A new ballot initiative will putCalifornia back into the gay-marriage fight, which has considerably broadened in the months since Prop 8 passed. States likeVermont andMaine
have embraced gay marriage, and New York is among others that may do so
soon. And in a telling bit of irony, Moreno began his dissent by
quoting not from his own court’s historic 2008 opinion, but from one
issued earlier this year in Iowa. “The ‘absolute equality of all’
persons before the law [is] ‘the very foundation principle of our
government,'” he wrote.
For my disappointment and anger today, I have to thank not just the power of the Mormon church and the fearful bigotry of right-wing sex scolds everywhere in making what is the fundamental issue of equal protection under the law into a farce about sodomy in schools and someone else taking away your marriage.
I also have to thank my parents, who from the time I was old enough to point told me that mocking someone for his difference, or implying he is worth any less than me for it, was unacceptable, out of bounds.
I have to thank the young man who came and spoke to my (Catholic) high school “human sexuality” class about being gay, about always knowing he was different but never knowing quite how at first. I have to thank his courage and his humor and his generosity toward a bunch of privileged brats who wouldn’t know until years later what his words meant.
I have to thank the poor guy who suffered through being my ignorant ass’s first close, and out, gay friend, for slapping me around when I said something stupid, for talking to me and arguing with me and educating me when it really wasn’t his job to do so at all.
I have to thank my friends today, who every day live lives of beauty and joy that should be the envy of everyone, and against whom the very thought of pain is unthinkable.
I have to thank hundreds of thousands of people who stood up and fought discrimination in all its forms and continue to reach out to others despite setback after setback, insult after insult. Without them I would not be disappointed today. Without them I would not be angry.
Wiithout them, too, I would not be hopeful for the future. I would not be sure that we are now and have ever been on the road away from these small fears and toward hope and common decency, however long and rocky that road might be. For all that I have to thank those who fought Proposition 8 and everything like it. I have to thank them because even in defeat their voices raised are those that call to us from a better world, where we are better people. And hearing them, we can see the way clear to get there.