Oh, dear god, this one.
|Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.|
Infographic: Legally Married and Legally Fired, Center for American Progress
THIS THIS THIS
I’m continuously terrified that people will think LGBT rights is a finished fight as soon as marriage equality passes nationally. There’s still so much extremely important stuff to get to. Marriage is not an end goal.
ayn rand failing to understand that sesame street is for young children
I spent three weeks in a mental hospital and what I discovered there I feel like should be put into words.
we are not who you think we are.
the boy with turrets told the funniest jokes
the girl who raked her nails up and down her skin could create the most exquisite drawings
the girl who abused drugs had the wisest soul
the boy with schizophrenia had the biggest heart
the girl who tried to kill herself told the boy with insomnia stories to help lure him to sleep
the boy who wanted to kill himself had the deepest passion for cooking
the girl with slits and scars all over her body dried my tears and told me I was beautiful
the boy with anger issues gave the warmest hugs
the girl with bulimia told everyone every day that they looked beautiful in their bodies
the boy who was a compulsive liar told us that he wanted us all to get better, and that he was for once telling the truth
the girl who almost drank herself to death stood up for anyone that felt they were feeling bullied
the boy with social anxiety made sure nobody sat alone at meals
we are not who you think we are.
*slams reblog button*
Psychiatric hospitals have the most stigma.
God this is beautiful
I’m gonna print this out and read it day after day. We’re real people. We are. And we are so much more than our issues.
This is so fucking true. When I got sent to the psychatric ward, they were the kindest most brilliant people I ever met. But the doctors treated us like monsters, prisoners.
Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that we’re winning, just like George Bush on an aircraft carrier declaring that a war was over that still rages on today.
It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, $1 trillion, and 45 million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.
Our justice system is a junkie, demanding its daily fix of arrests, seizures and convictions. It needs drugs. It’s as hooked as that guy sticking a needle into his arm even though he knows it’s killing him.”
“You backwoods, sheet-wearing, cross-burning honky motherfucker!” 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿
Yes papa Pope!
Go the fuck off! I just felt that on a spiritual level.
“IT IS VERY EASY TO FEEL THAT MEN ARE NOT SO BAD WHEN YOU ARE STILL MAKING SURE TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.”
Honestly. Even if the teenagers are acting like shits. Because that's what teenagers do, they act like shits, and we all just nod and smile to ourselves because in a couple years their hormone mix is going to balance out and they're going to suddenly take on a lot of responsibility that they just don't comprehend right now, so let teenagers be little shits, and stop picking them apart.
when I was a teenager getting made fun of by adults on the internet I thought it was shitty, but I thought maybe I felt that way because I really was just a silly oversensitive little kid like they were saying.
so, as an adult with an Officially Valid* opinion, let me tell you:
adults who make fun of teenagers on the internet are deeply fucking shitty.
Sharing for that last comment.
2015: Man-on-man marriage
2017: Man-on-child marriage
2019: Man-on-dog marriage
2021: Man-on-car marriage
2023: Hopefully the world ends by then tbh
Two consenting adults, be they man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, or any other combination not specified by the above, are now granted the right (as they always should have had) to enter a legally binding contract and obtain all its attached benefits.
Children cannot give consent. Children cannot legally sign contracts. Children cannot get married.
Animals cannot give consent. Animals cannot legally sign contracts. Animals cannot get married.
Optimus Prime is a sentient being and leader of the entire Autobot race and I don’t think you have any place telling him who his people can and cannot marry. If he is okay with Rewind and Chromedome or Astoria and Powerglide then you need to step off.
It’s very easy to make Gracie’s mistake here if you persist in thinking of marriage as “a man and his chosen marriage object” rather than, you know, “two people choosing to marry each other.”
Says something about how some people view heterosexual marriage.
GOP Hypocrisy: screw as I say, not as I screw
This is probably my biggest problem with conservatives (aside from the racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia): the fact that they spend all their time lecturing the rest of us on morality and yet can’t live up to their own ridiculous standards.
Bristol Palin having kids, whether she’s married or not? Don’t give a fuck. Bristol Palin having kids out of wedlock when both she and her mother are outspoken advocates for abstinence and shaming those who dare to view sex as anything more than a baby factory? Not cool.
the idea of ‘casual gaming’ is so?
obviously first of all you don’t have to be obsessed with a thing to enjoy it but also if you look at the kind of games that are considered “casual” it becomes obvious so quickly that “casual” means “non-violent/not hyper-masculine’”
like. Popcap games has made a lot of money off the fact that people are so not casual about Bejeweled that they will pay actual money to progress faster
the two most-played games on my 3DS are Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Life, and I have just shy of 669.5 hours logged between the two of them and there are people who own two copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf because they want multiple towns or because they want a spare to cycle villagers through so they can get their ideal town
the Sims games have one of the most dedicated and helpful modding communities I’ve ever seen, there are so many people who devote countless hours to picking apart EA’s broken code, to figuring out how to fix everything when EA breaks all the custom content with their latest patch, to filling in features that the game lacks for no obvious reason
people are not casual about these games???? but apparently talking to the AI instead of killing it makes the game not worth taking seriously
I also think it’s telling that people deride the Sims as being “not a real game” but no one says the same thing about Minecraft. It’s almost as if the Sims’ playerbase being overwhelmingly female has something to do with what is or isn’t considered a game.
Also? My mom used to dual-box Farmville. If that isn’t hardcore gaming I don’t know what is.
I literally had someone tell me female Pokemon players don’t count because we’re all casual gamers.
PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta explores whether films have a responsibility to be accurate in a recent episode. Rugnetta specifically points to the lack of feathers in Jurassic World as an example.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson has made a small game out of decrying the factual inaccuracies of popular movies, but do these noted inaccuracies actually…matter? On one hand, showing the dinosaurs in Jurassic World without feathers is a scientific error, but what about the fact that Jurassic World exists at all? Isn’t it just fantasy? Does it matter that in Gravity, gravity itself seemed to not necessarily obey our current understanding of it?
But research into the management of SNAP shows that even as the ranks of users have grown, the program’s rate of fraud has been dropping — and is significantly smaller than fraud in Medicaid, Medicare and other government programs, said Stacy Dean, a vice president at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think tank.
“There’s a huge disconnect between reality and the perception of the program,” Dean said.
In Florida, the program is most effective of all: The state ranks first in getting food stamp benefits to the people who needed them.
In 2012, Florida earned an $8 million bonus from the Department of Agriculture for its accuracy. Less than 1 percent of Florida’s food stamp funding went astray, the department said.
Medicare, by comparison, the federal health care program for seniors and disabled people, loses about 8 percent of its payouts to fraud nationally, according to government figures.
What are they [people who sell their food stamps] spending the money on?
“We have asked the recipients in the past and it runs the gamut,” Heacock said. “Most of them say they’re trying to pay bills or buying school supplies for their kids. Most of it is pedestrian. But I’m not always believing that.”
The state recovers some of that lost money by garnishing wages or benefits but that can take time.
“You’re going after indigent people to begin with,” Heacock said.”
Not only that, but accuracy rates for food stamp payments are very high, according to the USDAAaaaaa:
That is why I am pleased to announce that at 96.58 percent, the fiscal year 2012 SNAP payment accuracy rate—the combined measure of benefit overpayments and underpayments to recipients—was the highest in the history of the program.
Last year’s record-high payment accuracy rate reflects our ongoing investment of resources and technical assistance at the State level. We applaud our State partners for their efforts to improve program administration, while still maintaining access to this critical nutrition assistance program for families and young children.
This is a repeating pattern of success. Over the last nine years, the payment accuracy rate has been above 94 percent—originally considered a benchmark of success—and we are consistently improving each year.
-so much desert that you will get scared
-seriously from california to new mexico is terrifying like it’s eight straight hours of pale red desert and the sky is so large that everything, even your car, even your hands, looks like a tenuously small and fragile diorama placed on an endless pale red table and left there to dissolve.
-a gas station that for some reason has large dinosaurs made out of scrap metal. they are 1000% awesome. sometimes they move. take a million pictures.
-a fruit stand that sells the best fruit you have ever eaten. later you won’t quite remember which fruit. strawberries, maybe? peaches?
-small black birds, subtly different in every state. some have gold eyes and some are a little iridescent and some are black from beak to toes. the sparrows they compete with for crumbs look exactly the same wherever you go.
-a completely empty rest stop. no one eats at the concrete tables. no one plays in the tiny strip of grass or gravel. you will find a small and beautiful stone.
-a hawaii license plate, somewhere around ohio. i still don’t know how they get the cars across the ocean. i don’t know why anyone would leave hawaii for ohio. i don’t know why anyone lives in ohio.
-an incredibly weird duck. you had no idea ducks could look so incredibly weird, and you wish you were still ignorant of how incredibly weird ducks can, apparently, look.
-a small folksy roadside waystation that sells fudge and incredibly tacky statues of eagles and wolves and cowboys. if you like fudge, eat the fudge from here.
-a lizard doing pushups. if you are particularly fortunate: many lizards doing pushups.
-approximately one gajillion starbucks shops. don’t bother counting them. it will make you angry.
-a storm somewhere around oklahoma, if you’re lucky. the clouds tower up in fantastic fluffy castles miles and miles into the air and are painted pink and gold and purple and the sky turns a dozen impossible shades of blue and when the rain comes down over your car it sounds like the world is ending.
-weird burrs will stick to your legs. you’ll flick them out of the car eighty or eight hundred miles from where their parent plant was grown, and not be sure whether you should wish the little hitchikers well or not.
-a dog wearing sunglasses with his head hanging out of a car window. this will be the high point of the trip.
-the world’s most depressing restaurant. you will know it when you wind up there and have to eat the terrible food, and listen to the terrible music, and look at all the listless waiters and want to tell them get in my car, for god’s sake get in, i’ll take you out of whatever crapsack little town this is that you can’t get out of on your own. but you won’t say that because it’s rude. maybe they have family here. maybe they even like it here.
-a painting of a sailboat in a motel located at least a hundred miles from any significant body of water.
-several genuinely hilarious postcards. buy them.
-a cat that will not let you pet it. this will be the low point of the trip.
-corn. so much corn you will get scared. who the fuck is going to eat all this corn?
-a small stream in some small woods and the light will come down perfectly and the water will be beautiful and the grass will be beautiful and there will be flowers maybe or the leaves of the trees are starting to turn gold and there are birds chirping and it will be so perfect you will want to stand there and stay forever and live in this little magical painting off the side of the highway and be some kind of highway druid. but instead, you’ll get bored after a while, and get back in the car.
reminder series: bleak yet comforting thoughts.
i specifically chose animals that are (or believed to be) extinct due to human influence: thylacine, great auk, baiji, west african black rhino, golden toad, dodo, passenger pigeon, and quagga. there are many other species i could have included. the plants are also based on extinct species, but i found much less information about extinct plants, unfortunately.
the text doesn’t necessarily relate to each animal or their extinction. it’s all basically the same idea: let’s all be nice to each other, because today, the universe is vast and incomprehensible, we are all suffering, we are all going to die, and we’re all in this together. for today.
i’m busy for a couple weeks with conventions, but after that i’m considering a companion series with ancient extinct animals, so feel free to send me your favorites :)
On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This is your image of the week:
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
my political views are “i want my friends to be safe and healthy” and i am extremely wary of people who dismiss me because of this
Yeah, so... I don't know how to drive. So, I ride in cars with people. Sometimes these people are... scary.
- Why Do We Keep Breaking For No Reason On The Highway
- I’m Going Above The Speed Limit Why Are You Riding My Ass
- Use Your Fucking Blinker
- Pull Over And Get Your Shit Together If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going
- Bitch Turn If You’re Going to Turn
- I’m In The Far Right Lane Why Are You Still On My Ass Just Fucking Pass Me
- Inching Closer Every Second Isn’t Gonna Make The Light Change Any Quicker
- Wtf Was That
- Really? You KNOW I’m The One With The Right Of Way
* Oh God Stop Swearing With The Windows Open You’re Gonna Get Us Murdered
* What No Don’t Flip Off The Bikers
* I Love The Jesus-Handle Above My Window So Much
* Let’s Just Hang Here Like A Sloth And Whimper
Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (via
Holy shit i just realized the villain cane connection.
man imagine aliens w no concept of interspecies cooperation or pets
‘commander the scan of this shelter reveals three primary lifeforms’
‘excellent. elaborate please’
‘all mammals. two quadrupeds, one feline and one canine, as well as one biped sapien. they appear to be… relaxing and eating in a shared space’
‘what the fuck’
imagine these guys trying to be really polite about it because for some reason the bipeds really enjoy harboring these strange freeloading carnivores. an alien warlord meeting some diplomat’s cat and being all tentatively like ‘ah… yes. your parasite is remarkably large and complacent. you are no doubt a very well-used host and oh my stars don’t let it touch me no no NO.’
“but what function do they serve”
“well sometimes they catch pests or protect us from intruders”
“ah I see very sensible”
“but mostly we just hug them whether they want us to or not”
“…………what the fuck”
Stick with me. Please. I have to speak from a place of experience in order to lay the ground to comment on something that doesn’t directly affect me.
Several years ago there was a story making the rounds about some guy taking legal action against his kid’s school because they were making his daughter say the Pledge of Allegiance which has the phrase “Under God” and he was an atheist. I saw so many Facebook posts making fun of the guy and criticizing this waste of time and many called him Un-American and there was also the typical, “PC POLICE!” outrages and just tons of dismissiveness about his efforts.
But here’s the thing…I’ve had a hard time explaining that one to my kids too.
Stop for one second and imagine if the pledge said, “One nation, under Ganesha, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I mean…really think about it.
Now imagine your child comes home one day, kinda realizes what she’s been saying every morning at school, and asks you about it. So you say what I say, “Well…that’s a God that is part of a religion of a huge group of people in this world.”
And of course your daughter will ask, “Is it part of our religion?”
“Then why is it in our pledge of allegiance?”
I tried to explain how that God was part of the religion of most of the people in our country and that about 60 years ago one of our Presidents added the “under God” part in it because there was some bad stuff going on in the world and he thought it would help unite our country more to have that.
“Doesn’t seem very uniting when not everyone is that religion.”
It was a hard thing to explain to my daughter. It was hard to try to assure her that legally – religion and government are supposed to be separate – when every morning she has to pledge to a flag referencing a religion that’s not hers. Now, of course she’s legally allowed not to do it, but who wants to be that kid? She already has a hard enough time being one of the few damned non-Christians in a public school in Alabama.
My point? Every time someone made fun of that guy and his efforts to make that change, or if they dismissed his anger like he should just “get over it” or they did the WORST THING EVER: Say stuff like, “Losing God is what’s wrong with this country!” (Please. Stop saying that. It’s so offensive to the billions of non-Christians in the world to imply that your religion is responsible for all of the good and the rest of us are responsible for all of the bad.) All of those comments hurt and the dismissiveness pained me because many my friends or family didn’t understand the problem. Everyone was pledging their support and claiming, “It’s not offensive!” when they weren’t even part of the non-Christian group who was taking issue with the pledge. They were posting these support memes and claiming that those of us supporting the removal of the phrase “under God” (which wasn’t in the original pledge) were anti-American and therefore should not even be given the respect to be heard.
Dismissiveness is what is wrong with this country.
I understand how frustrating it is to live in a politically correct world. My first response was anger and shame when I had to be told 10 years ago to quit saying the word “retarded”. No one likes finding out that something they’ve been doing for a long time is offensive to a big group of people. And I’m not saying that we need to make sure that nothing we ever say is ever insulting to anyone. But – when large groups of people stand up and say, “Please stop using the word ‘gay’ as an insult.” Or, “Please stop calling things ‘retarded.'” then we need to listen. Dismissing a large group of people and their pain does more to divide this country than any lack of God.
But here’s the other thing…unless you are part of the group that is offended? You really shouldn’t publicly proclaim that something is FINE. If your daughter has Down Syndrome and you wanted to post on Facebook that the word “retarded” doesn’t bother you? Go for it. But don’t, as a Christian, dismiss my feelings and fight to keep that line in the pledge when the pledge existed for 60 years without the phrase even in it. Unless you are part of the group hurt by something, do not dismiss their pain. It is not your place.
Now…my point to all of this? Unless you are a black person living in this country you can not proclaim that the confederate flag is not offensive. You can say what it means to you, and you can fly it in your home and wear it on your belt buckle, but dismissing the feelings of a huge portion of our country just because you don’t have those same feelings…that is what is wrong with this country.
You don’t have to agree with them. But dismissing them entirely is what creates huge gaps between groups of people. Posting memes supporting the confederate flag to your Facebook page is like throwing a middle finger up to the black people on your friends list.
Am I equating the frustration a non-Christian feels saying the pledge to the pain the Confederate flag triggers in Black America? HELL NO. I don’t feel pain at all about the pledge. But I do feel pained by dismissiveness. When people post snarky comments about how annoying the PC Police are on the day of awareness to end the use of the R-word, I am pained for the person who told me 10 years ago to please stop saying “retarded” casually like I had been using it. Anytime someone dismisses the pain or frustration or efforts to make change of a large group of people, I am hurt.
A lack of God is not what is wrong with this country. A lack of empathy is.
We all want to hold our ground SO STRONGLY that we won’t even take small moments to adapt for the sake of our neighbors. No one is taking away your right to fly whatever flag you want at your home, or use the word retarded, or say the phrase “under God”, but know that those things are all going to offend LARGE portions of the population and by committing to those things, holding your ground as the un-offended majority, you are pushing away a large group of your neighbors.
God won’t bring us together. Empathy will.
Just stop for a moment and see that confederate flag as your African American neighbor sees it. As a visual proclamation against desegregation. As a symbol of support of the Jim Crow laws. As a flag of White Supremacy. You can not, as part of the white majority say, “THIS SYMBOL IS NOT OFFENSIVE TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY.” Because you are not part of the black community. Try for a moment to empathize. If it is removed from the flagpole on a government property, your rights to fly it at home are not infringed upon. Yet the removal provides a small (very, very small) sign to your African American neighbors that someone recognizes the pain the symbol causes them and the government will not be a part of inflicting that pain.
HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO: If the latest news cycle is giving a voice to a large minority group offended by something that you do not find offensive, ask yourself:
AM I PART OF THAT MINORITY GROUP CLAIMING TO BE OFFENDED?
If the answer is “Yes” then speak up. Your voice might be needed in that group to play the other side of the discussion.
If the answer is “No” then really stop and think for a minute before you post some sort of proclamation of support of this offensive thing on your Facebook page. Do you need to vocally support something that you are now seeing offends someone in your community? Is supporting that thing more important than keeping a dialog and a connection open with those people in your community? Have you taken a moment to really see it from their side? Can you think of a way to put yourself in their shoes? (Like replacing “God” with “Ganesh” in the pledge.) Have you tried to empathize? How will stopping doing this offensive thing really affect your life? Will that affect have a greater negative impact than the continuance of it would have on the group in question? REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS before you post your dismissive status or meme that supports that offensive thing.
EMPATHY. Not dismissiveness.
It took me awhile to quit using the word “retarded” – I didn’t realize how prevalent it was in my language until 1- years ago. But once I got out of the habit? It was no big deal. My life was not negatively impacted in any way by making that change.
(Friendly reminder about the First Amendment: someone asking you not to use the word “retarded” is not infringing on your freedom of speech unless they are going to put you in jail for using it.)
We are living in a very divided country right now where politicians are scared to do anything that might anger their “base” so the conversations sway to the extreme sides of every argument. We need to keep from dividing ourselves further by dismissing the feelings of large portions of our communities. We need to be able to adapt to keep from burning bridges. We need to recognize the difference between infringing on civil liberties and just common decency. If someone tries to make it illegal to fly the confederate flag on your own property? Then we can talk “freedom of speech” but until then? I’m just talking about public land and common decency. I’m talking about empathy over dismissiveness. Stand in your neighbor’s shoes for a moment before you dismiss their pain in your next Facebook status.
Let’s also focus less on how Emma Watson’s taking parts in problematic films, which she seems to be doing largely because her managers tell her it’s the only way to make it past Harry Potter, and more on how James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill Jay whatsisface, and Cahnning Tatum made uncomfortable sex jokes and rape jokes around her until she was so uncomfortable she left halfway through filming This is the End- but by contract had to still be in the movie.
Let’s talk about how Evangeline Lilly signed onto the Hobbit movies on the condition that her character not be in a love triangle, and everyone involved rewrote the character so that she was, and she couldn’t leave. Let’s talk about how actresses are signed into films whose final products are the opposite of what they want to be a part of, and still wind up on-screen playing terrible, problematic, sexist roles, or even being sexually harassed and assaulted while on set. Let’s talk about the implications of an industry where women have no control over the part they play or the story they’re used to tell, and are forced to make difficult decisions about which producers and directors will and won’t completely screw them over.
As Gandhi never quite said,
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.
I remember one of the first TV debates I had on the then-strange question of civil marriage for gay couples. It was Crossfire, as I recall, and Gary Bauer’s response to my rather earnest argument after my TNR cover-story on the matter was laughter. “This is the loopiest idea ever to come down the pike,” he joked. “Why are we even discussing it?”
Those were isolating days. A young fellow named Evan Wolfson who had written a dissertation on the subject in 1983 got in touch, and the world immediately felt less lonely. Then a breakthrough in Hawaii, where the state supreme court ruled for marriage equality on gender equality grounds. No gay group had agreed to support the case, which was regarded at best as hopeless and at worst, a recipe for a massive backlash. A local straight attorney from the ACLU, Dan Foley, took it up instead, one of many straight men and women who helped make this happen. And when we won, and got our first fact on the ground, we indeed faced exactly that backlash and all the major gay rights groups refused to spend a dime on protecting the breakthrough … and we lost.
In fact, we lost and lost and lost again. Much of the gay left was deeply suspicious of this conservative-sounding reform; two thirds of the country were opposed; the religious right saw in the issue a unique opportunity for political leverage – and over time, they put state constitutional amendments against marriage equality on the ballot in countless states, and won every time. Our allies deserted us. The Clintons embraced the Defense of Marriage Act, and their Justice Department declared that DOMA was in no way unconstitutional the morning some of us were testifying against it on Capitol Hill. For his part, president George W. Bush subsequently went even further and embraced the Federal Marriage Amendment to permanently ensure second-class citizenship for gay people in America. Those were dark, dark days.
I recall all this now simply to rebut the entire line of being “on the right side of history.” History does not have such straight lines. Movements do not move relentlessly forward; progress comes and, just as swiftly, goes. For many years, it felt like one step forward, two steps back. History is a miasma of contingency, and courage, and conviction, and chance.
But some things you know deep in your heart: that all human beings are made in the image of God; that their loves and lives are equally precious; that the pursuit of happiness promised in the Declaration of Independence has no meaning if it does not include the right to marry the person you love; and has no force if it denies that fundamental human freedom to a portion of its citizens. In the words of Hannah Arendt:
“The right to marry whoever one wishes is an elementary human right compared to which ‘the right to attend an integrated school, the right to sit where one pleases on a bus, the right to go into any hotel or recreation area or place of amusement, regardless of one’s skin or color or race’ are minor indeed. Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs.”
This core truth is what Justice Kennedy affirmed today, for the majority: that gay people are human. I wrote the following in 1996:
Homosexuality, at its core, is about the emotional connection between two adult human beings. And what public institution is more central—more definitive—of that connection than marriage? The denial of marriage to gay people is therefore not a minor issue. It is the entire issue. It is the most profound statement our society can make that homosexual love is simply not as good as heterosexual love; that gay lives and commitments and hopes are simply worth less. It cuts gay people off not merely from civic respect, but from the rituals and history of their own families and friends. It erases them not merely as citizens, but as human beings.
We are not disordered or sick or defective or evil – at least no more than our fellow humans in this vale of tears. We are born into family; we love; we marry; we take care of our children; we die. No civil institution is related to these deep human experiences more than civil marriage and the exclusion of gay people from this institution was a statement of our core inferiority not just as citizens but as human beings. It took courage to embrace this fact the way the Supreme Court did today. In that 1996 essay, I analogized to the slow end to the state bans on inter-racial marriage:
The process of integration—like today’s process of “coming out”—introduced the minority to the majority, and humanized them. Slowly, white people came to look at interracial couples and see love rather than sex, stability rather than breakdown. And black people came to see interracial couples not as a threat to their identity, but as a symbol of their humanity behind the falsifying carapace of race.
It could happen again. But it is not inevitable; and it won’t happen by itself. And, maybe sooner rather than later, the people who insist upon the centrality of gay marriage to every American’s equality will come to seem less marginal, or troublemaking, or “cultural,” or bent on ghettoizing themselves. They will seem merely like people who have been allowed to see the possibility of a larger human dignity and who cannot wait to achieve it.
I think of the gay kids in the future who, when they figure out they are different, will never know the deep psychic wound my generation – and every one before mine – lived through: the pain of knowing they could never be fully part of their own family, never be fully a citizen of their own country. I think, more acutely, of the decades and centuries of human shame and darkness and waste and terror that defined gay people’s lives for so long. And I think of all those who supported this movement who never lived to see this day, who died in the ashes from which this phoenix of a movement emerged. This momentous achievement is their victory too – for marriage, as Kennedy argued, endures past death.
I never believed this would happen in my lifetime when I wrote my first several TNR essays and then my book, Virtually Normal, and then the anthology and the hundreds and hundreds of talks and lectures and talk-shows and call-ins and blog-posts and articles in the 1990s and 2000s. I thought the book, at least, would be something I would have to leave behind me – secure in the knowledge that its arguments were, in fact, logically irrefutable, and would endure past my own death, at least somewhere. I never for a millisecond thought I would live to be married myself. Or that it would be possible for everyone, everyone in America.
But it has come to pass. All of it. In one fell, final swoop.