End of Florida ban won't end whining

Now that Florida is on the verge of actually doing something sensible and just, the hysterical griping will be getting louder. Much louder.

It's against the Bible, we will be hearing. Sorry, I give no credence to people who use religion as an excuse to justify their bigotry, ignorance and hatred.

It's against the Constitution, we will hear. This comes from people who have no real knowledge of the Constitution, and just want to distort the meaning of the document to their own tastes.

It's another example of activist judges, we will hear. They will say judges shouldn't decide anything. This from people who believe judges are liberal morons, unless judges rule the way the way they want. Then judges are brilliant.

It goes against the will of the people and how they voted, we will hear. I love that one. If we allowed people to vote on everything, we might still have slavery in parts of the country, inter-racial marriage would be banned, and creationism would be required in all schools. Oh, and that gripe surely comes from people who rarely vote themselves.

You will hear all that and much more as we thankfully get to the final moments of the same-sex marriage ban in Florida. One ruling late last week overturning the ban applies to Monroe County. More rulings are expected almost any time that would end the ban statewide.

It is going to happen. Count on it. In state after state, courts have overturned same-sex marriage bans like Florida's, declaring them unconstitutional. Florida will become the 20th state to legalize gay marriage, even as Attorney General Pam Bondi appeals to protect Florida's sacred right to discriminate.

And you know something? As stunning as this change will seem, unless you are among the same-sex couples finally getting the right to be married, your life is not going to change one iota.

The gripers won't admit that. In a Miami-Dade courtroom last week, lawyer Matthew Staver of Liberty Counsel, representing the Orlando group that pushed for the original ban, said a decision in favor of same-sex marriage would "be a culture-changing event that would not be good for marriage, certainly not for the state of Florida."

Give me a break.

When the ban is officially overturned, you will still have bigotry and prejudice. There will still be crime and poverty and ridiculous traffic and Ponzi schemers and homelessness and high food prices. LeBron James will still be in Cleveland. None of that changes because of a court order.

What will change is that same-sex couples will have the right to marriage and happiness — and in some cases, the right to fight like married couples and get divorced like married couples.

They will get the same legal and financial rights that heterosexual married couples have always had.

They will not have to be satisfied with public officials who try to show they are open-minded by saying they are for "civil unions" for gay couples. Civil unions is a spineless cop-out phrase, and everybody knows it. Particularly the people who use it.

They will not have to listen to people like Florida Gov. Rick Scott say he is in favor of traditional marriage, but is opposed to people being discriminated against. Explain that one, governor.

Better yet, don't bother.

Better we should all just look at states like Iowa and New Jersey and Rhode Island and Vermont and Maine and Illinois and others. States where same-sex marriage is now allowed, and amazingly, states where life has gone on just like it always did.

The same will happen here. Florida won't be a perfect place, but it will be a more just place, a place that can truly say people are treated as equals.

Florida will be a better place. For that, we will have to keep putting up with the griping.

I think it is a worthy trade off.

Gary Stein can be reached at gstein@sunsentinel.com, or 954-356-4616. On Twitter@SSEditorial.

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