I was sitting at my desk at my internship in Washington, D.C., reading a bill about international trade, when my phone buzzed.
It was a text from my partner, Daniel, telling me to check Twitter.
I immediately set aside what I was working on and read the first tweet.
“Judge strikes down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage.”
And in that moment, I burst into tears.
Even though I am not planning on getting married anytime soon, and even though I was halfway across the country at the time, it meant a lot.
I suddenly felt like Indiana was more of a home.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Young indicated I would finally be recognized as a human being.
Now, though, I’m unsure what I am in the eyes of my state. Shortly after the ruling, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a stay to halt same-sex marriages in Indiana. It was granted.
Gov. Mike Pence’s administration then issued a memo stating the same-sex marriage ban in Indiana is “in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court order of June 25 had not been issued.”
Pence refuses to abide by the ruling of a U.S. judge. He is instead regarding same-sex marriages conducted as invalid.
Now, it’s nearly impossible to deny that Pence is eyeing the White House for 2016 or 2020. The governor has been traveling across the country and even overseas to the United Kingdom and Germany to bash President Obama’s policies.
And, in following the longstanding Republican tradition of treating same-sex couples as second-class citizens, Pence is grandstanding for his Republican supporters.
But he should stop wasting taxpayer dollars fighting this ruling. Moreover, he should recognize not only the same-sex marriages already performed, but any same-sex marriages performed in the future.
In all honesty, there will be those who say that as a man with a male partner I don’t exactly have a forgiving perspective on the Pence administration’s decision.
And yet I find myself writing this column, not filled with anger or spite, but with a great, profound sadness.
For a small, minuscule moment in Indiana, we witnessed a glimmer of equality and basic human decency.
Same-sex marriage was legalized. Society didn’t crumble. Brimstone didn’t rain down upon us from the heavens.
And Pence should recognize that.