Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Imagine you are a politician. Imagine you could pass a piece of legislation which would make millions of people very, very happy. It would not just affect those directly named in the bill, but also their families, friends, neighbours, beloveds. It would vastly add to the sum total of human joy. It would right a historic wrong. It would advance equality before the law, in a land whose very founding elaborated the principle that all men are born equal. (The founders did not mention women, but I like to think they are born equal too.) It would make some people very cross, but their crossness would pass, as they moved on to find some other object of enragement. The ones to whom you bring joy, though, will have happiness to last a lifetime.
Wouldn’t you do it?
That is what Governor Andrew Cuomo managed last night, against high odds, when he signed into law a bill making same sex marriage legal in the great state of New York. I think it’s absolutely bloody marvellous. I bless him and all who sail in him.
Here is what some people looked like, when the news broke:
At the Stonewall Inn in the West Village; picture by James Keivom.
And in the New York Senate Gallery, as the votes were finally counted; picture by Cindy Schultz.
Imagine you were a politician. Imagine you could put that look on people’s faces.
It even made The Pigeon smile:
Actually, that is such a big lie. That face is because I had just thrown her stick for her. Marriage equality, sticks; we all get our joy in different ways.
Now for some pictures from the garden:
As I took these, the sounds of a wedding across the way drifted over. People were laughing; there were three cheers; a piper struck up. How appropriate, I thought. Not quite a big gay wedding, because here in Blighty it is still civil partnerships. Go on, Coalition, I thought: why not pass a bill that makes people look like this:
(Photograph by Jessica Rinaldi.)
I came inside to write this, and heard the oystercatchers making a wild song outside the window. I looked out, and to my amazement, I saw they had their chick with them. I have never, ever seen an oystercatcher baby before. I know one must not get too sentimental about animals, but it was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. It felt rather symbolic on this happy day. The parents were teaching it to look for food, digging away for worms and then encouraging it to copy them. As you may imagine, I got rather carried away with the camera:
See how brilliant the camouflage is against the granite:
And off they go:
Talking of sweetness, could not resist one more Pigeon:
I hope you are having a lovely weekend, wherever you are, but special greetings to the New Yorkers, who did a wonderful thing.