Victims, Fake And Real

Adam Serwer analyzes the mindset of some marriage equality opponents:

This sort of moral inversion is really common throughout history at times when the rights of minorities are expanded, which those opposed cast as an infringement upon their rights. States seceding from the Union over the right to own black people as property did so in the name of fighting tyranny, waving the Gadsden flag as proudly as any modern-day Tea Partyer. So does the extension of same-sex marriage rights to gays and lesbians become "coercive state power" akin to Bull Connor siccing dogs and spraying firehoses at civil rights activists. That these arguments are actually deployed in service to "coercive state power," whether it be legalized slavery or state prohibition on recognizing relationships between consenting adults, is precisely the point.

And there is never an acknowledgment of the pain that the status quo can have. I.e. real victims. A reader writes:

When same-sex marriage became an item in the news here in Massachusetts, my children were in the 8th and 10th grades, and I thought this would would make a good dinner conversation. "So, kids, have you heard that Massachusetts is considering allowing gay people to get married? What do you think about it?"

There was a moment or two hesitation, a couple of eye rolls, and then my 14 year old son, Jeffrey, said, "Dad, this is stupid to even talk about. Of course gay people should be allowed to marry."

Jeffrey was always a thoughtful and sensitive kid. And I'm wistful because I'm recalling that at Jeff's funeral, his foreign-exchange sister said, "I am angry with the world for suffocating a sensitive soul." Jeffrey died of suicide eighteen months ago. He was 21.

So the question I have today is whether the words of the 14 year-old Jeffrey were prophetic and a sign of things to come, or just the feelings of a young man who proved to be too sensitive to survive this difficult existence? I'm hoping it's the former.

Me too.