Thursday, September 20, 2007

How Social Change Really Happens

In a very moving press conference video, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced today that he is supporting same-sex marriage, which is a reversal of a previous position.

This is partially (I'd guess mostly) because his daughter is gay.

It occurred to me that sure you can legistlate social change and we should, but when someone has to confront the reality of what their opinions imply, it seems so much more effective. Mayor Sanders (a Republican and I most certainly don't get most Republicans) said it best. He could not look his daughter and her partner in the eye and say that their relationship is not as important as he and his wife's. He was in tears and he clearly has a heart.

Not that this sort of change is fast. My parents and I didn't talk about gay issues for 7 years after I came out to them. I was happy to leave it that way, but it was my Dad that broke the ice. He didn't want this to tear his family apart. Now that's admirable. My father, while not a Republican, was a huge homophobe, so it was a big step for him.

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