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You've seen it now enough times that it's either boring -- "Oh. Another one of those. Moving right along." -- or even more exciting -- "ANOTHER ONE! YES! WE ARE WINNING!"

But this time, in the general sense, ... if you were paying attention 10 years ago, you saw this coming.

This -- maybe not in exactly this way, or maybe not this month, but something like this -- was going to happen. It was a matter of when, not if.

I came out as bisexual to my sisters and brother call it 10 years ago. My brother was maybe 14.

I was home from college one day when I saw him wearing a gray T-shirt.

On it (that's a rough design match) were bathroom door symbols representing three couples.

The first was a man and a woman.

The second was a man and a man.

The third was a woman and a woman.

And I started to cry.

Under them were three words that told me this week and month would happen in my lifetime.

Those words told me this reality would arrive before 2002 became 2020.

Three words told me the minority -- the queer community -- was gaining unstoppable momentum:

It's all good.
Ever since that day, losses at the polls and in the courts have meant opportunities to learn, not reasons to despair.

The most amazing part of this movement is all you straight people, and particularly hilarious is how the religious right (I reserve capital letters for things what deserve them) has motivated you.

King marched and Horton taught and Jackie took it and Thurgood argued, but that was a white Senate and House that passed civil rights legislation.

Piles of women were involved in the fight for suffrage, but that was men who passed it.

And just so, we -- the GLBTQ community -- simply could not do it alone. Even assuming 10 percent, which is generous by many estimates, that is still 90 percent of the population that has to be convinced.

Tall order, that. But along the way we got a huge assist from our enemies. See, a funny thing happens when someone who is ambivalent about something hears so much hate spewing about that something.

Eventually, that someone meets the target of the hate. That someone realizes the hate is just stupid. There's nothing particularly ... worthy there. "Those people are destroying America!" ... not so much. Frankly, a lot of us are pretty boring compared to the ones who dress up like the colonists in those paintings.

Repeat that process dozens of millions of times and you raise a generation of people who started off having no problem with us queers (and whatever other words you'd like to use) and strengthened that position to loudly supporting/not opposing gay whatever because -- wait for it -- who cares?

Overwhelmingly, my ally friends support marriage equality and adoption equality and employment equality and [thing] equality partly because they just do not see what in the everloving hell is the big deal. It's like getting all het up over bowl colors -- who cares if the bowl is white or green? It's a bowl! Long as it serves the purpose, do it.

I doubt entirely that the ally part of GLBTQA would be so big if the religious right had not stirred the pot so much. Sure, being out to friends and family matters, but people care more about rights when they're being opposed than when nothing is opposing them.

So thank you, religious right, for making us stronger by the day until we overpowered you. The fight's not over yet -- we still have more ways to make marriage equal -- but your defense improved our offense.

The only question now is if marriage equality will emblematically be a wedge issue, like anything to do with race, or if it will be embraced by both parties, like female voters.

Time is running out for Republicans, I submit. Before very long, the tide will have turned for equality so clearly that those late to the game will be recognized as opportunists -- people who weren't with us when the other side was winning.

And at that point, anyone who joins us will be a bit late to the game, akin to Newt Gingrich coming out in favor of marriage equality in a desperate bid to return to relevance.

Oh, sure, great to add more people. But it's one thing to run on allowing openly gay soldiers in 1992 and another to, well, be Newt Gingrich running for nothing and risking nothing.

As more states and legislatures warm to marriage equality, running on a platform that does not explicitly support marriage equality will be untenable on either coast except for in the Carolinas and Georgia. Ducking the issue in the manner of Gov. Chris Christie will not be an option. Those few(er and fewer) hanging on to their endangered notions of tradition will want someone who stands for what they believe are values; the rest of the electorate will want someone who has a clue.

But in those Washington-is-the-enemy states, where states and counties are rectangles, it's going to be a few. That will cause Republicans the most trouble. Running against marriage equality statewide will be a gift to Democrats in California and likely assumed in Utah.

What to do? Remove marriage equality from the Republican Party platform? Try to appease with some states' rights language? That may mollify a few for a few, but I suspect the Republican leaders will see the holy mess they've gotten themselves into with everyone of color, with women, with young voters and with the politically off-limits coasts ... and decide to rip the Band-Aid off. Remove that growing social issue -- on which former Republican leaders are suddenly not lockstep -- and you can focus more on stuff like taxes.

On a wall on the first floor of my company building is a nondiscrimination policy that spells out (paraphrased) why needless employment discrimination is stupid:

You lose talent. It goes to other companies and makes them stronger. Meanwhile, you're weaker because you didn't choose the best candidate, you chose the one in your social club.

I'm not explicitly out at work because I don't see the need, but anyone who doesn't know how far left I am of center doesn't know me. And that background is a bonus because it connects me closer to some customers than other folks get to them.

That background means I wear a Matthew Shepard wristband. It's purple, with "ERASE HATE" outside on top (as I wear it) and on bottom. When I was preparing to be interviewed for this job, I considered hiding it inside my sleeve. I thought about it for several minutes because I needed to get closer to family (daughter is now 6 months old but was in utero when I was interviewing), but I didn't want to go where I couldn't be myself.

I've been in toxic work environments. I didn't want to go to another -- despite the claim that the media is liberal, lots of people in media still have a problem with people like me -- so I left the wristband out where it could be seen.

One of the interviews was with the editor-in-chief of the whole operation (several weekly newspapers, a few monthly magazines and constant updates online). Maybe midway through, he noticed the wristband and, being a reporter at heart, asked about it -- asked if it was Livestrong.

My heart rate bumped up about 20 notches in a second, but being in toxic environments has taught me to hide fear. He asked to see the wristband and I took it off and said, "No, it's Matthew Shepard."

Everyone I've met in media knows that name. You might as well mention Robert Bork or Carl Bernstein.

He studied the bracelet for a few moments, then gave it back to me and the interview continued.

Maybe that wristband did nothing. Maybe it told that editor I was open about myself and was part of this country's social future. I'll never know.

But after almost four years of looking for a better job, I got us the hell out of Texas three weeks later. Two months and three days after my first day at my new job, our daughter was born hours from both sets of grandparents, my godmother, one of my sisters and various other relatives.

She won't know a world without Lawrence v. Texas. She won't remember this week of oral arguments. She won't remember much until a year from now.

She'll be part of a world in which marriage equality is expected. We will talk with her about marriage equality as a thing that exists in many states and other countries, not a goal being pushed in a few states or some island nation that doesn't even have reliable drinking water.

She will push for more than we got because we pushed for more than our parents got.

And with luck, her T-shirt will have those three men and three women all as one couple.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't tip me (13+ / 0-)

    Tell me why you want marriage equality.

    "Homeless veteran" should be an oxymoron.
    "Please know that I accept you and yours with no need for explanation of [any] kind." -Translator

    by iampunha on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:17:00 AM PDT

  •  I'll take your suggestion (4+ / 0-)

    and not tip you (okay I probably will because you deserve it but only AFTER I respond to your challenge).

    I want marriage equality because I'm a gay man.

    I want marriage equality because equality is something that exists and must be acknowledged.

    I want marriage equality so we can put this behind us.

    I want marriage equality because it's obvious.

    I want marriage equality because...well why should I NOT want it?

  •  I want marriage equality because (4+ / 0-)

    it is a basic step in total equality for all human beings.

    the success of all of us is built on the success of each of us

    by mortje on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:16:50 AM PDT

  •  I did tip and (4+ / 0-)

    I believe in marriage equality (and have as long as I can remember) because it is fair, just and right.

    United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

    by Penny GC on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:23:42 AM PDT

  •  I want marriage equality (4+ / 0-)

    because it's the right thing to do.

    I want marriage equality because it only makes sense in a society that's not a theocracy (sorry haters).

    I want marriage equality because love isn't a limited resource like oil or water.

    I want marriage equality because I'm tired of my gay brothers and sisters being treated as second class citizens.

    And I've been in support of marriage equality since my very first comment here.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:26:49 AM PDT

  •  I want marriage equality because (4+ / 0-)

    it's a small, very basic, step we can all take together towards a degree of sanity in this fucked up world.

    as for this:

    The only question now is if marriage equality will emblematically be a wedge issue, like anything to do with race, or if it will be embraced by both parties, like female voters.
    I think it's an important question.  My prediction is that it winds up, rather quickly, being the latter.  People don't cite the bible to justify slavery so much these days, but they haven't walked away from the bible either.  It'll be like that.
  •  I want marriage equality because... (6+ / 0-)

    why not..?? reason it shouldn't be.

    when prop. 8 passed in CA...I was disgusted...disgusted that people would be so hateful...I took my little one and headed straight to city hall...


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:36:28 AM PDT

  •  Because you're my brother. (4+ / 0-)

    And I love you.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:39:05 AM PDT

  •  I want marriage equality because this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, SilentBrook

    isn't Animal Farm, where some are more equal than others. And I'm tired of the talk about this issue. I'm not interested in your sexuality, and I don't care to share mine. The outcome is so obvious, which makes the journey so boring. And I don't want to cry about this anymore. And if all the legal scholars are right, and SCOTUS punts, drawing this out even longer, I'll be pissed.

  •  I want marriage equality because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when it comes to human rights, I firmly believe in a relatively old statement:
    "an injury to one is an injury to all."

    Years ago, the subject of gay marriage came up in casual conversation at work (three talkers:  company owner, general manager, me).  I said that I couldn't understand how it could possibly be illegal because our constitution guarantees equal rights for all and America was supposed to be the land of "all men are created equal."  That put a stop to the conversation and they both just stared at me for a moment.   At the time, I was just beginning to discover that they were both fervent xtian fundamentalists.  I wondered if I'd get fired over it but the only result was a few more uncomfortable conversations, including "do you believe in god" and "have you ever thought about 'end times'."

    When the economy improved ( bust), I quit.

    To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

    by Eyesbright on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:48:08 AM PDT

    •  I was listening to the audio yesterday (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and Scalia (just, yuck) kept asking for a date when same-sex marriage became unconstitutional, and I kept yelling at the radio - it's NEVER BEEN UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!  The stupid laws passed by stupid people made it illegal, which IS unconstitutional. We're just finally getting around to making that all "official".

      On a different note, I want the word marriage removed from every legal "license" in every state.  Let religions call it that, but for our LEGAL purposes in this country, a civil union license instead of marriage license is were I'd like to go.  Remove all the hate......just 2 names of legally consented people together in the eyes of the State.

      David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

      by PsychoSavannah on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:58:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My husband said something similar but ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Words/names are important.  I tend to agree with people who feel that "civil union" sets up gay marriage as second-class, not-quite-as-good, and only barely legitimate.  Instead, I'd side with having "civil marriage" and "church marriage."  I'd opt for "church marriage" as opposed to "religious marriage" because the former is shorter and actually more accurate because getting married in a church doesn't necessarily mean that you're particularly religious.

        Hubby has been saying for years that marriage is a civil/legal matter and churches should have no place in it.  I fully agree but know full well that change is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

        Best scenario:  "marriage" with no extra description needed.  Period.  My marriage in a courthouse is no different than a marriage in a church of any denomination.  

        To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

        by Eyesbright on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:44:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, yes and no. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Your court-house "marriage" is allowed to not be recognized by some "churches" in their dogma.  For all legal purposes, it is fine and dandy.

          And my idea is to get EVERYONE to get a civil union license and remove the word marriage altogether.  The dictionary definition leaves too much minutia for the haters to grab onto and exploit.

          But, that's a compromise that may hurt the feelings of gay people who want to revel in that social construct with that word.  It makes no difference to me at all.  I think anyone who wants to commit to each other in all senses.....legally, spiritually....should be allowed to do so as long as they are old enough to enter freely.

          David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

          by PsychoSavannah on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:52:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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