28 June 2011

After Marriage: What Next?

Now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in New York,  the question is the same as it always is after a significant goal or milestone has been reached:  What next?

For some, of course, the answer is that they're planning and waiting for the 24th of July, when the law actually takes effect and marriage licenses can be issued.  For others (or, actually, some of the same people), the answer involves campaigning for similar laws in other states and jurisdictions.   And, of course, there are some who are working to have the law overturned.  

Ironically, the provision that allows churches to refuse to marry same-sex couples, and religious organizations to deny benefits to same-sex spouses of employees, is exactly what will make the law more difficult to repeal than the one that was overturned by Proposition 8 in California.  I mean, the fact that there is an opt-out provision for churches and other religious organizations makes it that much harder (or so I would think, anyway) to make an argument against the law on the basis of religion or civil rights.  If I recall correctly, those were the grounds on which opponents of California's gay marriage law fought to have it overturned.

Anyway...lots of people see this time, not without justification, as a "new day."  However, this transsexual Italian-Franco-American yenta (Is that an oxymoron?) has some advice for them:  Let yourself adjust to the new reality.  It can be more joyous and more frustrating, more empowering and more confusing, than what you're leaving behind.  I know this from my own experience:  When you've wanted something for as long as you can remember, and despaired of ever getting it, much of your world-view is defined by longing, if not resentments of those who, fairly or not, have whatever it is that you want.

So, hook up, join yourselves, start your new lives--and move forward!