June 26th, 2015: Gay marriage ended -- suddenly, in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, it became just marriage.
I remember arguing so publicly 11 years ago on CNN and every other news network. Let's revisit those arguments.
And now, it's law, and nothing that man from Concerned Women was worried about is happening, will happen, has happened. Just the opposite. For most people in America, nothing really changed as each state legalized, and the patchwork of marriage began.
And now, that fight is over for good.
I remember its real beginnings. AIDS. I was there during the 1980s when a president wouldn't mention the word, and a world turned its back on the sick. I remember ambulances not taking patients, doctors not touching people, nurses turning away and ultimately, funeral homes refusing bodies. In the 20th century, no less.
And I remember families shutting out loved ones. Couples that had been together 20 years -- one would get sick and the other was locked out of the hospital room, and ultimately locked out of their own house by family who had claims. You see, no marriage, no claims to property, to visitation -- nothing. Suddenly, when one got sick, the other lost their life and often their belongings. And it was legal.
The only way to rectify that was marriage, period, end of story. And the fight began.
Now, in the age of barebacking and PrEP therapies, younger gay men don't remember the root of the struggle, how it came to a head, finally, in the 1980s with the advent of that terrible disease that still had no cure and no really effective, safe, long-term treatment.
We owe this day, those on the side of marriage equality, to the Republicans in more ways than one. First, there is the beautifully drafted 14th Amendment to the Constitution; one written at time of reconstruction, after slavery. It states:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
In other words, equal equals equal, and since marriage is contract law, you can't discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other reason. Period.
Five of the justices got that. The other four, not so much, but like dinosaurs, they are falling in the tar pit of the wrong side of history, screaming and flailing about as they go. But going they are.
In one week the court has said yes, you can keep your health care America. Then the people said that a 150 year old flag was, in fact, bigotry and hatred. And now, the court again has said that gay people can marry in all 50 states. Not a bad week for Americans.
Reaction all day has been tears, hugs from strangers, congratulatory remarks. Finally.
I will save the nay-saying about gays in other countries and the atrocities that still exists. I will spare the fact that ENDA, which guarantees I can't be fired for being gay, still isn't the law of all 50 states.
Because today it wasn't #LoveWins. Today #WeAllWon because that fabulous document and that great amendment did its job.
Justice Kennedy, bless you. May joy find you and may your family be blessed. Because today, you created so many families in one fell stroke.
To all of you out there that have fought, straight, gay, whatever, I love you. Thank you. Today you didn't slap us down or make us feel second class. Today, we are Americans, one and all.