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