'The sad truth is that gay rights has always been the disposable card of liberal politics. The very fact of our existence is still 'controversial' even to those who make a noise about being our friends. We're still the fly in the ointment, the 'divisive issue' that can lose an election. Just look at the weak-kneed response from the Clinton and Obama camps when the California supreme court made its landmark decision overthrowing the ban on same-sex marriage. Both candidates hid behind a campaign spokesperson and both reaffirmed their 'separate but equal' policies of civil unions, thereby assuming a stance that would keep them in comfy solidarity with John McCain come November. The problem, of course, was that the California court had just ruled that separate was not equal and never would be, so Clinton and Obama both ended up looking like—there's no other way to put this—pussies.' — Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin writing in The Advocate, July 1.
'I love upsetting groups, especially groups that are self-righteous. Anything fundamental is bad. If you say, 'Well, I'm a fundamentalist ( blank ) ,' whatever it is, be careful. I love messing with the Christians. I love messing with the Scientologists. I love messing with anything that is politically correct. The reason that I gravitate toward the gay community is that ... they are unified and mobilized and they are writing laws and getting laws passed. But, at the same time ... more so than any other group, they have such a great sense of humor about themselves. When you are part of an oppressed minority, you have to laugh.' — Comedian Kathy Griffin to the Baltimore paper GayLife, May 30.
'I think once we have lesbian and gay couples being married in California, ( people are ) going to realize that lesbian and gay couples want what they want. They want to fall in love and marry the person of their choosing. The whole effort on this is based on scaring people. Once they see, you can't use fear anymore.' — Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, on the Nov. 4 ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to overturn the state Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, to Palm Springs' Desert Sun newspaper, June 6. The weddings began June 16.
'When we first got together, and moved into the apartment, it was difficult because both of us had been living alone, we hadn't had this other person to trip over. And so we'd start arguments, and Del would just go out the front door and slam it and walk around the block then come back. I tried to teach Del to argue back. And then somebody gave us a kitten, which I've said kept us together for the first year, because we couldn't work out how to divide the kitten. But we kept ourselves busy and we bought the house and we got ourselves all wrapped up in each other, and we kept ourselves in love. And basically, that did it.' — Phyllis Lyon, 83, to Britain's Guardian, June 25. Lyon and Del Martin, 87—lesbian activist icons—were the first same-sex couple married in San Francisco after same-sex marriage became legal in California on June 16.
'It is nearly summertime in the Year of Our Google, and here in the golden land known as California the following startling and once-inconceivable lament can now be heard: Dammit, with gas zooming toward five bucks a gallon and airlines doubling fares and charging me for a single checked bag, how the hell am I going to afford to travel to all my gay friends' legal weddings across the state this summer? Please note the historic power therein. Because such a peculiar, momentous string of words hath never before been uttered by man. Or woman. Or LGBT. Or 'Other.'' — San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford, June 18.
'One of the most transformative social movements over our lifetime has been the battle for gay rights, and the key to its great success has been the grass-roots phenomenon of exploding stereotypes by simply saying, 'Yes, I am.' Each time the woman at the next desk or the guy down the street lets it be known that he or she is gay, it takes another brick out of the wall of division. Or, as Ellen DeGeneres told John McCain on her show recently, 'We are all the same people, all of us.'' — Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen, June 9 issue.
'I might think what you do, Anderson, is going to put you in hell, but I'm going to defend your right to get there.' — The Rev. Al Sharpton to CNN host Anderson Cooper on CNN, June 24.
'I have no idea of his sexuality. I was not talking about him as an individual anyway. It could have been anybody. ... I support same-sex marriage and have been lambasted by the right for it.' — The Rev. Al Sharpton to New York City's Gay City News on June 26, following up on his remark to Anderson Cooper.
'It's cuckoo to me that it's against the law for homosexuals to be married; that to me is against the Constitution. I can't believe that people in the Supreme Court, who are supposed to be the wisest of all of us—it's just like slavery; it's the same thing. I think it's terrible. ... I just hope President Obama will come in and set them straight.' — Actress Sigourney Weaver to the Michigan gay newspaper Between The Lines, June 26.
'Gay people get married in California, so why is God taking it out on the Midwest?' — Host Jon Stewart on TV's The Daily Show, June 17.
—Assistance: Bill Kelley