Openly-gay Star Trek icon George Takei has celebrated the progress made for gay rights in the U.S. Supreme Court by sharing his thoughts on Wednesday's historic ruling in a newspaper editorial.
The 76-year-old actor has penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post after lawmakers struck down the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had previously prevented married same-sex couples from obtaining the same access to benefits under federal law as all other husband and wife unions.
In the article, Takei writes, "Whenever one group discriminates against another - keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an intuition - it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the 'ick'...
"For more than 70 years, I've watched the 'ick' infect American life in a variety of ways and concluded that it's little more than a function of unfamiliarity ... Even I was taken aback the first time I saw two men being affectionate in public. The 'ick' runs deep, instilling unease even in those for whom an act is natural."
However, Takei, who wed his partner Brad Altman in 2008, claims that as race discrimination is thought of as outrageous by today's children, future generations will think the same of the limitations placed on gays and lesbians by the DOMA bill.
He adds, "Future generations will shake their heads at how narrow, fearful and ignorant we sounded today debating DOMA. Happily the majority of our justices understood this and did not permit the 'ick' to stick."