What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

Ten years ago, in 2004, the nation watched with curiosity, glee, or horror, depending on one’s political perspective as Massachusetts became the first state to legalize marriage between same-sex couples. At the time, the ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was a shock; even marriage-equality proponents such as myself, a still-closeted and college freshman at the time, were surprised by the Court’s ruling. It seemed premature; an opening salvo that, like many, promised only future setbacks before an ultimate hoped-for victory.

Well. History, it turned out, had something else in mind; as of this writing, thirty-five states and eighteen nations — Scotland, as of today, the newest among them — regard marriage as a private contract between two consenting individuals, as it should be regarded. I’m not big on year-in-review-type pieces, but I do believe that 2014 will go down as the year in which marriage equality ceased to be a “hot-button” social issue and receded instead to the saner ground of “Obviously.” In as few as ten years — and certainly in twenty — children will grow up incredulous that their LGBTQA parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends were at one point denied the same rights and privileges as non-LGBTQA individuals.

I’ve called three states my home: Illinois (currently), New Hampshire and Massachusetts. All three are socially “liberal,” and as a queer person, I’ve never felt vulnerable to the state in each. In that respect, I’ve been fortunate; yet even with 70% of states supporting marriage equality and between 50 and 60 & of Americans and as much as 80%+ of the under-30 crowd (still me for another few months!), the fight is not over. It continues until no LGBTQA person anywhere is treated any differently than her or his straight colleagues.


~ by Benji on 17 December 2014.

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