Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Climate Change: Ahead of the Curve on Gay Marriage

The climate is changing. I’m not talking about the weather – which is a separate issue from climate, anyway. The weather is what you see outside your window on any given day. The climate is why. But I am talking about the climate toward gay marriage. As we await anxiously the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue, due sometime in June (we all hope), the fact is that the American people by a growing majority are finding themselves okay with the idea. The Republicans, not so much. But that’s okay: the “Grand Old Party” believes in being behind the times. Old is part of their nickname. When Marco Rubio stated flatly in his speech announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President, he proudly said he was not interested in going back to yesterday. What he did not say is he wants to go back to the day before yesterday. Now, when several of his opposing nominees and potential nominees were asked if they would attend a gay wedding of a friend or loved one, some said they might; others said they definitely would not; one, Scott Walker, said he did not attend the wedding but he was there for the reception. In the face of climate change, these poor fellows are having trouble deciding where to stand – with the base, or with what’s right. But then, most of them don’t believe in climate change in the first place. Years ago, when the issue of gay marriage was first becoming part of the national debate, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Monterey Peninsula Herald that posed this crucial question: why should gays be denied the joys of divorce? With so many politicians screaming about the sanctity of marriage, I kept looking at divorce statistics, and had to wonder. I also fail to understand to this day how two people committed to make a relationship work are more harmful to the institution of marriage, because they happen to be of the same gender, than two people who blunder into a marriage casually over cocktails and end up divorcing in eight months, who happen to be “straight.” It seems that the climate agrees with me. But then there are those wonderful base-buying Republican candidates. “I don’t believe in gay marriage, but I’ll see you at the reception, because, you know, those people know how to throw a party.”

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