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  • “I’m not old, I’m told,” sang Joni Mitchell, “but I am not young.”

    What’s this to do with gay marriage and the end of the federal (and inappropriately titled) Defense of Marriage Act?

    If you had ask a ten-year old Shane if he thought he’d be getting married, he’d of answered, sure, I’m going to marry Barbra Streisand, we’ll live out in the Southern California dessert and take candle-lit bubble baths together. Oh, and I guess we’ll have to share Kris Kristofferson.

    The fifteen-year old Shane by this time would of dumped Barbra (she’d recover) and take up with Charlotte Rampling, Joni Mitchell, or Grace Jones. And by this time, Kris would be replaced by Manuel from drama class.

    The twenty-year old Shane would say, no way! I am not going to assimilate into the patriarchal and capitalistic institution of marriage to be exploited by conformist heterosexist norms.

    But in fact, the idea of same-sex marriage never would have crossed my mind as an actual possibility and saying ‘no way’ to it would've been an obviously empty gesture given that I couldn’t legally marry Manuel or Kris, even if they were crazy about the idea and said yes.

    Flash-forward to today. While there’s little to debate about it, here we are as a country actually discussing same –sex marriage! In my neighborhood and across the country, there have been large demonstrations of support for gay marriage. Allies in this cause are coming from unusual places – including from within a political party that has for many years mistaken us for well-groomed spawn of Satan hell-bent on the destruction of civilization.

    And it is surprising and heartening to see that after years of fighting for our basic safety, after fighting for basic care, and after fighting for the freedom to simply be visible, to have our contributions to society recognized, to make love without being persecuted, and to have sex without being prosecuted, we can now fight for the right to be registered at Barney’s.*

    Full equality. I never would have thought that this day would come. I never would have thought to think this day might come – and here the day is, close at hand.

    After this, though, comes the hard part - getting the guy from the grocery store to say yes...

    * It is important to be mindful that the situation for LGBT people in many other places is not so fortunate, that people are still being persecuted and even killed for simply being who they are.
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