How Gay Marriage Affects the United States
A recent Gallup poll showed that 53% of Americans now support gay marriage. For the first time, a majority of Americans support the right of gay and lesbians in the US to enter into the legal contract between adults that constitutes legal marriage.
How does that affect me? Other than by increasing the number of wedding invitations I'm likely to get, not at all. I'm in a monogamous heterosexual marriage, and neither my marriage nor my rights will be directly affected. However, the expansion of the legal contract rights of marriage to gay and lesbian people does change my country, and the rights of several of my friends, in significant and positive ways.
I know at least one couple who will no longer have to jump through a bunch of hoops so that both of them can be listed as their children's parents for emergency and school purposes.
I know another couple, one of whom is a non-citizen, that will be able to file for a 'family' green card so that the non-citizen can immigrate.
I know several elderly couples that won't have to watch, dismayed, as medical decisions are made by other relatives despite the power of attorney long since granted, and as intestate estates are given to children who long since stopped speaking to the parent over the devoted partner.
I know military families that will be able to live together on base. I know families who will save thousands of dollars in taxes per year by being able to file jointly together.
And I know that some people will seethe knowing 'those people' are out there and that they getting treated just like 'normal people'.
I know that some people will continue to demonize and discriminate against and commit violence against gay and lesbian people.
I know that some people will continue to ostracize members of their own family who are gay and lesbian and transgender.
But they will no longer have the strength of differentiating laws behind them. They will no longer have legal recourse to discriminate.
And all over the country, gay and lesbian and transgender couples will marry, divorce, remarry, raise children, live lives, and die with their husband or wife at their side.
And that is the world I look forward to living in.