Last night, when New York became the sixth state in America to legalize same-sex marriage, it was an event of great historic import, but from this Massachusetts perch, it was a bit anti-climatic. Contrary to all the predictions of Western Civilization as we knew it collapsing back in 2004 when SSM became law in the Commonwealth, the only consequence I’ve seen is a positive one; gay friends and acquaintances have been able to make the legal commitment of marriage to partners, just as heterosexual couples were always able to do. That’s true equality. For those who still maintain that SSM poses a threat to the institution of marriage, I invite you to drop into any Probate Court session, but most especially the one that sits at Lowell Superior Court every other Friday. An hour of observing the business transacted there will not calm your fears of the enormity of the threat to the institution of marriage; quite the contrary, your fears will be magnified. But you will also realize that its other societal forces and not the gender of the spouses that make that so.
For a riveting account of the behind-the-scenes process that resulted in last night’s historic New York vote, check out THIS article on the New York Times website.