I don’t know if future statisticians will catch it, but today has to be the day the US cultural tide actually turned toward full civil rights, including marriage, for gays.

I point to two stories in today’s New York Times about support for gay rights coming from cultural sectors that have been natural enemies of gay acceptance: Republican powerbrokers and high profile male athletes.

The first article is from the New York Section:  Wealthy GOP Donors Providing Bulk of Money In Push for Gay Marriage. It begins:

As gay-rights advocates intensify their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the bulk of their money is coming from an unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes.

Their behind the scenes financial support–about $1 million in donations, quietly delivered in recent weeks to a new coalition of gay rights organizations–could alter the political calculus of Albany lawmakers, especially the Republican state senators in whose hands the fate of gay marriage rests.

It goes on to mention a list of typically Republican donors, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is actively supporting gay marriage: “giving at least $100,000 of his own money, hosting a fundraiser at an Upper East Side townhouse, traveling to Albany to lobby lawmakers and giving a speech on the issue.”

… Let’s pause and remember that in 1969 gay people were still being arrested in Greenwich Village.

The second story is from the Sports Section: Two Straight Athletes Combat Homophobia.

It tells of Ben Cohen, a world-class English rugby star, and Hudson Taylor, a three-time college All-American wrestler, who are both, independently, “dedicating their lives to the issues of bullying and homophobia in sports.”   Both have started advocacy organizations and are actively working to civilize that vestigle stream of sports culture where it’s still okay to, for instance, call an opponet a “fag”.

“I can say something, and it can be so little for me,” said Cohen, “but it can be so powerful for tens of thousands of people.”