The wonderful politics of gay marriage

Pub date June 17, 2008
WriterTim Redmond
SectionSF Blog

I was listinging to Forum this morning on my way to work and although a few complete idiots called in, most of the talk was about how great it is that California now has legal same-sex marriage. I was struck by one caller who announced, with a kind of bemused confidence, that the protests and acrimony are really old news and will soon by ancient history.

The man, who identified himself as straight and 30 years old, said that when his generation takes control of this country, same-sex marraige will be legal, accepted and no longer an issue at all.

Michael Krasny, the host, pointed out that there are stil some young, religious types who oppose gay marriage, but the called shrugged that off. Sure, there are a few, and there will always be a few bigots and nuts around, but in fact, even the young religious types aren’t as adamant about this issue. When you grow up exposed to something as part of your culture, you come to accept it, the man said.

Yeah, I know, when I was in college I thought that when my generation took control, pot would be legal and war would be outlawed, but this guy is right. The wonderful politics of same-sex marraige is that fact that the battle is over, and we’ve won.

When two 80-year-olds who had fought all their lives for basic human rights and dignity took their vows from a mayor about half a century younger than them, it was both a victory celebration and a passing of the torch. Thanks to older queer pioneers like Lyon and Martin, and the generation that followed them, homosexuality is now a part of mainstream American society. Queers are everywhere, literally — on TV, in the movies, in magazines, in comedy, in popular music, in professional sports, going to high-school proms … and that’s never going to change.

So the religious right can make a last gasp attempt to overturn the Supreme Court decision, but that’s going to fail. The tide has turned.