Celebrating the legalization of gay marriage in Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream makers have for the month of September renamed their popular ‘Chubby Hubby’ flavor ‘Hubby Hubby.’ I completely understand why ‘Wifey, Wifey’ wasn’t an option and I will forgive them for my sadness at this momentary gender exclusion. So three cheers for Ben and Jerry’s and pass me that pint of Cherry Garcia! (lovingly named in honor of the late Jerry Garcia legendary guitarist of the Grateful Dead). In August, my wife and I celebrated our one year anniversary as a married couple — one of the 18,000 or so couples that tied the knot when gay marriage was briefly legal in California. Our anniversary was a very special occasion graced with champagne and a piece of the wedding cake. For our wedding announcement, we used a watercolor I painted of Isola Bella in Taormina, Sicily
the beautiful place where we celebrated our 20th anniversary as a couple. So though we’ve only legally been married in California for just over a year, we’ve been a couple for nearly twenty-five wonderful years. Some day in the future, gay marriage will be the norm in our country, and not the exception or blasphemy as some see it today.
There is that wonderful saying “as California goes, so goes the country,” which in my mind translates as California sets the trends and others follow a good idea. But that hasn’t always been the case. Many of the leading abolitionists fighting to end the practice of slavery in the United States were from New England including Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry David Thoreau and John Greenleaf Whittier. Interesting coincidence but Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont — all New England states — have legalized gay marriage. Plucky Iowa has too, but that’s another longitude. Slavery was an inhuman practice codified in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, but the rhetoric of the New England abolitionists served as the country’s conscience arguing slavery must end, and all must be free and equal. Equality under the law is a fundamental freedom was the argument against Proposition 8 heard by the California Supreme Court. While the court upheld Proposition 8 ending gay marriage in my state, the fight will continue here in California and throughout our country. Equality is one of those fine old New England traditions that runs deep. I look forward to the day I can say ” as New England goes, so goes the country.”