Today is an historic day with SCOTUS striking down both DOMA and Prop 8 but let us never forget how we got here. Most people think of Marriage Equality as having started by gay activists and it did but not in the way you might think. It really came because of the 80’s AIDS crisis before the cocktail made it more survivable. It came because hundreds of gay men were dying and couldn’t share spousal benefits. It came because partners were not allowed access to the man they loved. I know of one family that had disowned their son until he got sick and then arrived and kicked the partner of many years out and that happened over and over again. And finally, enough was enough and the move for marriage equality began.
So, I say to you, my brothers and sisters in my community – do not forget all the gay men that died to start this. Their deaths were real and broke many people’s hearts. They are gone but we live on. Please do not make a mockery of what we have gained. Leave it to people like Brittany Spears to devalue this rite, don’t let us add to the devaluing of the rite of marriage. Make it meaningful and as long lasting as you can. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Love each other and make families if you choose and celebrate this day. And thank you to the world that has changed so much since I came out in 1979. Thank you to the straight community for seeing us as people and not perverts. Thank you for seeing we are people who love.