Friday, June 26, 2015

Mariage Equality in The United States of America

With those simple yet moving words,  Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5 justice majority of the US Supreme Court,  affirmed the idea that equal protection under the law, is not limited to some Americans.  But rather,  is  true for all Americans.

I remember  when I was a child,  watching the movie  The Sound of Music on television.  When it would get to the scene late in the film where Maria and Captain Von Trapp get married in the grandeur of the Salzburg Cathedral;  I always wondered why the nuns had to stay behind a locked iron gate in the back of the church, and were not allowed to attend the wedding with everybody else. 

I remember asking my Mom at the time "What did the Nuns do wrong?  Why are they in Jail?"  Laughing, my Mother replied that Nuns were not allowed to get married,  that they were "married to the church".    At the time I really didn't understand the concept of being married to a church,  but over the years that followed, I would come to understand all to well the idea of not being  "able" to get married.

"...and they lived, happily ever after."  Think of all the stories,  plays, movies,  songs, poems and even paintings, where that idea;  Living happily ever after with the person you love, marrying the person you love,  was exclusively the domain of  boy meets girl.     The coming out experience for LGBT people is as unique as each individual who goes through it.  Yet there are some commonalities.   One of the most common, is the moment when you looked  at world around you,  and became resigned to the idea of marrying the person you love and living  happily ever after ...was not ever going to be in your future.  

As someone who was Gay,  I was convinced  of this.   I  thought, I may as well  just hang out with Nuns locked behind the iron gates.   Marriage,  was not something I would ever be allowed to share.   Or so I thought...  Now years later,  I  can say  that there is incredible  joy in being proved so completely wrong. 

In a week when I recently wrote a blog asking "What is wrong with America?". Today we see what is so completely right with America.   E Pluribus Unum.  Out of Many, One.     The idea that America is never finished.   We are always  and forever a work in progress.  Far more potential than  presently realised.   Forever expanding the idea that  we all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

That is what  the United States Supreme Court did today.   Defended and expanded that Jeffersonian ideal,  that. American ideal.   That my love,  is as valid is yours.   That the  life that my husband and I build together,  is as valid and worthy of affirmation as yours.     That our family is as part of the fabric of America as yours.   My country,  that  on September 21, 1996 passed the odious  "Defence of Marriage Act", a law that fifteen years later,  would force me to leave my country   and move the UK just to be with my spouse;  Today, on June 26, 2015, that same country finally stepped out of that shadow and on to the right side of history.

To those who decry this progress and are filling the airwaves and internet with bile and vitriol, to you I say,  I am sorry.    Sorry that you have so little faith in the country you so loudly say that you  love.   Sorry that you see freedom and equality as zero sum propositions.

But mostly I am sorry you have so completely failed to understand  both the nation in which you live, and  religious faith you claim to profess.   Today is a very GOOD day for America, and  this weekend in cities all over the world, there will be one amazing party.   I am sorry you are too afraid to  step out of those shadows and  join us in celebrating what truly is a victory for all Americans.  

There will  plenty of time in the weeks to come to analyse  and debate the events of today and what it means  for the United States, but for now,  even here in London we will celebrate this latest chapter in the American story.  

Happy Pride Weekend everyone,  and  God Bless America.

1 comment:

biki said...

I've not cried so many happy tears in my life! Happy SCOTUS Day to you! And now you have the ability to move about our country, when you and Spouse return, as a legally married couple! Congrats X 50!