Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marriage Is So Gay

sf city hall gay marriage equality 6.16 (24)

I haven't really commented much on this, mostly because I was out of town when the California Supreme Court decision was handed down, but I have to say something, and that something is this: Awesome.

I remember the day when I became a 100% supporter of same sex marriage (rather than just my previous 80%). I was riding the J-Church from Noe Valley to civic center in 2004, right after Mayor Gavin Newsom had just authorized the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Sitting in the seats in front of me were two men dressed in tuxes on their way to city hall. They were fiddling with the rings they had purchased for each other, and checking their pockets to make sure they didn't forget anything. They were obviously very nervous.

And very very much in love.

It was painfully obvious to me at that point what a travesty it was for the state to recognize some, but not all of the marriages of those who are lucky enough to find their match.

And for all of the protesters and county officials who don't want to officiate the weddings, I hope you know that in 20 years, you will be seen as the Oral Faubus of this chapter in equal protection.

The fact that this will provide a nice economic boost isn't so bad either. I am incredibly jealous of this guy, who converted (is converting) an old Victorian in the Castro into a wedding chapel. Brilliant. That is the american entreprenuial spirit at work my friends.

Here's another (topical) MUNI ad.

Unfortunately, the fight isn't over. This November, there will be a ballot measure to amend the California Constitution to restrict marriages to hetero sexual couples. It is the opponents' last stand.

Do not be fooled by their calls that the California Supreme Court decision is "judicial activism." The truth is that the state legislature twice tried to pass laws recognizing same sex marriage, but they were vetoed both times by the Governator. He said, (the republican governor) that it should be left to the courts. Well, the courts have had their say.

Now all same sex marriage opponents have to hope for is to play off on is the electorate's irrational fear. Don't let them scare you. Help oppose the initiative here.

From a legal standpoint, even if this amendment passes, I'm still not sure it would be constitutional. From a practical standpoint, I don't think the court's would strike down a constitutional amendment (by the people) based on the equal protection clause, but from a purely legal (and therefore useless) standpoint, couldn't a later amendment be "unconstitutional," if it runs afoul of an earlier and more fundamental right? And if it passed only to the detriment of same sex couples, might that run afoul of the US constitution, as in Romer v. Evans? Just thoughts.


Melissa said...

Romer v. Evans violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Federal Constitution. Justice Kennedy has called it the most bare violation of due process; dividing out one group of people, for no reason other than they are part of that group, and taking the right to protection under the laws taken away from them. Gay marriage is different in that there are some (bullshit) reasons for the difference. These bans have been upheld in other states as well, most notably Hawaii.

That being said, I am so excited for my great home state. There is no way the amendment will pass. Where California leads, the rest of the nation follows.

the default attorney said...

I don't think it would ever fly really, but conceptually I don't really see a bit difference. In Romer, several cities had passed ordinances forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. The rest of the state was incensed and the people passed a constitutional amendment that prevented "teh gays" from benefiting from anti-discrimination laws at all; the previously passed city ordinances or any in the future. Such blatant "bare desire to harm" a group and prevent them from seeking the protection of the law ran afoul of the 14th amendment.

I don't think this would be that different. Here, the state constitution would be amended to repeal a previously given right (though brief) of same sex marriages for no other reason than to deny them that very right.

Again, conceptually similar. I know marriage is a much touchier issue.

But more importantly, HI MELISSA, where you been?! Like the knew blog.

whichever.whatever said...

I think that is one of the best "going from 80% pro- to 100% pro-gay marriage" stories ever. :)