05/28/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Liberty and Justice for All... Finally

As a judge, I have dedicated my life to fighting injustice. When Martin Luther King, Jr., was sitting in a jail once in Alabama, a reporter asked him why he, as a preacher from Georgia, was so concerned about what happened in another State. Dr. King responded that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." His elegant declaration still guides us today -- and that's why we all should be thrilled by the ruling of the California Supreme Court, which overrules an insidious form of discrimination.

This is not really an issue of gay rights -- it is an issue of basic justice. State-sanctioned discrimination (allowing a government to decide whom we can marry) is a threat to the liberty of all Americans. We no longer allow a government to dictate that we can only marry within our own race (as we once did). And the "institution" survived interracial marriage without incident; it will certainly survive this, too. We are a nation of laws. We seek justice in our legal system. We cannot allow fear or hatred to blind us to these goals, which have established the American Constitution as a beacon for the world. And make no mistake -- this is purely a legal issue. No citizen, and certainly no church, will be forced to do anything at all.

But the government in California can no longer discriminate. That's all the Supreme Court ruled.

And really, folks, what's the big deal? If I have the legal right to visit my partner in a hospital, will that interfere with your kid's soccer practice? If I have the right to affirm my love in a public ceremony, will that prevent you from buying an anniversary gift? Or making your mortgage payment? Or getting the car serviced? Or any of the other thousands of things couples do in their daily lives? What has happened in Massachusetts in the years since that state began permitting gay marriage? Nothing. And everything. Because the injustice in Massachusetts ended. And that made liberty for us all a little bit more secure.