Monday, May 17, 2004

Marriage Still Intact, Foundations Unshaken

Same-sex couples have been able to marry in Massachusetts for almost nineteen hours now, and my marriage still seems to be okay. Moreover, the foundations don't seem to be shaking - and given that we live in a 125-year-old brick house, I'm guessing that we would notice even the slightest tremble.

So I'm just going to relax and enjoy the celebrations and the pictures and the personal accounts. And I'll wait patiently for Mr. and Mrs. Middle America to realize that their marriages and foundations are also just the way they left them on May 16th. I think Kevin Drum has the best take on that one:
The Christian Right storyline has always been that gay marriage is a sign of moral depravity and therefore to be fought tooth and nail. But then San Francisco started performing gay marriages by the thousands. And what did everyone see?

Answer: no depravity. No Village People. Instead, what they saw on their TV screens was a bunch of ordinary people displaying a disarmingly normal exhuberance about getting married and an obviously sincere delight about holding a marriage certificate in their hands. How could you help but feel happy for them?

That's not the whole story, of course, but I think it's part of it. The apocalypse that the leaders of the Christian Right had been foaming at the mouth about finally happened, and it didn't seem so bad after all. Just a bunch of ordinary newlyweds squealing in delight at finally being married, just like everyone else. There was nothing to be afraid of after all.

What do you do when people who are supposed to be the devil's spawn turn out to be as ordinary as your next door neighbor? Maybe you decide they really are as ordinary as your next door neighbor.