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gay marriage soon nationally assured.....are you with the groom or the other groom's family?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

So, I was much confused early this week when what appeared to be a military chevron with the two bar designation of an Army Captain appeared all over the web, as avatar and as simply designation. Turns out, it's not a chevron, it's an equal sign, which makes sense with its delicate colored pink and red shading. I suppose this is its connection with Code Pink, the gay support group and activist front for about two decades that both advanced and stalled what is now happening.

I'm clueless, but now that I get it I like it. It says no more than needed, helpful and constructive in any civil rights argument. It's either fair for everyone or it's fair for no one. It's briefly to be the new thing attached to every email, posting, and avatar to show you're for gay marriage, as two cases involving that are before SCOTUS this week and God only knows what that bottle of vicious conservative Catholic scorpions will actually do. I'm reading now the thinking is they will punt and not grant a sweeping support nor condemnation but return it to the lower courts. I hope they do not.

I want this thing to end because we're just about all in agreement supporting gay marriage and equal rights for gays. In the last year, sort of but not quite coinciding with the November elections, the mental landscape switched, almost as if someone changed the national mental radio station in the middle of Cat Scratch Fever to Everybody Dance Now. Describing the change in national thinking as startling and shocking do not go too far. It's enjoyable for me because everywhere you look there are conservatives and Republicans with beer dripping from the their open mouths on their club ties and bib overalls. They had no clue this could happen. Few, including myself, thought it would happen so fast.

But the public decided and moved forward, in surprising numbers and all at once. No public issue has changed within this nation so quickly as support for gay marriage and equality. It's been like a 30% shift in a short time, from like 15% more of us against gay marriage a year or so back to the opposite. It's unlikely that all the double digit percentage of citizens who changed discovered in the last few months that they had a gay child or relative, as Senator Portman did, but they probably realized that giving in made no difference and that they had known gay people all their lives, liked them, considered them friends but applied willing ignorance to their lifestyle and, frankly, what the hell.

Having our first black president helped; change needs momentum.

It was going to happen soon anyway, everybody knew enough public gay figures to realize they were not dangerous, and, truthfully, once you accept that gays are actually biologically different than straights in their sexual attractions, it just made sense. It did not hurt that folks like Ellen DeGeneres seemed so much more together, honest, funny, smart, and pleasant than the idiot religious zealots. She and Oprah broke into the white women's sewing circles and they were changed and so their men came around. Possible oversimplification, but there is much merit there. I'm quite certain anyone from the Pope to the NRA executive board would enjoy spending time and a beer with Ellen than with Reverend Phelps. She likes people. She's nice. She radiates no hint of brimstone or Satanism. She's funny and probably more so in private. She'd be great on a long road trip, which is one way Americans and especially young Americans have adjudged their friends for decades. That counts.

On reflection, they all knew people like Ellen and they admired the seeming parade of athletes, actors, and other celebrities who've now found footing to exit the closet and shut the door behind them firmly, without juvenile slams and tirades and melodrama, but just as an adult would. Or should.

Frankly, straight men envy DeGeneres and her choice and success with women, as her wife Portia Del Rossi is one of the world's great beauties. I certainly do.

But, I remain hesitant about gay marriage because I'm hesitant about straight marriage, and think that the law should only concern itself with protection for children. I don't get why two living together should have their taxes affected. The state ought to have no standing in romance, but at least now it will soon be the same mistake for gays and straights. Can't argue with progress.