Wednesday, November 15, 2006

San Francisco's Rainbow City Hall

I was riding the #47 Muni bus down Van Ness Avenue a couple of hours ago, taking me right past San Francisco City Hall. This afternoon (Tuesday), the City filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court of an appeals court ruling against gay marriage. In commemoration of the event, the dome atop City Hall tonight was lit rather differently. Usually the dome is lit with ordinary white lights, but tonight, the faces of the dome were illuminated in alternating lavender and blue. It was a symbolic gesture, of course, but it was an elegant way of expressing the city's support for equality for all. I'm just sorry I didn't have my camera.

I was talking to Assembly member Mark Leno (D–San Francisco) just this Saturday about the legal status of same-sex unions, and I told him that I personally don't care if it's called "marriage" or something else, so long as a gay relationship has equivalent legal rights. Gay couples that have been together for 30, 40, or even 50 years and more, lack many of the basic rights that heterosexual couples take for granted. It's not about destroying the "traditional" family; it's a simple matter of acknowledging that other types of families exist. It's a matter of allowing each individual to define "family" according to his or her own conscience. It is a matter of nothing more nor less than Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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