Congratulations, America! We’re evolving and finally catching up to the rest of the developed world!
The landmark United States Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality made me and my husband cry today. We shed happy tears as we read the headlines and articles announcing that homosexuals have a right to marry, a right that all 50 states have to recognize. I am actually surprised this day is already upon us. It usually takes a lot longer for things like this to change in the U.S.
I was living in southern California when Prop 8 passed. If motherlovin’ California, home to thousands upon thousands of animal rights vegans, atheists, swingers, porn stars, locavores, actors, raw foodies, singers, transexual artists, gay nightclubs, nudists, and basically every “alternative lifestyle” you can think of, could pass a “marriage protection” act, what hope did we have for the rest of the country? We had two hip cities that boasted a really large percentage of LGBT people, San Francisco and West Hollywood, for crying out loud. I voted against Prop 8, and reasonably assumed (but perhaps naively) it wouldn’t pass, so when it did I was shocked. I was unaware of how much stronger the numbers of Christians and Mormons were, even though I lived for a number of years in Orange County, which is basically the Bible Belt of California.
I’ve never understood homophobia and hatred of homosexuality. Even as a small child, I innately understood that sexual orientation is innate. After all, as young as 5 years old I had crushes on older boys. When I was a teen, I went on a date with a boy who made some bigoted “fag” comments, which naturally led me to debate him on his views. He said something idiotic and hateful, like “If they choose to be fags they should expect to be teased”. I then asked him when he chose to be straight. I got crickets and blank stares. That was our last date.
There was a female coworker I began getting happy hour drinks with when I was 22. She and I would talk shop and guys, and one night the conversation turned to gay rights. I said “I just can’t comprehend why anyone would hate gay people. How does loving a person who happens to be the same sex affect anyone else’s life? How is their love life anyone’s business? Who are they hurting?” To which she responded coldly, “You mean, besides themselves?”
I was floored. I had no idea she was a bigot, and didn’t feel like continuing the conversation. She changed the subject, and silently I tried to understand what the hell her question meant. At first, I assumed she meant their orientation hurts because of the way society treats them, to which I thought ‘Then society needs to change’. Then I discovered her deep religious beliefs, and suddenly her comment made sense. Gays “hurt themselves” because according to her they will end up in hell. I couldn’t stay friends with her after that.
When I was dating I had a strong No Anti-Gay Idiots rule. I won’t allow irrationally hateful people into my life. To me, being anti-gay and/or racist was a definitive indicator of a lower-than-average I.Q., and it turns out I’m right! See studies here, here, and here.
My husband and I sent friends of ours, a gay male couple, some flowers in celebration of today’s SCOTUS ruling. They were moved. What we need is more love in this world, not hate.