How Times Have Changed

same sex

 

To codgers like me, the photo above has to be …. well… startling. To some it might be a shock. It was published today by the Daily Kos, and it shows Detective David Currie kissing his new husband , Aaron Woodard. The two men were married shortly after midnight Tuesday in Florida.

Yes, Florida.

You know how conservative Florida is. Republicans rule the Legislature, and once you get north of Orlando, you are in deep red territory. But even in Florida the state government has had to accept the fact that times change, customs change, perceptions change.

When I was growing up in Jamaica, the concept of same-sex marriage was not just unacceptable, it was unthinkable.  Even in the early Seventies, the sight of men kissing each other on the lips could be frightening.

I was in the Carib Theatre one evening… I think I was watching¬† a film called “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”…. and two male actors exchanged a passionate kiss on screen. A scream of terror pierced the gloom and I made out the burly shape of a man scrambling for the exit as if he was pursued by demons.

I don’t know whether Jamaicans are less homophobic today. I haven’t been “home” in many years. I suppose some Jamaicans, the older ones, are still horrified by the thought of men kissing each other. But I suspect that there, as in most of the world, the young folks think it’s natural for two people who love each other to kiss – and marry – whatever their gender(s) might be.

The battle against homophobia is not over, of course. In some countries, like Uganda, the government has even decreed that homosexuals should be put to death.

And in Florida, the fight against the future drags on.

My sister Elizabeth told me the other day that courthouses in Pasco and other counties were refusing to perform marriages so they wouldn’t have to marry same-sex couples.

Here’s how the Daily Kos writer sees the situation:

We have finally turned a corner in this state. We went from rampant homophobia (perfectly encapsulated by former governor Jeb Bush’s rant comparing gays to pedophiles and drunk drivers) to now seeing statewide support for marriage equality.

Marco Rubio and other backward politicians are pushing Florida AG PamBo to continue to fight this already lost battle to the US Supreme Court, even though they recently shredded her last minute plea for an injunction. PamBo tried to argue that marriage was meant only for couples who planned to breed and provide “enduring family relationships”.

I used to talk with Pam Bondi on the phone when I was a Tampa Tribune reporter and she was the press representative for Hillsborough County. She is certainly no codger; she won’t be 50 years old till November. And her own two marriages haven’t worked out.

In a recent political campaign, a critic noted that: “Personally, she has no children and lives with her 60 year old eye doctor boyfriend.”

But Pam is very conservative – politically, anyway.

Click for the Daily Kos report.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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