It means nothing. And everything.
It means nothing because by striking down the Act, the Supreme Court has changed exactly nothing about my life.
My marriage is not impacted. Federally recognizing gay marriage and the benefits that accompany it does not make my marriage any better or any worse. Our bond is no less sacred because other couples we do not know personally can now enjoy in the same liberties we can under the Fifth Amendment. And gay people are not lining up to tear apart the fabric of our union.
We are affected as much now as we were when only different sex couples enjoyed the federal benefits of marriage.
My family is not impacted. My children are not in sudden danger because the country has decided to treat a marginalized population slightly more equally. My kids did not at once “decide” to be gay the second the ruling was handed down because same sex marriage gained some constitutional support. They do not have any more questions now than they did before, and none of those questions is impossible to answer. Their morals have not abruptly dissolved. And gay people are not lining up to “convert” my children to their way of life.
My children are affected as much now as they were when only different sex couples enjoyed the federal benefits of marriage.
It means everything because by striking down the Act, the Supreme Court has taken a step in the direction of progress.
The Defense of Marriage Act strike down means we are one step closer to shedding our Puritanical overcoats. It means we are that much nearer to abandoning rule fueled by fear, bigotry, and ignorance. The Justices’ decision means laws cloaked in hatred and masked in religion are that much more difficult to defend.
And perhaps most importantly, it means my children are that much more likely to live in a world where equality actually means something other than lip service on a centuries old document.
I am tired of living in a world where this group is targeted before we move on to that. Where differences are treated like disease. Where denying others civil liberties has become a great American pastime.
I am tired of listening to fellow citizens defend their right to hate with a lifetime of ignorance, a little Jesus, and some federally backed policy.
I want my children to fear less, grow more, express themselves genuinely, treat others with kindness, and have empathy for their fellow man. I want them to ask questions, understand others, feel free to be themselves, and advocate for equality. I want them to be good, tenderhearted people who can lay their heads down at night and know they live in a country with a conscience.
How can they do this when their own government profits from the business of discrimination?
They can’t. Not honestly, anyhow. And it is for this reason that I applaud our Supreme Court and our country today. For today, what our country claims to stand for is a reality. Today, we proved to the world that we are not a hateful people camouflaged as a righteous one.
And my God, TODAY, it feels good to be an American.