Saturday, June 2, 2012
Marriage Equality and the Sanctity of Marriage
My wife and I applaud Barack Obama and Joe Biden finally embracing the righteousness of marriage equality. At LAST! It has taken way too long for marriage equality to be supported by the leaders of the FREE world. We are ALL more free now that they have done so.
My wife grew up in New York. I grew up in California. When we decided to get married (as a hetero couple, if that wasn't obvious) we had to agree on where to get married. Ultimately I convinced her (due to the venue I could offer for free) to get married in California. It was an amazing wedding. But we settled in New York. We visit my family in California about once a year. Ironically, my family in California has spent more time with our kids during our brief visits out West than our East Coast relatives have spent with them despite the fact they could see them any day they want.
During the brief period when marriage equality was legally accepted in California, my wife and I agreed we regretted we were already married because we were about to visit my family in California and we wished we could get married AGAIN, together with the same-sex couples who for that brief period in California had the FREEDOM to get married. We felt that their right to get married made our own existing heterosexual marriage THAT MUCH MORE SPECIAL.
Some people claim marriage equality is an attack on "traditional" marriage. HOW???? There is NO WAY that allowing same-sex couples to marry in ANY way threatens my marriage with my wife. If ANYTHING we feel prouder of our own marriage when we hear about instances when same-sex couples can marry. Anyone who thinks marriage equality is a threat to their marriage needs to wonder why they are so insecure about their own marriage!! My wife and I are a heterosexual couple married for many years who feels no threat whatsoever from seeing same-sex couples marrying.
When California reneged on its promise of freedom for LGBT and (in my mind un-Constitutionally) tried specifically banning same-sex marriage, I was embarrassed at the state I grew up in compared with New York, the state I have adopted and been adopted by which went the other way and accepted marriage equality. This all makes me feel more of a New Yorker than a Californian these days. One state made a clear step FORWARDS towards greater FREEDOM, and the other took a major step BACKWARDS towards greater intolerance. I prefer freedom to intolerance ANY day of the week.
When New York FINALLY accepted marriage equality (thanks to the down fall of some very corrupt and violent folks who felt that things like beating women was somehow better than gays marrying) my wife and I were proud and had tears of joy in our eyes when LGBT couples we knew could FINALLY share the joy we shared in marriage. Again, our own marriage was strengthened by the legal recognition of their right to marry.
Now our President and VP are catching up with New York State and are accepting marriage equality. THAT is about as historic as the very election of Barack Obama, our first black President. It is just as much a step forward for America as the electoral count that gave Obama the Presidency.
And, just like I was DAMNED proud to be voting for our first black President, I am DAMNED proud that the President I voted for just came out accepting of marriage equality. Will it help or hurt is re-election???? I don't know. But in the sweep of major historical events, it doesn't matter. Many times in history a LEADER chose to do what is the correct and progressive action rather then simply do what is politically expedient. Sometimes that historical and morally correct action lost them the next election. Sometimes it helped them win the next election. But the historical and morally correct action was still accomplished and would NOT have been accomplished had it not been for the bravery of that leader...Obama is exactly that kind of leader. Whether it benefits him or harms him in his re-election, he has now solidly moved American forward one notch in terms of overall freedom. And for that I thank him.
For those who want to support true marriage freedom, support the solid progressive candidates endorsed by Progressive Majority. They represent our next generation of progressive leaders and we need to nurture them NOW!
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