One thing is clear: That shift is on the side of gay and lesbian equality. More and more gay and lesbian couples are openly committing to each other, having weddings, and even calling it marriage. The word is important. Princesses don't dream about someday "domestically partnering with" the person they love. They dream about marrying him -- or, in a minority of cases, her.Then we'll see the sun break through the clouds and the little birds sing, too, I bet. Sorry. I'm not buying it. The forces of hate are celebrating with vile triumphalism right now. They are metaphorically, at least, tearing up my marriage license and violating the most sacred and joyous experience of my life with their hate-filled words. And I'm supposed to be grateful that Obama even mentioned the word "gay" in his victory speech and hope that someday the smoke clears.
To that minority, a bare majority of California voters sent a discriminatory message: You are not good enough for marriage. Your relationships -- no matter how loving, how committed, how exemplary -- are not "real" marriage.
But "real" marriage transcends state recognition of it. And that's another reason why this debate will continue. Because it's not just about what California should or should not legally recognize. It's also about what sort of relationships are morally valuable, and why. And that's a debate that, slowly but surely, gay-rights advocates are winning.
The path to inclusion is not always direct and the pace of change almost never steady. This setback is by no means a final verdict. In the coming years, gay and lesbian citizens will continue to tell our stories. We will demonstrate that, like everyone else, we are worthy of having someone to have and to hold, for better or for worse. More Americans will realize that such relationships are a good thing -- not just for us but for the community at large.
When the smoke from this battle clears, Americans will realize that gays are not interested in confusing children or in forcing princesses on little girls who don't want them. But they also will realize that, when girls grow up to love princesses, they deserve to live happily ever after too.
Update: many lawyers think that the current challenges will be unsuccessful as a matter of law, and also that they will forcibly annul my marriage. Commentary here.