Get Out of My Bed Already

It’s been a big week for diversity. It’s been a big few weeks, actually, between various bits of discrimination and Voting Rights Act court rulings, not to mention the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Then the Supreme Court refused to halt gay marriages in California post-DOMA. It was the right thing to do.

The gay marriage ban has been overturned. Get out of people’s beds and business already! Stop clinging to the past. Change is happening. Get on our team already! It’s frustrating. It makes you want to commission a stamp that reads “Diversity of Thought” and emblazon some foreheads hard.

I’ve always wondered about people who concern themselves with who other people are sleeping with, who they love or how they conduct their personal lives. How on earth can they really think that’s their business?

You’d think naysayers would be busily figuring out the most efficient way to begin taxing all these potential new couples and hiking up the prices on marriage licenses. Instead those in opposition likely will cling to “place of residence” rules to deny benefits and generally make other citizens’ lives difficult — tax-paying, presumably law-abiding citizens who they don’t know. What’s really a travesty is not that gay people want to marry and have the same rights as everyone else; it’s that people like House Speaker John Boehner spent millions of federal dollars trying to keep DOMA in place.

I can’t help but think that the country, and by association, the workplace, would ultimately be better off if we took a hands-off stance on love and marriage. There are so many other things that would benefit from that time. If employers think for one minute that these LGBT worries aren’t impacting productivity and performance, they’re being naïve.

The new cry is work-life blend, not work-life balance, since the latter is practically impossible for the average worker. We do bring our personal woes and worries into the office. If I’m worrying about how to buy life insurance or other health benefits for my partner because the state I live in doesn’t recognize my right to make my own decisions about love and sex, I will not be fully engaged at work.

Let’s make an unofficial pact. It’s OK to not approve of who someone else has sex with or chooses to marry. In turn, those individuals will promise not to invite the disapproving to the wedding and other festivities, and those individuals will be exempt from buying related gifts. Sound fair?