What a monumental day! I’m so excited to be on this side of history. In the last 24 hours I have witnessed the powerful, courageous and heroic stance of Wendy Davis in the Texas Senate, the overturning of DOMA, and the dismissal of Prop 8. I sat here with chills on my arms, butterflies in my stomach, and tears of pride streaming down my face as the tennis shoed Davis delivered a 13 hour filibuster. Adding to the power of this filibuster were the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of supporters filling the senate chambers and the streets outside chanting “My body! My Choice!”. Davis stood her ground in the face of irritated male republicans telling them “get out of the vagina business or go to medical school.” Absolutely inspiring and mighty and deserving of a standing ovation. Well played, Davis, well played!
And then today the news out of the Supreme Court! Our gay and lesbian citizens are one step closer to receiving fair and equal treatment. Very soon we will not be hearing story after story of partners that were denied rights to be by their life partner as their partner suffered and died in a hospital. We’ll not hear stories about partners being denied parental rights of their children, of being denied benefits that are awarded to same sex couples, of being left out of funeral planning, of being recognized in one state as a legitimate couple but not another, of being denied the ability to make life changing legal decisions on their partner’s behalf, of being denied citizenship and being deported because they are not legally married.
Those will be stories that our children and grandchildren will read about in history books and ask us about the days when people were not allowed to marry the one they love. The days when people who identified as LGBT were treated as second class citizens. Our kids will look at us and just be dumbfounded that there was ever a time in our country’s history when women could not vote, blacks were slaves and segregated, and that same sex couples were not allowed to marry. Those backward ideas will be beyond their comprehension. And better yet my boys (your boys and girls) will be able to love and marry whomever they choose. That’s Beautiful and Worth Celebrating!
To end this monumental day a volunteer knocked on our door wearing an Oregon Love shirt. This is what played out:
Volunteer: I’m here on behalf of marriage equality and we are raising funds today so that same sex marriages will be legal in the state of Oregon. Is marriage equality something you support?
Me: Yes, I do! And today is a great day in this country!
We both high five and all the boys join me at the front door to hear what we are celebrating.
Volunteer: We have a company that is matching 100% of donations that we collect today so if you can even give just two dollars to the cause it will double to four dollars.
Now my money minded child wanted to know about how his money could double and what would his money go to.
Me: This nice man is volunteering his time to help get a law passed that would allow you to marry whomever you love. Boy or girl. Any money we give would help people like Uncle K be able to get married and to be treated fairly.
Every single boy chimed in and asked how much money they had saved up and started donating. Between the four of them they donated $15 of their own money to help their Uncle K and to help all people who want to marry. I don’t have to tell you how moved and how proud I was in that moment. But I do have to share the response of the volunteer.
Volunteer: Oh my goodness, this is the most moving and beautiful thing I’ve experienced today. Just an hour ago someone threw a Bible at me. I’ve been lectured, called names, and while most people have been positive this takes the cake. I have a story to share now that just makes my heart smile. Your Uncle K should feel so lucky to be so obviously loved and supported. Thank you for your generous gift, boys. Thank you for making a difference and thank you for making my job worth every Bible and insult thrown at me.
The boys felt really good about giving to this cause. They really want equality and the right to love without government interference (well in as much as their 10 and under minds understand of government involvement). Today they took a small step in having their voices heard and in making their own futures brighter. And while I know there is still a lot of work to be done in this movement, we can at least celebrate that progress is being made.
So needless to say I feel inspired today. I feel hopeful. I feel like the people are speaking out and being heard. I feel like my small part of the world is right side up.
Tomorrow I’ll finally write about Uncle K and what that means to me and then it’s a back to a bit of family humor. A break from heavy topics 😉
- Equal Marriage for All (gdestefano11.wordpress.com)
- Marriage Is Not Enough (hollalujah.wordpress.com)
- Atheists Celebrate Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality (americanhumanist.org)