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The Boston Globe



The gay rights cases, in perspective

On Tuesday, two young men walked past our car, holding hands — college students basking in a spirited conversation. Their enthusiasm was infectious, even watching from behind the wheel, especially as one of the young men removed his sweatshirt, as if hoping to advance a reluctant spring.

“Do you think Justice Roberts will vote for gay marriage?” my 9-year-old son asked as he watched the two teenagers pass by. He had been absorbing the recent news, or his parents’ conversations, but the question itself exposed so much. There was no inquiry into why the boys were holding hands or what it means for boys to like boys. It wasn’t just because we live in a progressive state, though that doesn’t hurt. To a 9-year-old, the Supreme Court’s hearing on gay marriage was like a sporting event. A vote up or down, like choosing a winner in the NCAA basketball tournament, is just a game. Reality was walking by.

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