Firstly and foremost: Huzzah!! We did it! I spent many an hour doorbelling and phone banking in Washington State for our own marriage equality vote (R74) and am so happy to see the tide of opinion change in this country and the country follow our fine state.
But while I celebrate, I’m torn because I really question the government or majority’s authority in this matter at all. Marriage licenses were introduced less than 100 years ago (1923) and mainly for exceedingly and explicitly racist reasons (check this out). Individual rights are not subject to a vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority. It’s great that “A CNN poll in February 19, 2015 found that 63% of Americans believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry” (source) but in August 2010 it was only 49% – so did reality change? No, of course not – only opinion changed. As a thought exercise, what happens when public opinion decides brunettes and redheads shouldn’t be allowed to have relationships on a (likely superstitious) whim?
While I’m independent, I have to agree with the Libertarian platform on this one:
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
So I worry, a little, in the back of my head while I celebrate this win. I worry that while the outcome is good, the principals behind the need for this outcome is highly questionable. We are sticking bandaids on the symptoms instead of finding and treating the root cause which is limiting our liberty. We are desperate for acceptance from a bad law founded on a bad premise, and we’ll take it, but keep in mind what’s really going on: we’re getting the permission to a right everyone already should have always had.