On Tuesday, the voters of Maine had a chance to affirm the progress their leaders had already made on the subject of gay marriage. Sadly, the voters of Maine failed to live up to our collective hopes. I thought I would be angry about this, or depressed. But, as it turns out, I’m not. And I wanted to share my feelings on the subject, especially with my GLBT friends.
Tuesday’s vote in Maine was a disappointment, but I do not see it as a setback. Every time a gay rights issue is voted down in a referendum by “the people” it’s tempting to think that we are losing this fight for equality. In fact, the opposite is true. We are winning. And these periodic little “victories” for those who oppose equality and fairness are merely the last gasps of a dying world view. Those last gasps are sometimes loud and always desperate, but they in no way indicate a recovery.
I’m very confident, perhaps more confident than I’ve ever been, that I will live to see the day when gay marriage is legal and when our GLBT friends are fully free. We who love fairness and who desire a kinder more loving world are on the right side of history. Our opponents are on the wrong side. It has always been this way. With civil rights, with women’s rights, with human rights in general, there is always opposition. As time progresses, that opposition looks increasingly shrill, increasingly desperate, and, most importantly, increasingly anachronistic.
That, my GLBT friends, is the true sound of victory. Have faith. Stay strong. We’ll get there.