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The Berlin Wall of Gay Rights?

My friend and colleague David Smith wonders (via e-mail):

Is San Francisco the Berlin Wall of Gay Rights?

The genie may be out of the bottle. Can the far right put it back in?

I like this analogy -- that the destruction of the wall represents a blow for freedom.

I think that one message this sends is that gay marriage is not the result of "judicial activism" (which seems, of late, to be conservatives' term for any court decision they don't like). Gay marriage is about human beings who have formed long-term, loving relationships, and who wish those relationships to be sanctioned in the same way that marriage sanctions heterosexual relationships.

Another message this sends is that cities and states have varying standards when it comes to such matters. Were this taking place in Alabama, I suspect we'd be seeing near-riots. In San Francisco, it's being celebrated. Conservatives like to talk about "community standards" -- except when community standards are more liberal than average rather than more conservative. Then they believe that the federal government needs to step in and strip away the rights of communities to set such standards. The hypocrisy of this attitude is despicable.

If I still lived in the Bay Area, I would take a trip downtown to mingle with the people waiting in line for their marriage licenses. To see all those loving couples -- all having been denied a basic right for so long, and all about to receive it at last -- would, to me, be touching.


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