There were a lot of things I noticed when I first moved to Boston. The accent. The history. The proliferation of daydrinking. The drivers with little-to-no regard for your well-being. The accent. The outrageous rent prices. The beauty of the city. The accent.
The one thing I didn’t notice? That gay marriage was legal here.
Of course, I knew it was legal in Massachusetts. It was a historic moment watched by the rest of the country when it finally passed. But it wasn’t really something I noticed in my day-to-day life here other than when I befriended same-sex couples, they introduced each other as “my husband” or “my wife” (which, having lived for most of my life in parts of the country where being openly gay was a fairly dangerous gamble and as such, partners were generally referred to as “my close friend,” was quite refreshing).
But other than that, it never really crossed my mind. And while I have been accused of being fairly oblivious in the past (my dog literally has to place his food bowl in my lap if he doesn’t want to starve to death), even I’m not THAT oblivious. It’s simply because gay marriage is no big deal here.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that in a facetious way. I know that if the government had told me for years I was a second-class citizen and unable to marry the love of my life and then they finally reversed that decision and I suddenly had the freedom to stand up in front of all my family and friends and declare my love for my husband and have it legally binding, complete with all the benefits that particular institution bestows, it would be A VERY BIG DEAL.
But what I mean by “no big deal” in this context is that it’s a natural part of life here. It’s normal. Par for the course. You love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them? Well, duh. You marry them then.
As far as I can tell, when Massachusetts began defining marriage as a legal contract between two people, not just between a woman and a man, it didn’t result in a sudden free-for-all on quote unquote “unholy” unions. The requests to marry one’s brother or father, one’s goat, one’s Japanese body pillow or nine barely legal buxom blondes were negligible. Boston didn’t suddenly resemble Sodom or Gomorrah (fraternity keggers notwithstanding). Nor was everyone suddenly forced to be gay or accept the gay lifestyle against their will. Nor were churches suddenly forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies in their houses of worship.
And as for it ruining the “sanctity of marriage,” my marriage to my husband still seems pretty sanctified.
(We sanctified it just last night…twice…HEH-HEH-HEH).
So while I’m sure DOMA being struck down will cause handwringing on a massive scale and “downfall of civilization” proclamations and hateful rhetoric from certain sectors of the population, I can say from personal experience that it actually changes nothing.
Correction– It actually changes everything for the GLBT community. As for the rest of us, it changes nothing in our day-to-day lives (other than being able to hold our heads up a bit higher because America is finally walking the walk and not just talking the talk of true equality).
Here’s to hoping the rest of the country soon realizes that as well.