Well, that didn’t take long. Actually it took about 200,000 years to recognize gay rights after the emergence of homo sapiens, despite the name. But for 199,954 of those years, not much was happening on gay rights other than closets and persecution and occasional murder. Then came Stonewall in 1969. A surprise, but not the timing. Say what you want about the 1960’s, but don’t say they were inconsequential.
It seems nearly a lifetime ago, and in some cases 46 years HAS been more than a lifetime, but gay rights has gone from nothing and nowhere to something approaching total victory within those 46 years. If only every rights struggle moved that quickly and decisively.
The Supreme Court, THIS Supreme Court of all things, has pushed the issue esentially over the finish line, although it was just about across it already. The same court which set voting rights backward just one day earlier, set gay rights forward. No balls or strikes were called. The Constitution had little to do with this. If gay rights had come before the Court ten years ago, the rulings would have been different, and the Constitution hasn’t changed in the meantime. What has changed is the culture and the politics that follows the culture, and the Court which follows the politics. Can we maybe now dispense with the strategy-driven fiction about ‘strict constructionism’ and finally admit that the Supreme Court is part of the political system and operates and rules in a flexible zone that is culture-driven and culture-dependent? We could, and we might even admit it in fewer than another 200,000 years.