I was thrilled yesterday to see the Supreme Court take up not only one of the challenges to DOMA, but also the Prop 8 case. I had expected them to leave lower court Prop 8 decisions in place. That would have restored marriage in California, definitely a good thing, but would have precluded deciding the marriage question in a federal way. Although the risks are still great for a major setback (this is a largely conservative court), the potential rewards are fantastic. For the first time in my life, there is a very real possibility that the last vestige of gay legal inequality will be banished. And I am pretty optimistic, even with the makeup of the current court. Although we will never get a pro equality vote out of Scalia, Alito, or Thomas, I feel much better about the prospects of Roberts and Kennedy (especially) deciding the cases in a good way. And the cases seem to airtight to me. I know I am biased in favor of logical arguments, and those don’t often rule the day when the hateful passions of the masses are considered, but a great tide has turned in this country on the question of gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular. Even the anti gay judges must realize that they are moving against the tide of history. There are some arguments to be made about whether the judges will feel comfortable that the American public is “ready” for marriage equality, but those don’t hold much water with me. When the Supreme Court decided “Loving v. Virginia” in 1967, fully 82% of the country was opposed to interracial marriage. Compare that with the ever growing majorities already in favor of marriage equality for gay people, and I am very hopeful that our time is near for the end to legal inequality and second class citizenship. There will of course still be other battles to fight (ENDA is a good example), but those involve protections against animus in the private sector, not official inequality before the law like the marriage laws (and sodomy statutes before them).