Thursday, February 12, 2004

Where Did You Stand?

We've just past the 40th anniversary of MLK's I Have a Dream speech, and I have a confession to make.

Someone who is 80 years old in 2004 would be in his or her thirties during the build-up of the civil rights movement. My confession is that I'm a little hesitant to ask people within this age group where they stood as the civil rights movement swept America.

I'm hesitant not because they'll tell me something I don't want to hear -- that they once held views that now sound quite dated and/or racist -- but that they'll whitewash their past opinion, detailing their present position or telling me what they think I want to hear.

I bring this up because I'm curious about how we'll talk about the movement toward gay marriage when we're asked about it in 2043.

When we're grandparents, will we tell our grandchildren that we celebrated the day that the first gay couple was married in San Francisco?

Will we remark about how we marched against what might become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution?

Since such an amendment shares the fate of the 18th Amendment, will an elderly you say that you saw it coming the whole time?

From where I sit, the movement toward gay marriage has only one possible outcome. I think almost all of us will say these things.

From where I sit, the only real question is: When you say these things, will they be true?

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