Saturday, November 14, 2009

Breakfast with Evan

I admit, I adore Evan Wolfson. Smart, quick, heartful, thoughtful, cute. Wish I were able to see more of him, but his gay marriage group--Freedom to Marry--is a more-than-fulltime preoccupation.

We had one of our every 3-4 month breakfasts last Thursday and had a good update on the Maine vote, what's happening in NY, the lawsuit working its way through the federal courts, and of course, gossip and personal stuff.

He's a shot of adrenalin for anyone who doubts that the pro gay marriage cause will prevail. And even though I have entertained my own doubts about the speed with which current strategies will achieve the goal, I came away more convinced than ever that progress--and success--is inevitable.

He's not as keen as I am on the effectiveness of marches, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and the like. Because he knows from his own polling data that the most effective technique is the hard work of one-on-one conversations with friends, family, colleagues, and other voters and legislators on a town-by-town, district-by-district, state-by-state basis. This echoes the email I received from Wayne from Berlin, which I posted about a week or so ago, which spoke to how impactful coming out at work and to family can be, because that's the opportunity to put a human face on a seemingly distant, theoretical civil rights issue.

Why am I so interested in this issue? As I posted in a recent response to a blog comment here, I don't have a dog in this hunt, so to speak. Whether or not I'll be married is not what's driving me (though it might be nice....). The key challenge, for me and hopefully other progressives, is that no group should be treated as 2nd class citizens in this country, regardless of religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, etc etc. As gay marriage goes, so go the rights of a minority to serve openly in the military, to be taxed as couples at the federal level, to be treated fairly for property and inheritance, immigration, and dozens and dozens of other state and federal laws which treat married couples differently than me and my hypothetical partner.

So many countries we admire are ahead of America on this complex of issues. There, in those places, the skies have not fallen. Happy days flow into sad days and back again. Life goes on. Only more justly and fairly than in this so-called Land of Liberty.


  1. you make it sound as if evan is not supportive of diverse strategies to win gay marriage. i am waiting for him to reply to an email i sent him, regarding your claim he doesn't really approve of marches and such. will let you know if he discusses the matter with me. i would like to think he, and other gay marriage leaders, embrace different tactics for the same end.

  2. It would be a mistake to imply--if I did--that Evan did not indicate support for diverse strategies to accomplish the goal. My impression was that he was lukewarm to my suggestions that sit-ins, marches, and other potential acts of civil disobedience were effective.