State of Love
With Iowa and Vermont approving same-sex marriage, Carrie feels less guilty about planning her own (fantasy) wedding
It’s official – I can finally get married without feeling guilty.
Okay, technically, no one’s asking. But if they were, I’d be good to go. And quite possibly have the invitations picked out.
Iowa, the state I called home for four years in college, made me proud (and wedding eligible!) last week. The state joined Connecticut, Massachusetts and now Vermont in recognizing same-sex marriage – and showed the rest of the nation what Midwestern values really mean.
Although I’m planning on a mixed-gender marriage for myself down the road, I could never imagine wallowing in wedded bliss when so many of my gay friends weren’t able to enjoy that most human privilege. But now that my hometown is showing the rest of the world how equality’s done, I’m breathing a big sigh of relief. (Watch yourselves, eligible bachelors – I’m a guiltless woman on the prowl.)
Who would have guessed that Iowa would be more fashion forward than California or New York when it comes to same-sex marriage? The news came as a welcome surprise to me, my Iowan friends, my gay friends and my gay Iowan friends. (It’s true – gay farmers are not just an urban myth!)
As the news broke, my Facebook wall was inundated with posts. The best was a comment from a friend of a friend of a friend living in New York: “I wish I could quit you Iowa.”
That’s exactly how I feel about my adopted home state.
Hard to believe, but the Midwest isn’t just a collection of hillbillies with hate in their hearts and ignorance in their overalls. My family and neighbors pride themselves on giving a fair chance to anyone willing to work for it. They do not judge lest they be judged. They believe everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their own slice of happy.
And that’s what the right to marry is all about.
Not everyone agrees with me. A recent CBS News Poll found that while 60 percent of Americans believe in legal recognition for same-sex couples, only one-third believe those couples should be able to marry.
And 35 percent of Americans believe there should be no legal recognition for same-sex relationships at all.
For those of you still freaked out about gay marriage, will you do me a solid? Will you take five minutes and watch this outstanding commentary from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann? This clip is in response to California’s passage of Proposition 8, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.
I think his most salient point is that if our nation refused to “redefine” marriage, then black and white couples – including Barack Obama’s parents – never would have been allowed to marry. Redefining is a good thing when the initial definition is based in hate and bigotry.
But what really gets me is when Keith asks those who would refuse two people in love the right to make their union official: “Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want-a chance to be a little less alone in the world.”
Isn’t that what we all want? A chance to be a little less alone in the world? I hope that someday soon, everyone I love, in every single state, will be able to chase that chance.
In the meantime, please send all Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts marriage proposals care of: email@example.com.