It seems that lately everybody is talking about love. The past couple of days, Facebook has blown up with posts about loving who you want and the support of marriage equality. People have been making their profile picture one that is red, with a gray equal sign, which has been a widespread movement of support for marriage equality, an issue that has recently been presented at the Supreme Court. Various organizations and celebrities are posting on their pages, embracing this trend.
So apparently love is the trend. Pictures of the rally outside the Supreme Court show people waving vibrant rainbow flags and holding countless signs that say, “Love is love” and or “Love knows no gender,” etc. There are more humorous signs that even say something like “Don’t hate on Dumbledore,” and then there are ones that really hit the mark.
One of my favorite messages that people have been getting across for quite some time now is that the issue itself is a trend. As a history major, I can see it as a trend of the times, something that would likely occur, even if the issue was not gay rights. It seems like people always need something to protest, and for a while now, civil rights has transformed from a battle between black and white, to one of a continuous color spectrum.
The commonly seen poster image that reinforces that this is just a trend is a photoset with an image same sex marriage protesters, armed with signs that say “One man, one woman” and “Stand up for marriage” while the bottom image reveals a grouping of civil rights protesters in the sixties, holding signs that aggressively demand that people “Stop race mixing.” And the set of words that piece this all together are, “Imagine how stupid you are going to look in 40 years.”
And that’s really it, isn’t it? People who don’t support it just might end up on another poster in forty years that seeks support for another social issue. And they will probably use the photos of opponents of same-sex marriage as the “example” of intolerance, just as our elementary and high school education refers us to the civil rights movement during the 1960s.
Again, as a history major, it is flawed to say that learning from the past can help us change the future, or prevent history from repeating itself, prevent future horrors like ones the world has already experienced, a commonly used example being the Holocaust. It would be wrong to say that people truly learn from the past in order to change the future.
The only thing that we can do is learn that there are frequent, noticeable trends in history. It appears that there is always a group of people who are either being oppressed, or singled out for being different. This discrimination knows no boundaries: race, religion, gender, sexual orientation. We’ve all seen it sometime or another: Jews, Muslims, Christians, blacks, women, the LGBTQ community. All of these different kinds of people have been part of a trend of discrimination. Over time, the oppressors fade away, and then for a little while there is peace. Until a new group emerges that is different from the perceived “norm.”
It was a nice change to see that the trend over the past couple of days was love. As it should be. I don’t mean that everyone should strip down and start “making love not war.” But essentially, why can’t people see that love is the trend that people are trying to encourage? Marriage equality is all about love and being allowed to express that love in the same way that everyone else is legally able to. Despite what many opponents might think, it all comes down to one very simple fact. Love is love. End of story.