Everybody Should Say I Do!
As spring begins, the window opens for the chance to be a June bride, that most coveted month for nuptials.
This June the window may open wider.
Bringing a breeze of fresh air into the traditional notion of marriage, June is when we can expect the U.S. Supreme Court to make their historic ruling concerning marriage equality, legalizing gay nuptials nationwide.
As the Supreme court begins to hear arguments in cases that could finally make same-sex marriage the law of the land, there are still those who cling to a limited definition of love.
Notions of traditional marriage are dated as some of these images we have all grown up with.
Like the appearance of the first crocuses, each spring would bring with it a new crop of bridal and wedding themed imagery.
Every magazine you flipped through, every ad you saw, painted the same glowing picture of the inevitability of marriage. For most of the past century girls on the fast track to matrimony were convinced that the basic occupation of every girl was choosing a man to marry.
And what gal didn’t close her eyes and imagine her wedding shower, filled with all that latest Wear-ever pressure cookers, copper bottom Revere Ware and her very own silver-plate?
“Dream of arranging your table for two-his place, your place-with all the Community silver plate you need. Dream of entertaining-proudly-knowing your guests will whisper “Isn’t she lucky- It’s Community!”
“This would be for keeps. You’ve dreamed…forever…of this moment! You’ve lived…forever…for this minute. You start forever with this minute. This is for keeps.”
And marriage equality should be for keeps.
SCOTUS’s landmark marriage equality case in 2013 striking down Defense of Marriage Act brought us one step closer to defeating discrimination, ensuring all Americans are treated equally under the law, and finally removing some of the barriers for Gays and Lesbians.
It’s time to allow them full participation in the American Dream including marriage.
The Right Is Wrong
The fact that most American are ready to evolve and embrace gay marriage is terrific and the swiftness of this shift is amazing.
It wasn’t long ago that the very notion of gay marriage was inconceivable if not down right frightening to most of the public.
In the early 1970’s as gay rights became more vocal, pamphlets were produced filled with dire warnings of the dangers of homosexuality and the “coming revolution” invading the mainstream.
In a 1972 homophobic comic booklet entitled “Gay Blade”, they ominously predicted a future filled with…gasp….gay marriage.
These small comics published by the Christian right-wing Chick Publications were filled with dire warnings of the dangers of homosexuality and the “coming revolution” invading the mainstream. The small 3″x5″ comics sold cheaply in bulk making it handy for you to spread the hateful message everywhere you went- in phone booths, tables, Laundromats, school lockers, windshield
Called “chick tracts” these small comic booklets, approximately 20 pages in length, were short Evangelic themed stories created by Jack Chick an American Fundamentalist. Chick Publications, who boast on their current website–“publishing cartoon gospel tracts and equipping Christians for evangelism for fifty years.”
“The Gay Blade” ( originally written in 1972, revised in 1984 and now out of print) borrowed several of its frames from a 1971 Life Magazine photo essay on the Gay Liberation movement, but with the images altered to make gay men look more depraved and stereotypically feminized.
Chick tracts are unequivocal and explicit in their opposition to homosexuality and repeatedly employ themes such as:
1.The belief that God hates homosexuality and considers it to be sinful and
2. The true nature of homosexuality is revealed in the Christian fundamental interpretation of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah story.
Since 1961 Chick has cranked out tract after tract to “help sinners see the light, believing that Jesus can deliver anyone from Homosexuality and make them a new person.”
The fear mongering continues over 40 years later.
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
The Evangelical comics seem ludicrous if not downright laughable now, but ironically not a lot has changed among some Christian groups, especially when it comes to gay marriage.
New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dalton quoted in the national Catholic Register, warned his flock:“You think it’s going to stop with this? You think now bigamists are going to want their rights to marry? You think somebody that wants to marry his sister is going to now say: “I have a right?’ I mean, it’s the same principle, isn’t it?”
Conservatives are desperate to hold onto the traditional definition of marriage.
Back in 2013 after the DOMA ruling Think Progress reported that some Fox News contributors claimed that Marriage Equality would actually criminalize Christianity.
“As the Supreme Court weighs the merits of allowing gay and lesbian Americans the freedom to marry, right-wing anti-equality advocates are cranking up fear mongering claiming that a world of marriage equality is one that would functionally ban Christians from practicing their religion.”
“Two Fox contributors made dire predictions along those lines. Todd Starnes speaking on American Family Radio, argued that “persecution (of Christians) like we have never seen it” had “already started” as a consequence of the marriage equality movement.
“Another Fox News contributor, Erik Erikson went further. Writing on RedState a conservative blog, Erikson fantasized about a world where the US government began terrorizing Christian institutions, shuttering Christian business for opposing marriage equality, and labeling Christians themselves criminals.”
“Within a year or 2 we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because the refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts Gods own established plan.”
Say#IDo for Equality
Copyright (©) 2015 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved
The Gay Bachelor and the Bride
The Model Bride and Illustrator jon Whitcomb
Locked In The American Dream Closet
I am reminded of, what became the line “The love that dare not speak it’s name” from the poem Two Loves by Lord Alfred Douglas. It was quoted at Oscar Wilde’s trial and became the catch phrase for homosexuality at the time.
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People have a right to be happy with whomever they choose and are lucky enough to find in the short time we’re here. I don’t know why that’s so hard for people to accept. No one is hurting anyone, they’re just living their lives.
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A great post! I was happy to read that the U.S. Supreme Court Justices were at least torn between the 2 major issues. Progress! 🙂
Also, it is good to see more and more television, film, etc, show — in a bit more depth and length — non-traditional or non-hetero relationships on the tube or silver-screen!
Brilliant! I wanted to read more! You just gave the history of this subject a heartbeat. We, all the way down here in Australia, are watching in anticipation hoping for legislative changes in the US. We of course hope that we Down Under will follow suit. Thank you so much for posting on this particular subject. It is people like yourself advocating in such a way that have bellied so much of the fear mongering. Our history has shown that things always change. Support for minority groups grows with spoken words. Not yelled words. Thank you so much. Just brilliant!
So glad you enjoyed the piece. It is so important to give voice to such a fundamentally important issue as this and to offer some perspective over the din of the fearmongers.
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Thank you. I hope your gracious and well-reasoned words will influence others, especially when the opposition uses nothing but fear, falsehoods, distortions, etc. Your support for this cause and the impact it will have for the LGBT community is very appreciated, especially by me.
I always hated using the word “partner” to describe my relationship. It’s not a business…it’s the same thing my parents had, that friends and relatives around me have. A marriage. Unfortunately my “husband” of 16 years was killed in an auto accident in 2003. It is a horrible thing to lose your other “half”, but I also lost my home, my job, most of our savings and my dignity. His family cut me out of funeral plans (including the funeral itself), the official obituaries don’t mention my name, to the state and federal governments I didn’t exist. My legal standing to our home was dismissed (by the courts, even with our wills and contracts between us). Once my employer discovered I was gay during those months of legal proceedings, I was fired. As you can imagine, it was the nightmare from which you can’t wake up from. A nightmare that can’t and won’t happen for the vast majority of people, and that didn’t have to happen at all.
I am a “second-class” citizen of this country, and while there has been a pronounced shift in acceptance and attitudes the last few years, there are few legal protections and rights granted. There’s a lot of talk about “liberty” these days, but any freedom or liberty that can only exist at the expense of another persons freedom, and/or liberty is false, immoral, inherently wrong. No one, whether you’re one person or a 99% majority, has the right to decide if another person is “worthy” or deserves to be an equal citizen in this country. No one’s religious affiliation or beliefs gives them that right, No one’s political views gives them that right. The constitution of this country doesn’t give anyone that right. No one in this country would tolerate their “traditional” marriages and families to be ignored, attacked or rendered non-existent…why should I?
I’m sorry, I’ve been on my soapbox again and tend to prattle on endlessly (dang, but I’ve turned into my father). As you may see it’s an important cause in my life. Feel free to erase after reading..it’s more for you than the public. I only shared this because I wanted you to know that everything you say and do helps and people like me are grateful. I like to think my late husband is too.
Best and kindest regards, Gary
Thank you Gary for sharing your story. I am sorry for the anguish and pain you had to endure simply because of who you loved, and the inequities inherent in our systems. As heartbreaking as your story is, I fear it is more common than not, and although things are changing it doesn’t help those like yourself who had to endure the kind of indignities you did. Your story is important and needs to be heard and I am grateful to provide a platform for your voice.