So far, no eternal hellfire...
(Cross-posted/originally featured on Future Majority)
So I'm sure you heard. The good state of California is now performing same-sex marriages, after the state's Supreme Court struck down a state ban in May.
Well, I'm happy to report back to those around the world who might have been concerned about us here in California: So far as i can tell -- contrary to the dire predictions we may have heard -- the earth has not yet opened up and swallowed the whole state into a pit of eternal hellfire. Which is great, because honestly I'm not that into hellfire. Hellfire seems totally uncool.
In fact, as I look around, what strikes me the most is that the whole thing seems so.... so..... so normal.
Here's what appears to have been happening, and hold onto your hats while I say this.... It appears that couples who love each other -- people who have shared lives, families, and homes for years -- are now officially getting married.
Wild, I know.
I'm not sure exactly what I would have expected. Some sort of crazed marriage bonanza? A massive gay marriage stampede through the streets? Something else with the word bonanza in it?
Nope, not really. Pretty much it's just people who are happy to get the chance to say 'they do' to the one they love, and be recognized just like everyone else for it, with peace and dignity.
It makes me proud to be a Californian.
Maybe what gay marriage opponents have been missing for the last several years was a strong dose of who-the-hell-cares. You know what I mean? Relax, friends. Unclench. Look around. The world is still standing. More people who love each other are married. Sounds pretty good if you ask me.
Sure, it's possible that some coalition of concerned party poopers will stir up enough fear and ugliness to pass this constitutional amendment in November and shut down the festivities. (And certainly, we all need to step up and work against that. Definitely not into party poopers. Party poopers are way uncool.)
But I'll tell you what gives me a sense of peace about this issue.
It's inevitable. Like it or not, our country's attitudes are changing. It's unstoppable, and it's happening. And everyone, on all sides of the debate, knows it.
Just take a look at this. Right after the Supreme Court decision, a new Field Poll showed that for the first time since they started measuring back in the 70's, a majority of Californians now agree that "gay people have the right to marry" (51 to 42 percent.) And for voters under 30, the percent in support jumps to 68%. That's a blowout. Go us.
So yes, they might pass an amendment in california to outlaw same-sex marriage for a while. Sure, other states might go all reactionary and furrow their brows and bristle out their mustaches (yes, states can have mustaches, why not.) True, we could be in for a battery of reactionary laws and amendments and hyperventilating hand-wringing from the lock-your-doors brigade.
But progress will continue to steadily, inevitably, irreversibly march on. Those amendments will be overturned, laws will be fixed, and bristled mustaches will be soothed. And a few decades from now, we'll look back and wonder... what took us so damn long? And our kids will incredulously ask us how anyone thought such overt discrimination against our friends and neighbors was ever acceptable.
And one day, we will get to look back and tell our own stories about this time -- this time right now -- when we were truly proud to live in the state of California.