Ok, first an apology that it’s been so long since I’ve posted and longer since I’ve posted regularly. But the truth is I’m often too tired or brain dead to write anything when I get home.
Ok, on to the post…
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I’ve felt anxious much of today. It started when I was in class, but instead of paying attention, I was following SCOTUSBlog’s live coverage of the Supreme Court opinions being released today. But the anxiety’s continued after today’s opinions ended.
Maybe it’s because tomorrow the Supreme Court is going to tell me whether I and my friends are as valuable as human beings as straight people. I don’t have my hopes up.
Sure, it could be a broad ruling akin to Loving v. Virginia, but from all the things I’ve read that is pretty unlikely. I do think they will overturn Prop 8, but I think they’ll do it on fairly narrow grounds. While that’s a positive step, and definitely better than letting it stand, it won’t have the same impact of a nationwide ruling that gay people are protected under the Equal Protection Clause and should be treated equally.
I also think DOMA will be overturned. That will be a big step in reality, even if it’s only overturned on federalism grounds.
I try not to fathom the possibility that we could be punched in the gut like we were in Bowers v. Hardwick.
I’m going to be in class again tomorrow at 10 a.m. I won’t be paying attention, as my eyes will be on SCOTUSBlog. I hope I’m wrong and I hope that tomorrow there’s celebration in the streets like the night Obama won. But, I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m afraid we’ll still be reading the opinion trying to figure out just how much ground — if any — we’ve gained.
But I’m still hopeful because the times they are a changing.
What has helped calm me today is to remind myself how quickly society’s changing, whether or not the Supreme Court agrees. On the day these cases were argued, over 2.7 million people changed their Facebook page to some variation of the Equality symbol. Many of those people were straight. Even some friends of mine, that I wouldn’t have expected to be so openly supportive changed their pictures.
The times they are a changing.
My niece, who just graduated high school had a kid in her class come out in 7th grade. When I was in that school, no one came out. That wouldn’t have been a possibility I’d have ever considered even if I had realized I was gay that far back. I asked her if kids made fun of him. “Oh sure,” she said, “but not for that. He’s weird in other ways.”
The times they are a changing.
But are they changing fast enough? Just two days ago, a drag queen was assaulted on 14th Street, smack in the heart of DC’s gay neighborhood. People stood around and videotaped it so they could post it online. If hateful shit like this can happen in a place that’s traditionally as progressive as DC, then gay kids in rural PA are still at risk no matter how progressive my niece’s classmates have become.
But her classmates will soon be old enough to vote. And then old enough to get married and raise children. They’ll realize that same-sex marriage isn’t a threat to their marriage. And hopefully, their children will be raised with open gay friends and family in their life and they’ll realize it’s no big deal. History has always moved forward. Sometimes in fits and starts, but over the long arc, fairness and progress always win. (I guess that actually says something good about mankind, right?)
So, is the Supreme Court opinion even important? I hope it is. While the government recognizing us as equal would be a big step, it would still only be one small step towards people recognizing us as equal.
Keep your fingers crossed that I’m wrong and all this anxiety is for naught. Maybe Hollingsworth v. Perry will be my generation’s Loving.