American society has changed radically in the past two decades. It would now be ludicrous for members of Congress to rush down to military bases to gauge the distance between bunks — as was once done. Gays have taken their place in society without much fuss. They are everywhere — tolerated or welcomed, ignored or celebrated, but rare is the workplace that does not have people who are openly gay. This is a refreshing development.

Some African Americans recoil from the notion that homosexuality is a civil right. After all, nowhere were there rules and regulations — backed often by violence — that treated gays as whites did blacks. What’s more, in the (wrong) thinking of some, homosexuality is a choice made for whatever reason, while being black is a matter of birth. The facts, though, are otherwise. Homosexuality is also a matter of birth. It is who they are — and who they have every right to be.