On Thursday, Rhode Island and Minnesota will become the 11th and 12th states, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriage. Yahoo News invited state residents to share their perspectives. Here’s one. Also, read profiles of six couples marrying Thursday and soon after.
COMMENTARY | “At Betty Crocker, we believe that a family is a family, no matter how it’s arranged.” —
Betty Crocker, The Families Project
When Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the marriage equality bill into law on May 14, I had much the same reaction I did on Jan. 20, 2009: It’s about time! It’s just as embarrassing that we did not have a black president before 2009, as it is that marriage equality only became law in 2013 in Minnesota. The tide is turning away from bigotry and hatred; it’s time, it’s just time.
Being a white, straight, middle-class married woman, I am typically uncomfortable about being more privileged than many. Now that everyone has the freedom to marry, I am happy to be a little less “more privileged.” I’m happy for my friends, family, and community that united around love to first defeat the marriage amendment and then to support marriage equality and that can now be married. I love that the Minnesota Historical Society will be collecting pictures of same-sex marriages during the first month under the banner of “History is Now.” Am I more proud to be Minnesotan now than I was last year? Yes.
Best of all, I expect the lives of kids to improve. For children, that there was even a question about the legitimacy of their families was harmful, but the anti-gay rallies, TV ads, bumper stickers, and taunts suffered throughout the voting season hurt real kids. Now that gay parents can marry, there is one less thing about which a child can be bullied, and that’s a good thing for all children, even the bullies.
Suicide rates are frighteningly high among LGBTQ teens. Some reports say suicide among gay youth is four times as high. “One Town’s War on Gay Teens” was in Minnesota, in Michelle Bachmann’s district specifically, where seven teens killed themselves within a year and a half (at least four identified as gay) prompting a law suit against the district for failing to protect students. It’s real here.
The message that legalizing marriage equality sends to LGBTQ teens is huge and I hope everyone is listening. It’s great and legal to be gay; don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are wrong to be who you are and to love who you do.
Even 92-year-old Betty Crocker is in favor of marriage equality and you can’t get much more “apple pie” American than that. Thank you, Minnesota!
Note: The Betty Crocker brand is owned by General Mills, a Minnesota company founded in the 1860’s.