Time heals all wounds – and changes all minds.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about being a New Yorker and continuing the fight for marriage equality in NY State after the State Senate didn’t pass the bill. I remember being angry and sad, and a little ashamed of my home state.
A year and a half later, I couldn’t be prouder. By now, you’ve all heard the news: New York State legalized gay marriage Friday night. There were celebrations all over my facebook, my twitter, and, of course, the streets of NYC – both that night and at Pride on Sunday. I’m excited, and simply pleased with my State Legislature! Who would have thought?
Now, of course, this was a controversial vote. It passed by a margin. Speeches on the senate floor ranged from full to cautionary to zero support for the bill. Our society still isn’t, unfortunately, progressive enough for everybody to treat gay people as just that – people.
However, one thing happened that is worth noting: In 2009, the vote was strictly among party lines. not a single Republican voted for the bill. But this time, Republicans were the deciding factor in passing this bill – many quoted as saying they wanted to be on the right side of history, do the right thing, even if it might spell trouble for them in their districts.
That year and a half was so formative to changing the outcome of the vote on gay marriage – so many more supported it, called their senators, action groups were successful – that it changed people’s minds. Not just any people – politicians.
But time alone wasn’t the only thing that helped pass this major victory for equality and human rights. Advocacy groups, people, and activists did. And this isn’t the end of the fight – there are 44 more states where gay marriage is still illegal. The fight isn’t over – but I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes people consider reintroducing laws legalizing gay marriage where they’ve been shot down before. Let’s hope so!