Things have evolved in such a fashion that unless you are older, and been a part of the gay rights movement for justice, it might all seem difficult to appreciate. That thought crossed my mind when opening the Vows section of today’s New York Times.
Featured today in almost a full-page story were the details of the relationship and story of marriage between Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon. That the wedding was grand, or the story funny and touching was not surprising. That it was printed in the paper also was to be expected.
Well, that last part is what caught me up for a minute.
It was not always that way.
Even the New York Times did not begin to publish reports of same-sex commitment ceremonies and some types of formal registration of gay and lesbian partnerships until 2002. As I looked at the page I was proud in a way how some younger people might be doing the same but not ponder the uphill fights to have such ordinary happenings occur for gay married couples.
I certainly want the history of the same-sex marriage movement to be known and valued. It was a series of long fights all over the country. But I also think it wonderful that for a growing majority in the nation this type of news story is just now common place and eventful only for the notables involved (as in this case) or for perhaps the spectacular nature of the nuptials.
It has been a long time in coming for gay couples to be considered as ‘just another wedding’. That is a nice place to be. Finally.
The article concluded in a touching way.
Mr. Feinstein understood fully. He and Mr. Flannery had been together for many years when they were wed, by Judge Judy Sheindlin and Gabriel Ferrer, in 2008. “I didn’t think it was a big deal, and the minute we got up there, it was the biggest deal in my life,” Mr. Feinstein said, adding that weddings can carry a different weight for gay couples. “Terrence and I both felt the nakedness of that, the joy of it, and experienced a level of depth that was a complete surprise.”
After a brief intermission, Mr. Postilio returned, the color back in his face. Smiling, he rejoined Mr. Conlon to a lighthearted chorus of “you’re not sick, you’re just in love,” from Mr. Feinstein. With some words “from the gospel, according to Kander and Ebb,” Ms. Ebersole completed the bond of Tom and Mickey: “How the world can change,” she began in a soft singsong, quoting from “Cabaret.”
“It can change like that, due to one little word — married.
See a palace rise, from a two room-flat, due to one little word — married.
And the old despair that was often there, suddenly ceases to be.
For you wake one day, look around and say, somebody wonderful married me.”