I went into town to find a demonstration of happy gay people, but the only demonstration I could find was in front of the State House around a man running as a Democrat for Congress. Everybody seemed happy, but they didn’t seem gay. I crossed the street. There were tourists with cameras around the 54th Regiment Memorial. Several listened to a guide telling about the memorial. Not disappointed, I thought the 54th Regiment Memorial was perhaps exactly the right place for me to be after the Supreme Court decisions this morning, even standing alone. Both celebrated moments of changing American democracy, the inclusion of the African-American soldiers among the troops fighting in the Civil War, and the inclusion of same-sex couples among those who must be given their rights under Article 5 of the Constitution, liberty and due process. The soldiers in the Memorial seemed so brave, marching off to war, carrying their rifles, so entirely admirable, and even though most of them died at Ft Wagner, still they were victorious, like all the generations of gay men and women have been victorious in their long march.
It began to rain, and I considered the danger to my camera. I turned my camera off and took out the battery. Bromfield Camera was nearby, and I ran, crossing streets and dodging pedestrians. There were three gentlemen behind the counters in Bromfield Camera, good friends, two up at my end of the age scale, and one way down at the other end of the scale, and we joked. “I’m in danger of getting wet.” Being New Englanders, they said that was impossible, that it wasn’t really raining hard enough, you know, to actually wet someone. I told them I needed a plastic bag to protect my camera. We talked about the Supreme Court.
The younger one said, “Now that we have gay marriage with all the federal benefits—” He paused. “Will you marry me?”
Everybody laughed. I said, “Sure. If this doesn’t work out with C, then I’ll marry you.” C and I have been testing this out for the last 23 years, so I think this may last. But it was nice to be asked.