By now we've all seen (and, in my case, wept over) the images: couples long denied the right to marry swept up in the energy and excitement of a battle (temporarily) won.
With the majority of Americans now polling (for the first time!) in favor of gay marriage, today Judge Vaughn Walker indicated gay marriages will once again go forward, starting August 18, in California. The move came in the wake of last week's Proposition 8 decision, in which Judge Walker ruled the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. "Proposition 8 ," Walker wrote, "fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license."
Amid the celebration, the decision was understood by all parties not to be the final word on gay marriage in the state, and certainly not in the country, but nevertheless a cause for great optimism.
Those who are most optimistic may not be the couples themselves. A whole population is affected by this decision, a quieter,(sometimes physically) smaller population, and one that has become increasingly political over the last decade. Their stake in the marriage debate, whether they are gay or straight, is one much more fundamental than that of "allies" or friendly supporters.
I am speaking, of course, of the children of the gay men and lesbians who hope to marry, the children of those who hope to lift the discrimination levied on their families -- homes where two women love one another, or two men. Read more: