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They will seem merely like people who have been allowed to see the possibility of a larger human dignity and who cannot wait to achieve it.

I think of the gay kids in the future who, when they figure out they are different, will never know the deep psychic wound my generation – and every one before mine – lived through: the pain of knowing they could never be a citizen of their own country.

And black people came to see interracial couples not as a threat to their identity, but as a symbol of their humanity behind the falsifying carapace of race. But it is not inevitable; and it won’t happen by itself.

And, maybe sooner rather than later, the people who insist upon the centrality of gay marriage to every American’s equality will come to seem less marginal, or troublemaking, or “cultural,” or bent on ghettoizing themselves.

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No gay group had agreed to support the case, which was regarded at best as hopeless and at worst, a recipe for a massive backlash.A local straight attorney from the ACLU, Dan Foley, took it up instead, one of many straight men and women who helped make this happen. Much of the gay left was deeply suspicious of this conservative-sounding reform; two thirds of the country were opposed; the religious right saw in the issue a unique opportunity for political leverage – and over time, they put state constitutional amendments against marriage equality on the ballot in countless states, and won every time. The Clintons embraced the Defense of Marriage Act, and their Justice Department declared that DOMA was in no way unconstitutional the morning some of us were testifying against it on Capitol Hill. Bush subsequently went even further and embraced the Federal Marriage Amendment to permanently ensure second-class citizenship for gay people in America. I recall all this now simply to rebut the entire line of being “on the right side of history.” History does not have such straight lines.And when we won, and got our first fact on the ground, we indeed faced exactly that backlash and all the major gay rights groups refused to spend a dime on protecting the breakthrough … Movements do not move relentlessly forward; progress comes and, just as swiftly, goes.Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs.”Homosexuality, at its core, is about the emotional connection between two adult human beings.