Friday, June 26, 2015

Sometimes The Good Guys Win


This may be the only time I link to Mr. Andrew Sullivan without exasperated comment.  But today is the day the Supreme Court said that all Americans can to marry who they love, and that have the absolute right to have that marriage recognized no matter where they live.  This is a cause for which Mr. Sullivan and many others have been fighting hard for a very long time and against very long odds and I am so very glad for him and for all Americans who have been cheated out of this basic human right for so long that this day has finally come.

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I think of the gay kids in the future who, when they figure out they are different, will never know the deep psychic wound my generation – and every one before mine – lived through: the pain of knowing they could never be fully part of their own family, never befully a citizen of their own country. I think, more acutely, of the decades and centuries of human shame and darkness and waste and terror that defined gay people’s lives for so long. And I think of all those who supported this movement who never lived to see this day, who died in the ashes from which this phoenix of a movement emerged. This momentous achievement is their victory too – for marriage, as Kennedy argued, endures past death. 
I never believed this would happen in my lifetime when I wrote my first several TNR essays and then my book, Virtually Normal, and then the anthology and the hundreds and hundreds of talks and lectures and talk-shows and call-ins and blog-posts and articles in the 1990s and 2000s. I thought the book, at least, would be something I would have to leave behind me – secure in the knowledge that its arguments were, in fact, logically irrefutable, and would endure past my own death, at least somewhere. I never for a millisecond thought I would live to be married myself. Or that it would be possible for everyone, everyone in America. 
But it has come to pass. All of it. In one fell, final swoop. 
Know hope.

4 comments:

Martin Pollard said...

Sometimes the Good Guys Finish First by Pat Benetar, from the soundtrack of the 1987 Michael J. Fox film The Secret of My Success.

marindenver said...

I always thought this would finally be settled through the courts. Denying a fundamental right to a class of people is discrimination, pure & simple. I figured it would take awhile but this day would finally come. WOO HOO!!

janet said...

Its all so wonderful, I'm emotionally worn out(in a good way.) The slaughter in the church, that hateful flag coming down, the Obamacare ruling, and now marriage equality. I'm all tingly inside. We have all just lived through something so special. The world just changed before our eyes. The country slammed on the brakes and hung a hard left turn, and its not going back.

John said...

Hey, I'm a gay man, married now for several years (7?) in California.

As much as this is a good thing, it's important that people not be distracted into the world of identity politics and thereby neglect the economic.

As much as I like the right to be married, I actually far more value the right to a retirement in dignity and the right to quit a job I hate without fear of ruination.