I was 10 years old when, in June 1967, the United States Supreme Court stepped up to the plate and declared anti-miscegenation laws (laws the prevented interracial marriage) unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who, on more than one occasion, said, “Races don’t fall in love and get married, individuals fall in love and get married.” The same applies to same-sex marriage. Genders don’t fall in love and get married, individuals fall in love and get married.
The often self-righteous and equally often hateful opposition to marriage equality is frequently a study in hypocrisy, given that significant components of the opposition come from religious groups who claim to live by loving tenets when, in truth, they do anything but.
As I witness the struggle for marriage equality, seven states (Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Washington) and Washington D.C. have thus far legalized same-sex marriage, I’ve often wanted to ask those in opposition if they really believe society is overdosing on real love?
Some years ago I was close friends with two women who happen to be Lesbian and who were, and still are, deeply in love. They were together for years when I met them and they are together still and I’ve never known a couple any closer than they were and are. When I would spend time with them, I was witnessing two people who really loved one another. It is, for me, one of life’s gifts to witness a couple that is really and truly in love. The notion that somehow the love they shared and share to this day is wrong or sinful would be laughable were the carnage inflicted on the lives of same-sex couples not so horrifyingly brutal.
When I was a young boy I fell in love with the ballet and by the time I was eight I was in serious training and by the time I was 13 I was dancing a lead role with the Joffrey Ballet. I knew male ballet dancers that were gay and I knew male ballet dancers that were straight. It became quite clear to me that you either are or you aren’t. You have no more control over your sexual preferences than you do over your natural hair color. It simply is what it is.
When I moved out of New York City to Sullivan County, New York in 1987, my first new friend was a man who was gay. We’d hang out together and go out to eat together. One time we were having dinner at a local restaurant. Half way through our meal he leaned over and in a quiet voice filled with genuine concern for me, he said, “You do know that people know me here and when people see us having dinner together they’ll think you’re gay.” I immediately responded with the kind of eloquence he and all my friends over the years have come to admire in me: “I could give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks, bro.” He nodded and looked down at his plate. His eyes had filled with tears. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to embarrass him. After all, he was my friend.
If two people love each other they should be allowed to marry. The good news is, it’s only a matter of time before marriage equality is a national truth, not a state-by-state truth.
for I & N