Yesterday the New York State legislature made it legal for gay people to marry each other. New York is only the sixth state in the U.S. to have done this, and I am very proud of New York right now. Politics in our state is far from perfect, but at least they can get the fundamentals right.
I come from an ethnic group that has run into rather extreme trouble in the past by being cast as outsiders, and the line from tolerated outsider to intolerated outsider can be very thin. So I am very aware of that slippery slope, because you never know where you will find prejudice, and you never know where it will lead.
Maybe somebody you know says they find a particular group of people “disgusting”, and perhaps they even add with pride that they will pass those attitudes on to their kids. Then you realize what this implies — that it’s ok for somebody to say the same thing about your group of people.
And you realize, in moments like this, that the prerequisite for atrocity is just those little slips and slides, those small imperceptible steps toward looking at an entire large swath of fellow citizens as the “other”.
So when something as sensible as this legislation is enacted here in New York — a bold statement that is the very opposite of prejudice — it makes me proud to live here.