God should have made me a Black lesbian.

Today California’s Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.  Today our country’s constitution once again served as the foundation for equal rights. Today the message from the Supreme Court was clear -marriage will be treated the same for the purposes of legality and benefits regardless of whether the marriage is between a heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple.  Today has been a good day.

I have long supported the gay rights movement.  I have watched gay and lesbian friends  deal with ignorance, hatred, and discrimination for decades.  I have seen friends be ostracized by churches and congregations they were devoted to.  I have heard of families who abandon family members who have come out of the closet.  I have heard and felt their anguish when they were treated as societal pariahs.  I could not condone that treatment of human beings.

I think God should have made me a Black lesbian.  That would have put the full potency of my advocacy skills to the test. Of course, that would have burdened both Black Americans and lesbians as I am a handful.  It must be true that God never gives folks more than they can handle – God was clearly sparing others by not making me a Black lesbian.  I do believe I would have been a fierce black lesbian though because I would not relent…and I would have completely taken the doors of the closet that society would want to keep me in.

Alas, I am nothing more than a white heterosexual – very bland in contrast.  And while I completely understand inequality as it applies to certain gender matters, as a white woman I have no first-person orientation to the realities of racial discrimination.   The same is true with being a run-of-the-mill heterosexual, I can be sympathetic to the plight of gays and lesbians, but I don’t really know all the pain involved as I am not privy to it.  I just see these things from the outside looking in.  My indignation in regard to all discrimination and unequal treatment is based on my general belief in fairness and equality for all people.

I thought the full recognition of gay rights would come many years ago, but then the bible thumping faction came out in force and took us back to the pray away the gay mentality.  You can’t pray away the gay.  I tried to pray away the bigots, that had a bit better success, but it was far too long in the coming.  So many gays and lesbians never lived to see this day when they could be viewed as equal – the day where the stigma began to be stripped away.

Today has been a good day.  Today good people who have been fighting a good fight for decades can go to sleep knowing that the shift has occurred.  No amount of bible thumping, propagandized political blathering, or fear will be able to change the reality that this country took a critical step today.  This equality thing, it’s here to stay. Finally.

Day one thousand four hundred and forty-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to God should have made me a Black lesbian.

  1. Katherine says:

    My Bible thump for today: the 11th commandment rules.

  2. Jeff says:

    While I too am pleased with the SCOTUS’ decisions, I don’t think that the decisions grant the blanket support of equality marriage that you seem to suggest in your piece. The federal case strikes down a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which does give federal benefits to married couples who were legally married under the laws of a state. A second portion of DOMA remains which allows states to not recognize the marriages issued under another state. But indeed for federal acknowledgment of marriage and expansion of benefits, it’s a great victory and far too long in coming.

    However, the California decision did not give a constitutional right for equality marriage. Rather, the court skirted the issue of weighing in on this question and just looked at the standing of the parties to bring and argue the case. True, it’s a victory as it allows the lower court ruling to stand which gives California citizens the right to marry.

    But SCOTUS does not tell all US citizens that they have a right to marry. We should celebrate today and then prepare for the next fights. There still are plenty of states that do not allow equality marriages. SCOTUS’ decisions did not change that by the decisions alone.

    Thanks!

  3. Jeff says:

    Sorry for the double posts today. Not trying to be annoying or a pest.

    The black lesbian thing … I’m a white person too so this response comes from the belief that we don’t know how we would act or behave if we were someone else. Being raised and living in a racist homophobic world may have an impact on you too (if you were a black lesbian) and you may internalize that oppression and hatred and powerlessness (even though it sounds like now you are a fierce straight woman). I think that you are being a bit too hasty and presumptuous with your straight white privilege to just assume that you would be the same Ms. C regardless of other things.

    Keep being a strong and fierce ally. Your role is essential. Your support is needed. Keep showing your love and compassion to your friends, your readers, your co-workers, etc. Thanks!

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