I was standing in the studio kitchen this morning, anchoring the cherry pitting machine to the counter, and figuring out how to position the bowls to catch the pits and cherries, when the phone rang. It was Herself telling me to get over to the log cabin…they just overturned DOMA. I had been monitoring the radio closely and, hearing no reports so far, and since so many got last year’s healthcare ruling wrong in the beginning, I was skeptical. So I went to the computer and when the word “unconstitutional” flashed on the screen the tears just poured out of me. I stumbled along the path to the cabin sobbing and into the arms of my babe. The rainbow flags filled the tv screen behind her and everyone in those crowds seemed to be crying as well.
It’s mid-afternoon now. The pie just came out of the oven. Herself has headed up to the lake for a swim. Most of the tissues have been carried to the trash bin. Our facebook family has overwhelmed the cyberworld with cheers of support. I’ve listened to my trusted commentators and read the ruling from the supremes. And I’m sitting here quietly now taking in the surprising depth of the morning’s first emotional response.
My belief has never wavered, but the torch was getting heavy and along the way it became easier to just settle for the life we had made with each other and hope for some broader equality to come for our grandchildren, both the straight and the gay ones. It’s still a very real fear to be openly gay in our neck of the woods and the scars of bigotry and hatred have not faded from my heart. So, over the last 23 years, we have kept a modest profile and done our best to be good neighbors and help where we can and kept the curtains drawn.
I think that surprising burst of emotion came in part from seeing the recent swelling of national support for gay rights and equality, and the fact that so many more somebodies stood up and said no more, this is wrong, we have made a mistake, we have caused injustice. I was expecting change, but not certain it would be in my lifetime. And then to read in the SCOTUS Ruling that they recognized how this has been so hurtful to families and stigmatized children. NOT the homosexuality mind you…but the differentiation of CIVIL rights…
writing for the majority opinion, Kennedy notes,
“…The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the constitution protects…And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives. Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways. “
What he said.
There’s more pavement to travel on this road to equality.
Pennsylvania was one of those states which couldn’t run fast enough to the capitol to pass a version of DOMA. And it’s not yet clear how the details will play out for those of us still living under such regimes. But we have the law on our side now, and a magnificent candidate now running for governor, Tom Wolf.
And we have the momentum.
As our dear friend Maureen reminded us in a note of support today,
In the words of Martin Luther King “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
As she left for the lake,
on her way out the studio kitchen door,
Pat paused and looked back
and asked, “will you marry me?”
Now, at last, I can say yes.