In cartoons we see avalanches almost invariably starting the same way. It’s clichéd, in fact – a small pebble propping up a huge boulder gets bumped. The pebble falls away, and moments later the boulder comes tumbling down after it. After that of course, the avalanche is inevitable.
And if it happens to be Wile E. Coyote standing in the path of the avalanche, a tiny umbrella suddenly appears for protection, but it doesn’t achieve anything.
We’re at that pebble-bumped point with marriage equality in the western world, with opponents holding up their flimsy, tiny umbrellas in the hopes of stopping the onslaught.
Except, as we’re seeing demonstrated in the countries where marriage equality has come to pass, there’s no onslaught. Societies aren’t disintegrating, divorce rates aren’t shooting through the roof, water supplies aren’t being filled with mutated ill-tempered sea-bass, and babies are still being born.
Even in United States, often dominated by conservative christian thought, the individual states are starting to tumble. Today, a friend messaged me to say:
Marriage equality passed the Minnesota House today bipartisan 75-59. It will easily pass the Senate and be signed by Gov Dayton on Monday. Minnesota will be #12 plus DC.
The United States goes on, despite what crazies holding their comic little cocktail umbrellas are saying.
The world goes on, just as it has gone on before, but with just that little bit more equality in it. Each country that achieves marriage equality adds to the proof that there’s nothing dangerous or society-shattering about it.
It’s not to say we can be complacent about marriage equality if we haven’t already achieved it … we are the rocks tumbling down the mountain, both us and those who have already gained their equality.
We must continue to tumble, and with it, the barriers to equality will keep tumbling down.
With the defeat of DOMA in the United States, that avalanche is continuing to gather pace.