Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Judgments of Others

In March of this year, I posted my thoughts on the "marriage equality" issue.  Despite yesterday's landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, I don't feel any differently.

" 'Where there is life, there is hope. Where there are hopes, there are dreams. Where there are vivid dreams repeated, they become goals. Goals become the action plans and game plans that winners dwell on in intricate detail, knowing that achievement is almost automatic when the goal becomes an inner commitment. The response to the challenges of life—purpose—is the healing balm that enables each of us to face up to adversity and strife.'  -Dennis Waitley (b. 1933)

The original quote, "Where there is life, there is hope" has all sorts of attributions:  from an ancient Chinese proverb, to Portuguese lore, to an indigenous tribe of Africa.  It's meaning has such universal import, I doubt that ANY attribution could be discredited.

The purpose for many of my friends and colleagues just now is the issue of marriage equality.  It seems that we may be on the cusp of seeing our society accept the universality of love and love commitments.  Since I am a gay man myself, living in a committed relationship of nearly 30 years, you might think that I see these events as the threshold of some sort of victory.  Ironically, I don't.

Assuming that the issue of marriage equality comes to pass, and all citizens of the U.S. are accorded the same rights and access to "marriage", what has changed in my life?  Do the sanctions of any government render my commitment to my partner, Philip, any more valid than our own mutual commitment to each other?  If our life together suddnely "turns on a dime" in the eyes of the law and community, how do we characterize the life we've led together up until that point?  Does our role as surrogate parents to the boy we helped raise to adulthood suddenly become legitimate?  Will those who must hate, hate us less?  Will all barriers to our happy and successful life together suddenly cease to exist?

Don't be NAIVE!

The life that Philip and I have built together is perfectly capable of standing on its own merit.  We neither need nor seek the sanction of the same individuals who have thrown at us every obstacle imaginable to our happiness before these momentous times arrived.

PHILIP AND I DEFINE WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR.  And based on what I see day-in and day-out of "marriage"...

You can keep it!

I cherish life and venerate hope.  I have happily lived everyday of my life looking ahead in hope.  And I will continue to do so in the blissful knowledge that the acceptance, sanction, validation and LOVE of those who mean the most to me I already have."

One curious side note:  In view of SCOTUS' decision, Philip and I may be compelled to take action.  Isn't it ironic?  Oh, how the judgments of others guide our lives!

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