Monday, June 27, 2011

Ding, Dong...The Bells are Gonna Chime :: A Thank You Note to a Few People

Bambino and I spent a good chunk of New York Pride day at home, going through years of collected "stuff," in a spring-cleaning-type effort to make some space in our apartment. One of the things I stumbled upon while doing so was a journal I was keeping back in the mid 90's, before I knew Bambino.

One of the entries in that journal detailed going with friends to a Gay Pride March on Washington, DC. My journal entry noted how the mood back then was less than jubilant (unlike yesterday in New York). Among the chants we joined in with as we marched in the mid-90s were "We're Here, We're Queer, We Could Really Use a Beer" and "Keep Your Promise!!" (directed at then President Bill Clinton who had campaigned on ending the ban on gays serving in the military)...which, after admittedly, having found a few of those beers, kept disintegrating into "Keep Your Prom Dress!!"

As I reviewed the press this morning, I couldn't help but think what a stark difference there was between the sense of having been used by a politician (Clinton) and actually looking up to a politician (Cuomo).

Image by Newscom/Zuma, from TPM.

Now I'm just wise enough to understand how different the political landscape and the sentiments were back when Clinton was president from how they are now. Still, from all accounts, Andrew Cuomo sank some serious political capital into getting the same-sex marriage legislation passed.

So too did NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Photo by Janet Mayer, via Exposay.

And many, many others.

We sincerely thank you all!!!!

Bambino and I went out to dinner with our dear friend Ondine yesterday. In discussing the new law, we all agreed that it feels really, really odd to know that marriage will soon be our right as New Yorkers. I mean, it was something we all believed in, spent money on, marched for, voted toward, etc., etc., but now that it's here, one part of it feels very odd.

We tried to get to the bottom of why it feels so much different than we had expected it would.

One of the reasons we decided, after imagining what the marriage landscape might look like 10 years from now, was that we too will bear responsibility for protecting it. The 50% divorce rate; the number of couples living together without marrying; the damage to the institution left by the shenanigans of political leaders (e.g., John Edwards or Arnold Schwarzenegger) or other high-profile public figures (e.g., Tiger Woods); and the stresses of the economy or simply our hectic info-age lifestyles...all of this suddenly combines into a situation we cannot simply wash our hands of. Whether we marry or not (stay tuned on that front), our choices now will play into whether the institution of marriage gets stronger or is weakened even further in New York and across the US. We never had to worry about that before. It's odd to think that with the signing of one piece of legislation, we now do.

It's like with one new law, we're forced to be that much more adult. Not that we'd have it the other way again, mind you. Just that it's not a part of being married I expected to seem so serious so quickly. It has this odd maturation power to it. Which is something I guess Andrew Sullivan was always trying to get other conservatives to understand. (BTW, I sincerely thank Andrew and other long-time champions of gay marriage who used their megaphones to make this happen!)

Of course, it's impossible to assess what this all means without thinking of those couples who would have married, had one or the other of them lived long enough to see this happen. I hope, wherever they are, they're permitted to see that it has. It's with a mixture of pride, sadness, and hope that I thank them as well, today. It took the concerted efforts of openly gay people showing their straight friends and family what marriage would mean to them, over the course of decades, to help change hearts and minds. Each of our lost loved ones played an important part in that.

Finally, I wish to offer a sincere thank you to the very good people of the State of New York. The number of kind comments and encouragement we've received since the vote has simply been astonishing. People we didn't know cared or didn't know had an opinion have reached out to tell us how happy the news has made them as well. When we get married (details to come), you're all invited...all 18,976,457 of you!

OK, so perhaps that's the jubilation talking . . . I better check with Bambino on that first. :-)

Labels: gay politics


Anonymous Franklin said...

I can't wait. Where are you registered?

6/27/2011 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Bernard Klevickas said...


6/27/2011 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Julie Sadler said...

a small step for NYS. A large step for mankind.

6/28/2011 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

You're going to have to rent a very large hall, Edward. We're all coming to the wedding.

6/28/2011 10:26:00 PM  

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