The sun rose Tuesday morning, just as it did Monday morning and the morning before that.
Just like it has every other day.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider appeals from several states, including Indiana, to overturn appeals court decisions striking down those states’ bans on same-sex marriage. That means that same-sex unions are legal in Indiana now and for the foreseeable future.
Yes, gay people can get married in Indiana.
And, despite predictions from social conservatives of an immediate apocalypse if people of the same gender were allowed to legally devote themselves to each other, the world didn’t end.
The sun rose to greet a cool, rainy, quiet day. Even the leaves on the trees didn’t move much, because the wind was but a whisper.
Maybe that is as it should be.
A great deal of noise – a lot of high-decibel battles and moments of great tension – has accompanied the struggle over marriage equality in Indiana, but the push motivating that struggle always has been as soft as the sound of a beating heart.
So many of the bitterest fights we Americans have are over the simplest, most human things.
A woman doesn’t want to have to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 – doesn’t want to surrender her dignity as a human being to satisfy a fearful and irrational prejudice. Little black children in cities across the South around the same time just want to go to the same nice schools that white children attend. Young black men and women – some of them veterans whose military service marks them as defenders of freedom – just want to be seated at a lunch counter and be treated as human beings.
And here in Indiana, more than 50 years later, couples all over the state ached with the same basic human need. They wanted to go through life not alone, but with a partner, a spouse, someone to love, someone to support, someone to cherish.
They knew, as human beings have known for millennia, that being a part of a couple provides a buffer against some of the world’s hard edges and makes life’s moments of joy even fuller and more satisfying.
That’s why so many gay people wanted the comfort, the security, the love that a devoted, committed and recognized union brings. They wanted to build lives with someone they love, just like everyone wants.
They wanted to be married.
Such a simple, human thing.
Now that day is here.
The Supreme Court’s action means the fight about gay marriage in Indiana is over. There will be other tussles. Opponents of gay marriage have vowed to fight on other fronts. They say they will battle to deny gay Hoosiers their dignity as human beings and opportunities as consumers and citizens – all in the name of love and faith, of course.
But that’s in the future.
This is now.
This is life.
And now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time gay Hoosiers can greet the day secure in the knowledge that they don’t have to go through their lives alone if they don’t want to. They can live a life that always had been denied them.
Tuesday, the sun rose on a gray, cloudy day, but for many Hoosiers that soft low morning light ushered in a new era, one that promises happiness to who knows how many of our neighbors, friends and family members.
It was a quiet sunrise.
Oh, but a joyous sunrise.
A loving sunrise.
John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.