Such was the backdrop in Chicago's Federal Plaza for a rally in support of marriage equality, on the eve of Supreme Court arguments on the Prop. 8 same sex marriage case, and 2 days before oral arguments on a DOMA case (the backstory for this particular DOMA case can be seen in the documentary, Edie & Thea.)
I stopped by the rally early, and immediately came across Violet, her brother and Mom. I normally feel a little queasy about seeing kids holding signs at political events, but Violet--and her sign--were pretty irresistible. She cut out pictures of pretty bride ladies and put them into marrying couples. Her collage reminds me a little bit of a scrapbook I kept as a kid which consisted mostly of my cutting out pictures of various objects that I liked (say, table lamps) and pasting them in. Only Violet's is much girlier (and um political). Anyway, she was nice enough to let me take her picture (and you can just make out her brother behind her with his boy version).
A couple of activists spoke before I scurried home, one of them a woman who came out as a lesbian at Woodstock in 1969. She spoke about the married-like lives of so many same-sex couples she knew. And while I usually hate the narratives of "we're paying taxes so we deserve X," there was something very compelling about her taking this approach to same sex marriage: we're paying the Sup Ct justices, we're fighting in the military and we can't marry, can't rely on shared property rights, etc. Nothing like a normative argument wielded by a non-normative voice.
I don't expect much from this Court, but I left the rally feeling alive with hope; bubbly with color and humor from the high spirits and occasional quips; invigorated by the human, petitioning congress. Married to everyone.