At 5:01pm on June 16, 2008, the first legal gay marriage in California took place in the San Francisco city hall between Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, lovers and partners of 56 years. Outside, at exactly 5:01pm:
Shortly thereafter, a man ran outside, yelling ‘They’re married! They’re married!’, to which the several thousand people waiting about erupted in cheers and applause.
Kinda tragic, but apparently all the excitement was too much for one guy, who collapsed right in front of the steps of city hall. They did CPR on him for several minutes before rolling him away, still trying to bring him back.
The crowd was mostly just people down out of work for the day, stopping by to witness history in the making. God I love this city.
So for those of us who tend to believe this world’s too big for one person to make a difference…
I don’t know what pushed you, on that calm and dreary Thursday morning four short years ago, to invite Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin into your office for a small and quiet marriage. Some say you did it for political gain. Some say you did it because you’re still in the closet. And some say you did it because – imagine this – you did it because you care.
Guess what… the ‘why’, well, the ‘why’ just doesn’t matter here. It’s the result that matters. You have, through personal choice, thought and action, first positioned yourself to be able to work significant change in this world, and then had the balls to follow through. Gavin, you stood on the shoulders of decades of work by thousands to get this done. But the indisputable fact is that, because of you, millions of gay Californians wake up tomorrow no longer pushed to the side, no longer denied an undeniably human portion of life. May our children grow up in a world where gay hate is learned in the history books, and gay marriage is learned through the neighborhood, at the playground, in the community.
Gavin, I didn’t vote for you in 2004. Nor in 2008. And I probably won’t vote for you in 2010. But I have to say – thank you Gavin. Where others would only give words, you gave action. And today, today your actions have forever changed the lives of millions.