evolutionary crawl towards an inclusive humanity, I am anxiously awaiting the societal norms that will eventually come with it. Like language. One day marriage will just be marriage and we won’t be so tempted to say “gay marriage” in our headlines, in our conversations, or even inside our own heads. Love will just be love and we will get to talk about our same-sex couple friends / parents / brothers / sisters / aunts / uncles / cousins / neighbors (you get the point) simply as couples (and our single friends simply as people – not homosexuals, gays, lesbians, trans, bi, poly, etc) and instead of feeling the urge to label their relationship by their sexual orientation, we can just automatically think of them as we do opposite-gendered couples and our straight friends. We can then say things like “I am so glad they found each other – they are so in love!” We will know we have actually evolved when our language catches up with us and we don’t have to describe people by sexual orientation. I mean, seriously, we need to get our nosey, critical, judgmental minds out of the bedrooms of other couples and it starts with our own habits and thoughts.
I am awaiting the glorious day when the term gay marriage means happy marriage once again…and if that day never comes, then I am perfectly willing to simply erase the gay word completely when using it to describe a sacred, committed union of two people in love, since, quite honestly, another couple’s sexual orientation whether it is the same as our own or not, is simply none of our own personal business.
Love is Love. Let love reign!