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I feel the need for soapbox time to say I am just tickled watching all the gay couples lining up, waving and cheering outside the San Francisco city clerk's office to get married.

I know this is one of those gut-level issues, and I do understand that some just cannot accept marriage can be between anyone but a man and a woman. But here we have thousands of couples that are lining up in the rain apparently to commit the heinous crime of MARRIAGE, and I say all power to them! This whole scenario of issuing marriage licenses in defiance of state law has just that touch of civil disobedience to it that appeals to me, along with the irony that these folks are actually trying to do the right thing by society's own rules. Lately, all I'd been seeing were hetero couples lobbying the courts and legislature and employers for all the legal perks and job benefits of marriage without making the commitment.

Of course it's anyone's right not to marry if they don't want to, but simply put, I don't believe an unmarried couple should be entitled to the same rights as a married one. You know, you want the goodies, then you walk the walk. To me it is refreshing to see hundreds of gay couples (a group often thought of as the fringes of society) standing in line for hours, for this very old fashioned and traditional “piece of paper”. It just makes me reach for the kleenex.

The mayor of San Francisco made an inspired move to support the issuing of these licenses by saying “I was elected to uphold the Constitution”. He's not going to let them quarrel over state law, which he's bound to lose, but quoting the Constitution he has taken the argument one heckuva notch higher and has a very good chance. So far the Supreme Court experts are saying that marriage is a fundamental right and no group has come up with any constitutionally valid reason to withhold that right on the basis of one's sexual preference. (We're not speaking of the right to bigamy or marry your sister now, mind you)

So thank heavens I have a real-life example to show DD there's a reason why the marriage ceremony means something to people beyond just moving in together. There's a reason why that piece of paper should be important to her. The reason is, that a guy (in her case) should be willing to stand up there before his family, friends and Deity and publicly commit to her. The commitment isn't just symbolic, it's not “just a piece of paper” it's out there in front of everyone. That's why the hankies come out at weddings, because of that cliché declaration of “I love this woman” and mutual vows of lifelong obligation, trust and fidelity. There is nothing I can see, from watching them line up day after day in SF (other than wondering about the appropriateness of all those wedding gowns inside City Hall) that can possibly be detrimental to society here. And if they adopt children, shouldn't they raised by parents in a legally-recognized committed relationship? I think somewhere in 20 or a hundred years the issue of marriage rights for gays will seem like about as controversial as the question of voting rights for women and blacks is now.
Anyway my voice is hoarse with “Mazeltov” and I need another box of tissues.

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