Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Maryland next week, and oh it’s going to take some getting used to. How about the horror of having to photograph two men or two women for a wedding ceremony. Apparently one anonymous photog has a professional problem with the aesthetics of it:
John Zito, president of the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association, said he knows of a wedding photographer who “didn’t feel comfortable” taking same-sex couples’ photos because he was unaccustomed to posing two grooms or two brides together. Zito would not identify the photographer.
“I’m a photographer by trade myself, and I’ve done a couple of commitment ceremonies, and it is kind of awkward,” Zito said. “When you have two men, I don’t know how to pose them, and this person didn’t know how to provide them the same services [as he would provide straight couples] if they didn’t know how to pose them.”
I’m sure that he or she can learn, no? Obviously social changes do roil convention, but people can adapt . But the familiar objections are there too – like county clerks in St. Mary’s County who are the only officials raising religious objections to handing out civil marriage licenses. Um, it’s your job, folks. DO IT or find another line of work.
To avoid those offensive same-sex couples, some business owners would rather stop serving any wedding services. Take this guy:
Discover Annapolis Tours, which offers tours by old-fashioned trolley that have been popular in Annapolis weddings, will no longer serve weddings as a result of owner Matt Grubbs’ religious beliefs, The Baltimore Sun reported. In an email to a prospective client, Grubbs urged Maryland residents to lobby for a change in the law exempting religious business owners.
If a business leaves the wedding industry, rather than picking and choosing between clients, he is avoiding discrimination, said Glendora Hughes, general counsel for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
Really? Would this guy refuse to service interracial couples back in the day? Don’t ask. But social change has been in the wind for some time, and those choosing to avoid/ignore/complain about the extension of civil rights do so at their own peril. Over at CNN, Frida Ghitis offers her ideas about why change is coming rapidly despite a very rough go by conservatives to turn back the clock:
It may have something to do with the media — social media, television, the Internet — providing a boost to the message, a message of human dignity and common sense. It certainly has much to do with demographics. Young people, growing up with new ideas, are picking up the torch of social change.
Today, a majority of Americans, 57%, favor stricter gun control, jumping sharply from 39% just a few months ago. That’s bad news for the most conservative elements in society, who think the government should stand back from almost every aspect of our lives.
But the truly radical transformation has come in the area of gay rights. For the first time, Gallup Polls show a majority of Americans support full marriage equality for gay couples. That’s an astonishing change. But it’s not as astonishing as the wholesale acceptance of gay people that has suffused American society in the last few years.
Perhaps it was “Will and Grace” or “Glee,” or President Obama’s long-delayed approval of same-sex marriage. Probably all of the above and much more, but a switch has been flipped. The cause has gained an unstoppable momentum, so unstoppable that even if full equality is denied by the conservative-tilted Supreme Court, scheduled to rule on the issue by this summer, it will only amount to a delay of the inevitable.