When I came up from swimming, Paul was crying. At first I thought perhaps someone had died. But after many years of being with Paul, I can quickly tell tears of relief from tears of sorrow. The Supreme Court’s opinion on gay marriage isn’t permission to marry. We don’t need that. It is removing an object in the road towards equality. We have not reached the beach yet (my promised land), but we are further down the highway. I am concerned that it wasn’t unanimous, but it is going to take some years to rid ourselves of the dinosaurs and their bones. The whole thing rested on one conservative straight white male Republican evolving. Maybe that is more important than we realize. If he can change, maybe the country can change? Demographics are on the side of justice and progress, but maybe, just maybe, the culture is too.
Like many gay people, I have reservations about the institution of marriage and its history of oppressing women. I have reservations about how the state and the church get tangled up in a declaration of love. But what I don’t have reservations about is choice. The choice to get married as a symbol of love or to not get married and share a different symbol. The choice to belong to a faith community or not, or to create your own. One of the many hypocrisies of the Republican right wing (is the phrase “Republican right wing” now entirely redundant?) is their claim to want government not to be involved in our lives, and then they find all kinds of ways to be sure government not only dominates our private lives but also gives handouts to corporations (where their donor friends have interests). I say, let’s put on our Robin Hood costumes and take from the rich and give to the poor (and the ever poorer middle class). It’s based on the same core idea (which, surprise! Jesus shared): love is more important than money. So, the next step from love being legal should be, well, love being shared.
On the one hand, I hope gay marriage helps to radicalize the flabby lazy middle and get them to see things differently. On another hand (so many hands!), I hope it moves gay people towards self-love. It sure helps to have some self-love on the way to sharing love. That’s really love winning. And eventually, that will lead to changing our values away from acquiring wealth and more towards love. Harry Hay used to say that to be queer was to be radical. This Supreme Court decision doesn’t make me much more comfortable, it makes me more radical. Remember, Anthony Kennedy voted for Citizens United, which is eroding our democracy. Use love for radical change, I think that’s what Dr. King would do.