Words, bold and beautiful
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Four years ago we lived in a country in which citizens of various states had consistently voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. But on November 6, the citizens of all three states that had the opportunity to legalise gay marriage at the ballot box did so, with clear majorities in Maryland, Maine and Washington endorsing it.
Four years ago the inaugural invocation was given by a pastor with a record of anti-gay positions and remarks. This year, a similar assignment was withdrawn from a pastor with a comparable record, once it came to light. What's more, an openly gay man was chosen to be the inaugural poet, and in news coverage of his biography, his parents' exile from Cuba drew more attention than his sexual orientation. That's how far we've come. But the "gay" passage of Obama's speech underscored the lingering gap between the American ideal and the American reality. "Our journey is not complete," he said, "until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." He means the right to marry. As long as we gay and lesbian Americans don't have that, we're being told that our relationships aren't as honourable as those of straight couples. And if that's the case, then we're not as honourable, either. Is there really any other reading of the situation?
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