The first blog I ever wrote was in reaction to Oregon Ballot Measure 36 which amended our state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. I was sick to my stomach when it passed. Just so sad and upset. So I wrote a quick blog. It was on another platform and has long been gone, but it was the first ranty blog I ever did.
I can remember thinking there was no way it was going to pass. How could it? Nobody I knew was going to vote for it. And yet, it passed. And the state I lived in put wording in to our constitution that some citizens were less than others. I was sick. I cried.
That was overturned last year and I was so relieved. It spent almost 10 years on the books and it was finally gone. And I cried again. Relief and joy.
Today was even better.
Today it doesn't matter what state you live in, where you were married, what your neighbors think or the church down the road believes, you can get married. Freely. Openly. With all the rights that brings with it. Marriage equality.
I was in the car when the news came out. When the first reports of how SCOTUS had ruled hit the air. And the tears started. I am really glad that I was pulling in to the parking lot of the gym as I heard because I couldn't have stopped crying if I wanted to. Tears of joy this time instead of sadness. Relief that the ruling was on the side of more rights, not fewer. Joy that friends who were married in states where it is legal now didn't have to worry about job transfers or even out of state visits. That their marriage was now legally recognized no matter where they went.
My Facebook feed has been filled with joy today. People sharing the news over and over again. It's huge. It's amazing. It's important. I have liked so many status updates I'm afraid Facebook will think I'm a spammer and deactivate my account.
A few years ago talking to C I told him that I didn't see this happening in my lifetime. That the bigotry was too entrenched. I am so glad I was wrong. The sea change that has occurred over the past decade is astounding. And the changes will keep coming. People will see that everyone is the same. That we all strive for the same dreams. The same hopes for our future and the future of our children. We will get to the point where it will be odd to think of a time that this was even an issue. I am so looking forward to that time.
Now, I'm not naive. I know this ruling isn't going to change hearts overnight. Hell the murders in Charleston and the debate over the Confederate battle flag this week should show us that deep held bigotry doesn't just go away. But the shock over the murders and the call to take that flag down do show us that change keeps rolling. It keeps coming. We just have to keep pushing.
But today? Today I am just happy. I am smiling. I am crying. I am filled with joy.