mini-rant on gay marriage debate

It’s been an odd week on Twitter for JavaScript enthusiasts, as folks started forwarding around the fact that JS creator Brendan Eich donated money in support of Prop. 8, California’s gay marriage ban. As one might expect, this generated a whole lot of discussion and debate, with varying levels of civility. I have abstained from any participation in all that kerfuffle on Twitter because I find the character restriction way too annoying for actual discussion of complex issues, but these two quotes that showed up in my feed particularly compelled me to respond:

They come from Tim Caswell, creator of the wonderful resource How to Node and a respected member of the JavaScript community. And in response, I just have to say that I see it as not about wanting social acceptance of their “lifestyle,” but about wanting social acceptance of themselves, as human beings who can and do contribute immensely to that society. As such, they deserve no less, and in fact anything less is an injustice that we have a duty to correct.

And so, slowly but surely, we will. Over the next decade or two, through court rulings, legislation, and probably eventually a constitutional amendment, American society will force people to accept a broader definition of “marriage.” What we can’t do is force people to approve. And that’s perfectly OK. I fully support anyone’s freedom to disapprove all he or she wants. But as many on Twitter immediately pointed out, we’ve already lived through the lesson that “separate but equal” is not really equal, and so as a society we are obligated to take the next step in defining what marriage is.

I’m pleased and proud that we’re going to do this during my and my kids’ lifetimes.

got something to say about that?

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