In honor of today’s news that the California Supreme Court has rejected another last-ditch attempt to revive Proposition 8, I’m running something I wrote years ago paying tribute to an unlikely pioneer in gay rights.


My bathroom houses a miniature library of periodicals, from the literary to the political to the lifestyle-you-wish-you-had-but-don’t. Sunset magazine is my favorite leisure reading for those private moments behind closed doors.

But not for the usual reasons.

My home improvement skills end with changing light bulbs.

I use the water shortage as an excuse to let my garden go to seed.

I am too poor for a kitchen makeover of $50,000.

And who has time to cook?

What I really love about Sunset is that it’s been quietly on the vanguard of gay rights for years.

Readers are just as likely to find Craig and Jeff and their golden retriever in the sun-washed kitchen of their lovingly restored farmhouse as they are Tom and Judy sipping chardonnay with guests on their new deck.

A recent issue features Janie and Virginia and their eco-friendly paint company.

As the reader drinks in room after room of sumptuous color in the photo spread of their Portland digs, it’s clear that these women are not just business partners.

While some fan the flames of bigotry and fear, Sunset quietly broadcasts that we are all the same.

Well, almost the same.

The couples in the glossy pictures just have more disposable income and fewer dust bunnies on their gleaming hardwood floors than the rest of us.

As I read in the privacy of my own bathroom, I think of how irrelevant it is what others do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

Besides, Craig and Jeff, Janie and Virginia, Tom and Judy probably aren’t doing much of anything. Like everybody else, they’re too exhausted from hauling dirt and lumber around, not to mention cleaning up after all those fabulous dinner parties.

Let’s hope the sun is setting on ignorance and intolerance.

Meanwhile, I’m going to grab my magazine and fantasize about a better life to come–new kitchen cabinets, the perfect peach, and love and justice for all.