California Court’s Decision on Proposition 8 May Be Disappointing, But 18,000 Legally Married Same-Sex Couples “Ain’t Nothin’ To Sneeze At”

same-sex coupleThe California Supreme Court sent out a mixed message today when it upheld last November’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages, but, on the other hand, did not make make the proposition retroactive, which means that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place previous to the election are still legal.

While those opposed to gay marriage may be celebrating today, they must realize that the sand in the top of their hourglass continues to drain into the bottom: eighteen thousand gay marriages remain intact despite the millions they spent. The court’s ruling only says that the proposition made a legal change in California’s Constitution; the court did not say gay marriage was wrong; in fact, just the opposite is the case in allowing the 18,000 marriages to stand.

The effect of allowing the 18,000 marriages to remain legal will be much more enduring than the upholding of Proposition 8.

Except for under the G. W. Bush administration (with various interferences to privacy and to the writ of habeas corpus), it’s hard to think of civil liberties, once granted, that have been retracted. How willing would African-Americans be to go back into slavery? Would women say, “Oh, we’re just so happy with the way men run the government that we’ll just stay at home on election day”? Can you imagine Jon and Kate or any other inter-racial couples thinking how “unnatural” it would be to get married and have kids? When it comes to civil liberties, it’s very hard to get the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s been squeezed out.

And gay people are not going back either.

Because of these 18,000 marriages, gay marriage will become legal for other couples, one way or the other. It may be through the court itself or through the ballot box. It may come about through more people realizing that equality counts for all, not for just some. It may come about when a financially-strapped state understands the boon of same-sex marriages.

Whatever way–things will change. Look at the difference between now and barely a year ago. Until May 15th of last year when the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, only the state of Massachusetts allowed it. In spite of Proposition 8, 18,000 couples were legally married in California, and . . . same-sex marriage became law in Connecticut (since October 10, 2008), Iowa (since April 27, 2009), Vermont (starting September 1, 2009) and Maine (starting September 14, 2009). And it appears some of the “New” states–New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire will approve gay marriage soon.

So for all the NOMers and other nay-sayers out there, imagine a “storm” of fluffy clouds, spring flowers, and the most delicious wedding cakes out there, because if you think you’ve won something today in California, most gay people see a silver lining that’s going to be found in more and more tuxes and wedding gowns all across the land.

In just looking at the Declaration of Independence, I see again that it says that one of the unalienable rights is “the pursuit of happiness”. Nothing in there that I can read says that working to make other people’s lives unhappy is an unalienable right. But, thank goodness, people like Maggie Gallagher, James Dobson, and Jerry Falwell are a dying breed. Oh, sorry, Falwell’s dead already, isn’t he?

Advertisements

“Love Not Laws” the Best Yet in Countering N.O.M.’s “Propaganda Storm”

OK, so I wasn’t going to get my blog involved in something that’s being done so well, both on television and on the Internet: countering the propaganda that the National Organization for Marriage (which is a total misnomer, because they’re really against marriage, except for their own special interest group). In fact, if you want to see a lot of great vids parodying NOM’s what some are calling a “cult classic” (And, yes, “cult” is the operative word here.), just do a quick youtube search for “NOM parody”, and you’ll see how creative gay people can be.

But anyway, this one is the best I’ve seen so far, and the people in it are actually who they are, unlike NOM’s agitprop.

This accompanies the video on the youtube page:

Love Not Laws is a coalition of people of various ages, races, and beliefs, who came together to show solidarity and support for same-sex marriage. In response to videos that are circulating the internet that use fear and falsehoods to promote an offensive agenda of ‘separate and unequal’, Love Not Laws created a video that was grounded in compassion, emotion, and heart.

If you oppose same-sex marriage, we hope that this video will cause you to examine your own biases. If you are in support of same-sex marriage, we hope that this video inspires you to act. And if you feel that you are too small, or that your efforts won’t matter, we ask you to remember that we were a group of people who, individually thought they could do nothing… but together, were able to accomplish something bigger than all of us.