The pessimist in me has qualms with the way in which gay marriage is becoming legalized piecemeal in this country. I worry that having a California court legalize gay marriage instead of having it voted on by the citizens of the state is going to cause a lot of trouble in the long-term. I wonder how this will affect the Presidential election, and if it’s no surprise that Obama won’t (or can’t) come out pro-gay-marriage, then it’s nothing to be happy about either. And I find William Saletan’s arguments that gay marriage will pave the way for polygamy and adult incest fairly convincing, too.

But that’s the nitpicking, and now is probably not the time for that. Better to gaze happily on a couple like Shelly Bailes and Ellen Pontac—together for 34 years, and only just married this Monday.

I love pictures like this. When you turn away from the cartoonish depictions of queer life on TV and in movies, of bulletproof drag queens and untouchable lipstick lesbians, you see that gays and lesbians are as boring and pedestrian as everyone else. And that’s why they deserve the right of marriage: not because they’re perfect, but because they’re not. Because their lives will bear as much disappointment and malaise as those of anyone else, and having a devoted mate, straight or otherwise, can help sweeten even the worst of moments.

Best wishes, Shelly and Ellen. Today California, tomorrow the country?

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