Although some advocates of sex-positivity argue that Obama’s victory in the presidential election might be a somewhat hollow one, there was more to celebrate on Wednesday morning than the Republican’s crushing defeat.
In addition to securing victory for Obama, voters in no less than four states also voted to allow same-sex marriages; with all the rights and victories of regular heterosexual matrimony.
In Maine, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland, measures and propositions on the ballot appealed to voters to support marriage equality – and they did.
In addition to practically doubling the number of states that allowed gay marriage, this victory was significant for another reason – that it was a voter-driven measure.
In other states, the right to gay marriage has either been driven by the state legislature, or by court rulings. When voters are asked to decide, in California, North Carolina and many other states – they have generally ruled “no,” as they did with interracial marriage back in the day – neatly proving why “democracy is the worst system of government in the world, except for all the others.”
The fact that a majority of people stood up and declared, in unison, that gay couples deserved the exact same rights and privileges of heterosexuals wasn’t just a legal victory; but the victory of an idea.
It’s very apparent that the tide has turned in America – from an old-fashioned conservatism embraced by the dying generation, to a more open-minded mindset driven by younger voters who see homosexuals not as “sinners,” but as friends, family members, co-workers and people they respect, admire and even aspire to.
But the battle for same-sex marriage equality isn’t over.
Right now, the Defense of Marriage Act is being challenged; a federal ruling which undermines any state legislation which recognizes same-sex marriage.
Likewise, Proposition 8, the California bill which redefined marriage to “between a man and a woman” is now in the U.S. Supreme Court. How they rule on the constitutionality of that measure could either turn the tables overnight (much like Loving vs. Virginia and Roe vs. Wade did on the issues of marriage equality and abortion) or set the movement back; forcing advocates of same-sex marriage to fight for equality in the trenches; state by state.
But whatever happens, history is being written here – and we are lucky enough to bear witness to it.