Gay Marriage

Published June 30, 2015
“Who’s happy?” one of my friends said over drinks this past weekend in regards to marriage. He wasn’t being facetious. He was really asking. Okay maybe he was being a bit tongue-in- cheek since he is actually happily married. But as I looked around at my group of friends, I saw something I’d never really seen before: A friend who was divorced and with her new husband. A friend who was there alone because she was in a fight with her spouse. A friend in the middle of a divorce. A friend who is widowed. And one married couple. That same day the New York Times reported: 5-4 Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide. So of course, this historic news came up in conversation with my friends. “It will be the new normal,” one of my friends said, a bit concerned or at least unsure. “It’s all the children of today will know.” “That’s okay,” another friend responded. “Fifty years ago Blacks and whites didn’t share the same public restrooms and then that became the new normal.” How was that reality even possible? I guess it’s a good thing that situation feels antiquated and, more to the point, it is evidence that in time we'll look back and wonder how we could've denied marriage rights to any particular group. I must admit I stared for a long while at the twelve photos of the same-sex couples on the cover of the newspaper, wanting to know their stories, imagining their lives— what it was like for them before this vote and what life would be like for them now. I took a hard look at these people, happy for them, feeling celebratory that they’d accomplished this goal—to be together, openly and legally. And now they had what we had. Marriage. And yet here we were a handful of mostly married people: all living our own individual lives, all making different choices, at different turning points. What did we all have in common? Choice. Maybe the divorced friend would remarry, maybe not. Maybe the married couple would stay together, maybe not. I recently read that the word gay has become so prevalent in meaning homosexual that people hesitate to use the term in its original sense to mean happy or joyful. I’d like to use the word in its original meaning here. If it’s what you choose—Gay Marriage for all.
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