Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's A Nice Day (For A White Wedding)...

This week the Supreme Court of California finally overturned the ban against gay marriage, prompting dozens of on-the-spot proposals. As I watched the press conference and the subsequent coverage, I couldn't help but feel a mixture of "it's a bad time" but also a deep sadness. Not only did I wonder how many people were going to get married this weekend just because they were afraid of another reversal, but I was overwhelmed with the insanity of it all. In our country’s darkest hour (slavery), we didn’t deny those people the right to marry... At least, I don’t think we did, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure considering the biased, rah-rah America texts that my New York City public school provided. We owned people; we bought and sold and traded people, treating them like second-class citizens or even animals, but we still let them pair off and have families. It’s a basic human right-- we could see it back then-- and yet for many citizens it has been denied until just this past week (and is still being denied in many states). It's ridiculous, and also unfortunate, that something which so many take for granted is something for which some others have to fight so hard, but California has always been a leader when it comes to trends, so though this is a baby step, it's at least in the right direction.

The first public figure to take advantage of the newfound equality was Ellen Degeneres, who when she announced she will be marrying long-time girlfriend Portia de Rossi, received a standing ovation from her studio audience. I admit I teared up a bit just watching from my couch at home. Ellen turned fifty a few months ago, and she probably spent the majority of those years resigning herself to the fact that she'd never be able to walk down the aisle. Last week she finally held her fiftieth birthday party-- with a carnival theme, no less-- and gave a speech saying how amazing and blessed her life is and how she could have never imagined her life would turn out this way. Now she has another reason-- perhaps one of the most important reasons-- to add to that list. I only wish I still worked for her show so I could get invited 'cause you know that is going to be The party of the year.

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