Wednesday, November 6, 2013
This Is Good
Last night, the Illinois legislature voted to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians. It's been a long time coming and it's long overdue. It's about the only thing the legislature has been able to do right in a couple of years. I love living in a dysfunctional state.
Last Saturday, while at Mariano's, I bought a bottle of bubbly. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with it but they had a huge number of different kinds so my thinking, at the time, was to try them all out and then decide which one I would use to toast the upcoming holidays and the new year. Instead, I unscrewed the cap and poured half the bottle last night.
I honestly do not care if someone is gay, lesbian, transgendered, Martian or Whovian. If you treat me with respect, because most humans deserve respect simply because they are on this planet (There are some people, it could be argued, who are beyond respect.), then I will treat you with respect. I'll probably respect your right to occupy your space even if you kick me in the shins. I've never met a gay or lesbian or transgendered person who has not been respectful and nice to me while I've met a whole lot of heterosexual people who need a whompin' upside the head to learn what respect means. (I realize the irony of that statement.)
Whether you agree or disagree with their ability to marry, this class of people has been denied rights for far too long. If they are in a committed relationship, they haven't been able to make proper wills or powers of attorney or real estate and health decisions for each other. That's just wrong. As soon as Governor Quinn signs the bill into law and I'm sure he's planning a huge party when he does that, these people will finally be covered under the laws I take for granted.
"But think of the children!" was one of the arguments I heard against this. What's more important, a loving home or a man and a woman who openly loathe each other staying together for the "good" of their children? A loving, warm, happy home is a loving, warm, happy home, free of violence and abuse regardless of the gender of the adults in the building. Gays and lesbians are no less likely to be rotten parents than the rest of the population. Neither are they any less likely to divorce. We're all in this together, as Red Green would say.
So, last night I toasted something Illinois should have done a long time ago. This bill doesn't change my way of life in the least other than I should perhaps go next door and offer the lesbians use of my driveway for parking for their wedding reception next year. They wouldn't even have to invite me.