I am friends with people who are genuinely distressed about today’s marriage equality ruling in the States, and that’s led to a series of conversations with other people through the tail end of this afternoon that I have no doubt will continue.
The people who disagree have largely fallen into two categories. Those who recognise that their discomfort comes from their personal “squick” response to same sex or gender pairings (yes, I know the fluid continuum is a lot more gloriously complicated, but I’m simplifying and reflecting the views I’ve heard today), and those who hold sincere religious beliefs about the institution of marriage and what they see as sinful relationships. I’m not going to go through the arguments in detail, partly because it won’t change anyone’s point of view, and partly because I vehemently disagree with anyone trying to insist that anyone is worth less, or should be denied basic human rights.
Slightly tongue in cheek, I expect the number of jokes about wedded domesticity to get larger and more prevalent once the (if you’ll pardon me) honeymoon period is over and people remain people. This means that they will fall in love, out of love, argue, make up, get frustrated by their partners dropping towels on the floor, or not cleaning the sink after shaving, and as for that little noise they make when falling asleep that used to sound so cute?
Well yes, people are people, no matter their gender, biology or orientation. Some are saints, some are sinners, some are heroes and some are jerks. There’s a lot of joy and a lot of hurt on both sides, and I’m lucky enough to have friends who, even as they’ve started to say something against it, have caught themselves and remembered that marriage equality is not something I’ve ever been willing to debate – because from where I’m standing, there’s nothing to debate. So, we’ve acknowledged there’s a difference and that in this instance we’ll talk about something else. Even there, Love wins, rather than being overtaken by hate and fear.
People being people, there are those on the equality side of the decision who have been less tolerant of differences of opinion, and to whom I’ve defended the right of my other friends to be upset and uncomfortable. It’s been an odd day in that respect.
It is my opinion that today has been a great step forward for the world, especially coming so soon after Ireland’s national referendum. Being both bi and poly, I’ve never been a huge fan of anyone trying to legislate anyone’s sexuality (hmm, guess I just came out, hi folks) or, in general, what consenting adults enjoy as long as its not harming anyone else. There’s enormous symbolism in the Land of the Free finally recognising the right of any adult to fall in love and get married if they choose to do so, and I’ll be watching the fallout in political terms with interest, both internally and internationally.
I may even get some popcorn.