Hank Plante: Gay rights war nearing an end
I received a provocative e-mail from a prominent gay journalist this week. It had two words: "It's over." We had been exchanging thoughts about what a remarkable week it has been in the battle for gay rights: The Boy Scouts moved toward ending their gay ban; word came that the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A stopped donating to antigay causes; and the Mormon-founded Marriott Corp. joined the gay side in the legal fight against the Defense of Marriage Act. And that was just Monday. By Tuesday, President Obama announced his sweeping immigration reform plan that includes protections for some same-sex binational couples. By Wednesday, 49ers player Chris Culliver's offensive remark about not welcoming gays on the team - and the immediate backlash followed by his apology - reminded us of how unacceptable homophobia has become, even in the macho world of professional sports. By any measure it does, indeed, feel as if we have passed the tipping point in the crusade for gay rights and that there are only individual battles still to be fought. Some of those battles are significant, of course. Most notable is California's Proposition 8 case and the Defense of Marriage Act case about to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.