On Tuesday, we got some badass news. The Supreme Court told all the lower courts, “Yo, don’t bother us with your gay marriage stuff.” Which is actually great!! A tacit win! My favorite! Five states have now granted all marriages legal.
The lower courts now get to decide what they want to do regarding gay marriage, which could mean a total of THIRTY STATES ALLOWING SAME SEX MARRIAGES, which is a whole lotta gay and a whole lotta marriage. Don’t be sad, social conservatives! Think of the economy! WE’RE CREATING JOBS BECAUSE OF OUR HOMO WAYS.
Whenever there is a court ruling reminding people their love is valid and equal and important, I proudly order a glass of champagne at 1 p.m. and fist-punch the air, screaming, “I AM A GAY UNICORN AND I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.” However, while the Supreme Court’s decision to ignore the legislative outcry from misguided fundamentalists with a skewed idea of basic human kindness was ultimately a win for gay marriage in many states, I was also left with a strange feeling. This was a total win. But it was a win because of negligence and non-confrontation.
It would have been an incredible moment for the Supreme Court to at least allude to a federal ruling in the future. It reminded me of when I was growing up and my brother would do some total asshole thing like make me eat my own hair and upon asking our mom for a little refereeing, she said, “SURVIVOR IS ON. FIGURE IT OUT.” In this analogy, though, I’m 4 years younger than my brother, and will undoubtedly lose the hair-in-mouth debacle (good protein…?), and we now have way better shows, like Dating Naked (which is, essentially, a less-famished Survivor). What I’m doing a terrible job of trying to say is: Though the federal court didn’t explicitly say, “Yay gay marriage, let’s all go dancing on a rainbow,” its own silence, perhaps at second thought, implies the favor of the social majority, and the inevitable swing of equal rights for all.
When I wrote the hook for “Same Love,” I was prepared to be murdered, not celebrated. Over the course of these last cosmically magical, totally insane two years of my life, my love and faith in humanity is abundant and ever-growing. Once you hear a sea of 20,000 people of all demographics, of all walks of life sing the words “She keeps me warm” knowingly from a lesbian, your outlook on the world might shift too. At this point in my life, I have to believe that we’re all motivated by love, even though the fear sometimes disguises itself as compassion. For some, the “loving” ideology may be distorted and inadvertently harmful (at 17, I used to repent every morning to apologize for being gay), but I feel that the intention is often in the right place. I knew when I sat down to write both “Same Love” and “Heart on my Sleeve” that I wanted to tell the world something powerful — to speak on the beauty of humanity. My writing, though personal, is not about me. It’s an invitation for vulnerability, for empathy. I want you to see yourself in a song. I wanted a fundamentalist Christian woman to softly look over her husband asleep, grateful to feel the warmth of the one she loves, and then realize in that moment that everyone is worthy, deserving, and should not be condemned for love. That my love is valid and beautiful, and I, too, am grateful to feel the warmth of the one I choose.
The Supreme Court ruling (or non-ruling, however you see it) is pivotal. If all states follow suit, at least 60 percent of American citizens will have state protection to marry whomever they love. All of these wins should be celebrated. Every time a public figure comes out should be celebrated. Every time an accurate portrayal of a gay or transgender character is depicted in mainstream media it should be celebrated. Together, visibility and legislature are the keys to civil rights. Of course, there is always more work to do, but I try to remind myself that cynicism has a funny way of presenting itself as witty intelligence. This is not a time for passivity. It’s a time to rock the fuck out about marriage equality.