In the fall of 1970 I moved into the East Village of Manhattan to run a residential shelter for runaway kids. For a small town Texas boy there was more than a little culture shock. But I loved the gritty vibrancy of the city and spent all my free time exploring.
One bright spring morning I walked to the bank on Houston St. As I paused for the light at Broadway I noticed a ragtag assemblage of demonstrators marching in the street carrying placards. GAY PRIDE the hand-lettered signs proclaimed. I was awed by their courage in those homophobic days. It had only been a year since the Stonewall riot in the West Village.
How far we have come in 46 years since that seminal event! Who would have dared to dream that gay marriage would be legal everywhere in the US? Many activists have worked tirelessly to make this possible.
I am pleased and proud that homosexual men and women have been accorded full protection of the law with respect to marriage. There is much work to be done however, in abolishing discrimination in housing and employment. According to today’s New York Times article on Next Fight for Gay Rights, U.S. citizens who live between the two coasts are routinely denied full protections against discrimination. This is not America at its best. We must quickly remedy this situation so that all citizens have equal access to housing and employment.
On Friday evening the White House was brightly illuminated with the colors of the Gay Pride flag. What a stunning image to celebrate this profound shift in marriage equality for all!