Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Same Gender Marriage in California - The CA Supreme Court Issues a Bittersweet Ruling on Prop 8

So my same-gender marriage, and the other 18,000 same gender marriages that happened last year are LEGAL, and will remain LEGAL.

But Prop 8 was upheld, and no other same-gender marriages can be performed (or will be recognized) in California.

How incredibly ridiculous is that?

7 out of 7 judges upheld my marriage.

But only 1 out of 7 understood the basic principals at play under all the legalese - that for a majority to deny a minority its rights is NOT the American Way!

In Justice Moreno’s view, “[d]enying the designation of marriage to same-sex couples cannot fairly be described as a ‘narrow’ or ‘limited’ exception to the requirement of equal protection,” but adds that “even a narrow and limited exception to the promise of full equality strikes at the core of, and thus fundamentally alters, the guarantee of equal treatment . . . . Promising equal treatment to some is fundamentally different from promising equal treatment for all. Promising treatment that is almost equal is fundamentally different from ensuring truly equal treatment. Granting a disfavored minority only some of the rights enjoyed by the majority is fundamentally different from recognizing, as a constitutional imperative, that they must be granted all of those rights.”

Justice Moreno declares that “Proposition 8 represents an unprecedented instance of a majority of voters altering the meaning of the equal protection clause by modifying the California Constitution to require deprivation of a fundamental right on the basis of a suspect classification.” He states that “[t]he rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized in the Marriage Cases, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities” and “weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority.”

I suggest the other 6 Justices, and everyone else for that matter, re-read this:

And think about the spirit and the meaning of these words, from the Preamble to our nation's "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE"

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Everyone can understand ALL people should have equal rights. I was raised to believe that's what AMERICA stands for!

The California Supreme Court embarrassed itself today with this Prop 8 ruling. And while I'm grateful that they upheld the legality of my marriage, I'm appalled at their coming down on the WRONG side of equality for everyone else.

A little sweet.

A lot bitter.

A very bitter-sweet day.

The fight will continue...




Karol S. said...

I, too, am appalled and heart broken over this. And it's all because people are so uncomfortable with homosexuality. Would any h8 group ever dare to propose a proposition banning ME from marrying due to my disability? Of course not. But if it's two guys or two women, the sexually oppressed just get all freaked out.

I can't understand why Prop H8 was allowed on the ballot in the first place - since the CA Supreme Court had already ruled that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional. All that money spent to support both side of this h8ful proposition - in a terrible economy - and now the much more will have to be spent to fight this ongoing injustice... It's maddening!

Equal is equal is equal. There are no exceptions - or, rather, there SHOULD be no exceptions.

MotherReader said...

I watched the TV coverage at 1:00 thinking of you. Glad for you personally in your marriage, and knowing how upset you'd be at the decision in general. I'm with you, and will never get what makes people go crazy out-of-their-way to deny other people rights. It makes absolutely no sense.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately the Declaration of Independance is not legally binding in the United States.

The struggle continues.

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm glad that existing marriages stay. (That one should never have been in question.) I'm sad that there won't be any more gay marriages for the time being, although I understand that something like a civil partnership will be recognised.

I hope that's true, as it's forming a useful middle position in the UK as we all get our heads round the idea of equal rights while trying not to upset the religious folks. (Why we can't upset them but we can upset gay and lesbian folks has not been satisfactorily explained.)

If we all abandoned marriage to the church and made civil partnerships the norm then there wouldn't be any problems. Maybe I'd have to stop using the term "my husband" but I prefer to call him "my Beloved" anyway.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Congrats for you and us (and 18,000 other couples) on this bittersweet ruling. The future has yet to unfold and we will see where it leads.

cleemckenzie said...

I have a friend who has had to move, sell her home, give up her job and move to Canada to be with her life-long partner. Since their marriage is not recognized, the Canadian partner cannot remain in the U.S.

I'm sure there are a lot of stories out there that are like this one or very similar.