The Supreme Court struck down a part of DOMA. DOMA was a law that said even if my partner and I could be married New Yorkers, we couldn’t be married Americans. Bill Clinton signed that awful law in 1996 to win reelection. Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that the federal government can’t tell me my New York marriage is invalid. There were nice words about equal protection and fairness. I don’t really care about fairness. What I care about is freedom. Not the mysterious, blunt freedom voiced by G.W. Bush, but real freedom to be who I am and live how I want. The whole point of America is to be who you are and live how you want. The people who get to be who they are have the American dream. For the rest of us, it’s just a mission. I don’t want someone telling me what I have to do for a living or how much I can possibly earn, any more than I want someone telling me who I can marry. And, this struggle between doing what you want and doing what everyone else wants you to be is the struggle of America. If somebody’s religion says a same sex household is just a collection of people and not a family, then I respect his right to not live in a same sex household. But, gosh, his right to not live in a same sex household shouldn’t make me exercise his right. His religion may prohibit him from marrying a person of the same sex, but my religion doesn’t forbid it, so why should his religion trump mine in my life?
Maybe you can’t see it, but the creep who wants to tell me who my family is stands in your way of your own American dream. The guy who says that because he ought to marry a woman then I can’t is a guy who knows my role and my place, but he knows your role and your place also. He knows your limits and he’ll enforce them. That’s what DOMA was – a bunch of people telling me who I am and how I must live. A part of DOMA’s gone, but the creep is still here. The creep tells you only weaklings depend on government, while he’s getting rich on government contracts and tax breaks. He tells you you are entitled to a wage no greater than “market” and defines that market as low, as low, as low as possible. The creep says you don’t need health care unless you can buy a shaky policy and prices inflated by other creeps. I could go on and on. There are many creeps, hurling obstacles, denying you freedom, telling you who you are and how to live. Because they think they can. If you want more than limits, you have to reject them. You have to carve out the life you want and shake off the creeps that want you to live on their terms. The only way to avoid the creeps is to make yourself as free and self sufficient as possible, by owning your business, making your own job and creating your own economic security. That’s today’s American way.
Tomorrow is Pride Sunday. Pride is and has always been an emphatic, delighted, defiant celebration of freedom. Killing a part of DOMA is really just affirmation of the self-evident Americanness of LGBTs.