I, like most of you, have been encouraged by the strides made in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine, and California and like most of you, have been dismayed by the attempts to transform marriage into an heterosexual-only union.
But if the rights of same-sex couples to marry is truely a civil rights issue, which I believe it is, then one must realize that such changes will not occur nearly as quickly as we'd like them to occur.
If this is anything like African-American Civil Rights, it will be a painstakingly slow, drawn out, highly contentious issue for decades to come. I don't want anyone to give up the fight and be discouraged at the amount of pressue and time it's going to take to change the minds of a lot of people.
The minds of many people are made up already and no amount of wishful thinking will make them see logic through their own prejudices and homophobia. I know that my generation is a much less racist generation than the one which proceeded it and I know that future generations to come will more open minded. Likewise, I see in my own generation, a much more open-minded group of people who are willing to see gay rights as the human rights which they rightly are.
There is something inherent in human nature which makes people resistant to change. That's been true as long as there have been humans roaming the earth. It may take people of my age reaching positions of authority in 20-25 years before we really see any mass change for the better. Otherwise, lots of people have made it clear that they attend to fight against us tooth and nail.
I don't know how you can argue logic with not-logic. We can chat about what ifs all day long but the key is going to be standing firm in what we believe. But inevitable, time is going to be what makes things better.
40 years ago, the city I live in was considered the most segregated city in the nation. Now, you'll find a spirit of racial toleration that many who lived in those times dreamed would never come to pass. I know the very same thing will come to pass with gay marriage and gay rights in general.
My reason in writing this is to let all of you know that this will take much longer than any of us might want to believe. This struggle has just begun, and those who are against gay marriage feel as though they are the Roman Senate perched among the Ruins...the last standard-bearers of Mother, God, home, and apple pie. Though they may be fighting a losing cause, they will not go down easily.
But neither would I take temporary setbacks such as our president's support of a gay rights amendment to the constitution as defeat. Many southern governors refused integration to really be implemented for 10 years...a full decade before their resolve broke and they succomed to what was right and what was decent.
I don't know if outright violence in the streets will arise from this current struggle, but I know that a war of words and of stiffening resolves will continue for a very long time.
Yet again, I say...be not discouraged and angered by those who choose to defy logic and let their prejudices govern their policy. We've got to ride out the storm, however long it might rumble. Progress will be made, but at the pace of a snail...but I know when we look upon the situation of things in 10-15 years that we'll be satisfied with the results.
Some words that Winston Churchill said after the first initial Allied gains were made in World War II seem appropriate...words I know many of you have heard before.
"This is not the end, yet neither is it the beginning. Perhaps it can be said that it is the end of the the beginning."