I started my career in the book and gift industry back in the 1980’s. I was very lucky to work side by side with highly creative and talented people, many of whom were gay and lesbian. At the time, it was difficult for some to be “out” in business as they held executive positions and weren’t comfortable with portraying their private life for fear of issues with their employers, or worse, the clients or others in their field. It has pained me deeply over the years to see my friends not receive the same rights as others when it came to equality as people and especially equality in marriage. All they asked was to have the same rights as others and commit themselves in marriage. This was nothing more than any other loving mature couple. Many who I knew had “commitment ceremonies” years ago, are still together today. My God, I have friends that I have known for close to 30 years and are still together. Some have children as well. They deserved their legal rights then and I am so very happy they have them now. Just the other day, I watched a video of Tyne Daly give a tearful speech on stage of her experience during the time of her wedding to actor/ director, Georg Stanford Brown in 1966, when multiracial marriages were outlawed in 17 states in this country. As Ms. Daly stated “Hate is very strong but love is stronger”. In 1967, a case by unique chance named Loving vs. Virginia, took down those hateful laws. It amazes me that it took so long for us to get there on gay marriage – but now that we are here, all we can do is celebrate and rejoice. I, along with so many others around the United States and around the world, applaud the Supreme Court for finally getting it right.
Love does win. Love will always win. Let’s promote love and family however it is meant to be. Let us all learn to look hate in the eye, stare it down, and win. Because isn’t living in love and goodness better than hate and misery? I leave you with these words from Coretta Scott King. She and her husband were certainly no strangers to racial intolerance and social adversity. I think it speaks volumes on what we all need to remember in life. We are a community of people, living on this earth – let’s unite regardless of our differences and make the best of what life has to offer for our families, communities and the world. “I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.” – Coretta Scott King.