As a liberal tree hugging type, I was proud of the Gotham State for passing their shiny new marriage law. Then it got a little weird. I started seeing articles like this one…
Neil Patrick Harris is engaged!
The 38-year-old “How I Met Your Mother” star tweeted Saturday that he and partner David Burtka are planning to say “I do” now that gay marriage is legal in New York!
“David and I did propose to each other, but over five years ago!” he explained. “We’ve been wearing engagement rings for ages, waiting for an available date.”
Emphasis added on that last bit.
I saw other articles up that struck me as odd. Speculation on who might come out now, who might (or should) get married next, and why any of it is our business. Oh, wait. Sorry. No one wrote about that last part.
Hey, I get that this is a big deal. I’m pleased for my friends in the GBL community, and am more than willing to put my online ordainment to use in helping them get hitched. And I love the NPH. I’ll admit it.
But somewhere deep down, it bothers me that this step forward means intense scrutiny for the private life of those who live in the spotlight. What happened to boundaries, folks? Yes, I know that this type of speculation is pointed at the straight community from time to time (Bennafer, Branjelina, MichaelZetaJones, etc.) but it somehow doesn’t feel as intrusive. I guess because it’s always been there.
My point though is that just because someone can get married by no means implies they should get married. It’s not for everyone. I know plenty of straights that are better off single, at least in their current time of life. Let’s not try to shoehorn all the newly marriage-eligible people into one tux. Or dress. Or skort. I have no idea what is appropriate. The point is we need to maintain a little perspective on the speculation.
We’re starting to get past a period of discrimination based on sexual preference, which is worth celebrating. And I’m sure if the Interwebs were around back in the day, there would have been speculation about civil rights and who drink from the “whites only” fountain next. And we would look back today in horror, shame and disgust that we lived through that era and then tried to entertain ourselves talking about it. This won’t be much different, I suspect, when the next generation starts fighting for equal rights for non-terrestrial life forms.
We’re better than this. Acknowledge the achievement, support those who are open with their choices and celebrate those who make a commitment to another person. But keep the speculation to yourself, m’kay?