Well, so, the world’s going straight to hell, according to all the news accounts out of Afghanistan Iran, Iraq, the Gulf, Venezuela, the Indian-Chinese border, the lunatic anti-immigration goon squad in Arizona.  You name it, it’s bad and probably destined to get a lot worse.

But that’s all the more reason to take notice and celebrate when something good happens.  Like the federal district court decision from California that overturned Proposition 8’s banishment of gay marriage.  And yeah, I know it will be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and yes, I have zero faith in the Roberts court’s judgment, given the alliance of Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas — and, probably Kennedy.

But, what the hell.  Yesterday, you could see happy unisex couples celebrating in the streets and I could think about at least two wonderful, deeply committed couples I know — Robert and Michael, Lisa and Laura — and know how thrilled they were.  And I could wonder, once again, why their love and dedication to each other would be a problem for anybody.  I mean, don’t we have enough blight and poverty and violence in the world that demands our attention?  Do we really need to attack people who want to lead solid, productive lives and support each other?

I should say I’ve never gotten the arguments of people like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and his ilk who see gay marriage as a threat to their own heterosexual unions.  Good lord.  There are all kinds of real threats to marriage (let me name two: dirty socks all over the floor and excessive snoring); who needs to invent more problems?  And who cares what goes on in somebody else’s bedroom?  Don’t Santorum et al. have enough going on in their lives that they don’t have to spend their time obsessing about people who are a little different?

(In fact, for my movie theater admission money, gay marriage gave us the best romantic comedy about marriage I’ve seen in ages in The Kids Are All Right.   At long last: a subtle comedy that didn’t make me spend two hours cringing and unamused; I thought they’d stopped making movies like that.)

Yesterday also brought the news of quite a few billionaires giving away half their fortunes and — I can’t help it — I was touched by that, too.  Maybe there’s hope for us, after all.

My daughter and others of her generation think gay rights will be the civil rights movement of their time, and I think they’re right.  Problems this vast and pervasive don’t get solved easily or quickly, of course (see the women’s and civil rights movements, for starters), but maybe we’ve made a start and maybe there are change and growing tolerance in the air.

In fact — and sue me for being premature —  I feel as uplifted as I did when healthcare reform passed.  Time to pop open the prosecco, darlin’.  I want to celebrate tonight.

(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read one of my all-time favorite posts about Just for Today, I am Pat Robertson

11 comments… add one
  • Oh, Ruth! I’m with you on gay rights, but cannot get over the Democrats giving up on the Climate Bill.  This is totally unacceptable.

  • It was wonderful news.  There has been a lot of talk that even if this gets overturned the feeling is that youngergenerations have less of a problem so we as a country will eventually grow into it (that’s not swift enough though of course).

  • I was encouraged as well. Especially welcome since the Target scandal has surfaced. Why some people get so het up about others pledging their lives to each other, I just don’t understand.

  • You may just ber a wee bit premature.   But if we aren’t allowed to celebrate small victories, we might all slit our wrists instead.  So pop the prosecco.  It will be a small waste when the next court rules otherwise.

    I don’t mean to be pessimistic.  I don’t think it is wrong to feel uplifted, and your daughter’s analysis sounds right.  I am just betting on some setbacks along the way.

  • As the mother of a gay son, living in a country where gay marriage is no big deal, I’m torn between wondering what all the fuss is about and wanting to cheer out loud at the sheer chutzpah of Judge Walker. Like you and Duchess, I have little faith in a Supreme Court dominated by the likes of Roberts and Scalia, but let’s by all means celebrate every little victory for human decency and common sense along the way.

  • I think it’s a reason to be (cautiously) optimistic. Hopefully, it’ll  stick this time. You’re right – with all the REAL problems in the world, why would anyone bother wasting valuable time on trying to keep honest, loving people away from one another? I just don’t get it.

  • Loved the uplifting feel of this, the signs of a great day, and this part most of all, as it is a good reminder for me in my impatience:
    Problems this vast and pervasive don’t get solved easily or quickly, of course (see the women’s and civil rights movements, for starters), but maybe we’ve made a start and maybe there are change and growing tolerance in the air.

  • I’m with you on celebrating this victory, pending appeals notwithstanding.
    Loved how The Kids Are All Right made little of the fact the family had two moms, it was just a given, as such things are for my son’s generation, when “family” comes in all kinds of packages.
    Plus, I want a garden like Mark Ruffalo had in that movie. Produce envy.

  • So true–I was also uplifted — in a way — at the groundswell of people who are refusing to shop at Target because the retail giant is supporting anti gay causes. I just so happened to need to buy kid toys this weekend and I stayed away from that place–just on principle. It makes me feel good that I can vote with my dollar like that.

  • I remember all of the hoopla here in California over Prop 8. What a nightmare – it got really ugly down in the trenches.
    A few years ago there was a religious rally in SF that involved a crowd of people running around in red t-shirts that said, “Marriage = one man + one woman.” There was a couple wearing said shirts at the local Togo’s, and as we walked out the door, my boyfriend at the time whispered into the man’s ear, “How many wives did Abraham have?” The hypocrisy kills me.

  • What gets me in all this is that the number of heterosexual couples who choose to live together and put together families without marriage– or seeing any need for marriage, are much more accepted now than forty years ago, yet homosexual couples are denied the same options– to wed or not to wed.

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