It’s been a historical week in New York. On Friday night, gay marriage was legalized. A day later, I attended my first gay wedding. The energy and joy felt through NYC this past weekend was truly astounding. Pride weekend became a celebration of love and equality. I say it’s about time!
Even some Republicans realize fighting against gay marriage is a losing battle. The Economist quoted Republican Mark Grisanti of Buffalo as saying, “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife, who I love, or to have the 1,300-plus rights that I share with her?”
Now the media is questioning whether or not gay marriage will be allowed in Catholic churches. In my opinion, religious institutions don’t have to accept gay marriage. But the legal rights associated with marriage should be available to everyone equally, gay or straight.
A friend of mine had an insightful response to the argument that the opinion of the “majority” should influence gay marriage: “To get people to understand the importance of separation of church and state, especially when it comes to protection of the minority, I ask them to think how they would feel if the majority voted in favor of forcing all women to wear head scarves or veils. Would you want someone else’s religious beliefs forced upon you, for something that has only religious reasons backing it?”
While our country still has a long way to go in the fight for social justice, I think it is important to relish this historical moment and realize what an important step it is.