Ever Closer to Marriage Equality

There's a good article in today's New York Times about the limitations of civil unions; three years after Connecticut legalized civil unions, same-sex couples are finding (quelle surprise) that "the measure had not delivered the equal rights it had promised." It's one thing to promise to guarantee "the same rights" as mixed-sex couples, but, in practice, it's not so easy; the regulations of public and private systems and services (e.g. healthcare, pensions, tax laws) recognize "marriage" but not "civil unions" as a determinative category for qualified participation, and administrators of those systems and services often have no idea what to do with "civilly unionized" couples. And that's to say nothing of the general second-class caste of civil unions.

Two bits of the piece really stuck out to me as bookends to the timeline of the inexorable progression toward full marriage equality, highlighting how in it we are at the moment.

First, there was the description of civil unions as a "political compromise that several states have made in recent years to grant rights to gay and lesbian couples while preserving the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and woman." With each passing year, the conspicuity of the undeserved privilege being protected to mollycoddle the delicate sensibilities of straight wankers becomes ever more pathetically hilarious. Within the next few years, only among the most reluctantly egalitarian sorts will there still be arguments mounted against same-sex marriage, invoking gods by various names (Jesus, Mohammed, Tradition) as thin veneers to lay atop the desperate insecurity about their super-special relationships losing the shimmering, golden glow that only denying equality to same-sex couples conveys upon their gloriously gilded unions.

Fifteen years ago, when someone said with a straight face (no pun intended) in a politically-mixed group, "Gay marriage will undermine the sanctity of marriage," I was usually the only (straight) one to greet that ridiculous assertion with a contemptuous laugh and a challenge to elucidate on what basis the premise was founded. (It's amazing how quickly you can change a mind when you make it realize it's spouting nonsense.) Fifteen years from now, it will be nothing but a punchline.

And then there was this:
Eli, who was conceived with the help of a surrogate, is now 5. When his kindergarten class was playing "Farmer in the Dell" recently, Eli grabbed the hand of another boy while his friends sang, "the farmer takes a wife."

Knowing that Eli has two fathers, the other children quickly adjusted, singing "the two dads take a child" instead.

"Without missing a beat," [one of Eli's fathers] noted proudly.
That's our future, right there. Inevitably.

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