Saturday, June 25, 2011
Let Freedom Ring
I really wish I had time to do a detailed write-up on the fantastic news that the state of New York has voted to allow gay marriage, since it deserves as much attention as it can get. The best I can do at the moment is bring back a quick excerpt from a piece I wrote in late 2008 when the forces aligned against equality for all won a somewhat reprehensible and underhanded -- and I believed at the time, short-lived -- victory by passing Prop 8 in California, essentially overturning the legalization of gay marriage in that state. At the time, I wrote about a very good friend of mine named Omar, and how he, like everyone else in this country, deserved to be able to marry whomever he choses -- this, despite the fact that he's gay.
Here's what I said:
"There should be no doubt that eventually we'll look back on this disgraceful moment in our history the way we now regard segregation, pre-suffrage, or the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II: with shame, sadness, and a host of unanswerable questions as to what we might possibly have been thinking. We know this because, as much as those who stand against it will hate to hear this, legal gay marriage in the United States is an inevitability. We know this because of the basic nature of freedom: it expands.
It will not be contained -- and it most certainly will not be restricted once it's already been allowed to flourish. Isn't this the very principle that's guided our occasionally awkward foreign policy for years? Are we so blind or so unforgivably hypocritical that we can't recognize when the truth of that ideal is staring us right in the face?
The genie is out of the bottle.
There's no putting it back in, and it was inexcusable that we sought to restrain it in the first place. That's not what this country is about.
My friend Omar, like all Americans, should have the right to marry anyone he wants -- to live his life however he chooses.
And not you, nor I, nor anyone else has the right to take those rights away from him."
Make no mistake: New York is likely the largest domino yet to fall when it comes to the inevitable legalization of gay marriage nationwide. And that's a very, very good thing.