Sunday, June 26, 2011

Great Moments in History

Wanted this up for posterity. Listen to the crowd after the roll call. Make sure you wait until the part where they cheer "USA! USA! USA!". It was a thing of beauty.

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And if you watched the whole clip, this blurb from Alternet about Maddow brings a smile:

Last night, Maddow broadcast for nearly an hour after her regularly scheduled time slot in order to cover the developments in Albany and eventual vote to legalize gay marriage in New York City. While thousands of people hooted, cried and sang outside the Stonewall Inn in the streets of Manhattan (here's the photo we snapped there just ten minutes after the vote was announced), Maddow solemnly delivered the news, breaking into a grin only when she reported on the comptroller's statement about the "positive economic impact" same-sex marriage will have on the New York economy. And will Maddow, openly gay, marry her longtime partner, Susan Mikula? "Maybe"!

Maddow is probably just being coy here, but don't miss the bigger-picture, opened-can-of-worms when it comes to the new state of gay relationships in New York. Some straight folks might want to assume that everyone is going to rush out and get married, or that they are going to want a church wedding. Uh, no. While there will be those that want to do just that, there are others who are going to find their relationships put to a new test - and there is no doubt in my mind that the passage of this law is going to initially cause more than a few break-ups.

You see, I've known a few gay people who don't want to be married, and were secretly relived that it wasn't allowed here in Michigan. Now, did they want overall equality? Yes, of course. Rah, rah, they would cheer. But when it came to their own personal situation, well, that's different.

For example, one woman I knew came into a substantial inheritance, and was part-owner in the family business. At the time, she wasn't seriously committed to the relationship she was in - but her girlfriend sure was. Marriage would have been the next goal to the more committed partner, had it been allowed. One day, a comment was made during a discussion, off-hand and out of girlfriend's presence, and it went something like, "I'm glad she can't get a hold of my money". Sounds selfish, but it happens, just as it happens in straight relationships as well. Matter of fact, the more homophobic amongst us probably would be shocked at just how similar gay/straight relationships really are. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and everything to do with individual character. End of story.

Things like that occur all the time, the only difference is, gay people were getting a built-in pass on taking full responsibility for the depth of commitment to their partners. They couldn't take the final leap, so they weren't ever faced with that adult choice. Now, in these states where marriage is allowed, when there is a hesitancy towards taking the next logical step in a relationship, then a partner will be more clear about where a relationship really stands. Overall that is a good thing, and ultimately it will build stronger relationships.

No more excuses.

And don't worry, eventually the more pious (and the Republicans) amongst us will probably start harassing the gay couples they know about, oh, "living in sin", or "having children out of wedlock", or "when are you going to settle down?", and all that usual pressure that straight couples face - because you know that's coming too. Then we can all have a good laugh about being careful about what you wish for.

Yes, this is the "USA!", and we're just going to have to find new and exciting ways to be judgmental of each other. That's progress, baby. Enjoy it. :-)