Sea change

Today President Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage. This is a monumental step, and the social networks were abuzz with praise (at least my social networks were).

Mr. Obama, in the ABC interview today, mentioned that his daughters have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, and they see no difference. One of my friends has often spoken of her daughter’s best friend who has two dads. Sophie will grow up knowing that this is completely normal. Another friend in Vermont has told me of her daughters’ friends with two moms, or two dads. And to them that is unremarkable. My doctor is raising a child with her longtime partner and just a couple of weeks ago their wedding announcement ran in The New York Times. My own cousins are bringing up children for whom this will simply not be an issue.

This is an amazing sea change, but I hope we don’t have to wait for that younger generation to grow up and change policy. Today a friend posted a rather frightening map from the British paper The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/may/08/gay-rights-united-states?fb=native), showing gay rights in the U.S., state by state, including hospital visitation (and medical decision-making) rights. In brief, in most states outside of the Northeast there is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. We’ve come a long way in a short time, but there are miles to go.

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