For those not following along at home, today our governor announced that he is not filing an appeal of the ruling that Pennsylvania’s DOMA is unconstitutional. That means that it’s a done deal, the ruling stands, and marriage equality is now the law of the land in the Commonwealth.
We are, of course, elated by this sudden turn of events, but I’m having trouble really wrapping my head around it. I keep thinking of “buts” that no long apply to us.
Who would’ve thought we’d see the day when a Republican governor would let marriage equality happen – and then have everyone say, “Oh, he’s just doing it to get votes.” Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t possibly care less why he did it, I’m just blown away that we now live in a day and age where supporting marriage equality is the politically advantageous thing to do. We’ve come quite a ways since Gov. Howard Dean had to wear a bullet proof vest after signing Vermont’s civil union law.
And the changes that have happened over the course of our relationship are amazing. When we first got together, we were living it Texas when sodomy laws were still on the books. In just sixteen years, we’ve gone from being “regular law breakers” (well, depending on what we might be in the mood for at the moment) to old married folk.
And yet, we’ve still got a ways to go. There are several positive court rulings that are currently being appealed and will probably make their way to the Supreme Court in the next year or so. I am fairly confident that when SCOTUS does hear one or more of these cases, they will at least uphold those rulings, and may well declare marriage to be a right for all of us, nationwide. One can hope.
Even here in Pennsylvania, though, there’s still work to be done because, although we can get married, we can also still be fired for being gay. There’s a bill proposed to add sexual orientation to the state’s non-discrimination laws, but it will take a lot to get it past some of the less-tolerant members of our legislature.
But we’ve come a hell of a long way in just a few years, and we’re still moving in the right direction, and I know that, before long, we will get there, and the days of inequality for the LGBT community will be, as Judge Jones said in his ruling on Wednesday, discarded “into the ash heap of history.”