When California’s State Supreme Court struck down the ban on same sex marriage on Friday, May 16, 2008 it renewed a human rights movement that has been, at times, inching itself into the social consciousness of American society for many years. In the past decade, it has become more of a steady stream and recently a flood.
As with all causes in the past, that pertain to bringing a measure of equality or dignity to a minority of its citizenry, the prevailing social, political, religious and economic power structures all combine to thwart those efforts. All kinds of arguments by opponents are used to evoke predictions of social disarray and societal collapse if the same rights afforded to some citizens are given to all citizens.
These same people who celebrate the benefits of a government that was formed, partly to escape the tyranny of religion, now use religious imagery and text to nullify the same rights to a particular group of citizens that the rest of them enjoy under the same government. The irony is that we are engaged in a conflict with radical militant groups who are using religion to convince populations to join them and to justify their violent actions against the West.
I know we will see a frenzy of activity from conservative and religious fundamentalists who will now rally under some self-proclaimed religious mission to defeat the California Supreme Court decision. The Family Values rhetoric and propaganda will spill out like a well oiled machine.
People will talk about God and Jesus while spewing the hate in their hearts. They will talk about Heaven while telling people who truly love each other they are going to hell. They will talk about how marriage is only between a man and a woman while the divorce rate continues to soar. They will talk about the Church being the House of God where in recent years it has also been a place of child molestation by its Priests and Ministers.
I am not sure what the future lies with this latest effort in California. I am optimistic. I am optimistic for my partner and I in that we may be afforded every right available in this country. I am optimistic for my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters. I am optimistic for America. I am optimistic for every cause that is right.
I do know that if the road is still going to be a long one, the cause will be finally won on some momentous day. No political mandate, no words uttered over a pulpit, no violent action, no hateful pronouncements, and no attempt to silence will ever win over what is right.