"Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new 'niggers' are gays. No person who hopes to get politically elected, even in the deep South...would dare stand in the school door to keep blacks out. Nobody would dare openly and publicly argue that blacks should not have the right to public accommodations. Nobody would dare to say any number of things about blacks that they are perfectly prepared to say about gay people. It is in that sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change.
Indeed, if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy if you want to know whether they are true democrats, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, 'What about gay people?' Because that is now the litmus paper by which this democracy is to be judged. The barometer for social change is measured by selecting the group that is most mistreated. To determine where society is with respect to change. one does not ask, 'What do you think about the education of children'? Nor does one ask, 'Do you believe the aged should have Social Security." The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people."
-A quote from civil rights, gay activist, and unsung architect of the 1963 March on Washington the late Bayard Rustin.