All over North Carolina, eyes were turned to the sky in anticipation of seeing something most of us have never seen – and it wasn’t that blood moon that had meteorologists and astronomers giddy Wednesday.
Many of us were looking skyward to see if the moon and sun were going to crash into Earth after a judge ruled that gay people could get married.
That ruling came Friday evening, and last time I looked, the moon was still where it was supposed to be.
So, are gay people dancing in the street at the judge’s ruling?
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Some are. Many more, though, are like Craig Shreve of Chapel Hill.
“Lets just say I’m cautiously optimistic,” Shreve told me Friday evening, an hour or so after the ruling. “I love being married in North Carolina, but if I cross the state line, I may not have a husband anymore,” because some states still don’t recognize their marriage.
Craig and his husband, Wickliffe Shreve, got married last month in New York. They moved to North Carolina in 2012 so Wickliffe could get his master’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. One week after they moved here, Craig said, voters amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriages.
“We were like, ‘Where the hell did we just move to?’ ” he laughed. He’s laughing now, but there was no laughter then.
‘When it is a non-issue’
As a performer, Craig has shared the stage with Liza Minnelli and traveled the world performing a solo show.
That’s professional success by any barometer, but what, I asked, will success in the battle for marriage equality look like?
“When it is a non-issue,” he said. “When people say, ‘Oh, you just want to love and make a family, and have a home and build a life. I think it’s accepted now that we don’t want to destroy the fabric of society.
“When I don’t feel the need to stress, ‘I’m married to my husband.’ When I can just say, ‘I’m married.’ I love being able to say ‘to my husband,’ but when you don’t have to stress it. That’s when we will have achieved equality, when you don’t have to talk about it.
“Then, the really exciting moments can be celebrated,” he said.
I don’t consider myself particularly enlightened when it comes to gays being allowed to marry or do what everyone else can do. Nor have I – as some readers have suggested for years – been cowed by some so-called rainbow mafia, composed of gays who supposedly demand that everyone toe a particular line of political correctness.
Mind your own business
Honestly, I just believe in minding my own business.
To whom someone else chooses to pledge their undying love and devotion is of no consequence to most of us.
If we were going to worry about anyone, it would be the people who feel they have the right to tell others how and with whom they can spend their lives, especially when – from the other side of their mouths – they’re spouting a desire to keep government out of our lives.
You know who else I worry about? Politicians who talk about “states’ rights,” which is one of the bromides they’ve trotted out to justify their opposition to this law.
We all know that, historically, that states’ rights argument has been used to deny rights, not bestow them.