Next Up for Marriage Equality

Last month, in the last few miles of our road trip to Pennsylvania, we heard the news that the PA Supreme Court had struck down the state’s prohibition to same-sex marriage. It was a symbolic welcome to my hometown, made even more compelling since we will be making the state our home in the not so distant future. Many of you I’m sure know that the governor of PA is one of the most conservative governors in the country. Recall Governor Corbett’s infamous response when grilled about the state’s “forced ultrasound” law: Women could just “close their eyes.” Because then, you know, the state compelling a woman to undergo a forced procedure against her will, wouldn’t be any big deal. This kind of thinking is what makes him a darling of the conservatives.

Now, Corbett was faced with the courts striking down a same-sex marriage law in his state. You would expect that he would rise to the challenge, rage against the assault on the institution of marriage and even civilization itself. Not so. It seems that our conservative standard-bearer is opting out of the debate. He’s decided, much like his neighboring governor in New Jersey, the maligned wannabe presidential nominee, that it’s probably best not to challenge this ruling for political expediency. Yes, folks, there is a growing—but quiet—realization that seems to be taking hold in even the most anti-gay politicians that maybe, just maybe, they have a better chance of winning if they knock off a little on the homophobic stances. Amazing that they’ve come to this realization, given that polls for a while now have confirmed that the majority of the country is moving toward an acceptance of same-sex marriages. What a novel concept to have an elected representative of the people actually listen to the people, huh? No, they’re not listening to the people, they just want to do damage control for the sake of the next election.

In Florida, our current home state, a discrimination lawsuit has just wrapped up and we are awaiting a judicial decision on the fate of marriage equality in the Sunshine State. I’m amazed that I may once again get to hear a court rule that discrimination against my wife and I, and every other gay and lesbian citizen in our state, is unconstitutional. It would mean the world to so many of my friends and fellow Floridians to have this injustice overturned. The current governor of Florida is equally as conservative as Corbett. He’s in the midst of a crucial race against a former governor, who, for all his flaws, has been willing to admit to being wrong on the issue of same sex marriage. We’re all waiting for the court’s decision on this important issue, but for me, I wonder what the ‘ol gov’nor will do if the court strikes down the state’s discriminatory marriage law.

Will he let it ride like Corbett and Christie, trying not to look too much like a bigot to the average person on the street? I wonder, is this the new trend? Has the tide of liberty pushed the issue so far that we have reached a tipping point where even the conservatives realize that hanging onto their antiquated ideas and hate-filled rhetoric is finally toxic to their public existence? Do they at long last realize that everyone knows that same-sex marriage has been going on in Massachusetts for a decade and the sky hasn’t fallen? Or that an increasing majority of people in this country don’t have a problem with two consenting adults marrying, even if they happen to be the same gender? The NY Times ran a piece last week about those same-sex couples a decade ago who were the first to have marriage announcements posted in the Times. Of the five, four are still happily married, one couple divorced, but still co-parents their child. Pretty normal I’d say, even better than the usual marriage odds. Maybe it’s time for the bigots to find another shtick.

Judge John E. Jones in his eloquent ruling says it best: “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

Thanks for reading~ LM

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