Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, the celebrations began on the streets of Manhattan.
Police almost immediately cordoned off Christopher Street, to make room for a street party that everyone knew was inevitable, turning pride weekend into a three-day celebration. By Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was performing his first wedding ceremony in front of the Stonewall Inn.
For veterans of the fight for marriage equality, the court’s decision was the culmination of decades of work. And yet, you couldn’t escape the fact that the speed of change was breathtaking. Even Republican presidential candidates, facing a bruising primary fight for the party’s fringe, had to concede that the country, through the justices, had moved on.
The streetsweepers were barely done with their work early Monday morning when the hand-wringing over the decision began. Would the acceptance of same-sex marriage undercut a gay-rights movement that had in part been defined by its outsider status? Was the community losing its cohesion? Would critical issues that still needed advocacy -- like pay inequity and transgender rights -- lose steam?
All important questions.
But first, let’s spend a few more days savoring an epochal change in our nation and our city. And let’s celebrate our fellow New Yorkers who, by the thousands, are now free to exercise a constitutional right they were too long denied.