That thundering noise? It’s the stampede of your new BFFs as they vie to be first in the “Now I see the light” derby. They have realized suddenly that their children or their nieces or the teacher that inspired them to be what they are today are, wait for it, gay. They have realized that they may have met “a gay.” Oh, and they LIKED that person. At least that’s why some of them are in the crush to get to the finish line on the right side of justice.
Others have realized that gays often have a lot of money. Scads of it, in fact. And the gays who tend to be political are willing to give the big bucks. Surely, some of those rich political gays will fall for the “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” line, right? and send their campaign donations to their new BFFs?
But and it is a big “but,” it is also true that people can and do truly change and thus society does, too. Sometimes issues that once seemed cut and dried develop fuzzier boundaries and you can find yourself opening up to what had been anathema. I remember vividly when that happened to me about Roe v. Wade. I had been a Feminist Against Abortion—even joined a group with that name (we’re in the ‘70’s now, boys and girls). I believed Roe v. Wade was a sign that our culture was becoming debased and coarse. My early religious background played a part in my thinking, no doubt, but also my understanding of what constituted the beginning of life shaped my position. I read a lot and thought a lot about it. I argued about it, sometimes hotly, never with any quivering of change happening inside me. I was clear. I was cut and dried on the issue.
Then one day, I was stopped at a red light behind a car with a bumper sticker. It read: “If you are against abortion, don’t have one.” Despite all of my reading and thinking and high-minded discussions, the simplicity of that argument hit me hard. I had been so aloof, generalizing to the societal level something that was deeply individual, individual in every way. In a free society, composed of individuals, individuals will choose and society will be what it will be. And so, one bumper sticker later, I changed.
There are good people who have felt strongly that same-sex marriage is a societal evil and some of them are changing their minds. They suddenly are able to see us, in our decades long marriages and with our children and grandchildren and--they get it, maybe in the fleeting second it takes to read a bumper sticker, they get it. Oh. It’s human to lock yourself into a position but, it’s also human to experience a conversion. So, let’s not castigate these new BFFs on the face of it. We worked for society to change and this is what changing looks like. A domino effect has started and folks are tumbling over themselves to join in with us—for all different sorts of reasons. Hold on for a bumpy ride and, honk if you love same sex marriage.
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