Sean Davis is white heterosexual male from a small town who spent 14 years in the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And here is why he is passionately pro marriage equality.
After two days of the Supreme Court talking about marriage equality we find ourselves in some sort of crazy world where Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have all but conceded the fact that it will happen and a supposed liberal judge argues against it. On Wednesday, March 27th, Limbaugh said in his pretentious and overly-bombastic way, “There is going to be gay marriage nationwide,” and, “the Gay Mafia will make sure same-sex marriage happens.” Then Bill O’Reilly comes out and speaking as though he were gay himself, “‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
I read both these hugely conservative entertainers have accepted that marriage equality is going to happen. This is amazing news to me. It’s not that I’m gay. Growing up in a small mountain town I was never imprinted with a healthy sense of diversity. I spent most my adult life in the army infantry where being gay was something that got you kicked out. After leaving the army I got a graveyard security job at a bar and went to art school during the day. I became good friends with one of the bartenders. Every night after close he and I drank together while he counted the til and I flipped the chairs and put them on the table. I knew Jim for a year before he told me he was gay. I’d never met a gay person before and I was blown away. For days I thought about this and I even started to act differently and watched what I said around Jim. Our friendship fizzled out.
But to my amazement gay people started popping up everywhere. Art school had a number of gay people, the service industry had a number of gay people, Portland had a number of gay people. I found that gay people weren’t hiding out in all corners of society; they were society. Gay people weren’t some sort of glitter cult to be feared; they were just people. I found they were just as human as I am.
I believe the ability to choose who you marry is a human rights issue and arguing the fact in our modern age seems completely ridiculous, but then I hear Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ask, “If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what state restrictions could ever exist?” Then she compares same sex marriage to polygamy and incest saying that if the Supreme Court makes a ruling legalizing gay marriage it would be the same as saying a man can marry four women or a mother can marry her child.
I’m just a middle-class heterosexual who’s happily married with three children but I immediately compare the situation with voting equality and I don’t see people voting three or four times an election or any livestock in the voting booths. When the Fifteenth Amendment passed it read:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
This amendment was passed in 1870 and even though it said in no uncertain terms United States citizens no matter their race, color, or previous conditions of servitude have the right to vote, no one in our country saw a woman in the voting booth until the 19th Amendment over fifty years later.
I can’t be the only one who sees this. Reading and listening to the Justice’s statement it isn’t hard to tell the Supreme Court doesn’t want to make this decision. Why not? The American public all ready has. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly all ready have. Sesame Street all ready has.
Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that if the Supreme Court were to make a broad ruling on gay marriage they would be wading into “uncharted waters” citing that gay marriage has only been a social issue for a little over a decade. Again, I’m not an expert but I would guess that gays have wanted to be treated like any other human being since…well, forever.
I love my wife and I love my children. While gay people love different genders they still love with the same hearts and minds. They aren’t some human mutation with different programming. My parents were forced to marry after my nineteen-year-old father knocked up my sixteen-year-old mother. They were forced to marry by their parents but it only lasted a few years. I spent my childhood moving from grandparents, to uncles, to dad, to mom, until I moved out on my own at sixteen. It goes against everything I’ve ever believed to keep a loving family apart no matter what their gender. It took me most my life but I have an amazing family and the support we have for each other is apparent through my children’s successes. How can we sit by and let conservative celebrities be more progressive than our most liberal Supreme Court Judges? What kind of crazy world do we live in when my four-year-old daughter’s cartoons have more humanity and common sense than our country’s highest court?
photo by Shankbone / flickr