For many of the global LGBT community, this Dec. 25th is their first married Christmas. How many? 50,000? 100,000? The numbers keep pouring in, changing, but the fact remains: this Christmas will be joyous for many more gays and lesbians than ever before. From poor gays in rural America to celebrities in Europe, same-sex marriage has helped make this Christmas very, very special.
LONDON - Entertainer Elton John and longtime mate David Furnish officially married Sunday on the ninth anniversary of the day they entered into a civil partnership.
Joining the real world
Of course, there are those who have never actually needed specific terms to define their relationship, but they might have the luxury of living in a community that has accepted them without those terms. They are indeed very lucky, because we are in a world of defining labels, labels which have been in our cultures for literally thousands of generations, labels which can accept or reject a person in an instant ... and forever.
And joining the real world is all about acceptance.
Yes, same-sex marriage is about acceptance. And that's why so many right-wing Christians won't feel the same joy we feel this Christmas: the courts have ruled for acceptance in too many states for them to feel too much joy. Acceptance is anathema. It is an abomination. It is condoning "sin." It is the object of unstable hedonists* who wish to destroy traditional values! The subject of same-sex marriage brings out the old saw about people who obsessively focus on others' sin cannot be truly happy themselves.
Marriage In The Spirit Of Christmas
This Christmas, there will be those praying for things to change ... back to the way they were when discrimination was the order of the day. They will pray for the sanctity of their own marriages as if some outside force is dooming them. They will pray that their renewed vision of (their own) persecution will sway a righteous public away from social issues like same-sex marriage. They will pretend to pray for us, while desperately praying for themselves. This is a sad Christmas for those souls.
They certainly won't know our joy - the joy of couples whose love has sought acceptance for years - or the hope, that in other states and countries, the human right to love and make a commitment to each other will be honored with acceptance and dignity.
And while they pray, let us pray for the Spirit of Christmas to open up their hearts to experience the joy we feel in marriage, in being ourselves.
* As to the "Harm Factor" of same-sex marriage, the latest figures show that America's divorce rate has declined (the first time in decades), so women aren't divorcing their husbands to become lesbians (ala Pat Robertson) nor are men divorcing their wives for those hirsute hotties. Don't tell that to twice-divorced Attorney General Pam Bondi**, who insists that gays have extremely unstable relationships.
**BTW: Bondi's latest marriage to a gentleman 23 years her senior was "performed" in the Cayman Islands and is speculated to be a tax dodge.