Just last weekend, Divas Chavi and Kim had the pleasure of attending a fundraiser for Equal Rights Washington to support gay marriage in Washington State. Â While there, the Divas were fortunate enough to be seated next to a lovely couple named Stuart and John. After chatting for a bit, the Divas found out that on December 8th of this year, Stuart and John will be celebrating their 35th anniversary together – quite an amazing display of love and commitment. Stuart and John’s story is inspiring because it it just one of countless stories of long-term, committed gay couples who, after 35 years, still are unable to be married. That is why on Thursday, June 14th, 2012, at Velocity Dance Center, this year’s Divas Take The Hill event will be supporting the approval of gay marriage in Washington State – so that on December 8th of this year, John and Stuart will not only be celebrating 35 years ofÂ commitment to one another, but will also be able to LEGALLY MARRY and have thatÂ commitmentÂ recognized by all.
Marriage is the act of making a vow of continuous commitment to and love for another person in order to be recognized by not only friends and family, but by your community, society, and the law. Marriage is something that is important for ALLÂ loving couples because it is the lifelong promise to build lives together. Just as marriage generally holds a place of importance regardless of gender, religion, culture, and age, so it does with sexual orientation. Â Gay couples want to get married for the same reasons their heterosexual counterparts do – and they have the right to do so. When you are in a loving and committed relationship, regardless of orientation, you want to be there for your partner in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in the good times and the bad. Besides just signifying this commitment of love to those around you, being recognized under the law also comes with a mass of legal and economic protections and rights for the couple and their children. Gay marriage isn’t about anything other than securing the fact that all citizens have equal access to the same rights.
The matter of gay marriage is especially important when it comes to young people. The progress towards marriage equality in the US will ultimately be the defining social issue and movement of a generation. I remember watching the recent movie “The Help,” and was appalled by the accusations made by the white characters in regards to the black characters. Most people in the US today would see right through every single argument in that film to be pure fiction and just downright ridiculous. I remember wondering what my kids or grandkids will look back on and say “WTF?!” about and then it hit me – they would look at the gay rights movement and think the same thing that I thought about the opponents of the the civil rights movement: “How could people have ever thought that about black/gay people? How could they have thought integration/gay marriage was ever wrong?”
Let’s face it: marriage equality will come,Â hopefullyÂ sooner than later. In the end, we will win, just as every citizen that seeks equal treatment under the law has always done, from slavery and interracial marriages to male-only education and women’sÂ suffrage. There may be a long road ahead and it may be uphill all the way, but eventually, if we keep fighting the good fight, we will win. Â Just take a look at this super snazzy interactive infographic about Gay Rights in the US, State by State. Although there is obviously a lot of work to be done, there’s also a fair amount of color on that wheel – a lot more than even just 10 years ago.
If you look at statistics in regards to attitudes toward gay marriage in the past two decades, you can see not only changes in law, but changes in overall societal attitude. Â In the late 1980s, gay marriage approval stood at somewhere around 10%. Fast forward about 20 years to today and the most recent polls show gay marriage at an approval rating that hovers around the 50% or above mark. This immense progress comes from a countless number of places, but overall it all stems from everyday citizens like yourself. Â Because of the hard work of organizations, activists, and just some persistent people, attitudes are changing, which has led not only to higher acceptance in older generations, but also to an explosion of gay rights support in younger generations who have grown up in a more tolerant society.
Now it’s time to keep fighting. As we said before, there may be a long road ahead, but let’s take it step by step and win this one for Washington state. Come support marriage equality in Washington state by buying tickets to Divas Take The Hill, this Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 7:30 at Velocity Dance Center. Â Buy tickets HERE for $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with all proceeds going towards Washington United for Marriage. After coming to the event, pledge to vote YES onÂ ReferendumÂ 74 in November to protect marriage for ALL in Washington.