This morning, when I heard that the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided that all the states had to allow same sex couples to marry and recognize those marriage I was thrilled. I had expected the Supreme Court to rule that states must recognize all marriages that take place in other states, but I didn't expect them to force all the states to allow same sex couples to marry. My second thought was to wonder how long before some asshole with a gun shoots up a church because two men or two women had a marriage ceremony there? I hope it never happens, but I bet it will. This is a very cynical thought for a day when so many are celebrating good news. But what will happen when that asshole comes along? Who will celebrate that? How will that be rectified? It's been 51 years since Brown V. Board of Education said that segregation in schools was wrong (which, incidentally is when South Carolina decided to put the Confederate flag on its capital building) and we don't have any racial problems in the US anymore.
And then there's the Facebook crap. Most of the people I'm "friends" with are very happy about the ruling. Like me, they lean to the left on social issues. The problem is that most of them look at this and seem to say that the problem is over and things will be great from her on out. To me, that's blind optimism. Things are rarely that simple, even if we want them to be. And I don't want to burst their happiness bubbles. I did that years ago when Obama first ran for president. I told them that no matter what the man said, things would pretty much stay the same even with all the hope and belief in the world. I was pretty much called a heartless cynic for saying that. Of course a couple years later they were saying it on their own.
The thing that really bothers me is this sort of conversation that went on between my Sister-In-Law (SIL) and Grandma:
SIL: I can just sit there And keep liking all the post all day long. Soo happy. To know, to get close to, have seen so many gay friends with their love, passion, sacrifice for each other, no one, with a tiniest heart left in them can stand depriving that right from them. No. Because love is love. You can feel it cross culture, language, ethnicity. Yes Yes yes. :')The idea that every single gay couple getting married really bothers me. I've heard it before and I don't believe it. Yes, businesses have been sued for not being willing to serve homosexuals who want to buy a wedding cake, but that's the extreme minority. Most homosexual couples, like most heterosexual couples, will simply move on to another store if they are refused service because why would they want to give money to a store where their money isn't wanted? Most don't. A vocal few will make a fuss, but how is that different from the vocal few of dark skin who demanded to be served at lunch counters who didn't want to serve "colored" people? How would the world react if SIL went to buy a cake and was refused service because she's Asian?
Grandma: I have never had a problem with anyone, who wanted too, getting married but I do have a problem with the groups that go to small businesses who choose, for whatever reason, not to serve them. The group then sues these businesses and the expense runs them out of business. This is so wrong. If some one didn't want to sell to me I would say it was their right. Today the rights only go one way and I am sick of it!!!!!
SIL: Well, I wouldn't be ok with people not selling me stuff or hire me because I am Asian.
Grandma: It has always been, if someone won't do business with me, I'll take my business elsewhere. These people are targeting these businesses and are making a big deal of serve me or else. In one case the group came from another state. Anybody should marry anybody but they have no right to then ruin other peoples lives. This morning they made a big deal about not interfering with the belief of others. That is an out and out lie. For eons people have been exchanging their vows on mountain tops under the full moon and in many other inventive ways but they have never tried to change the beliefs of others. When I was a child two ladies exchanged vows and no one said one word. That was in the USA . . . in the 1940s. ♥
Have to say, though, that I agree that bakeries shouldn't be sued because they don't want to make a wedding cake for the wedding of a same sex couple. Owners of business should have the right to refuse to accept money. That said, I do think that boycotting those establishments is a great idea. Why isn't there an online list of all the bakeries and flower shops and other whatnots that won't serve gay couples so that I know who I don't want to give my money to? (Probably because this suing thing has really only happened two or three times and isn't going to destroy thousands of businesses.) Choices like this can be made. I choose to never set foot into a Hobby Lobby because they won't provide insurance that covers birth control for women but will cover penis pumps for men. I wish more people would make that choice and hit Hobby Lobby in the pocket. I hope that it's what'll happen if suddenly most of the wedding industry decides it won't serve same sex couples who want to get married.
The thing that really gets me is when Grandma call the gay couples "these people." She may be doing it unconsciously, but by calling a group "these people" she's separating them and implying that the gay couples who sue are different and wrong and other. "These people" are not other, their neighbors and parents and friends and coworkers. "These people" are us and we are "these people," too.\
Grandma's story at the end misses the whole point. Yes, I do believe that in the small town in which she grew up two women who vowed to love and honor each other until death happened. I believe that these women were probably left alone because where Grandma grew up it was very live-and-let-live and if the two women weren't hurting other people then the community would leave them alone to be who they were. I don't believe that no one said a word, though, because juicy gossip is always talked about. People still whisper about these things today.
Besides, the real point isn't that gay people get to marry, it's that they get the protections and benefits that are governed by law that they couldn't get as domestic partners. Most importantly, they are allowed to legally be parents to their children. Did you know that only one parent in a same sex couple could be their child's legal guardian? That only one parent could make medical decisions? That one parent wasn't allowed to yes to life saving procedures? That if the couple split the non-guardian could be denied visitation because he or she wasn't a legal parent? For me, the most important part of this decision is now there is equal protection for the children of gay parents and hopefully that will improve the world a little bit.