We get closer and closer to the tipping point. It won’t be long now. One generation that can’t understand why there is even a question is dying in ever-increasing numbers. Another generation that also doesn’t understand the fuss is preparing to vote. The generations that follow them will look much like these children, only more so.
It won’t take long before the thoughtless, flinching bigotry is replaced by easy familiarity and acceptance. It is still too long, as the delay costs families, jobs, lives. But the genie cannot be put back in the closet. It’s coming.
Marriage equality will arrive while many, very close to half the voting population in any given state, who oppose it still live. More in states where the rights are recognized by courts instead of elected officials. The people who vote now to delay the inevitable can say, “Over my dead body”, but that won’t be how it happens. They will see equality become the law.
Then they will see it become the norm. That won’t take long either. The problem with holding an apocalypse over the head of a congregation or an electorate is that any other consequences will look laughably small. They will be laughably small. Marriage between people of the same sex makes so little difference to people outside the marriage, and spreads so much joy, that the nightmares of its opponents will quickly be seen as the sad, pale shadows they are.
Once these ridiculous bans on the codification of loving relationships become settled history, they will be judged as history. That is a different process than how they are judged now. Now the bans have the inertia of what is behind them. They won’t then. They will only have the justifications their supporters used.
Today someone can say, “It isn’t bigotry. I just don’t think things should change.” They will believe it. People who hear them may believe it. Once things have changed, all that will be left is the bigotry.
When the foot-dragging conservatism of the present tense has shifted to the past, that is what these voters will be judged on. That is how history will take its view. That’s how history always takes its view. Inertia sides with progress, and bigotry is left to stand on its own. Abandoned, it is easier to see and less defensible than ever.
If you’re one of those voters, you know that many of us already point to your bigotry. You don’t like it, and you shouldn’t. What you can’t do is effectively deny it. “I only support people who are already supported” is a form of bigotry, as is “I only support the people my church supports.” Displaced responsibility for bigotry doesn’t make something magically not bigotry anymore.
You may not like having your bigotry announced to the world, but you can’t stop us from seeing it. Some of us already feel the change. We may be moving with it, or we may discover the world is finally coming to meet us. Either way, we’re not held by the same inertia. We can look at your words and your actions and see them as history will. We can tell you now what the world will say then.
The world will call you “bigot”. History will strip away everything else, and that is what the world will see. That is how you will be judged. That is how you will be remembered. Only that. Just look back and see how it happened to others. It will happen the same way to you.
You do not have to like it. You shouldn’t like it. You should know, however, that there is only one way to change it.
History is coming. Change is coming. Where will you be when it has passed you?