We have only one life. There is no afterlife to make up for the slings and arrows of misfortune that we experience in this life and so we should try and give people every opportunity to be happy and not deprive them of the chance to seize happiness wherever they may find it simply because they violate some socially constructed norm.
It is wonderful that at least now the LGBT community in the US has the right to get married and (at least in many parts of the country) can be open about their sexuality and live with the person they love. While we can and should celebrate that, we should not forget the many, many people who lived in the past and were denied that chance of happiness to freely choose their partner because we were too locked into old ideas and taboos.
NPR’s ongoing series Storycorps has the poignant story of 75-year old Glenda Elliott who, as a young woman in rural, small town Georgia, could not live with the woman she always considered her one true love because living with another woman that would have been unthinkable.
Hers is a moving recounting that is worth listening to. Although she did not sound bitter, I felt some bitterness on her behalf at the sheer senselessness of it all.