Love Wins

Handholding.  From a marriage at Madison's City/County Building on the first full day of marriage equality in Wisconsin.

Handholding. From a marriage at Madison’s City/County Building on the first full day of marriage equality in Wisconsin.

On Friday a federal judge overturned Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage and on Friday night and all day Saturday same-sex couples got married at the City/County building in Madison and at the courthouse in Milwaukee.

On Sunday morning I am still in shock from this. Two days later my joy still cannot be contained. And my vocabulary seems entirely inadequate to describe my feelings.

I understand that there are still court challenges and a stay could be handed down early this week as the Attorney General appeals the ruling. There are multiple cases wending their way through the court system and the Supreme Court could soon make a ruling that will affect all the states.

But for now it isn’t about politics. It is about love.

It is about the dozens of joy-filled couples who gathered to declare their love publicly. It is about children whose parents are now legally married. It is about the paper heart cut-outs and the real hearts filled with passion. Bubbles in the air and couples everywhere with smiles as wide as their faces. Hands held together, heads rested on shoulders. It is about the hugs of friends and embraces of lovers as that love is finally recognized. It is about the tears of joy from those in love, their friends, their families, and even strangers. It is about love, which really is the only thing that matters in the end.

Tomorrow we can discuss politics. We can argue about whether the state should be involved in marriage at all. We can plan the next moves in the political arena. Today let’s just take it in, savor the history that we are living through, and in a world where there is too much violence and hatred let’s celebrate the fact that there are those who love each other. This is a powerful moment. How often is love at the center of the news cycle? Let’s enjoy it while we can. When love wins we all win.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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1 Response to Love Wins

  1. marcea0k says:

    As I saw the coverage of the weddings performed in Madison and Milwaukee I realized I will have no difficulty remembering what calendar date this was, because it happened to be my parents wedding anniversary. All those lovely couples who forever on have their wedding anniversary on June 7, a glorious day for remembering that love always wins.

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