March 25, 2013
"Some people only remember back to the wave that woke them up." Evan Wolfson sat in his Manhattan office less than a week before the Supreme Court's landmark hearings on same-sex couples' marriage rights — a cause to which he has devoted most of his adult life, beginning with the formative 1983 paper he wrote on the subject while in Harvard Law School. With Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. looking down at him from pictures on the wall, Wolfson — a balding, professorial man who speaks quickly in paragraphs that contain many commas but few periods — had no doubt about his influences, or about the moral strength of his cause. Now, thirty years after he started this fight, he marvels at how marriage equality — once a marginalized, abstract notion that seemed absurd in all corners of society — has come within a gavel's strike of being the law of the land.