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  • 1.

    Twenty years ago, when I had just come out of the closet, the idea of marriage was the last thing on my mind.

    It was enough not to be bashed for being gay, not to be fired from a job for being gay.

    Back then, in many states like Texas and Georgia, sodomy was still a crime.

    Back then, even in San Francisco, outside of the Castro, you had to be wary, walking down a street, in certain neighborhoods, two men could be brutalized for a simple gesture of affection, touching hands in public.

    Marriage was for straight people. Only.

    Back then, my perspective was impoverished. I was like the pauper who, not having enough money to pay his rent would never dream of a vacation in Maui. An impossible extravagance.


    My first gay wedding. I am at the Fairmont Hotel on top of Knob Hill, in a ballroom, at a lavish banquet, I can see views of the Golden Gate Bridge, glowing fiery, orange-red, I can see Coit Tower, porcelain white, perched on top of a hill, like a glowing candle on a cake.

    It is a mixed faith wedding. One of the grooms is Jewish, his ancestors from Poland. The other groom is Buddhist, his ancestors from Japan.

    The sun is setting, the jazz band is swinging, I have a glass of pinot gris in my hand, the scent of star-gazer lillies, the ivory napkins on the table, the mood infects me with joy, a grandfather dances with a young girl in a saffron silk dress, the guests are gay and straight, family and friends, old and young.

    In a world full of bickering, where sorrow is never further than your own shadow, a world full of ignorance, hatred, violence, a wedding is a relief, a balm from the wounds of life, at least for just one day, one moment, there is only levity, lightness, love.

    What type of person would be against this?


    Initially, I was against the idea of same-sex marriage.

    In law school. I told my boyfriend at that time, a young man from Michigan, with blushing apple cheeks and sweet nutmeg eyes:

    Why would anyone want to get marry? It’s so medieval. A relic. You know women were once considered chattel, property of their husbands. It’s not as if it works for straight people. Think of all the divorces. The infidelities. The hypocrisy.

    Also I disliked the rhetoric of assimilation: Be nice to us because we are just like you, we want to marry, have a dog, a house in the suburb.

    My views on this subject have evolved. Marriage is not only the union of two individuals, it is the welding of families, the melding of tribes, through matrimony, even former foes can become allies.

    Marriage is the super-glue that binds society. An affirmation of love, not just for the lovers, but for all of us.

    Now, what type of person would be against that?


    To the 58 percent in North Carolina who voted yesterday to outlaw same sex marriages. I am disappointed in all of you.

    More than that. I am angry.

    What you did was indecent. Immoral.

    You have voted against the tide of history. You have voted against community, against joy, against love.

    What type of people are you?
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