Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More on allowing everyone to grow

Once again, my little brother teaches me generosity and far-sightedness. I want for him to have at least the possibility of what I have. He wants for everyone to have more.

This weekend, I got a rare opportunity to see a friend who is usually busy with the next generation (she's a high-school teacher in a small town), and at the same time to see my little brother, whose job may bring him more frequently to town. Huzzah! The conversation, as always, was wide-ranging, from the sexism and racism in Henri Rousseau's works to the bothersome things sometimes posted in blogs.

And, of course, Little Brother and I continued our discussion of gay marriage, security in person and property, and treating people like people. Now, I would like to see gay marriage not only legal but yawn-worthy. When I got married 7 years ago, the media completely ignored the event. Friends and family showed up, the ceiligh band played well, and a good time was had by most. Had we married 40 years earlier, we would have been much more unusual. Probably, we would have had to do as my grandparents, a religiously mixed couple, had to do - marry secretly and move away for a time. Possibly, we would have been mourned by our families as dead. Instead, a large crowd, mixed culturally, racially, religiously, politically, and just about every other way you can think of showed up in the teeth of a spring snow/rain/freezing rain/sleet/hail storm to celebrate with us. We danced together, ate together, drank wine and grape juice together, and in general had a good time. I want that for my brother, for my friends, for the world.

My brother, being himself, of course has to one-up me. He wants more. Rather than concentrating on a right to marriage, he argued, we should concentrate on the basics. Why, in a country so wealthy, do we not have universal access to healthcare? How can a couple aspire to marriage if they can't even be certain that their basic needs as people will be met?

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