You know, my views on the gay marriage issue have really polarized over the past few weeks. I’ve never been opposed to gay marriage, but I also didn’t feel particularly zealous about opening the option of marriage to gay people either. I have thought it’s a right they should have for a long time, but I was OK with civil unions as an alternative, because I was focused on the legal rights that married couples have. Then a few things happened. My views started changing when the Massachusetts Supreme Court said that legislation providing separate but equal civil unions would not suffice to meet their requirements, because separate but equal usually isn’t. I found that argument persuasive.
What really changed my attitude, though, was the marriage licenses being granted in San Francisco. Most people have seen the pictures of jubilant couples who are getting married after decades of waiting in vain. After seeing those couples, I’m ready to grant the right to marry nationwide, right now. Getting married was the best decision I ever made, period. Seeing other people joyfully getting married reminds me of how much joy marriage has brought to my life. I no longer have the energy to see the issue in a politically safe manner — we need to grant this right to same sex couples in every state immediately. Do any married people in this country look at the pictures of the same sex couples in California and feel that their own marriage is debased? If so, I feel sad for them.
My fervor for granting this right to same sex couples has also been increased by the response among politicians to it. When President Bush made his speech today advocating an amendment to “defend marriage,” it sounded like unvarnished bigotry to me. The response among Democrats has been sickening to me as well. Democrats are trying to do what they think is politically expedient, but to me it comes across as craven. I hope that Americans see the supporters of a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage as the bigots that they are. We’ve amended the Constitution 27 times since it was written, and 10 of those adendments comprise the Bill of Rights. The idea of soiling the Constitution to deny a right to a certain group of Americans should be something we’re past.