Monday, February 9, 2015

Stumbling toward progress

Alabama, heart of the Confederacy (home of the Stoneyard in the Nikolai series), has just legalized same sex marriage.

The first couple, Robert Povilat and Milton Persinger, married in Birmingham. Other countries ceased issuing marriage licenses entirely and one can only imagine the private conniption fit and temper tantrum being thrown by Judge Roy Moore, the state chief justice who is a devout Dominionist.

As I made the bed this morning, I thought about this.  How can I keep writing a future where the Confederates States execute gay people right next to thieves and murderers on the first Friday of the month? Doesn't this negate the directions I saw the world going in when I wrote Nikolai and Glad Hands?

No, it doesn't.

It changes nothing. No more than the election of Barak Obama did. (I suspect his presidency will be a temporary setback for black candidates, actually. Detractors and the media will say "See! See what a hash he made? Probably best we stick with less radical [read that as "white"] candidates.")

The CS will still promote its regressive theocratic way.
If reminded of the time when same sex marriage was legal, their response will be the same as it is when reminded of the Obama presidency.
"That was a different time. A time when we walked in darkness and listened to the lies of Satan. We have learned better. Now we weed out this evil before it can take root."

But today, none of my fiction is real. Today, couples in Alabama are marrying...except where the courthouses aren't issuing. And that, too, will change with time.

If you had asked me, seven years ago, if we would ever see same-sex marriage happen in the south, I would have said "No. The people down here are God-haunted Jesus-shouters who will never allow it."  They didn't allow it, and in fact voted 5 to 1 to NOT allow it. But the courts have, once again, decided that civil rights of a minority are not subject to the whim of the majority.

And that is progress.

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