I know there was already a comment about this but this is a major moment in my life and in the history of America. Since many people have made blogs about their lives, I think this warrants a blog post.
Sorry if this may be irrelevant to some of you non-Americans.
A highly abridged history
This is a battle 19 years in the making. I was in 6th grade when DOMA was put into effect and I learned that gay people did not have the same rights as straight people to marry in the United States. As a child, this surprised me. I knew about gay people, but I was not really aware of the prosecution they faced. It would be like telling somebody that left handed people weren't allowed to be governors. It just didn't make sense to me. It came out of nowhere and it seemed like an incredibly unfair situation. I was always somebody who valued fairness over everything.
So from 6th grade on, I got into arguments with teachers and students and parents of students about the subject. You have to realize that in the late 90's, gay acceptance was not popular at all like it is now. At the time, I was a little Marxian extremist. Even liberal Democrat Bill Clinton was against gay marriage at the time. Even here in Southern California, it was an extremist idea. I learned that if I wanted to get ahead, I had to know when and with whom arguing was worth it.
It wasn't until I was in college in the mid 2000's that I started to notice a major amount of people actually agree with me. For a few brief months in 2008 Same Sex Marriage was legal in my state, but it was abruptly ended by the soul-crushing results of California's infamous Proposition 8.
Change did not come fast. With the legalization of Marijuana, you can see public opinion swing wildly in the last few years. This was never the case with Gay Marriage.
- 1996 - Bill Clinton enacted the "Defense of Marriage Act" which defined Marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It is an optional act which only some states decided to put to law.
- 2004 - Massachusetts became the first state to legalize Same Sex Marriage
- 2011 - Bill Clinton becomes the first former president to support Gay Marriage. Apologizing for his past actions.
- 2012 - Obama becomes the first active president to support Gay Marriage
- 2013 - DOMA was struck down by the Supreme Court
- 2015 - DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court
Now the important part
Don't think that this battle was just about a paper certificate. Don't think this was just about marriage. The battle for marriage equality has always been symbolic of the gay struggle for acceptance. Whenever an online debate would break out about gay marriage over the past 7 years, it would always devolve into a battle over whether homosexuals were sick deviants, whether homosexuals chose their orientation, and whether homosexuals were somehow dangerous to society. This isn't about marriage. This is about the United States deciding that the LGB community is accepted into our society. It sends a message to gay and lesbian teens and adults throughout the country.
Today, I can truly say that I am proud to be an American.
Furthermore, the moral of my personal story is that if people tell you that your beliefs and values are eccentric or extremist, don't let that change how you feel. I'm not saying to tell your boss or principal you think incest should be legal or that eating meat should be outlawed. What I'm saying is that just because those ideals are extreme to today, doesn't mean you should abandon them internally. And it doesn't mean that they will forever be seen as extremist.
Human society has constantly been evolving, largely for the better, over the course of most recorded history. 50 years ago, men marrying men was a laughable thought. Now, it is a reality and is applauded by most of the country. We don't know what the next big change will be.
Alright. Rant over.