28
Jun
13

6.28.13 … the end of ‘ick’ …

Bert and Ernie,  LGBT rights,  Gay Marriage, The New Yorker, George Takei, DOMA “ick” factor, The Washington Post:  Legally, I get it, and I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling.  But why do I have misgivings … this New Yorker cover and George Takei’s editorial, together made me realize it’s my problem.  But for the sake of families and society, I need to get over my “ick” factor, my “visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar.”

new-yorker-cover-bert-ernie-gay-marriage-580.jpg

Forty-four years nearly to the day after drag queens stood their ground against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, sparking rioting in New York City and marking the beginning of America’s gay rights movement, our nation’s highest court at last held that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Amazingly, since Stonewall, the question of LGBT rights has evolved from whether homosexuals should have any place in our society to whether gay and lesbian couples should be accorded equal marital stature.

Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion. Just this March, for example, a young woman at an anti-same-sex-marriage rally in Washington was asked to write down, in her own words, why she was there. Her answer: “I can’t see myself being with a woman. Eww.”

These words are outrageous today, but only because we no longer react with disgust at the notion of the races working and sleeping side by side. Because social mores change with each generation, the “ick” is not particularly effective at preventing changes to our institutions. Importantly, same-sex marriage is supported by a strong majority of young people: A recent Field Poll in California showed that 78 percent of voters under 39 favor marriage equality.

Future generations will shake their heads at how narrow, fearful and ignorant we sounded today debating DOMA. Happily, the majority of our justices understood this and did not permit the “ick” to stick.

via George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ – The Washington Post.


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