Thank-you, federal Judge Vaughn Walker for ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.
While the case is likely headed to the Supreme Court, it's still a hopeful development for those of us who believe that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law. (Slate's Dalia Lithwick has a terrific analysis of the decision.)
Judge Walker notes that California had already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the ballot measure passed in 2008 - and has suffered no demonstrable harm.
The state, he writes, has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians and "the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."
The gay and lesbian couples affected by today's decision are not abstractions. They are our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, our loved ones. They're in loving, committed relationships. I believe that they are entitled to the same rights as any other American citizens.
In 2009, Broadway Impact held a rally for marriage equality in New York City. Among the speakers was actor David Hyde Pierce, who talked about marrying his partner of 25 years, Brian Hargrove, before Prop. 8 was passed.
The road to equal rights for all Americans has been a long and tortuous one and progress doesn't happen nearly fast enough. But we're getting there. And today is one of the good days, because a more just society benefits all of us.