It’s about love, isn’t it?

Leave it to San Francisco to step way out in front in the battle over gay marriage. We can see the future happening now in the city by the bay.

To any objective observer, it’s obvious that eventually gay marriage will be fully legal in the United States, just as it was obvious sometime in the mid-1950s, when the Civil Rights Movement took off, that one day black Americans would enjoy full rights. By issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals, San Francisco is leading the way.

And why shouldn’t gay marriage be an option in civil society? Churches can of course continue to limit marriages of congregants to heterosexuals if they so desire. The Catholic Church prohibits divorce, but civil law allows it. Simple fairness says the government should not deny the legal benefits it provides some couples who wish to form the partnership of marriage and deny them to others.

It was fitting that the first San Franciscans to take out a same-sex marriage license were two women in their 80s who’d lived together for more than 50 years. Why shouldn’t these loving and devoted people be allowed to marry?

We applaud Mayor Gavin Newsom and all San Franciscans for their commitment to equal treatment for all.