Gay Spirit Diary

The Brilliance of Gay People, for All the World to See

Let me start with this kid, at the Supreme Court yesterday as DOMA was being argued.

See the wedding ring on that blue finger? (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

He is brilliant, from his sign to his looks. This photo is an instant icon.

Meanwhile Edie Windsor has just been elected to the Divas’ Hall of Fame. And you thought only Gay guys belonged in there!

She walked out of the Supreme Court, flung her arms open wide and told the crowd, “I’m Edie Windsor, an out Lesbian who just sued the United States of America!” (Christopher Gregory/The New York Times)

Have you seen pictures of Edie and her wife Thea from the 1960s on? Gorgeous, both of them, their whole lives. Lipstick Lesbians before there even was such a thing!

Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed Mary Bonauto, the brilliant legal strategist with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders who led the attack on the Defense of Marriage Act and won the first lawsuit, in Massachusetts, establishing a Constitutional right for us to get married in 2003. “No gay person in this country would be married without Mary Bonauto,” said Roberta Kaplan, Edie Windsor’s lawyer who argued the case yesterday. Former Congressman Barney Frank said of Bonauto, “She’s our Thurgood Marshall.”

Mary Bonauto “conceived of a strategy just like” Justice Marshall, the great Civil Rights attorney, Ms. Kaplan said. “It was strategically brilliant, and she succeeded. No one else can say that.” (Craig Dilger/The New York Times)

We owe these people a great debt. The Court won’t issue its ruling for another three months, and it seems likely to overturn DOMA on a narrow “states’ rights” interpretation rather than the “equal protection” basis we deserve. But a win is a win if we can get one, and the most important aspect of it will be its international impact, especially in Central Africa and Eastern Europe, countries where it is life-threatening to be Gay. Millions of people in future generations will benefit, without ever knowing who, what or how.

As for California’s Proposition 8, I’m expecting another narrow ruling, that the anti-Gay forces don’t have “standing” to appeal because they weren’t harmed by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling overturning the referendum. If so, the Supremes will confine the decision to California, where Gay and Lesbian people will be able to marry again. But that win will be big, too.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker; he came out after issuing his decision against Prop. 8, though his friends had known he was Gay for quite some time. Like many judges, he didn’t want his personal details to be seen as interfering with his objectivity. In the Prop. 8 trial, he asked hard questions of the pro-Gay side. (via Blue Truck, Red State)

Judge Walker was brilliant, conducting a full trial on same-sex marriage, where the homophobes’ case fell apart. Ted Olson and David Boies (Straight guys both), who argued for freedom before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, have not only been courageous, compassionate and skilled, their strategy of putting Prop. 8 on trial, which seemed risky to me and many others when it was first announced, has helped turn the tide of public opinion since 2008.

What fabulous work all these people have done! Yes, we still have to wait for the final results – but the shift in public opinion they’ve caused, with the help of thousands of others who’ve come out and organized, has already broken the back of fundamentalists in the United States, exposing their lies for everyone to see.

You don’t have to be a believer to shout, “Thanks be to God!”++

“Resurrection,” carved alabaster, English, 15th century. Gay people were all but dead and buried when I was a kid – but now we’re alive. (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)