Valley Voice
Mrs. Merkel, tear down this wall!

Millions of people in Silicon Valley have celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage. It is about time for Germany to finally catch up.
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Although I have been living in Silicon Valley for a year now, I still think of it as a very contradictory place. Californians can talk for hours about saving energy with a Tesla or a Nest thermostat. At the same time they waste lots of it by air-conditioning entire downtown areas. Young engineers give you lectures about how technology enables independence while Google takes care of their dirty socks. And the list of double standards goes on and on.

It is pretty easy to make fun of Silicon Valley, California and the United States. But when San Francisco metamorphosed into a fairyland of rainbows, fun and joy on Sunday I ended up almost understanding why Americans are so naively proud of their country. The Supreme Court affirmed same-sex marriage as a right all over the country. Everybody was out on the streets celebrating Pride.

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Germany should finally catch up. I don’t see any reason to avoid that decision any longer. Mrs. Merkel, tear down this wall! Not only because of civil rights, but also because it won’t destroy the concept of marriage. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. We all can learn from the lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community and its years of fight for the right to marry.

Every third marriage ends in divorce. Most people I know don’t want to get a wedding dress at all, because they don’t think it is worth it. At the same time they have trouble to commit. Especially in San Francisco I see people dating all the time, but nobody seems to have a relationship anymore. I am not sure if this makes you happy.

It’s no coincidence that a dating app called Tinder is so popular here. You can look at hundreds of pictures. But that makes it harder to decide. So better swipe left, because there might be somebody out there who is even cooler.

“Generation Tinder” avoids commitment. Everything is just shared, the room, the car, even the job is only temporary and so is the partner. Instead of religion believe in low-carb.

It's a generation of travelers and tourists in beautiful countries, in people’s lives, just as long as it’s not getting complicated.

But at the end of all that self-realization and self-expression you might be just by yourself and that means alone. That's why after all it could be very important for the sake of all of us to learn from the LGBT community about the value of commitment and marriage and to finally realize that dream also in my country.

Es gibt auch eine deutsche Version dieser Kolumne.

Immer Dienstags schreibt Britta Weddeling, Korrespondentin für die Themen Internet und Netzwirtschaft des Handelsblatts im Silicon Valley, über die neusten Trends und kleinen Kuriositäten im Tal der Nerds.

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