I find this by Andrew Sullivan almost unbearably moving.
The decision of any hostile family member to challenge the legal rights of a same-sex partner can be particularly brutal.
I remember a story told by a friend during the plague years. He was visiting a dying friend in hospital and a couple of beds down the ward from his friend, the curtains were drawn around a patient. From behind the curtains, he could hear a man softly singing a show-tune. "Well, at least that guy's keeping his spirits up," my friend remarked. "Actually," his dying friend replied, "the man in that bed died this morning and was taken away by his family. That's his boyfriend. The family won't let him go to the funeral or ever see his spouse's body again. They've kicked him out of their apartment. It wasn't his name on the lease. So he's just sitting there, singing their favorite song to an empty bed. It's the last time he'll get that close to his husband. The nurses didn't have the heart to tell him to leave yet. He's been there for hours.
You want to know why some of us feel so strongly about this? Remember that scene. We will - for ever. Civil marriage rights are indispensable. Gay people are second-class citizens and second-class human beings until we have them.