Today we celebrate federal acknowledgment in the U.S. that same-sex love is love period. We celebrate the ease with which committed gay couples all over the country can fortify lives together, and that those lives will be protected under the law, just as they have been for their straight counterparts. We celebrate the act of putting into writing the assertion that gays are no longer second-class citizens. It is so ordered that gay people are people, too.
All of that fills my heart beyond what I understood to be its capacity. It’s why my mother called me crying happy tears this morning. It’s a beautiful thing to have experienced in my lifetime. I’m so thankful for today.
I can’t help but be happiest, though, about the defeat of the anti-marriage equality crusaders. The defeat of people who signed up to lose, who wasted their time and ours on a platform of animus and contempt. The defeat of people who put principle over the practical, who fought to preserve their limited understanding of an already imperfect institution over the actual human lives that would benefit from it. The defeat of people who did what bigots do: discriminate, vilify, fear-monger, argue irrationally and without respect to human dignity, and then bristle when they’re called out for what they are (bigots).
The jig is up. The world has turned and left you fuming, seething, weeping. Fuck you, Mike Huckabee. Fuck you, Bryan Fischer. Fuck you, Maggie Gallagher. Fuck you, Ben Carson. Fuck you, Fox News. You should all feel like assholes because you are all assholes. And now you’re also, definitively, losers. And it feels incredible.
I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply-held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact. Recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.
You know what, though? Fuck those people. Fuck their myopic “good will,” fuck their views on this issue that are anti-equality, fuck their misguided sincerity, their deeply held beliefs, their refusal to see what’s right, their insistence on hiding behind some passages (and ignoring hundreds of others) from their beloved Bibles. Be mindful of the fact that they are wrong, they were always wrong, and our country officially has ruled them wrong. They have every right to be wrong. They have every right to believe what they do. But their toxic opinions lost potency today. Soon they’ll be barely detectable at all.
We haven’t heard the last of them. People will continue to want to decry, discriminate against, and be generally shitty to LGBT people under the guise of religious beliefs and personal freedom. Stories about businesses refusing services to gay couples will continue to surface and possibly one day we’ll see a case or two play out in the SCOTUS. There are huge segments of the gay population just trying to survive, not get married. For them, today’s victory might provide little, if any comfort. It’s not over, but today the anti-gay religious right’s grip on this issue loosened irrevocably. Today they lost and they’ll continue to lose. Along the way we’ll be reminded that winning feels great, and defeating feels even better.
[Photo via Getty]