I’m not going to lie. I was worried for some time that The Supreme Court of the United States would fail its people. I’m glad to see that I was wrong. This morning history was made and SCOTUS made marriage legal for all United States citizens. Today the terms “gay marriage” and “marriage equality” became obsolete.
While I am over-the-moon happy about this decision I find myself divided on one issue: My children’s reactions. They woke up this morning, groggy-eyed and zombie-like, shuffling off to breakfast.
“Jimmy, did you hear? The Supreme Court just made marriage legal for everyone!”
“Jimmy, this is a red-letter day in history. You’ll be able to tell your kids you remember when people weren’t afforded the right to marry, that you were alive and cognizant of the weight of this decision ON. THE. DAY. IT. HAPPENED.”
He chewed his cereal with bovine zeal.
His brother shuffled in.
“Tony, SCOTUS just made marriage legal for everyone! Isn’t that great?”
I groaned and shoved aside my worries about his education. “The Supreme Court of the United States of America.”
“Oh. Nice.” And again with the bovine zeal.
They didn’t get it. They didn’t get that decades of oppression was just swatted down by the literal law of this land.
My thoughts strayed to my friends in high school and college who were gay and lesbian, who couldn’t live their lives openly, much less consider the idea of marriage. I thought of the violence so many of them had faced, even being beaten to death because of who they were. I thought of friends I had made as an adult who married in a state that wasn’t their own, and weren’t recognized as a legal couple except in a handful of places.
It all dissolved in a puff of smoke. It all became “the past” with one bang of a gavel. My friends are married in the eyes of the law everywhere they travel in the U.S. now. They will have the legal rights afforded everyone born here. Every last one.
While my kids may not get the weight of this decision, I sure do. I get it.
I’m glad the U.S. legal system gets it now, too.