Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gay and Diverse Celebration

Anita's young female relative graduated from high school last week, and Anita and I had a great time attending the festivities. At a private dinner in a New Haven restaurant we met a nice young couple - one the step-sister of our graduate and the other her woman spouse, along with their two year old daughter.

The cute toddler ran around, being minded and doted upon by her two moms (one the biological mother through sperm donation) as well as her grandpa, a cheerful and mild-mannered cardiologist. He and his wife introduced the female couple as their daughter and daughter-in-law.

Considering that it was a family affair with everyone related by blood or marriage, our group of 10 was remarkably diverse. Five distinct mother tongues - English, Gujerati, Hindi, Malayalam and Panjabi. A mix of four Indian ethnic groups and one Caucasian. Four different religions - Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh. In answer to Rodney King's question two decades ago, yes, we can all get along beautifully.

The female couple talked of their quest, hope and anxieties about getting recognized as spouses. They first got married in San Francisco, then last month in Massachusetts and are now looking forward to legalization of same sex marriage in New York where they live. They sought marriages in multiple states because of uneven laws recognizing these, and the validity being subject to referendums and court challenges. One of them talked about the hurt she felt when her uncle (the cardiologist's brother) whom she was very close to didn't attend their wedding.

I've supported gay marriage in a "why-not-if-it-makes-people-happy" sense, brushing aside those religious objections as meaningless. But I didn't consider it very different from civil unions and was hence not too invested in the issue. Now having seen it up close and personal, I am much more sympathetic to the cause and hope it gains universal acceptance.

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