Editor's Letter: No More Asking for Permission

BY Matthew Breen

August 08 2011 4:00 AM ET

 As a onetime Manhattan resident, I was jealous that so many friends were able to celebrate Pride in New York immediately following that historic vote. The Republican-controlled state Senate, with the backing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (interviewed by our intrepid Julie Bolcer), passed a bill extending a fundamental civil right to a previously disenfranchised segment of the citizenry. I wish I’d been at the Stonewall Inn that night, cheering and celebrating a hard-fought victory.

I was equally heartened by the lack of fuss. While the vote was newsworthy, many Americans won’t care much about this, won’t bemoan the crumbling of our society, and won’t insist that we’re all going to hell as a result. We’re finally coming around to the conclusion that this is what is supposed to happen, that fair is fair, and that denying anyone access to as basic a right as marriage is inherently un-American.

None of the other five states, plus Washington, D.C., that allow for same-sex marriage have become hotbeds of iniquity, and insisting they are sounds ever more like sour grapes (I’m looking at you, Bachmann and Santorum).

The world would surely be a better place if we weren’t still mired in a struggle for equality, but the perspective we’ve gained by fighting for this right is a valuable one: We’re well past the time of asking others for permission to be full members of our society. Demand equality, demand it now, and don’t let anyone tell you to wait.





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