Monday, July 25, 2011

New York State of Mind

Neither Tabitha nor Lauren really understand what the big deal is about all the weddings going on in New York this week. And for that I am proud of them.

They are utterly unfazed by the idea that two people who love each other will, eventually, perhaps, get married, and if those two people happen to both be the same gender, well, that’s just how it goes sometimes. It’s no weirder than some of the things adults eat, for crying out loud.

They’ve got uncles on both sides of the family in this situation, on both sides of the US. They’ve grown up with those uncles and their partners – visited them, hung out with them, looked forward to seeing them again. Because, you see, they’re family. And that’s what family does.

It’s only those of us who are older, who remember a time when outsiders were allowed to define who your family should be – who, in many places in this country including Wisconsin, still live in such times – who think it’s a big deal that another barrier has fallen, who understand the importance of the fact that in one more of the fifty American states the theocrats who would impose their crabbed little version of society on the rest of us have been put to flight, at least for now.

Because it is a big deal.

And it’s not.

There was a time when interfaith marriages were controversial. There was a time when interracial marriages were controversial. And in some benighted corners of this country they still are, but most Americans have realized that such marriages are not really their concern and that society as a whole seems not to have collapsed because people who love each other are willing to stand up and declare that love and pledge fidelity to it and each other.

As Tabitha and Lauren grow older and find themselves in the majority – as survey after survey of their generation indicates they are – gay marriages will cease to be controversial as well.

That sound you heard this weekend was the sound of barriers breaking, not the sky falling.

And we as a people are better for it.

4 comments:

filelalaine said...

Same here with my eight-year old. She couldn't fully comprehend my excitement since she has already met lots of committed couples among my friends, and just assumed they were already legally married.

David said...

It gives you hope for the future, doesn't it?

Jack Lynch said...

One of the most heartening things I've seen at Rutgers is that people under, say, twenty-five don't see what all the fuss is about. Denying gay people the right to marriage seems to them just one of those weird things that happened in the old days. I'm pleasantly surprised -- though I've favored gay marriage as long as I can remember, for most of the time it was purely theoretical, since twenty years ago I would have bet we wouldn't see it in our lifetimes.

Then again, this is a hoot.

David said...

Here in this corner of the heartland I hear that from younger kids - college students at Home Campus still have some of the older prejudices, unfortunately. But the younger ones make me happy.

There's a lot of things I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, and it's nice to have one of the good ones come true.

I loved that article you linked to - and you know where your Gay Apocalypse is? It's right next to the Socialism we were supposed to get when Obamacare passed. Still waiting for that one too...