I never thought I’d be writing this post right now. So soon. I thought I would have to wait a lot longer.
When I woke up this morning, my state did not have marriage equality. Well, now we do.
I just… I don’t even know what to say. Wow. I knew we’d get marriage equality eventually – ever since DOMA was overturned last June twenty-sixth, states that ban marriage equality are breaking the law – but I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I can’t believe that as I write this, queer couples are marrying in my state. Yay for them!
If I’m completely honest, I thought Indiana would be among the last five or ten states to legalize marriage equality. I never thought we’d be among the first half – we’re the twentieth state! It’s almost like Indiana realized that this is the new millennium, that all people do indeed deserve a few basic human rights.
It isn’t over yet, though. Some jerk will probably appeal the ruling – seven or eight states currently have stayed rulings, meaning that they technically legalized marriage equality but it’s since been put on hold. (Sorry for not being more precise, but I’m not completely sure if Utah counts. Today the circuit court declared that their ban violates the Constitution so… I don’t know where that leaves them.)
And of course, Indiana fails in a number of other areas related to queer rights. We still don’t have legal protection against hate crimes or discrimination in schools and the workplace. We have no transgender rights to speak of. We have no laws guaranteeing hospital visitation rights to LGBTQ+ couples.
That’s very important to remember. There is still so much work to be done and we must be careful not to say that marriage equality is the be-all and end-all of queer rights. I can’t stand it when people say that. It seems to be a big problem among allies and gay guys. Marriage equality is not the only issue, nor is it even the most important issue.
But it is an issue, and as long as we keep in mind that it is only one of many, we can totally celebrate this victory.
Let me tell you a story about last week. (Today I was actually going to post about my D.C. trip – but then this happened.) All week I had to deal with a lot of GO USA and WE’RE NUMBER ONE and INDIANA IS THE BEST STATE IN THE UNION DON’T YOU EVER FORGET THAT.
And it made me roll my eyes. It made me think, “If ‘best state’ is determined by who has the lowest standards, then I guess we certainly do win that title.”
Now I feel a little differently. I still won’t say that I’m a fan of the whole GO INDIANA WHEE WE ARE THE BEST thing, but I am a little bit prouder to be a Hoosier.
This ruling may never affect me personally. At the moment there isn’t any lady I would like to marry (well, aside from fictional women – I LOVE YOU, MARTHA JONES) and besides, I’m too young to get married anyway. And honestly, I don’t plan to live in Indiana as an adult.
But I can still be happy for others, for people who do want to marry here. I can be hopeful that it leads to greater civil rights – marriage-related or otherwise – in my state and in others.
And if I do end up in Indiana, I would have that option of getting married that I didn’t have before. That’s definitely something to be happy about.
And… I was born here. I’ve grown up here. I’ve never lived anywhere else. It’s no fun to say, “Yeah, the place I grew up in was kind of subpar,” so I’m happy that my state did the right thing.
I’m still stunned that a positive ruling occurred at all. I cried when I read the news because A) I’m dorky like that and B) this means so much to me. I read the same article three times in a row because I thought that surely this couldn’t be real.
Today has been a good day.