Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Free at Last! Free at Last!

I listened to a good many of the comments and debate from the Minnesota Senate on Monday regarding the new marriage law. I was often touched and moved – by both Republicans and Democrats – by those who planned to vote against the proposed law and by those who would vote for it.
by Charlie Leck

When the vote was taken, I was in my car driving along in busy afternoon traffic. Just as I realized the bill had passed and it was announced on the radio, I heard car horns honking all around me. The Monday afternoon rush hour turned into a celebration for a good number of the drivers who were headed home from work. I began tapping my horn with the other drivers.

On the radio, I could hear the general celebration in the Minnesota capital building. It was quite loud and very joyous. The sounds were echoing around in the big, open structure, bouncing off the walls and cascading here and there.

Minnesota will, beginning on August 1, allow gay and lesbian marriage. We are the first Midwestern state to allow such marriages. I am a very happy and proud Minnesotan. I have friends who will take advantage of the new law and I am very, very joyful for them. I called one of them to share the news. Of course, he had been listening carefully on public radio and knew what had happened. He said that he and his partner had been hugging and dancing ever since the vote tally was announced.

I called one of the organizers of the political strategy to get this bill voted into law, to congratulate him. His phone was busy and his voice mail was jammed. I sent him a text message instead.

I was stymied in my attempts to contact any of the other happy friends who were so impacted by this new law. So, I turned instead to the magnificent but mysterious big-guy who oversees the planet. I gave him the thumbs-up and the biggest smile I could muster.

“Great goin’, I said. “You did good! Real good!”

On a freeway overpass, under which I drove, a group of young fellows were waving and dancing with wild happiness, waving rainbow banners. Cars were honking at them in congratulations.

People interviewed on the radio were saying things like… “This is how it feels to be equal… to be a full citizen.”

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!”

It was a wonderful, extraordinary feeling. Now I sit quietly thinking about the long and difficult journey that’s been made to here.

At 5 p.m. today, at a public ceremony on the steps of the Capital Building, the Governor will sign the bill into law. Freedom! Freedom! I can only imagine that there will be some wonderful parties late this afternoon that will go on into the morning. I’ll just sleep well and peacefully.

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1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Is this also the straw that will break Bachmann?