The San Francisco Tea Party
February 24, 2004

A couple centuries ago our forebears were very dissatisfied with the state of affairs. They labored under taxation without representation and chafed at their second-class status within the British Empire. In one fell swoop, we united and started the painful process of becoming independent and free.

Or so we've been taught.

Actually, the folks who dumped tea into Boston Harbor were radicals of the time. Discontent may have been widespread, but there was a distinct lack of consensus on revolution as the solution. Even when it came, it divided our populace. We were pushed into making the right choice by people who had nothing to lose.

We are in a similar situation today.

Most people don't think about gay marriage, except when someone is yelling at them about it. Pro or con. The people who care most about it are those most affected. The people who want to marry, and aren't allowed to.

The religious objections to gay marriage have their place: outside the policy debate. If they don't want to conduct a wedding, they don't have to. What they are really saying is: "Marriage belongs to us." And this we must not heed. Marriage is a fundamental human right that exists independently of any religious sanction. Just because they want to deny certain citizens their dignity is no excuse for the government to play along.

Every aspect of our recent social history points to the truth of this evolution. As late as the late 1960s, inter-racial marriages were illegal in some states. Now, we couldn't imagine this. Not long ago at all, gay parents were de facto unfit. Now they adopt on a regular basis. We used to think women couldn't cut it in "a man's world". There are too many counter-examples to mention.

But it's not a question of evidence. It's a question of basic right.

The government has no business in the selection of a spouse. No legitimate (non-religious) interest in legislating who may marry whom. This has been unambiguously upheld in the Supreme Court.

One can go back and forth about the rights and privileges contained in civil unions versus marriage. None of that matters. There is a simple solution: let them marry. Just like we'd want to. The Golden Rule. I got married recently. Nothing would have stood in my way to be with the woman I loved. This is the archetypal power of love, and everyone's birthright. There are lots of debates over justice in our great country.

This one is easy: Support Equal Rights for All Americans.