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Our Family is recognized…

One of the plaintiffs in the gay marriage case summed up the SCOTUS win quite perfectly to their 5 children: “This means our marriage is recognized in all 50 states, our family is recognized in all 50 states, and, in a very profound way, our humanity is recognized in all 50 states.” This is quite true.  When my husband and I married, we wanted to marry for all the reasons why everyone else wants to marry.  Nonetheless, enter children into the picture, and the passion and fight for marriage to be equal was so much more imperative….

The day SCOTUS ruled in favor of gay marriage, I needed sunglasses to view my Facebook page.  Gay friends, and straight supporters for gay marriage, all changing their Facebook profile pictures to rainbow colored themes, was inspiring. We received many messages of “congratulations”.  The beauty of it all was indeed blinding and historic.  Nevertheless, I cannot help myself but to look over my left shoulder to see what “the other side” is saying.

Take the people in Missouri County for instance.  An all-Republican county commission in Missouri voted unanimously last Monday to observe a full calendar year of “mourning” after the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, a protest that will include lowering flags to mark the “somber occasion”. The presiding commissioner stated that “all who see these flags at this lowered position be reminded of this despicable Supreme Court travesty”. A week later, the decision was reversed however due to respect of those serving in the military.

Lets not forget about Rick Scarborough, the Texas (big shocker) pastor who claimed he would light himself on fire if the supreme court would rule in favor of gay marriage.  Seriously?  Go ahead!  He sounded like a 5 year old baby!  I think I said the same exact thing to my mother when she wouldn’t buy me a toy at that age.

Ah…Good ole Rick Santorum. He is calling for a constitutional amendment to BAN same-sex marriage.  Here’s the thing…we now HAVE a national standard for marriage.  Its called marriage equality.  Because it treats all marriage equally.  I hate to break it to him, but he lost!  Passing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, at this point, would create a bigger legal nightmare that he would cause by invalidating marriages all across the county.  Look at the drama we fought to get marriage…imagine the scene we would cause to fight to keep it.

If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t look.  Don’t go to a gay wedding.  Don’t marry someone of the same sex.  Simply mind your own business.  It’s that simple.  The supreme court ruling is based on something that America was founded on…freedom of religious persecution.  Separation of church and state.  For me and my family, we wish to file our taxes jointly.  After taking care of one another for a lifetime, we would like to be in the same room with one another when one of us dies. We would like to adopt our children together at the same time.  We would like to receive social security benefits because we have worked in this place called America and have earned it.  Not to mention all the health benefits of being married…increased serotonin levels, longer life, less chance of developing depression. Religious organizations claims that it breaks down the very foundation of what family is based on.  Does divorce?  Does rape? Does cheating?  Does watching porn?  Does emotional, sexual or physical abuse in a home?  Those things happen every day in PREDOMINANTLY christian households.  (look up the statistics).

Nevertheless, this is an important time to engage with others in important conversations, especially those who are unhappy with the ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges. Many of these people are simply afraid and ignorant of what they simply do not understand because they have never been around it.  If they have ever been around a typical conversation with my spouse and I, they would be shocked to hear we actually discuss the same thing!  Finances, the future of our child, in-laws,” clean your shit up!”.  Same conversation!  No different!

The marriage ruling has an even greater affect on the kids born today for they will never know the kind of prejudice that I (for example) have known. My daughter will probably be quite shocked to think that her fathers were, at one time, never allowed to get married.  Just as I never dreamed I would ever get married or ever have children.

Books and materials that reflect the updated framework of this new civil rights movement are likely to be on the shelves by the fall of 2017. In the meantime, individual teachers are integrating gay and lesbian experiences into history, social studies and English classes, as well as elementary school readings and conversations about families. Students who see themselves reflected in the curriculum are more engaged in learning, research has found.

I would like to address two of my favorite paragraphs of the SCOTUS decision.  By far, one of them that affects my family the most is: “A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education. … Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser”.  I have mentioned it before and the science and statistics and studies that are performed have proven it over and over again.  The newest research out has looked at 19,000 studies and articles related to same-sex parenting from 1977 to 2013 and consensus is “overwhelming” in terms of there being no difference in children who are raised by same-sex or different- sex parents.  Legalization of same-sex marriage puts the children of those marriages on a more equal footing with their peers who have parents in heterosexual unions and I think the more culture and diversity we have for our children, the better off they will be.  For anyone who is interested in the newest material the HRC has put out for schools, click here.

And of course Justice Kennedy’s closing paragraph.  His conclusion on the 5-4 decision was the most powerful defense of the rights of same-sex couples…and really it applies to all couples who wish to marry. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people becoming something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it. Respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.”

I hope that the homophobia subsides over this increasingly accepting right (that truly only affects those that actually get married), the politicians find another avenue to converse over for the upcoming election (like Donald Trumps hair), and that we can all come together to try to find solace in this ever struggling world of guns, violence, ISIS, prejudice and pure hatred.

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