Marriage equality was first legalized in May 2004 and now there are 18 additional states and the District of Columbia that has followed suit. When the marriage equality debate began, what now seems like a lifetime ago, many of the opponents began used the argument that same sex marriages would water down opposite sex marriages. Of course that argument was crazy. Some were of the thought that this would negate traditional marriage. It was evident that some within the heterosexual community were looking at it from a different stance than those within the LGBT community. No, we were not trying to be like heterosexuals. We simply were attempting to get those same rights afforded to us.
If I may use an analogy made by a pastor friend. She stated that when Mercedes came out with the C – Class many of the loyal luxury automobile owners were in an uproar. You see the importance of owning this luxury car no longer held lucrative value or prestige. Now that you let others (that are viewed as “less than”) in the “club” our cars no longer have the honor afforded that the high price tag once afforded them.
I can say the same thing about marriage equality. Statements such as “Once LGBT men and women are allowed to legally marry each other my marriage will be devalued”. Of course we in the LGBT community were fighting for equality and not some superficial status that marriage was thought to afford.
It was evident that some in the heterosexual community were looking at it from a different stance than those within the LGBT community. No we were not trying to be like heterosexuals. We simply were attempting to get those same rights afforded to us. What heterosexuals failed to acknowledge or probably were not even aware of is the fact that they are afforded 1,138 legal rights when legally married that are not afforded unmarried couples including heterosexual couples who choose not to get married. The one major difference is those that chose not to marry had the option to turn down a right that we as LBGT men and women were never afforded.
Now, marriage equality has passed in 19 states and DC and I have yet to hear any late breaking news come on the television interrupting my favorite program to announce that heterosexual couples around the country are in distress because their marriages have less importance/value now that LGBT men and women are allowed to marry each other in that state.
It is revolutionary that we have seen so many states approve marriage equality in such a short time. Today many other states are debating the passage of Marriage Equality. As history has shown recently, it is simply a matter of time before the other 31 join in and this is no longer an issue. We are all going to be members of that same “country club” some never thought we should be members of in the first place.