Still pretty excited about the death of DOMA. Plus, this announcement that Californians don’t have to wait the usual 25 days after a Ninth Circuit Court ruling to exercise their right to marry. In fact, the LA Times reports that ” Los Angeles County and some local cities are offering special procedures and extended hours Monday to meet heavy demand” for marriage licenses.
I’m not sure how to express my excitement over this, since it is, at its core, a depressing statement of my country’s lack of empathy for one another. We’re all pretty excited, but what should I say to a gay/lesbian couple? “Congratulations! You are now considered human in the eyes of the law!” I’m desperate to find a way to let the LGBT community know that they have support in the straight community, but Facebook status updates and an equality magnet on my car aren’t enough.
I’m volunteering at an ESL (English as a Second Language) school four days a week for a few hours per day, and try to make time for a ‘free question time’ before we start class. I try to encourage the students to ask about language, news topics, anything really, and that day one of the students asked about DOMA. I explained the ruling, the structure of the supreme court and the history of prop 8. I gave no indication of my personal opinion about the ruling, but finished with a quick mention of why it’s good for California economically: more weddings = more money for the state! The students didn’t offer their opinions, even when I asked if anyone wanted to contribute anything before we moved on. But many of the students are religious (Christian), so I felt I could assume that many of them would be displeased with the ruling and didn’t want to start the day by highlighting something about the US they might not like, especially given the depressing nature of that day’s topic (funerals). Still, I tried to leave them with a positive impression of the ruling without imposing my opinion on them (which would be an abuse of my power as an instructor).
My coworkers joked last week that in two years, the divorce rate will jump, given that there are probably plenty of couples getting married because they finally can (again), and are trying to be legally joined before their right to do so is revoked (again). But I’m too happy to worry about that, so here are some of my favorite pro-marriage equality images that have been floating around the interwebz: