The Day the Nation Righted Itself

wedding ringsWhere were you today, when you heard the news that sanity seemed to return, even for one brief, shining moment, to our great nation? Though, undoubtedly, others more qualified than I will write about this moment in all of its earth-shattering, history-making grandiosity, I still want to place a marker in the sand of this grand new day and proudly declare “I will remember this!” May that sand soon harden and become bedrock and not be watered down by anger and protestation, fear and hate-mongering.

Marriage is a sacred thing–there’s no denying that. Same-sex couples looking to be married are not making a mockery of the institution, but endeavoring to participate in a ritual that our society holds up as the culmination of finding the one: Declaring your love and binding one to another, whether in an elaborate, religious affair or a quiet, backyard celebration. How can love, and its ritual manifestation, be a threat to anybody?

Marriage, like parenting, is not for the faint of heart. My marriage will be old enough to drink next year, so I feel a bit qualified to speak on the subject. Marriage is hard, and sometimes it can be damn hard. Two people don’t just exchange rings and platitudes and then live happily ever, sustained by their love.

As a nation, our gun restrictions were more generous than our marriage allowances. Today, God willing, all of that changes.

Instead, marriage is a process; a learning curve; a seed that, once brought to cultivation, must be continuously and carefully tended. Marriage is neither self-sustaining nor self-fulfilling. You either work together to continually define and redefine it as you yourselves change through the years, or you’ll find yourselves on opposing sides of a faux wood table, quibbling over the lace tea towels and Belleek china that neither of you wanted when they were first given to you as wedding gifts however many years before.

If so desired, all couples should have the right to marry. I myself had a blast planning my Jewish/Scottish wedding, utilizing the MacAulay Cranberry Pine tartan where possible even though it meant that I had to work what were essentially Christmas colors (red, green) into my decorations. We had a chuppah and a rabbi. We also had a bagpiper in the processional. The only thing we were denied was a ketubah–a Jewish marriage contract–because both of us weren’t Jewish.

Never were we told that we couldn’t get married, nor were we legally prevented from doing so. If you’re married and reading this, please think about that. How would you have felt if the government had prevented you from marrying your spouse?

How can love, and its ritual manifestation, be a threat to anybody?

When you peel away the hyperbole–“it’s morally wrong”, “God invented Adam and Eve not Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve”, “it makes a mockery of a holy institution”–this is the truth: As long as both people are consenting adults and neither is in another marriage, any two people should be permitted to marry. As a nation, our gun restrictions were more generous than our marriage allowances. Today, God willing, all of that changes.

I don’t have skin in the game and I don’t have to to be L, G, B, T, Q or A to both cheer and cry at this news. I am elated for friends and strangers alike. And I thank God that I lived to see the day that our nation, at least for this glorious moment, righted itself.

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