Gay Marriage – Joy Tinged With Disappointment Yet Hopeful

Don’t despair if you are living in a state that has outlawed gay marriage.

gay marriage, gay counseling, gay counselor, gay relationship, same sex marriageNPR was playing on the radio while I ate my bowl of cereal. The news announcer said that the Supreme Court of The United States had overturned DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). I danced a jig around my living room while my dogs looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Elated I made a couple of congratulatory phone calls while the nuance of the decision started to come over the air.

As the details of the decision started coming out I realized that this was just another step in a long journey instead of what I had hoped would be the last step: full equality and equal civil rights for LGBT Americans. A few days after the announcement my primary emotion was sadness, due to disappointment in the Supreme Court for not seeing this all the way through to full equality for every person, regardless of sexual orientation.

The positive of the repeal of DOMA is that LGBT couples in U.S. states that recognize gay marriage will have equal access to the more than 1,100 federal and state benefits that heterosexual couples have had all along. Just as important, same-sex spouses of military members will be now be given the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses. My article 27 Reasons To Support Gay Marriage explains what some of these benefits are.

Yet I’m disappointed. I live in one of the states that has not legalized gay marriage. How many individual law suits in how many individual states will have to be brought to The Supreme Court before gay civil rights is the law of the entire land? 13 states plus the district of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. Only 38 to go. It’s a culture war and like all wars it’s a long slow slog.

Various analysts in the news this week say that The Supreme Court may have done the smart thing by not making each state honor gay marriage. According to these analysts if The Supreme Court had declared gay marriages legal in all states then we’d be faced with a situation almost identical to Roe v Wade, the abortion debate.

The Supreme Court declared abortion rights the law of the entire land in 1973 and we’ve had 40 years of ranker, lawsuits, killings and right wing state legislatures continually trying to find new ways to make an end run around the ruling; all to end abortion rights. It’s been a nightmare. So far they haven’t succeeded but they chip away at Roe v Wade and seemingly may never give up. That’s one culture war that is nowhere near its end.

While it may take 10 more years for gay marriage to become the law of the entire land, the ray of hope in it is that when this civil rights battle gets over the gay marriage culture war will really be over.

The writing is on the wall. Large corporations like Nordstrom, J. Crew and Tiffany have already invested heavily in marketing and selling to same sex couples seeking gay marriage. Since money leads the way in a capitalist society, the money is pointing to eventual full equality.

55% of Americans already think that gay marriage should be legal according to a recent pole. The anti-gay marriage movement is loosing. These groups, all fundamentalist by nature and mostly evangelical Christians, won’t give up easily. But they will loose.

I can’t help but wonder what these alleged followers of Jesus will focus their hatred and bigotry on once the gay issue has vanished. I wish they’d ask themselves this very good question: “what would Jesus do?” and then follow his advise. There would be a lot less divisiveness, hatred and greed in the world if they did.

Do you have any experience with bigotry in same-sex relationship? If so, share your experience in the comments below. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

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  1. Nice post, Larry. Yes, it’s going to be a long haul.

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