I am writing this column on Thursday, June 20, 2013. I was going to write about the Supreme Court of the U.S. coming down on the side of justice in terms of throwing both California’s Prop 8 and DOMA to the dustbin of history. Alas, the Supreme Court did not come out with a ruling today. By the time this this column is published, the nine in their black robes will invariably have changed the lay of the cultural landscape until the next set of judicial rulings and new laws are enacted within the country. Regardless of what the Supreme Court rules, it is evident that we who are LGBTQIA have what is called “the Big Mo” with us. “The Big Mo” was an expression from the 1960s, used as a way to explain how a sports team had the momentum in a game that would invariably take them over the finishing line, the final goal, the last basket in the game, the ending homerun. Borrowing from the sports teams, the “Big Mo” may also be used as a way of describing a change in a politician’s campaign, a way of describing economic recovery, or highlighting social transformation.
Almost regardless of what the Supreme Court of the U.S. decides, the die has been cast in terms of modern societies making significant moves in going beyond welcoming to including LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families as part of the fabric of the public square. For example, on a recent trip to Scotland and England, I delighted watching same-sex couples holding hands along the city streets of Edinburgh and London, with no one turning around and noticing such a personal display of affection. For fun, I went into a kilt shop — Howie Nicholsby’s 21st Century Kilts — to get fitted for a kilt if and when I ever get married. I met Howie — a kilt maker extraordinaire — inside the shop to take my measurements for a denim kilt with a fringe on the side with the colors from the Ferguson tartan (my mom’s side of the family).Howie didn’t bat an eye about the purpose of the kilt and regaled me with other stories of gay men who had come in to get kilts for their weddings. The following week, I was in London when the House of Lords surprised everyone in the country in voting overwhelmingly for marriage equality, even though there were some in the Anglican Church who were arguing strongly against the measure. Having already passed the House of Commons and the House of Lords, a committee works on the final wording, for one more final read in the House of Lords for a third and final vote. If it passes, then it is sent to the Queen for her signature or the Royal Assent. Since the House of Commons already gave the bill a final vote in May 2013, it will then become the law of England and Wales, with a similar law soon to pass in Scotland’s legislative body.
This year, the people of New Zealand, France and soon the United Kingdom moved forward in including LGBTQ couples and families with open arms. Stateside, more states are preparing to move legislatively in approving marriage equality. Even those states with anti-marriage-equality language in their constitutions, like Oregon and Florida, are preparing to amend (again) their state constitutions and move forward with marriage equality. Who knows what the Supreme Court will decide. Nevertheless, the “Big Mo” is on the side of justice. : :