Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prop 8 Ruling

I returned from a short vacation on Tuesday very happy to know that my husband and I were still married. It would have been pretty horrible to have the State of California forcibly divorce 18,000 couples. Thank God we were spared that.

Of course I was disappointed with the other half of the Supreme Court ruling, that upheld Proposition 8, enacted by the California voters last November. Disappointed, but not surprised, as that was certainly the way the wind seemed to be blowing since the day of oral arguments back in March. And disappointed but not angry, and not called to public protest. In fact, I think the Supreme Court made the correct legal decision.

The problem in California is our ridiculously easy to amend constitution. But the proponents worked within that system as they are entitled to do. The court ruling is not anti-marriage, or anti-gay; it's simply an affirmation that the Prop 8 proponents followed the rules fair and square. We don't need the court to win this one for us. We can follow the same rules and win our own victory at the ballot box. In the meantime our Domestic Partnership laws are still available to any same-sex couple looking for legal protection and recognition, providing exactly the same statewide legal benefits as marriage. With 18,000 married same-sex couples it will be difficult for the anti-marriage folks to convince voters that we present an actual detriment to the culture (as opposed to the imagined threat they campaigned on last year). And lastly, it's important for those of us who are tired of hearing the right complain about "activist judges" to support the court when they make a principled, legal decision, even if personally we disagree. It's not the court's job to change our culture; that's our job.

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