the amazing thing

I want to say that the amazing thing is that this is even an issue in 2012.  Whether or not two men or two women can get married.  Aren't we more evolved than that?  And at the same time I have to say that it's not amazing.  It wasn't that long ago that interracial marriage was illegal. Or that certain groups (based solely on their race or gender) were considered "less than." Whole groups were denied the right to vote.  Unimaginable.  But it was a reality. And even when things were rectified in a legislative way, the social discrimination continued.  Some would tell you the discrimination continues today.  But it has gotten better.  And that gives us hope.

Since that North Carolina business this week and  President Obama's statement on ABC, talk of marriage equality has been all over the place. The term "marriage equality" is especially appropriate.  We're not talking about special privileges here, people.  We're talking about equality. Some of my favorite friends and acquaintances have weighed in on the issue.  So here are some links to look at if you're so inclined.

I "friended" Irvin Lin on facebook sometime ago when I saw that we had a mutual friend, the wonderful Jenifer Ward.  Today I clicked on the link to his blog, and found it to be inspirational.  I love that Irvin posts a sweet picture of him and his partner A.J. and captions it with something like, "Don't we look like a threat to society?" Check it out:

Some sweet San Antonio men came forward after Obama's statement to Robin Roberts on ABC.  Again, inspirational.  They speak the truth.  Having been together for thirteen years, Brian and Chad should have the opportunity to be legally married.  They are committed.  They realize that we still have a quite a way to go, but they express very real hope for the future. Hear what they had to say:

And in my home state of Arkansas, from my dear alma mater Hendrix College, Jay Barth shared his thoughts on things.  Jay's comments are published via Arkansas Times, and he got a lot of comments on his piece.  One interesting observation made by a reader criticizes President Obama for saying the issue should fall under "state's rights." He/she feels that by doing so, Obama is validating the decision made in North Carolina.  The writer further asks us to imagine a situation where such basic rights could ever be considered a "state's right" issue.  "Can you imagine an America today if Lincoln had said the he is personally against slavery, but he thinks it is an issue best left up to the states?"

And if you haven't seen the President's appearance on ABC yet, here's a link to that:

A couple of friends have posted their feelings on facebook this week, too.  I want to share a couple of them with you here.

On the vote in North Carolina:

Tonight, voters in NC said NO to LOVE, NO to HONESTY and NO because we have judged you to be a lesser than and not equal........ not worthy to have the same legal rights and privileges we enjoy as American Citizens simply because of how we were born!!! WHEN SAD EVENTS LIKE THIS HAPPEN I FIND MYSELF FEELING EVEN MORE PROUD OF WHO I AM! :) ONE DAY LOVE WILL DEFEAT FEAR AND IGNORANCE!!!! ONE DAY!

Here's one more:

It is so disheartening to hear about NC results. Of course the same thing happened here in Texas years ago. I have read some very eloquent posts from friends who express hope for the future. They express love for those blind and hateful people that voted to ensure continued discrimination and hate. I wish I had it in me to have such peace and love. I don't. What I do have is outrage and hate in my heart. I know this does me no good. I know it's poison that only serves to make me bitter but I can't help but feel that way. WHY do these people give a damn about us getting married? WHY do they believe it is their right to tell us we are not as good as they are? WHY?

It's good that things are moving forward.  Very good indeed.  Since the deli moved to our current location at 3123 Broadway, we've been reminded more than once just how far we've come.  And still, once in a while, an older gay gentleman will walk into the deli for the first time and order lunch.  He'll get his glass of hibiscus mint iced tea and look for a place to sit.  When his hot pastrami sandwich is ready, I'll take it over to his table by the window, and as I'm just about to turn around and head to the counter, he'll call me back.  "Are you the owner?" he'll ask.  "I'm one of the owners.  Wayne [I'll gesture toward Mr. Beers] and I own the deli," I reply. "Do you know about the history of this building?" he queries.  From that point we discuss the history of this place, particularly the fact that it was a gay bar in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The Arena. According to these sweet men who have told us about it, The Arena was the first bar in town where the gay and lesbian crowd would go to dance.  It was raided quite often.  And being in spittin' distance from several military bases, quite often it was raided by military police.  The operators learned to be aware of what was going on. When  they suspected that the raid was about to take place the bar staff would flash the lights a couple of times and the clientele would react by changing dance partners - suddenly the men were dancing with women, and the women were dancing with men. So. Yes. We are moving in the right direction.  Maybe not as quickly as we'd like, but we'll get there.  And it'll be amazing.


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