In my regular morning visits to Peet’s coffee I occasionally see the man most single-handedly responsible for gay marriage legality in America: Vaughn Walker.
Walker as the judge on the Northern Calif. U.S. District Court wrote the most important opinion finding that no legal distinction could be made between a civil union gay marriage and a traditional man-woman marriage based on his reading of the U.S. Constitution. That ruling was in 2010 and was based on overruling a California State proposition that won a majority of votes saying the opposite.
It was a series of court rulings, up to the U.S. Supreme Court that made gay marriage legal in America. No one else had the impact that Judge Walker had.
Thinking about that case and its current ramifications I came to two unusual conclusions.
- This has led to a dead end in the gay community. Marriage is a conservative, largely monogamous relationship.
- This may be the last gay issue. The community won very quickly. There doesn’t seem to any new cohesive issue left on the agenda.
My gay friends who are married or living in a married situation are being fairly monogamous. A conservative way of life and very different from the first 30 years of gay male freedom and abandon. It is hard for me to see the gay community maintaining its vitality if it is just a reflection of straight life with marriage as the pinnacle achievement.
It also suggests such complete acceptance of an outcast minority that cohesion and group solidarity may be lost rapidly.
While gays are persecuted in much of the world, that just isn’t a modern organizing tool. I’ve never heard a gay person who gave a hoot about the problems of gay men in the Muslim world.
Even fewer care about transgenders wanting to use a bathroom with the wrong designation.