Look guys, I know that you have already heard everyone’s opinions on gay marriage. You’re either happy or appalled and the discussions on the matter have been droning on for years and the recent Supreme Court decision means that everyone has to tell everyone else their opinions on the matter.
This is mine.
Honestly, I’m just so psyched for gay people. How validating it must be. The United States temperature probably went up two degrees as millions of people collectively breathed a sigh of relief.
Does this mean that discrimination for gay people is over? Of course not. It probably never will be. Not completely. People fear things that are different and some portion of the population is always going to be at least partially creeped out by weiners or butts or vaginas getting mashed together in a way that is different from how they like to mash up their weiners and butts and vaginas. Plus, the bible.
However, this is a tipping point. Probably the biggest one. Gay rights had been on the outside of the law until this point, so that it’s detractors always had the government more or less behind them. With one simple court decision, that is no longer the case. If you are against gay rights, you are now officially on the wrong side of history. You are the people that protested civil rights in the 60s, protested women’s suffrage in the 20s, and protested for slavery in the 1860s. Detractors will remain forever in 2015, while the rest of society will march on, happily awaiting the time of your death to enact further social change.
Gay marriage has also passed into law relatively quickly. I have been aware of gay marriage as a hot button issue for about 15 years max. In the grand context of progress, that’s the blink of an eye. The Civil Rights movement was 100 years in the making. Slavery had been prevalent in America for for hundreds of years before abolishment. 15 years is nothing.
It also feels like this is the big social issue of my lifetime. We called it. Gay people are the same as everyone. That’s the rule.
I have 40-50 years of more life coming to me. What else is there to do? Will there be any more such prevalent social issues in my time? Will I even be on board with them?
What will the next big issue be? Transgendered people? The innate rights of artificial intelligences? Space aliens seeking citizenship? There really is no way of knowing for sure. If you told people 250 years ago that two black guys got married, bought a house, and adopted a Chinese baby, they’d burn you at the stake for witchcraft. That’s every day ho-hum boring now.
I’m also worried about myself. Eventually, I will be an old straight white dude. Agewise, I’m already halfway there. I nailed the straight and white and dude part years ago. Old straight white dudes are notorious for being against big societal changes. Future me will most likely be robo-racist, or whatever next thing might be. I’ll be totally angry when those metal robot bastards take all our jobs. Oh sure, I’m a big fan of the robot sports leagues, but I’ll be damned if I let one of those titanium bastards date my daughter.
I have a theory about why straight white dudes get angry about change. Every time there is a major change, it chips away a tiny bit at all the stuff we had. 200 years ago, we owned literally everything. Europe could waltz into any country and just take it because we had military power and a bible. Our wives couldn’t work or vote, so we pretty much owned them. Dark people couldn’t do anything but work for us, so we literally owned them. All of the jobs and land were ours and there was always more if we wanted it. One day, slavery was over, so white people had to work harder. Women got to vote, so men had to work harder. Civil rights happened, so now white dudes are having to compete against everyone else in the workplace when we used to only have to compete against each other. Straight white dudes used to own everything and now we only get to own the best things. As life got better for everyone else, life got slightly harder for the straight white guy.
The world got better. Arts, business, and technology exploded in all directions. Everyone finally had a chance to grab a piece of the pie and work and excel and they did it. The world is so much better for it. Probably even for all the straight white dudes. We might not own everything any more, but there are much better things to own. Society is better when everyone is free to act within it.
I am thrilled to see what happens next.