Friday, June 26th, 2015 will go down as a historic day for the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case that will forever be bedazzled with the title “Landmark,” Obergefell v. Hodges, has made same sex marriage legal throughout the United States.
Approximately 5 seconds later – or the length of time it takes a air to travel from the lungs to the rage center of the brain – the opposition declared that the fight was not over. This decision would be overturned and the gays would be put back in their place. Harrumph!
In reality, despite how much time the pundits will squeeze out of questioning if the decision might be overturned, even if the most Conservatist Conservative who ever Conserved was elected to the presidency, this law isn’t going anywhere. Same Sex Marriage is here to stay.
How do I know this? A number of reasons.
1. Roe V. Wade
Roe V. Wade is still on the books and that decision is by no means as popular as Obergefell v. Hodges. Even 8 years of a Bush presidency couldn’t overturn the LANDMARK abortion case. That doesn’t mean states can’t do their best to restrict safe abortion access to their unfortunate inhabitants, but from a national point of view, Rod V. Wade – like Obergerfell V. Hodges – is here to stay.
2. Corporate Sponsorship
On Sunday, I forced my lazy ass to get out of bed and head over to Manhattan for a few hours before work so I could witness the all out Bacchanalia that was surely going to be occurring at the Gay Pride Parade. After all, 48 hours earlier, gay people in this country won the biggest battle of their collective history. It had been predicted by one highly reputable source that this would be the “Most Buck-Wild Pride Parade Nation’s Ever Seen.“
When I got there, the first thing I saw was a float covered in cheerful, fully dressed people all wearing rainbow colored shirts that preached a message of tolerance, love and hope. Just kidding, the shirts all had the MasterCard logo on them. There were floats advertising TV shows and networks, including the Netflix float that featured cast members from Orange Is The New Black (I’m sorry, I mean #OITNB), and there were floats selling food, drinks and stuff.
Every street corner had somebody shilling rainbow colored product in the name of Gay Pride and Capitalism. Gay Pride is profitable and everyone knows that, while God is pretty popular in America, Money is King. If corporations are people, then the people have spoken.
I went down to the parade expecting Mardi Gras after dark. Instead, I found Mardi Gras at noon.
Which brings me to my final and main reason I know the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling isn’t going anywhere.
Gay Pride is where you take your family. Granted, I live in New York City, not Des Moines, so the acceptance of gays here is obviously going to be greater, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is an entire generation of children growing up in a world where same sex marriage is now legal, and no amount of anger and political fearmongering is going to convince them to change that.
As the shooting in Charleston two weeks ago proved, hate and bigotry don’t just suddenly evaporate. There will always be divisions in humanity. There will always be prejudice. There will always be individuals who feel devalued or marginalized who will then strike out at some group.
Obergefell v. Hodges will not suddenly end discrimination against homosexuals. Hell, some forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are still permitted by law. Just as racism didn’t end in the 60s (or the 70s, or the 80s, or the 90s, or the 00s, or the…), homophobia will not disappear. The phrase, “I have gay friends but…” will continue to be the mating call of the Homo phabiens for years to come.
But. But! BUTT! (Oops, sorry, got excited). But starting with the 90s and even more so in the 00s and onward, we’ve had entire generations raised in a world in which homosexuals have basic human rights and are treated, largely, like normal human beings. Every child born since 2010 will grow up never really remembering a time when same sex marriage wasn’t a thing.
The Republican presidential candidates may talk about how the Supreme Court went too far in their decision (for fuck’s sake, even the dissenting members of the Supreme Court will say it), but in the end, the political Right is happy to have this issue out of the debate*. They know, like all reasonable people have known for years, that the cultural shift has long been in favor of equality. A Republican party that still has opposition to same sex marriage in their platform will never reach the White House again.
When Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent that “5 lawyers” (kind of like him) had “closed the debate” on same sex marriage, he was claiming that the Supreme Court’s decision wrongly took the subject out of the hands of the American people and settled the debate. Which, you know, is kind of the job of the Supreme Court, but whatever.
Except, this debate isn’t over. The American people have never let a court decision quell their love of bickering. Roe V. Wade didn’t end the debate over abortion. We will continue to debate this topic in our schools, our churches, our bars and at our watercoolers (Cool it, though, Janet is coming).
The difference, though, is that now a class of American citizens won’t have their rights restricted while we have this debate.
So celebrate. Love wins. June 26th, 2015 will forever be an important day. A landmark day. It is, after all, the day America joined the future.
*Other than Ted Cruz who has no chance of being elected but wants to win the title of Most Conservative Candidate so he can put the plaque on his mantel next to his bowling trophies.