Reasonable Words: Frank Bruni on Gay Marriage Votes

From Today’s NYTimes:

Tuesday night was what history looks like: the passage, for the first time, of same-sex marriage by popular vote; the reelection of the president who became the first to support same-sex marriage; the first-ever election of an openly gay or lesbian person to the U.S. Senate.


But the trajectory is clear, and on Tuesday night, as marriage-equality advocates here in Washington absorbed the news from the East, cheers went up. I saw tears in people’s eyes. And I recalled a visit I made early last month to an 80-year-old gay man in Maine who was stunned — just stunned — at the prospect of his fellow citizens affirming his identity at the polls. He’d lived through so many decades of lesser regard, of undignified treatment.

He compared a successful referendum for same-sex marriage to a man setting foot on the moon: something once unthinkable, something wondrous, something exhilarating, not a step but a leap.

We took a big leap on Tuesday night. It was wondrous and exhilarating indeed and—trust me—more of a beginning than an end.

Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno (and college friend of Jim’s) speaking at the rally.

I’m thrilled, even though though my personal views on marriage are that it’s antiquated and has a kind of unsavory past (dynastic property rights, anyone?). But Bruni makes the point that the whole argument over same-sex marriage changes when it’s a vote rather than a court battle. It’s a institution that everybody should have access to, even grumps like me.

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