It was, by any measure, a momentous day on Monday.
The Minnesota Senate passed the same-sex marriage law which finally allows for the state to stop discriminating against a group of people based solely on who they love.
Wherever you stand on the issue, it’s an important day, but not the end nor the beginning of the world because in the end, religious freedom is still supported and churches can choose not to perform same-sex weddings if they wish, while the state will recognize those unions both performed here and in other states.
But I wonder if either I’m missing something or I’m being too cautious, because the celebration feels a little over-the-top to me: after the signing, there’s a block party in Downtown St. Paul. I know this is a huge deal, but I worry that a celebration of the victory is too much like rubbing salt in the wounds of the defeated–people who hold their beliefs very close to their hearts. In this political climate, I worry that an overt public display celebrating the win would rub too many people the wrong way and come back to cause problems in the future when that side gets their turn to govern.
Or I could just be worrying too much about these things.
I’m really disenfranchised right now in the entirety of the political process in this country. No one on any side seems genuine to me, no one seems to be honest, forthright, and intent in operating under any ethical norm. It feels as though for every positive move made by a party or politician, they take another step back by doing something stupid (read: the IRS stupidity, or the AP investigation).
All I want is a polite, respectful discourse on the issues, and respect and acceptance when things don’t go your way, because, after all, nothing in politics is forever: taxes go up and down; laws are written, changed, and reversed; and the overall societal viewpoint on issues is constantly in flux.
And I’m happy that so many people now seem to be engaged in the process and discussion online and elsewhere, regardless of the view. But I’m not happy at the tone some of that discussion takes and the knee-jerk reactions it provokes. Too many people hold beliefs without understanding the underlying reasoning behind them. And believing in something shouldn’t be the target of personal attacks, rather it should be the opportunity to talk about those beliefs and what they mean to the individuals, not a vague feeling of being threatened by something that hasn’t happened yet.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled that this law was passed, in spite of my fears that it was too soon after the defeat of the amendment last fall. And I’m glad that everyone in this state can experience the same happiness in marriage that I’ve had for 18-plus years. I just hope that there isn’t an angry fringe group plotting some sort of revenge that will divide the state again.
See you tomorrow.