Those who say that equality is not a relevant “Pagan” issue are incorrect.

There is no one for whom equality is not a relevant issue.

Strip the rights of one, and you strip the rights of all. Conversely, uphold the dignity of one, and you uphold the dignity of all.

Today SCOTUS struck down DOMA and Prop 8, and by doing so they allowed us all to take one small step forward in the direction of equal treatment under the law.

The Scale of Things (sunface13 on Flickr)

I heard the news from my husband, which seemed perfectly appropriate. He came into the room and woke me. I’d slept in, tired from a long work trip in LA. He pulled back the blinds and said,

“Good morning, sweetie. We’re recognized by the federal government.”

Sean and I were married in California in 2008 during the brief, pre-Prop 8 window when LGBT couples were allowed to wed. It wasn’t technically a shotgun wedding, but it was close. While we’d been talking about getting married for a good while, we didn’t make our plans official until we learned that California would offer marriage licenses to gay couples from out of state. California was the first state to allow this. We scheduled our time-slot as soon as we could.

Being married, and at the same time not being married has been a strange reality to live with. It’s a discontinuity that most married couples could not conceive of. When I bring it up to straight friends or family members, there’s often an “ah-ha” moment.

I never really thought about what that would be like, is a common response.

Talking about the reality of being a “married but unrecognized” couple has been an important testimony to make for another reason. The political forces which so vehemently appose gay marriage are the same forces who would happily regulate the bedrooms and sexual practices of straight people.

A puritan is a puritan is a puritan. They want to invalidate my relationship just as much as they want to get all up in your uterus.

When I say that this is a small step toward equal treatment under the law, I’m not just talking about us queers here. I’m also talking about moving toward a place of greater gender equality, too. Our society is built within a binary gender paradigm which favors one gender over the other. In many ways, the LGBT rights movement threatens that very paradigm, because jumping on board the gay train requires you to suspend all of your “normal” assumptions about gender roles in relationship. Do that, and you start seeing imbalance and injustice nearly every place you look.

LGBT rights are like a gateway drug in that way. Start supporting the homos, and before long you’ll end up a complete social justice activist.

(I’ve seen it happen.)

It’s good to remind people who may think of LGBT rights as a “fringe issue” that today’s ruling fits into a much larger discussion about personal liberty and equality — two principles which can, with enough political firepower, be jeopardized for even the most mainstream among us. Even hetero-normative folks need to be on the lookout.

But not today. Today is a day worth celebrating. I believe that equality is a Pagan value, and equality was upheld today.

That’s worth at least a cupcake.

I offer my sincere thanks to all of the front-liners; all of the people who stood on corners and got petitions signed; all of the people who sent e-mails and form letters; all of the people who spoke their own, personal truth about living in a queer relationship; and, perhaps most especially, I thank all of the many, many straight people who took up arms in this fight. Straight allies are no joke. They’re the real deal. We need more of them.

I’m going to go on being gay with my husband now, doing gay stuff.

Like picking up some produce.

Going to mom’s house for dinner.

You know…

Gay stuff.

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