Thursday, August 5, 2010

overturned. equality wins.

The highly anticipated announcement yesterday about Proposition 8 definitely came as something to celebrate! In this historic decision, the federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples — to be unconstitutional. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, declared that the amendment to the California Constitution adopted in November 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

We already have social stigmas to eliminate; we don't need the law enabling inequality and discrimination. Judge Walker added, "Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society."

Love prevailed, and equality won yesterday.  But the fight is far from over.  Yesterday's vote overturned an amendment that took away rights that had already been granted - and should already be naturally equal - and reinstated marriage equality, specifically for the 18,000 people who married under California's legal same-sex marriage laws.  We still need to move forward to legalize gay marriage in the state of New York...and Illinois...and Colorado...and and and.  But in order to do that, we have to reflect on what marriage is and what it is not.  Marriage is the state sanctioning of two people as a single unit. Marriage doesn't have to be achieved through the white dress, black suit, flowers, cake and first dance tradition in a church.  You are married by the state; you are recognized and blessed by the church, if you so choose.

As expected, an appeal has already been made by the opposition.  Although I'm hopeful for the future, one thing is certain: People are talking. Voices are being heard. Our laws our changing. We are on the road towards equality.


  1. Thank you, Claire, for being a modern, compassionate young woman! I totally agree with you. 62/F/Ore. (well, himself says so too!)

  2. Claire, you continue to amaze me.