My family background is complicated. In 1973, when I was 4 years old, my mother fell in love with another woman. She left my father that year, and eventually we (my mother, younger brother, and I) moved in with this other woman and her two daughters, forming a kind of gay version of The Brady Bunch. "The Gaydy Bunch," as I like to call it, or The Fosters, as it is known today on the ABC Family channel.
In the decades that followed, my two moms became civic leaders in the fight for women's rights and gay equality. They both went to law school and passed the California Bar Exam, marched on Washington several times, were arrested for protesting several times, were honored several times, hired several nannies, and still made it home for our raucous six-person dinners on most nights, took care of us four kids when we were sick, took us to schools, helped us with homework, told us to clean our rooms, sent us to summer camps, and enjoyed our family vacations together. And, in 1995, after over 20 years together, they split up, divorced, and moved on to other happy relationships. Pretty normal stuff, except my moms were gay, and it was not as cool to be gay in the 1970s and 1980s. There was no ABC Family, no Fosters or Modern Family, no Ellen DeGeneres or Neil Patrick-Harris. There was Wally George, rampant televangelism, Ronald Reagan, and a lot of discrimination.
Today, the Supreme Court acknowledged our struggles. In their DOMA majority decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the humiliation faced by the children of gay couples resulting from the right's continuing discrimination and attempts to deny equality for same-sex couples and families. Even in the joyous affirmation of equality that occurred today, conservative and honorable Justice Antonin Scalia blasted his own court for recognizing the "constitutional right to homosexual sodomy," to put it in biblical terms. I don't know if my moms are into that sort of thing in the bedroom, and like most of you, I shudder to consider the sex lives of my parents in even the most banal of terms. So, thanks for that mental image, Justice Scalia.
The religious right maintains that being gay is an abominable sin, an aberration of nature, evil, and separate from God. Never mind that this God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, which by logic precludes its ability to be separate from anything. Certainly, God is present in my family, gay parents and all. And, we deserve to be recognized for the normalcy we represent.
The joke goes that gays should be allowed to marry so that they can be as miserable as everyone else. The real joke is that gays already know what it's like to be as miserable as everyone else; it's just taken this long for almost everyone else to realize that they are no different.