Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Tipping Point

It would appear that yesterday's non-decision by the US Supreme Court may be the tipping point on same-gender marriage in the United States. Talk about a quick turn-around over a very short period of time! One activist commented on the news last evening that it is almost like whiplash!

Even four or five years ago, it would have been impossible to believe that such a sea-change would occur within such a time frame. yet it has. There was of course, the obvious cause of the Supreme Court finding that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. That opened the door. But still- this fast?

I think the reasons have just as much to do with two things.

First, the speed at which information changes and doubles is amazing. More people are more aware more quickly than at any time in history. The 24/7 news cycle helps, but it is just as much the very existence of so much raw data available to more people. Over the past few years more people have become more aware of the arguments for- and against- the right to get married. The information showed that more people than had been thought to approve, did approve. More people learned that the discussion was no longer in the closets of America- it was on the Main Streets and offices and factories and in our church pews.

Which leads to the second thing that I think has happened. More people have come out of the closet and more people know more people who are openly gay. Guess what? They are neighbors, friends, co-workers and children. I may have told this story before, but it is worth repeating if I did. Sometime about 25 years ago I was at a church camp where we raised the issue of acceptance of gay young people. Those who opposed what some of us were saying would get angry at us when we raised stories of real people being hurt and pushed aside simply because they were gay. We were challenged not to make it a personal issue. We were talking about sin. Don't confuse the issue with real life people.

In these last 25 years more people are willing to see the gay people in their midst and discover that they are just like anybody else. What they want is the equality of marriage and to have their love recognized by the powers that be and the world in general.

Today there are now 30 states where same-gender marriage is legal. For today the argument is moot.

At last!

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