Along with many others, I’ll be glad to see the ridiculous and hypocritical and Clinton-fostered Defense of Marriage Act teetering on its clay feet. However, making marriage accessible to any committed couple is just the first step. This article from New York was an eye opener for me on the thorny problem of divorce in a union that is not recognized by all 50 states.
I mention that not to kill your buzz, but b/c the article may make you think, as I did, about all the things we heteros take for granted, including that in the event of divorce you’ll be able to concentrate on the issues at hand and not have to fight all sorts of arcane legal battles because your union and commitment, even if they’ve faded, are not considered legitimate as a matter of course. A little over a century ago, women were having to navigate their way through these same turbulent waters. Before hitting the big time with the harrowing Room, the superb novelist Emma Donoghue wrote The Sealed Letter. A meticulous historian, Donoghue based the novel on a real case in Victorian England.
In this interview, Donoghue mentions that she realized she was a writer at the same time that she realized she was a lesbian, when she was 14. Her books, however, don’t necessarily chronicle Lesbian Struggles in capital letters, but rather are deeply empathetic journeys into the particular issues women have had to face across the ages. Check her out.
Donoghue’s polar opposite may be Anita Bryant. As part of the birthday blog project, I realized that Anita Bryant’s day was earlier this week and found an interview from 1990. Bryant, still looking pretty terrific, insists three times over the course of the interview that she “did the right thing” in vociferously opposing gay marriage. She seems to be a woman living in some strange parallel universe, and it’s bizarre and quite sad to watch her. But it’s also pretty thrilling to see activist Bob Kunst express that Bryant’s antics actually opened up the debate to the entire world. I love it so much when negative energy gets flipped back on itself and something great happens. True philosophical aikido.
And of course, one can only smile thinking, what would Harvey Milk do?
(Seriously, skip Milk. Watch The Times of Harvey Milk. The real deal is awesome.)
But enough about the end of things. The activity in Washington will hopefully make possible some new beginnings, and, as Jesse Tyler Ferguson states at the top of this interview with the Modern Family cast, it will be wonderful when a loving, long-term same-sex marriage-in-every-way-but-on-paper in a sitcom or anywhere else isn’t considered revolutionary.
Meanwhile, if the cockles of your heart need a bit of warming, here are some lovely shots. May all weddings, whoever they involve, be this joyous, and may all of these folks know how lovely it is to find a partner who they want to be with for all time.