There's been a lot of 1977 retrospectives on the tellybox recently, what with it being the jubilee. Also a lot in the news has been lots of talk about marriage equality, "Gay Marriage" if you prefer, especially since St. Obama has played his hand in favor.
It got me thinking as to how much things have changed in 25 years. I was 12 years old back in '77 and I can still vividly recall that the very, very worst insult in the playground was to call someone gay, puff, bummer or any other word indicating that the target of the insult was a fan of musical theatre. Even though I'm pretty sure that 90% of the time we really had no idea what the words really meant it was certainly a cause for an immediate punch up. Certainly actually being gay was I am sure at the time social death and certainly not something spoken of in a positive light where I grew up. I recall my dad, commenting on an article in the paper about a police raid on a gay-friendly pub in the town, saying something along the lines of "they should all be strung up" which was a bit of a shock as he was normally a pretty tolerant guy. I think the mindset back then was very much gay = child molester or at the very least that being gay was some deep, dark perversion and only vagely acceptable if you were a "comedy" gay like Danny LaRue or John Inman's character in "Are You Being Served"
It's really quite strange how quickly things have changed and how far. Now it seems that if you're opposed to marriage equality you're the one that's the deviant. Looking across the pond to North Carolina it's quite surprising the opprobrium that's been directed towards the people of the state who voted in favour of denying gay couples even a civil union with many calling them "hicks" and "backward" at best. On a political note it's a shrewd move by Obama to come out in favour of gay marriage; a lot of the shine has gone off his presidency and he failed to deliver all that "hopey, changey" stuff in the storm of a recession and he's aligned himself with the "progressive", younger vote ahead of the presidential elections later this year.
Over this side of the shining big-sea-water we can see that it's mainly the religidiots who are hanging onto the "it's one man one woman" like a drowning man grasping at a straw, swimming against the tide of history and sinking their antediluvian beliefs further and further into irrelevance. Politically again Camoron really has no choice but to push this forwards, despite the grumblings from the blue-rinse wing of the party; he's in deep political crap as it is and scrapping his proposed gay marriage bill will just pin the "nasty party" label back on the Tories and right now that's the last thing they need.
Still, maybe in another 25 years we'll be twittering (using our neural interfaces whilst on a day trip to the moon) about "do you remember when gay people couldn't get married?" in the same way as we'd talk about mixed-race marriages now.* One can only wonder what'll be perfectly socially acceptable then.
* To be fair as far as I know the UK never had a race bar on marriage but they certainly did in the USA
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