Just as I was finishing my coffee this morning, my handset flashed with breaking news: The Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriage at the state level, by striking down DOMA. The opinion acknowledges that state responsibilities for the definition and regulation of marriage dates to our Nation’s beginning.
I am deeply relieved. In fact, even as I’m writing this blog, I’m crying. Here’s why: The world has changed. The world prescribed and predicted by religious elders no longer exists. It probably didn’t even exist then, but for thousands of years we have been trapped in this archaic thinking.
However, today’s Supreme Court ruling marks an acknowledgement of a cultural change in thinking about marriage that has been brewing on for decades. A change that is beyond unstoppable. A change that kids today see as just “the way it is.”
What’s the change? That adult humans are free to love and even marry other adult humans.
There, I said it. That’s the big, scary idea. If you get rid of labels, it’s about the right of adults to love and marry other adults.
I was in D.C. a few months back and met a lesbian couple at a bar who were celebrating their marriage with a bunch of friends. They were acutely aware of the eminent Supreme Court ruling. One of the friends asked me what I thought about “gay marriage.”
In that moment, I thought of Fred and Steve. They owned an art gallery together on 76th street in New York City in the 1970’s. I was an original latchkey kid, being raised by a single, working mom, and Fred and Steve were like two fathers to me. They encouraged my creativity. They comforted me when I cried. They let me sit in the back of their gallery for hours at a time, painting and drawing after school, so I would not have to sit alone and lonely in my tenement apartment while I waited for my mom to come home.
Their fierce love for each other overcame the ignorance and stupidity of the day. And they were together till the very end, when Fred died of old age – though their marriage was never legally recognized by the great state of New York until after Fred’s death. Those men helped shape my life in a most profound way. Because of them, I never saw “gay” – I only saw love.
I was thinking of Fred and Steve this morning while I wrote this blog, tears rolling down my cheeks. And I was thinking of them when I turned directly to the newly wed couple and said, “I think, love is love is love. That’s what I think.”
Suddenly, I found myself in the middle of a big group hug. And that’s kinda what I wanted to do with the Justices this morning – put them in the middle of a big, group hug of human love. Because the bottom line is this: love is love is love. Culturally, I trust, we’re finally catching up to an idea whose time has finally come.