I’m writing this post on Friday, a few hours after the news broke that the Supreme Court is upholding marriage equality as a constitutional right. This will probably go up on Monday, though that’s going to be kind of late for riding the wave of thinkpieces that are sure to pop up on the subject over the weekend.
I used to be a white evangelical Christian. I’m still very white, and I’m still very Christian, but the evangelical aspect of my identity has faded in the last few years. While the reasons for my giving up on evangelicalism are pretty varied and complex, I can point with confidence to my decision to support marriage equality as the first step that led to the end of that phase of my life. It was when I publicly announced that I was pleased at the possibility of DOMA being overturned that family and friends who were concerned about the state of my faith started to approach me to see why I was adopting an “unbiblical” position. That was a difficult thing to deal with. It is incredibly stressful to be put in a position where you have to defend your conscience against people who love you; I don’t recommend it.
Nonetheless, that passed, and I was overjoyed when DOMA was overturned. The federal ban was lifted, and my aunts, who have a history together longer than my lifetime, began planning their wedding. As they put together their plans, I got to watch as state after state decided that their own bans on marriage equality were unnecessary. Every court decision that led to a flourish of weddings between happy couples was a victory. For my aunts, they planned to have their wedding out of state, because Georgia hadn’t gotten around to making a decision (and now with the recent Supreme Court ruling, I suppose it gets to have the ignominious status of being one of the states that was forced to allow progress to proceed), which meant that most of my family wasn’t able to be present at the ceremony last May. It was one of the happiest moments in my aunts’ lives, and it hurts a little bit in retrospect that they couldn’t have it at home where we could celebrate with them.
That brings me to today, which feels like an immense victory. I keep seeing news stories about people rushing to celebrate with marriages that are fully legitimate under American law, and it’s a wonderful feeling. There will be other things to fret over in the future, and this event doesn’t mark the end of the road for LGBTQ rights.
No matter though.
For now, it’s a win, and that’s worth noting.