The forward march of humanity toward the future is retarded by the drag of thousands of years of ignorance and associated dogma. It is unfortunate that so much of human existence is predicated on developing and refining definitions of what is "right" and what is "wrong" in terms of what humans are and what they are supposed to be. Quietly, as each decade, each century, each millennium passes, those definitions are eroded, much as rock is battered to dust by wind and rain. The forces of nature and the intrinsic natural order of the universe are more powerful than the artificial structures erected by mankind to keep out the truth.
So it is that a momentous event, completed in the late hours of June 24th, 2011, has broken one more link in the chains that keep humanity from reaching its full potential. The state of New York, after much wrangling, voted to allow same-sex marriage to become legal. It struck a blow for civil rights, by proclaiming that members of the homosexual community are as much entitled to marry as anyone else. It was another moment affirming what we must know deep inside, but many are afraid to accept -- that human beings and their souls are not defined by their body structure, anymore than by their skin color, or the deity or deities they worship, or any other artificial measure we wish to create.
Advances in human society comes slowly, incrementally, and usually at great cost beforehand. Each group struggles against a tide of humanity that looks down on them, denigrates them, labels them as inferior or unworthy. Invective, rancor, epithets, and violence cascade down on them, and yet, even as it seems bleak and progress untenable, a strong, low, bass note begins to form amidst the tumult, growing in intensity, sweeping through the cacophony, subsuming the hatred, swallowing the fear. Like the seed buried deep beneath the soil, hoarding the precious drops of water that reach it, eventually the first tendril reaches out and breaks the surface, and a new birth of freedom and justice takes place.
New York, following in the footsteps of so many of its New England brethren, is that tendril, rising up into the warm air and gathering in the rays of the Sun, to further energize the growth of that seed of humanity. Another group may rise above the turmoil to assert its rights and privileges, and the plague of ignorance and the pestilence of hatred shall not find safe haven in their leaves anymore, but be cast upon the dust to blow away in the wind. Let the day be marked in triumph, for though much growth remains, this moment shows that where we sow compassion and tolerance and good will, we will reap the rewards of true humanity and fellowship, and our society will grow stronger for it.