When in 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world to open up marriage to same sex couples I did not even care...
I did not care because I had no intention of ever getting married and I thought the whole notion of marriage was old fashioned and stupid. Even though I was out at the time, being gay was such a marginal part of my life I never really given it any thought why this SHOULD matter or why this was such a big fucking deal.
We first got civil unions for same sex partners, as well as for straight couples, who have been a big fan of the construct for themselves ever since. The step to granting marriage too wasn’t that big after that, especially because marriage isn’t such a big deal here as it is in some other countries.
I remember some objections, mainly from the religious right (of which we also don’t really have that many either), but apart from that the whole thing seemed to have passed without muss fuss. To be honest, I can’t be completely sure about this as in those days I wasn’t really paying attention to anything dealing with the LGBT community.
Sometimes things take time. When I think about how long my own journey was to accept that I was gay and after that to come out to the world and make my sexual orientation a part of my life, I can only imagine what it is like for people who don’t even know anyone who’s gay and have to get their mind around things like granting marriage to same sex couples.
I am not saying I understand or agree with some countries taking so long to give their same sex couples the same rights as straight couples, after all, I feel that this should be a total non issue, as there’s no reason why anyone should care about whether or not I get to marry my girlfriend.
Still, everything takes time and especially in the United States where in some places they are still very behind on things like acceptance of homosexuality and feel very strongly about marriage, it might take a little more to have everyone be granted the right to marry there.
It does feel like the climate is changing, especially within the LGBT community. The general consensus seems to be that we will no longer just wait to become equal to everyone else, but we want it all and we want it now.
To come back to the point I started this post with....I did not care when my country was the first in the world to grant me the right to marry my girlfriend should I choose to. I did not understand what a big deal this was and how blessed I am to live where I live. And for that I am sorry. Sorry to everyone living in countries who aren’t that lucky. I get it now, how fortunate I am. Now all I need is to find that special woman to marry...