Good morning! Well, you’re probably hungover from spending last night crying and drinking bourbon (or flavored vodka) due to the 6th Circuit’s decision that they released right before everyone went to happy hour last night. The decision UPHELD same-sex marriage bans in FOUR states- Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio.
Now that the gay cloud of doom has evaporated into the whiskey-soaked night, and the morning (and coffee!) are here, let’s talk details, ya’ll. This aint’s so bad. Sure, it stings. Sure, you still can’t be recognized in the state you live in, the state you love, the state you want to thrive in. But don’t cover up your Ohio tattoo on the inside of your upper arm just yet… there are some good things about this decision:
1. NOW SCOTUS HAS TO TAKE UP THE ISSUE OF GAY MARRIAGE (AGAIN.) The Supreme Court has been dodging the issue of gay marriage for a while now… but the conservative justices have known that this was coming. How long have they known? Since Lawrence v. Texas. Remember that little ole’ case in 2003? That case that projected the marriage equality movement into hyperspeed? Lawrence v. Texas was the plutonium for the DeLorean that we needed as a movement, and the “dark side” has been nervous that calling gay relationships “dignified” and analogizing them to straight relationships would be the doom of our civilization. But Justice Kennedy gave gay relationships credence in his majority decision in Lawrence and… AMAGOD WHAT A SURPRISE HE DID THE SAME THING IN Windsor v. U.S.! Seeing a pattern of dignity and love? I AM. Let the haters sweat it out… the Supreme Court is now dealing with a Circuit split, and this type of lawlessness will simply not do. We have been dealing with being married in one state, then not in another, then maybe married in the next one for quite some time… let SCOTUS deal with it at the LATEST in 2016. Cuz guess what? The ACLU is ALREADY filing an appeal with the Supreme Court. See? Plutonium.
2. This may come as a shock to you, readers, but I am frugal. And I, for one, cannot afford to go to a bunch of lesbian weddings this year. The engagement parties, all the gifts… my girlfriend and I are going to create a joint bank account purely for lesbian wedding gifts! Start saving now while you have the time… because once gay marriage hits, you are going to be spending ALL your money at Home Depot for other people. Sigh.
3. This is not an “if it will happen” question, it’s a “when it does happen” question. So let’s keep working, and not stop, but in the meantime, remember that our community needs a lot more than marriage. Trans* violence, queer youth homelessness, HIV/AIDS advocacy, anti-discrimination statutes… these are just some of the issues facing Ohio. Three transgender individuals have been murdered in Ohio this year alone… how many have been murdered in your state? Look up the numbers. Gay marriage will happen… but advocacy and activism in so many other areas is needed. And we can start to focus on it. Right. Meow.
4. Freedom to Marry. Marriage Equality USA. The Equality Federation. WE HAVE A TON OF MARRIAGE ORGANIZATIONS NATIONALLY. WE ARE THE GAY MAFIA. Jk… they are the gay mafia. And I f*&^ing love ’em. And they have a ton of great work to do after marriage equality on the issues mentioned above, but let’s keep all these good people employed for a little bit longer, eh? They are the queers we love and the allies we like (kidding- allies, we love you.) It’s right before Christmas. No one wants to be canned right before Christmas. Geez.
5. I am thrilled if you want to get married – gay or straight – GO TO TOOOOOOOOWN. But right now, I have a lot going on. And the thought of my extended family coming to town gives me an ulcer as it is, so I’m not quite ready for the marriage thing. That being said, the 6th Circuit and their “lack of support of judicial activism blah blah blah” just bought me at least another year of living in sin and having a reason for it. So thank you, 6th Circuit. I may celebrate your decision by getting another bulldog, or maybe making out with my girlfriend, or maybe making out with my bulldog. I don’t know. The day is young.
So it’s not all bad. If you need a pick-me-up, remember what Justice Kennedy said in 2003, all the way back in Lawrence v. Texas, when sodomy bans were struck down and our movement had the boost it needed to be where we are today: “The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to choose to enter upon relationships in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons.” Yea, he used the word “homosexual” which is kind of gross. But the message is good. And the message is STILL good. Have hope. And also… have a cocktail. Because we are still going to have to fight. And I, for one, am ready.