"Consider the Americans who have rained nothing but glory on our nation. Think about the magnificent works of Walt Whitman, James Baldwin and Hart Crane. They're just a handful of writers who shaped the American vision and yet could not achieve full citizenship because they were homosexual. How many wedding parties have walked down the aisle to the music of Virgil Thompson, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman or Aaron Copland? Yes, we get to provide the music, but we are not allowed to get married ourselves. The next time you stand, hand on your heart, and sing "America the Beautiful," remind yourself that we owe those towering words to Katharine Lee Bates, a lesbian.
Remind yourself, too, of the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, the fire department chaplain who was killed on September 11. There was hardly a religious leader in our city who did not glorify his name and hold him up as someone to emulate. But remind them that he was a proud and openly gay man and those same moralists will turn their backs in denial.
The unhappy tradition continues today. The Bush administration spends billions spreading freedom abroad while at home it devises legislation to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians. What is it with you people, anyway? Are you so insecure about the way you handle marriage that you're scared gay folk will show you up? Trust me, we will make as much of a mess out of matrimony as you do. Just give us a chance."
-- Harvey Fierstein in The New York Times.