Saying “I Do” to Equality

The year is 2014.

People can carry whole lives full of information and pictures in a phone the size of a deck of cards. There’s an African American president who raps on late night talk shows and an ATM that will dispense a cupcake. Yet in 2014, there are same-sex couples that can’t legally bind their union because they’re a same-sex couple.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

I had a funny post done, but that’s going to wait because this past Friday my state of Michigan ruled the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, making it the 18th state to allow gays and lesbians to get married just like their heterosexual counterparts.

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People who have been in committed relationships for decades ran to the courthouses to make it official that afternoon, with one couple who had been together for 25 years and adopted five special needs children quoted as saying, “We’re going to actually be a legalized family, a recognized family by everyone.”

This is all wonderful—as in, “actually-made-Abby-the-Ice-Queen-cry-a-little”—wonderful.

But then you know what happened? Less than 24 hours later the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the gay marriage ban back in effect through Wednesday, “to allow a more reasoned consideration of the motion.” Hundreds of couples that were lined up to legalize their unions were turned away that day.

A bishop was quoted as saying that the ruling sought to alter “the fundamental meaning and structure of marriage that has existed from the beginning.”

Needless to say, what the hell?

In 2014, people like the Kardashians and overpaid celebrities caught cheating or doing drugs don’t only dominate the headlines, they are fully supported and encouraged. People watch their shows or buy the magazines dedicated to exposing their often questionably moral yet “glamorous” lives.

A celebrity marriage that lasts only 72 days? That’s fine because it’s entertainment, right? But a loving same-sex couple legalizing their union in an effort to be seen as equal citizens in the eyes of the state? Sorry, but we’re going to spend more tax payer money fighting that notion while continuing to hold up  “the fundamental meaning and structure of marriage that has existed from the beginning.”

Prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying does not stop them from forming families and raising children. Nor does prohibiting same-sex marriage increase the number of “healthy” heterosexual marriages or the number of well-adjusted and loved children raised by heterosexual parents.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am glad I live in a time when things like this can be happening—there are 17 states where it’s legal—and constant steps are being taken towards equality in every way, shape or form. The opportunities exist for people to be anything that they want to be, more or less, but yet some still choose to be ignorant.

And since it’s a time when everyone can go online and broadcast their opinions to the world — and hide behind a screen or an outdated status quo— we also see the darker side of things. We see the backlash, the gender gaps, the discrimination.

I have to admit that I’m not surprised though, seeing as earlier this year a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter generated such a strong racist backlash on YouTube that the comments section had to be closed.

In 2014.

I’ll just wrap this up by saying I’m not gay and honestly, I’ll probably never get married. It’s just not my thing. But while the happiness of others doesn’t threaten my own, the ignorance of others does.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Hopefully better times are up ahead.

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38 responses to “Saying “I Do” to Equality

  1. Your last paragraph was eloquent and the whole piece is just ‘right’.

    Let’s all say I do to Equality in every form.

  2. So with you on this.

  3. so ,are you suggesting same sex marriages?

  4. *fist bump*

    We should never stop fighting for each other’s equality. Thanks for getting serious, this time.

  5. Great post, Abby! I absolutely loved this line: “But while the happiness of others doesn’t threaten my own, the ignorance of others does.”

    In a country where there supposedly is a separation of church and state, it makes no sense that someone else’s religious dogma should affect the rights of others who may or may not subscribe to those beliefs. As exciting as it has been to watch as more and more states allow gay marriage, we still have a long ways to go. That said, I have a lot of hope for the future.

  6. loved this- so perfect:)

  7. “…prohibiting same-sex marriage [does not] increase the number of “healthy” heterosexual marriages.”

    this, so much this.

    WHY does this bother people so? a same sex couple choosing to marry has ZERO consequence on any person other than their mate. those celebrity “marriages” that end quickly, however (and many others ending in divorce), those actually DO tarnish the “structure” and “fundamental meaning” of marriage.

    here’s hoping soon it will simply be “marriage” rather than “gay marriage”. for any person to believe others are not warranted the same rights as them? preposterous and disgusting and so very backwards.

  8. All my adult life I have had gay friends and I have never understood why people are so hung up on this issue. On the other hand I have a lot of hope too, because when I see how gay people were treated in the 70s and 80’s to the way they are today, there has been tremendous progress.

    • I agree. Close friends of mine actually moved out of state so they could be legally married. I’m happy for them, but selfishly, I miss them. One day this won’t be an issue!

  9. Love this. So proud that my state has stepped up and made it legal.

  10. I was so proud the day the UK made same sex marriage legal. Have you seen the youtube video ‘kids react to gay marriage’ – it was adorable. All bar one were like ‘so what’s the big deal?’ and some of the 12 and 13 year olds were more eloquent in their arguments than many adults.

  11. Yes to the hell yes. It amazes me we’re still even debating this issue in 2014. It amazes me people still use religion to justify bigotry or refuse equal rights to others. It amazes me we’d deny people such a basic right: freedom to love who they want. I’m with you on this one all the way.

  12. Thank you!!

    “But while the happiness of others doesn’t threaten my own, the ignorance of others does.”

    Quite possibly the best affirmation ever!

  13. Love is love, an adult should be allowed to marry another adult regardless of who has what bits.

    “A bishop was quoted as saying that the ruling sought to alter “the fundamental meaning and structure of marriage that has existed from the beginning.”

    This is such rot isn’t it. The beginning of what exactly? Just let people be.

  14. Those opposing same-sex marriage claim they want to “preserve the sanctity of marriage,” but they seem to forget about lying, cheating spouses and spousal abuse, not to mention divorce. I can honestly saying that neither of my failed marriages were negatively affected in any way by any person or couple that happened to be gay.

  15. I could not have said it better myself! It saddens me that we still live in a world where not everyone is accepted. All that matters is if you’re a good person, kind to others, and contribute to society in a positive way…after that, who cares who you love as long as you’re happy.

  16. It’s always a shock to me how closed-minded so many people still are. I hate when people try to say that “gay marriage” shouldn’t exist because it is against their personal religion or beliefs. Like, Okay, then YOU don’t get married to someone of the same gender. But leave that option open for other people. Don’t expect everyone to abide by your personal beliefs.

  17. It’s long since past the time when we should have taken religion out of the argument. This is a matter of equal rights for all. We cannot continue to allow religion to dictate who is worthy of equal rights and who is not.
    Great post.

  18. Right on, girlfriend! We are totally in sync on this. Great piece, Abby!

  19. I could not have said this topic any better!

  20. Couldn’t agree more.

  21. Two thumbs up. And if I had more than two, I’d put those up as well.

    Yes, we’ve come a long way… but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop.

  22. The aspect I find most fascinating (and incredibly sad) about the “Gay Marriage Debate” is that everyone doesn’t seem to recognize the true problem… which makes it incredibly harder to solve.

    The solution to restoring equal rights in this case (and almost all others) isn’t to get our gargantuan, controlling government to “give” rights to homosexual partners. The solution isn’t government. The PROBLEM is government.

    The solution is to get government out of this whole arena where they don’t belong. Don’t lobby for some empty suit in DC to pass a law saying Gay Marriage is now legal (or Gay Marriage Bans are now illegal). Rather, repeal all legislation that deals with what consenting adults can or can’t do so long as they don’t harm anyone else. No more special tax codes, insurance regulations, estate considerations, etc for “marriage”. It’s not the government’s place to intrude. That’s only the place for loving adults to decide whatever “marriage” means to them.

    We’re not supposed to be a country of enumerated, finite, necessary liberties that government can give and take away. We’re supposed to be a country of enumerated, finite, necessary government restrictions.

    That’s the backwards thinking that makes all kinds of other discriminatory backwards thinking possible.

  23. Not to mention….”from the beginning”, marriage was a contract used to unite countries or acquire property. We wanna go back to that? No thanks. I’ll take love over some money.

  24. I have a feeling this whole issue will be resolved by the time our present children have grown to be adults and taken over society. Young people have very little care about gay marriage. Children and teenagers don’t understand why it’s an issue to the point where even kids at a Catholic High School are willing to stand up for their gay vice principal. Things are changing fast and will continue to do so, and the structures opposing gay marriage will gain very little support.

  25. I just found your blog, and as I do with a newly found read, I kind of skimmed the first few posts to get a feel for it. Baseball; yes! (I feel the same about backgammon ;) ) and am going to go back and really READ about the game show retirement post, but this one…I love you! Seriously, well written! Change is good, and I hope to continue to see the change! Virtual high five to you from a new follower!

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