Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Gather 'round my children, while I tell you a fairy tale with a happy and a sad ending. Long ago, in 1978, when I was a dewey-eyed young haglet, there was a proposition on the California ballot that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California's schools. Harvey Milk was a city supervisor then, and campaigned actively against it. After Prop 6 was defeated, jubilant crowds gathered at the San Francisco civic center where Harvey and Mayor Moscone gave speeches. Mayor Moscone said, “This is your night. No on 6 will be emblazoned upon the principles of San Francisco, liberty and freedom for all, forever.” There's the happy ending. The sad ending, of course, is that, not long after that happy night, a right-winger, threatened by this triumph of good sense and humanity, shot and killed both Harvey Milk and the mayor in their offices.
I'm not the first or the last to wish that Harvey could have been alive this year - he would have been the grand old gay of the Castro - to campaign against prop 8 and help defeat it. But I do believe that someday this silly nation will come to its senses and realize that it is very simply wrong to legislate who and how we choose to love. There is little enough of that precious commodity in our world, that to restrict and repress it makes us all poorer.