America, You Did Good.

Observatory

 

London paradeDuring the first terrifying upsurge in the AIDS crisis in 1982, two of my best friends had their lives torn apart. They had been happily living together and running their own business in Los Angeles for many years when one became ill.

His furious family stole their company, ostracised their stricken son and threw his partner out into the street. The son died alone in the most desperate circumstances, barricaded by anger-filled parents who prevented those who loved him from ever visiting, but who were happy to have their children split up the couple’s property and spend their savings while the courts did nothing.

It was a grotesque injustice that the parents bitterly regretted  in years to come.

This was not an uncommon case. There are at least a dozen stories I could tell here that had even more tragic outcomes, including a few that I can’t put down in writing because they’re simply too upsetting, and in a couple of cases too horrific to even be believable.

Today in London, the biggest pride event in the city’s history took place (as I write, it’s still going on – Londoners love a party). It seemed that the whole of the city was taken over with a very inclusive kind of love-parade, one involving singles, couples, families, friends, young and old of every ethnic mix. I have never seen such a diverse and peaceful crowd in my life. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, following the US supreme court on ruling on same-sex marriage.

In years to come I hope this will look like an inconsequential blip in the history of human relations, something so obvious that it scarcely needed reporting on. And yet it was so important not to take this ruling for granted, to make so many people feel that as mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, taxpayers and workers, contributors to society (often in the most extraordinary ways and in heartbreaking circumstances) people of all sexualities were finally respected equally.

In a time when ISIS is attempting to drag the world back into a stone-age state based on primal instinct and violence blurred with a form of modern-day hypocrisy, the American court ruling is an indication that the civilised world is attempting to strive for something higher, kinder, more decent and fair.

The force for a greater good cannot be beaten.

Your Father

6 comments on “America, You Did Good.”

  1. Terenzio says:

    It was a very narrow victory….5 to 4 and could easily have gone the other way with no legal recourse. This is a big reason this should most definitely not be taken for granted. And if you read some of the scathing and nasty remarks by Roberts (who I would have expected a more moderate viewpoint), Scalia and Thomas, you will see that there are still plenty of hatred and irrationality out there concerning marriage. Which is pretty funny considering a marriage contract is issued by the state, not by the church. The only way you can object to gay marriage would be based on religion and since religion has nothing to do with a marriage license this should be a no brainer. I remember the Mormon Church in California a few years ago spending/contributing somewhere around 8 million dollars to get Prop 8 passed. Just think how many people in need that money could have helped. Tragic. When this happens I’m in favor of taxing churches. If they want to start medling in politics and in people’s lives…fine…they can start paying taxes. Still it has been a good week so I shouldn’t complain. A lot to be happy for, yet I can’t help to feel sorry for those innocent prop,e hongot slaughtered in Tunsia, France and Kuwait for no reason. Makes one see how precious life really is.

    À bientôt….the one in the gorgeous purple dressing gown and lovely velvet slippers. I shall retire to the boudior with a Kir Royal (a lot to celebrate with the healthcare decision and gay marriage) and perhaps dip into Virginia Woolf’s London Scene. Happy Pride weekend to everyone out there.

  2. Jo W says:

    That was a lovely,poignant blog today,Chris. Happy Pride weekend to you and all.

  3. Gaz says:

    It’s a terrible shame (although totally understandable) that the marriage ruling should be so lost on the TV news thanks to the blanket covering of the Tunisian atrocity. The acceptance of other people’s opinions, their personal lives, their loves, is one of the things that civilisation is there to foster. It is about working to make things better for everyone. Movements like ISIS don’t require anything like that mental effort. They are merely about encouraging people to give in to their own worst instincts.

  4. Alan Morgan says:

    Good on you. 🙂

  5. Martin says:

    In years to come it will be ISIS and their psychopathic ilk that will be the inconsequential blip on history while the movements for civil rights, women’s rights and gay liberation will be seen for the progressive events they are as humanity moves out of the dark!

  6. m says:

    Your post made me weepy again. San Francisco is quiet after a huge pride celebration this weekend. The mood here has been amazing and energizing. As all the politicians in the parade kept saying we’re celebrating now but we know we still have work to do.

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