Self-definition and equality in Obergefell v. Hodges

Justice_Anthony_Kennedy_ap_imgVivian Gornick at The Nation:

When in June the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage the law of the land in Obergefell v. Hodges, on the one hand I, along with millions of others, cheered; on the other, I was reminded of that long ago time when I, and everyone I knew then, thought long and hard and almost daily about how good it would be if loneliness and marriage were no longer linked together; if it were free and independent persons who got married for any reason other than the fear of living alone.

Forty years ago, when the liberationist movements were young, the cast of mind among a multitude of activists and theorists working on behalf of women, blacks, and gays was visionary. The struggle for equal rights seemed existential, as though it was calling into philosophical question the very idea of politics. In a sense, we were like babes in the woods in a state of original wonderment. How had these hierarchies of power and powerlessness come about? we asked ourselves, as though this question had never been asked before. Why do the laws and customs of society invariably benefit this group and disenfranchise that one? What underlying purpose do these decisions serve? What is actually going on here?

more here.