If you ask a minority, “What does acceptance mean to you?”, you might get a few varying responses. To a religious minority, say, a Wiccan in a predominantly Christian culture, acceptance might mean no proselytizing, as her family and friends begin to understand that he’s made her choice.
For a black American, it might mean that his community has become color-blind to her and he truly is a member of the community.
For LGBTQ? Well, New York answered that question last night when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act that, in thirty days, will allow gay and lesbians to marry their loved ones with full marriage benefits.
That single moment, 11:55PM June, 24th 2011 will forever be a watershed moment in the struggle for LGBTQ marriage equality. For unlike other states, the tide was turned not by Democrats, not by Libertarians, not by Green Party or Tea Party, but Republican state senators raised their voices and said: “Freedom for all!”
To those Republicans, thank you. Thank you for showing the rest of the United States that offer no civil unions, domestic partnerships or marriage equality that America isn’t afraid of change; isn’t afraid of the future.
Later today, at 12 noon, the NYC Pride Parade is kicking off. It will be a proudly fierce crowd marching, for the first time, with the knowledge that in 28 short days, now, they can marry in the Empire State.
This is what acceptance means to me.