"Sometimes these champions weren't even gay themselves but were allies of gay rights as well: When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began marrying couples in San Francisco in 2004, the Democratic establishment, and the gay establishment which is very much a part of it, went ballistic. It affected Newsom's political career, but there's no doubt Newsom is a hero of marriage equality whose action was pivotal.
"If not for grass-roots activists pressuring President Obama, gay leaders seemed likely to have given him a pass on 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal in his first term and on defending DOMA in court, let alone moving forward on marriage equality. So let's not forget these brave people as we watch all the talk shows and read the media interviews which highlight the very gay leaders who were often opposed to the exact strategy they're now embracing." - Michelangelo Signorile, writing for the Huffington Post.