Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prop 8 Upheld

Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled that the state would uphold Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage. However, the court did decide to legally recognize the 18,000 marriages that were authorized between the court's pro same-sex marriage ruling in May 2008 and the November passing of Prop 8.

Protesters gathered outside San Francisco's City Hall shouting "Shame on you!" and 162 arrests were made. Even larger gatherings were reported in Los Angeles and San Diego.

According to the court's only Democratic appointee Justice Carlos Moreno, the decision "is not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution." I should expect that Moreno is well versed in the rights that are in place for the protection and equality of the LGBT community, and should be aware that they in many ways exceed the rights of straight couples who want to live together outside of a legalized marriage. Most companies now include a clause in their insurance policies allowing same-sex couples to add their life partner to their coverage, a benefit that is not usually extended to non-married straight couples.

In November, Prop 8 was about gay marriage. Today, Prop 8 is about the will of the people being upheld. This is democracy! The people vote and their decision is respected and enforced by the government! The passing of Prop 8 does not inhibit anyone's right to the American "pursuit of happiness" or strip them of the ability to find employment, housing, and health care. It doesn't even ban them from having wedding ceremonies, living together, or raising children.

California, and more specifically San Francisco, has been a front runner in the progression of LGBT causes over the last 30 years, including the securing of equal employment and housing opportunities, and the rallying of support for the fight against AIDS. It is inevitable that eventually same-sex marriage will be legalized and, in my opinion, the sooner that the cause is approached in a professional and strategic manner the sooner conservatives will become receptive to it. Not everyone is moved by masses of drag queens chanting into megaphones and waving cardboard signs. Lawmaking happens in a three-piece suit.