Many Colors in the Homo Rainbow
In the days following the close of polls in November 2008, it slowly came clear that gay rights had not moved as far forward as it appeared to many people. The people of California, that liberal bastion, home of San Francisco, gave their mandate that gays should not be allowed to marry.
Well, shit. If it wasn’t going to happen in California, then what chance did the nation have? Could it really be possible that so many Americans legitimately believe that gays are somehow inferior and don’t deserve the right to join with the person they love?
Those were dark times. Even the adoption of same-sex marriage in Connecticut couldn’t ease the sting. But then something strange happened.
Iowa became cooler than California.
Within two months from April to June of 2009, first-out-of-the-gate Massachusetts and Connecticut were joined by Vermont, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire, with several other states, notably New York (because they’re a bunch of dirty liberals) and Rhode Island (because they don’t want to get beaten up by the rest of New England) in various stages of doing the same.
In many ways, the surprising decision in California spurred quick action in other areas, or at least that’s how it seems. But the roads taken in each state were many and varied, some combination of legislative action and judicial review, even to the point of (in the case of Vermont) overriding a gubernatorial veto. The legislative and judicial processes take time; rather than a reaction to California, it appears that the time is just right for same-sex marriage to become an a fact of life in the United States, that slowly but surely each state will take their turn until marriage is recognized as a right for two loving people, not for a man and a woman.
It’s easy to romanticize two loving people in a same-sex relationship, and for good reason. It’s hard to be in an open, committed relationship in a society that shuns that part of who you are. It is easy to know that a same-sex couple who live their lives openly as such are in it for the right reasons, because no one would bring the hardship that has traditionally with that relationship on themselves just for a laugh. Ultimately, the goal may be to end that romanticization, that exoticism.
Let’s make gay relationships… boring. That will be the biggest step.