I posted this four years ago as my Facebook status. I’m sharing it again today because it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and that progress doesn’t happen in a straight line.
I have to admit that I pretty much hate FaceBook. I don’t like their privacy policies. I can’t stand how they use our information. But today? I am glad I am here. I’m happy to be part of FB turning red. And I want to say that getting here has been a confusing path for me. I’m proud to have been born in and always lived in the first state to legalize gay marriage. I’m watching “Lincoln” tonight and happy to say that I am from the home of the Massachusetts 54th, a state that has been out front on so many important things. But supporting gay marriage was a troubling thing for me. When the MA SJC said that it needed to be legal, that the gays had a right to marry under the MA constitution? I was troubled. It took a long time to understand why. At the time I had a friend a work. I was one of the few people who he told he was gay. I liked that he was comfortable enough to tell me. It didn’t bother me. It was who he is. So why did gay marriage bother me? It was because my own marriage was in trouble. It took a while to see the connection. Then I had a bit of an epiphany. If straight people could screw up their lives by getting married shouldn’t gay people enjoy the same opportunity? It turned out I wasn’t anti gay marriage, that I was against marriage in general. I guess I still am a bit at this point. Yet the road we live on is not that simple. The friend from work? He moved to Thailand to be with the man he loved. I asked why he didn’t stay here, marry, and fight to have his partner recognized as a spouse eligible for residency. He replied that he didn’t want to be a poster child for the cause. And when the the right to marry included a delay? A fellow student in culinary school told me that he had waited twenty years to marry, that six more months was not that hard. And over time I’ve worked with a man who was part of the first gay couple to marry in Saugus. Oh, and he’s a Republican. He was a little out in front of a party that is finally catching up. So now? I look at things and see the world differently. I really believe that a lot of people are in unhappy relationships. Perhaps one of the best? Another person I’ve worked with. Read his posts. A 30 year relationship, and he was finally able to marry because he lived in Massachusetts. I don’t know what the Supreme Court will decide. I do know that our country has gotten a lot of things wrong. Dred Scott comes to mind. So does the 3/5’s compromise. The WWII internment camps. It is a long list. Yet we grow, learn, adapt. I also know that even if the Supreme Court decides that there is no right for same sex couples to marry, that we have come a long way. Stonewall happened in my lifetime. Even if there aren’t five votes to say OK, that we are on the road to getting to the right place, I know that it often takes the law a while to catch up to what is right, what people agree to and want.