Monday, December 10, 2012

I Loved You .... Once In Silence

While we were living in Miami, Carlos and I often made the trek down to Key West for Pride Weekend. There aren't many more fun places for Pride on the planet and it was always an eye-poppin' good time. But I always remember our first trip to Key West Pride because on the first night, there was a variety show featuring LGBT performers singing, dancing, being merry, and Mary, and just kicking the weekend off with a bang.

One number, sung by two women has always stayed with me. It was their rendition of a song Julie Andrews sang in the Broadway musical 'Camelot' way back in the 1960s, called 'I loved You Once In Silence' that Guinevere sings of Lancelot. These two women, however, explained that, to them, the song meant much more about gay and lesbian love, and how it, at one time, in many places, had to be hidden away and treated as if it didn't exist.

It had to be silent.....

I loved you once in silence
And misery was all I knew
Trying so to keep my love from showing
All the while not knowing you loved me too
Yes, loved me in lonesome silence
Your heart filled with dark despair
Knowing love would flame in you forever
And I'd never, never know the flame was there
Then one day we cast away our secret longing
The raging tide we held inside would hold no more
The silence at last was broken, we flung wide our prison door
Every joyous word of love was spoken

But times have changed, and gay men and women are more open about whom they love, and the need for silence, while it still might exist in some places, is growing dimmer and dimmer. The silence, in fact, ended this past weekend in Washington state when, in the first six hours of marriage equality, 279 couples spoke up, and asked to be married. 

The silence is ending in Maryland soon. Last Thursday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the proclamation confirming that his state’s residents approved marriage equality. Counties throughout the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples instantly, although the first weddings will not take place until the law officially goes into effect January 1. Governor Paul LePage of Maine certified his state’s election results approving marriage equality on November 29, and the law goes into effect in time for New years Eve weddings.

The silence is ending in those three states, bringing the number of places in this country, where all men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, are free to marry the person they love, to ten, following New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. 

And the silence might just finally end in California, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn Prop H8 and allow all Californians equality. Add to that, the idea that new polls in New Jersey and Illinois show both those states leaning toward equality as well; New Jersey voters think same sex marriage should be allowed in their state by a 53/36 margin, and Illinois voters believe it should be permitted by a 47/42 spread.

It's funny, there's that old saying about silence being golden, and now all I can think of is that the silence in which many gay and lesbian couples used to live, out of fear, and shame, and, at many times, a need to protect themselves, that silence has turned to gold.

As in wedding bands.
Ashley Cavnerand Jessica Lee
James Griener and Paul Harris
Jocelyn Guzman and Shawn Sanders
drove down from Anchorage, Alaska, to be married
Jane Abbott Lighty and Pete-e Petersen.
Larry Duncan and Randy Shepherd
Matthew Wiltse and Jonathon Bashford
Will Gerome and John Kirby


Ask the Cool Cookie said...

Blessings on them all.

The next hurdle in marriage equity states is getting people to stop assuming that Mr. Smith has a Mrs. Smith. Our work is just beginning.

Ms Sparrow said...

What a joyous day for so many loving couples! said...

Congratulations to all the happy couples! Now they have to work just has hard to have their marriages recognized on a federal level!

the dogs' mother said...

Loves the pictures!

anne marie in philly said...

for the older couples, they probably figured they would never see the day when they would be officially married.

now to get the feds to recognize!

Bill Dameron said...

Awesome, just awesome!

Kyle Leach said...

Bob, it's really exciting to watch marriage equality spread. Knowing that future generations will be able to be happy and love, without having to deal with all the silence, hate, and oppression earlier generations did, makes all the fighting worth it.