JANUARY 10, 1976 was the day Gregory and I saw each other across a crowded room and fell in lust. We count that date as our "anniversary" and that was 43 years ago! One year later we consummated our relationship at a time when everyone (Gay or Straight) was hopping into bed for a one-night stand after meeting at the bar! Two years later, after a beautiful courtship during a time when everyone was desperate to declare a union after two or three weeks knowing each other, we moved in together.
We consider it the anniversary of our meeting and our commitment to each other as a couple, during a time when such relationships were not recognized by our government, by our churches, let alone by a large percentage of the general population. It was before various state civil unions, before legalized marriage for same-sex couples in the United States, and before legalized marriage in many countries around the world, and before "Love is love!"
We were both attending a meeting of the Monday Night Men's Gathering Awareness Group on that fated night. In those days men were just beginning to explore in earnest their feminine side and looking closely at what makes a man a man, what makes a woman a woman, how can the two work together in life in a respectful, loving way. Our group of a dozen or so men included straight, gay, bisexual, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, married, and single!
It was the time of a resurgence in the Equal Rights Amendment Era of the '60s and '70s. The ERA was a constitutional amendment which was originally introduced to Congress is 1921 in an attempt to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.
It was ratified by the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 1970s and sent to the states to be ratified as an Amendment to the Constitution with a deadline for voting to be 1979 and then extended to 1982. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. The deadline since has been extended and passed. Several states have revoked their vote to accept and a few have voted YES with some activity showing up during 2017-2019.
This is a battle we easily see continuing to take place not only in our government but on the streets with the marches of our discontent with the treatment of women! A battle of 98 years over an argument that should be taken for granted as the way to go and the right thing to do.
We also see semblances of this battle in racial tensions, immigration, continued LGBTQ issues and more. The LGBTQ Community has gotten to work for "Love is Love" and we now all need work towards "People are People."