Equality Stops At The Border

I’ve been following, as best as an ignorant mollusk can, the analysis of the recent decisions by the Supreme Court to take on a couple of cases on same-sex marriage. Ed has done a great job dissecting the choice, and today the New York Times has a really useful sidebar on it. What I can’t wrap my head around, though, is that there appears to be a very real chance that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land… only in part of the land.

I just can’t see it happening. It’s just too… “a house divided against itself” springs to mind. So an encore, today, just because of the last line. I wrote this when New York passed SSM (which made me happy, cos I was married in NY).

Half a lifetime ago
As chronologies go
I was married, in upstate New York
There were family, friends,
And some strange odds and ends
When we, husband and wife, popped the cork

But today it feels strange
As if something has changed
Though our vows are the same, to the letter
Because, as of today,
Why, “marriage is gay”
And equality’s oh so much better

When marriage was straight
And the church barred the gate
And kept part of humanity out
They tried to define
In society’s mind
What a marriage was wholly about

Though they struggled with words
Their whole view was absurd
And historically, simply untrue—
And sanctified bigots
Just opened their spigots
Letting sewage and prejudice spew

They poured this pollution
Into my institution;
My marriage was tarred by their brush
But—long story short—
I am glad to report
They are getting their long-deserved flush.

With this change in the laws
I feel better, because
I’m not part of a bigoted order
So today, let’s have fun
But there’s work to be done
Cos equality stops at the border.


  1. The Ridger says

    Well, it’s kind of like marrying your first cousin.

    Although … if you get married in New York and then move to New Hampshire, you’re still married.

    So it’s not, is it?

    (And why the hell, if your site recognizes that I’m trying to post with information that belongs to a registered user, doesn’t it just ask me if that’s who I am, instead of erasing my comment and making me start all over? Especially since I see NO LOGIN BUTTON??? “Connect with…” doesn’t mean Login to me, though it was finally the only thing left to click on…)

  2. Cuttlefish says

    (Ridger, I have no idea what the problem is, but I will pass it along to the powers that be.)

    But you are right, at least in the different definitions of marriage from state to state. I had not considered how easily the “but you can marry your cousin in [state X]” exceptions never seemed to be, as they say, a federal case. Perhaps the scales are falling from my eyes!

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