Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The District Does the Equality Thing... Almost!

I rarely get too political on this blog, which is interesting, I suppose, for a blog about the District, where politics abound. And actually, my use of the word “abound” is probably an understatement, the equivalent of saying that oxygen is “important” for breathing. But I keep this blog in part because I’m not a particularly political person, a true rarity in this city. While it’s true that I hold a political job, & I have primarily political friends, & I care a great deal about politics, I am not & have never been a politico in the Washingtonian sense of the word.

But today, I’m bringing politics to the table. Why? Because today, my adopted hometown of Washington, D.C. joined New York state in recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, granting legally married same-sex couples all the D.C. benefits that opposite-sex married couples receive. It’s not perfect, sure, but it’s a step – a damn good one.

This victorious vote from the D.C. Council comes the same day that the Vermont state legislature voted to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state – quite a triumph, to be sure. It also comes the same day that Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal publicly refused to block the state’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage there (a decision that came down last week).

Every time I think about these victories for marriage equality – these civil rights victories, because that’s what they are – I literally come to tears, the way I sometimes do when I see photos of America’s first family – America’s first African-American family. I posted a Facebook status today that expressed my happiness at today’s wins, & more than 10 people have already “liked” it; my heart warms a little more every time I get a new Facebook alert telling me someone else I know & love is on the side of equality.

Sen. Gronstal got it right when he quoted his 20-year-old daughter today, saying, “You guys don’t understand. You’ve already lost. My generation doesn’t care [about banning same-sex marriage].” And then he said, “I see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other, and want state law to recognize that. Is that so wrong? I don’t think that’s so wrong. As a matter of fact, last Friday night, I hugged my wife. You know, I’ve been married for 37 years. I hugged my wife. I felt like our love was just a little more meaningful last Friday night because thousands of other Iowa citizens could hug each other and have the state recognize their love for each other.”

Amen, Sen. Gronstal. And thanks, Iowa/Vermont/DC. Baby steps, America – we’ll get there.

1 comments:

Blake said...

YAAAAAYYY!! For many things, but also because you used the link I emailed to the Iowa Senator's kick ass smack down of the prejudiceds (that's my new term for anti-equality people, The Prejudiceds. Kind of hard to say, but whatev.)
We're on our way!

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