So, how long until gay marriage in the US? A year ago, I wouldn’t have even tried to give you an estimate. But today, with a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling kicking the government out of bedrooms and our neighbors to the north letting boys marry boys and girls marry girls, I’m feeling saucy. So I say: Within ten years, at least one US state will allow gay marriage; probably one of those commie states up there in the northeast. And then the fun really begins, because all the other states in the union, including the 30-some-odd who have passed “defense of marriage” laws, will be up against it. I should also note that I think the “ten years” date is too conservative, and that I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it happens sooner — much sooner.
Also, I don’t think those “defense of marriage” laws would last terribly long after the first US gay marriage, and the reason for this is is simple: Money, baby. Let’s say that Massachusetts becomes the first state in the US to allow gay people to marry. Every gay person who wants to get hitched starts planning his or her wedding — in Massachusetts. Well, what a huge financial windfall for the state: All those weddings need wedding locations, hotels, catering, DJs, tuxes and/or dresses, blah blah blah, so on and so forth. Massachusetts wedding-related businesses will be so busy they won’t know what to do with themselves.
Meanwhile, wedding-related businesses in, say, Ohio, will be looking at all this potential wedding money going out of state and will say to their lobbyists (whom I assume would be the various chambers of commerce): Hey, that’s our income going to Massachusetts. Fix that. NOW. Hard-liners might not like gay marriage, but they do like free enterprise, and what these “defense of marriage” laws would constitute at that point is restraint of trade.
At this point, the big news won’t be the first gay marriage in America; I can’t imagine that some Americans haven’t already gotten married in Canada by now, since it has no residency requirement. No, the big deal will be the first gay divorce: It’ll be vibrant proof that gays and lesbians are just like the rest of us, and sometimes their marriages will go ker-pop. It will be reassuring to the straights, who already suspect that gays and lesbians have more fun in their relationships, just because they’re gays and lesbians, and it’ll be a nice cautionary tale for gays and lesbians, to keep them from getting hitched just because now they can. After the first few gay divorces, everyone will just settle down. And won’t that be nice.
Anyway: Ten years. Starting… now.