2012, the Turning Point for Marriage Equality?

For ages now, proponents of “traditional” marriage have been arguing that any gains in marriage equality were the products of judicial or legislative “activism,” pointing to the fact that every time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote it has been voted down. The people, they said, affirm the importance of “traditional” marriage. Yesterday that changed.

Washington, Maine, and Maryland all voted to approve marriage equality while Minnesota voted down an amendment that would have banned it. This is huge. And at the same time, for the first time ever, national polls this year show that half of Americans support marriage equality.

The tide has turned. We have reached the tipping point.

I am a woman married to a man, but my gay friends remind me daily of the importance of every step toward equal rights for LGBTQ individuals.

The friend whose career path is limited by the fact that she and her partner and their infant son can only live in states that recognize same sex adoption.

The friend whose response to the results last night was “now I can get married in three more states!”

The colleague who watched the returns last night for how they would affect his job search, possibly opening up new states where he can live without being assigned second class status.

The friend in Minnesota who reminded Facebook friends that “that’s MY marriage you’re voting on.”

I realized last night that in twenty years when Sally visits her grandparents, she will get the same vibe Sean got visiting his racist grandparents at that age. The same feeling of people left behind by history, unable to keep up with the progress of equal rights for all.

2012. The tide has turned. It’s about time.

Head over to Temple of the Future to read more about the wages of prejudice and what this means for the Republican Party.

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