The California Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage, just like the Massachusetts decision in 2004, is a huge victory for civil rights and human rights in America and around the world.
Now the opponents of gay marriage will argue that if states allow gays and lesbians to marry that could threaten conventional marriage. Really? How? How could a gay couple getting married possibly affect my marriage? I've been happily married for 12 years; am I going to walk off stage one night and say to myself, "You know, I've had 12 blissful years with my lovely wife Catherine but what about Chuck? What's Chuck doing later?"
Now for me--a straight white male--to hold such a position is progress, my friends, there is hope for the world. I grew up extremely homophobic. Any of you? Be honest!!! I admit it. I grew up in a neighborhood where you could be considered gay for anything. The slightest deviation from the norm. You got a haircut, "what are you gay?" You didn't get a haircut, "what are you gay?" "There is a guy in the liquor store wearing sandals"..."he's obviously a homosexual." My idea of gays growing up was that they were out there...hiding...in the bushes...waiting for me to walk by...and they were going to jump out...and have sex with me. I swear to God that's the way we felt. As I got older and got to actually meet and become friend with quite a few gay folks they assured me "Jim! The last things I want to do are hiding in the bushes and wait for you to walk by."
We are indeed making progress. Fifteen years ago no one was arguing whether gays or lesbians could get married, they were arguing as to whether or not they could legally serve in the U.S. military. Remember that? We listened to the pundits scream at us in hysterical terms that we cannot let gays in the military because we had to protect our boys in the shower. "What if we're attacked and our boys are in the shower and the gays won't let them out?" It always seemed to be about the showers for some reason. As if gays were joining the marines to take a shower. Of course now we find ourselves bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan desperately in need of more military personnel. I believe attitudes will change once more. I predict the experts will be sitting around a conference table brainstorming as to how to increase military enlistment. "We need more troops for the middle east!" Where are we going to get them? "What about the Gays?" "The Gays? " "Yea the Gays" "They love to travel" "Besides since they're all dying to get married, they should learn how to fight first."
Comedian and former commentator for 60 Minutes II, Jimmy Tingle's latest one man show is entitled" Jimmy Tingle for President!" For more info www.jimmytingle.com