Want a six-minute tear-jerker? It’s here: Love Won. A long journey, but the United States Supreme Court ordered it so, 5-4.
And for those who rightly worry that you can be married Sunday but fired Monday — once your employer sees it in the paper and realizes you’re gay — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week fixed that, too. It ruled, 3-2, that an employer can’t fire you just because it doesn’t like gay people, any more than it can fire you — or refuse to hire you — just because it doesn’t like black people or white people, Jewish people, Irish people, or the disabled.
(Not, of course, that it won’t still happen. But now there is legal recourse if you can prove that it has.)
I recognize this is still strange and icky to a lot of people, especially older people . . . including four of the nine sitting Justices and two of the five EEOC commissioners. I don’t relish making them feel uncomfortable. But I have hope. When I told my mother I was gay, it made her deeply uncomfortable. But with time, especially once she saw the stigma begin to lift (and once she met Charles), she became a true believer in equality and — almost — entirely comfortable.
When she introduced us to her friends she would unfailingly look just a little panicked at how to explain Charles. You might think that after the second or third time she would have worked this out, and maybe if we had come round to her gatherings more regularly she would have. But each time she would wind up saying something like, “You know my son, Andy. And this is Charles, Andy’s . . . [slight awkward panicked pause] . . . very special friend.”
Who knows? If they had lived, maybe she’d now have been inviting her friends to our wedding.