Gay marriage is all the rage right now with the recent decision by the California Supreme Court. Their decision in favor of gay marriage makes California only the second state, behind Massatoocies, to legalize gay marriage. The decision maybe moot if a constitutional amendment on the CA ballot passes in November. That’s the way it should be.
The people, not the courts should be arbiters of the issue. But given the fact that CA had nothing in their state Constitution forbidding gay marriage, I can understand their decision. Now it’s up to the citizens of California to decide if they want to allow two dudes to wed. That’s how the democratic process works.
Nevertheless, on a macro level, I will argue that two guys or gals getting married is not a devastating act that will destroy the nation. Anna Quindlen had a great article in Newsweek to that extent.
In the wake of the court’s decision, those folks vowed to find a way to protect the sanctity of hetero marriage, that time-honored staple of sitcom mockery and savage custody fights. Polls showing opposition to gay marriage were proffered to prove that the court had overstepped its bounds, ignoring the fact that the most sacred business of judges is not to ratify the will of the majority but to protect the minority from its tyranny.
It is true that the California Supreme Court is something of a Scandinavia of jurisprudence, willing to get out front on social issues. But it’s not really courts and legislatures that will settle this issue. It’s the neighbors, friends and family members who have come out and made the political personal—and lovable. Jennifer? Smart, funny Jennifer? Of course she should be able to marry Anne. They’re perfect together.
Amen. People and changing attitudes will decide. I’m willing, as a gay man, to allow this one to go straight to the people. It might not happen as soon as I would like. It might not happen in the way that I prefer, but it will happen in a democratic manner. I have my rights. I am an American citizen. Those rights are stated in the Constitution. Blacks were denied those basic rights. That was corrected with the Civil Rights Act. I have been fortunate to never know that level of discrimination. But there is more to do.
Gay men and lesbians have prospered because they’ve refused to acquiesce to the notion that they should hide their lives from public view. Two by two they’ve adopted children, bought homes, volunteered in their communities and slogged through life together just the way hetero couples do, except without preferential tax codes, inheritance rights and the automatic assumption that they can make decisions for one another in emergency situations. Too often, without legal protection, they have found themselves dependent on the kindness of those who were not kind, like the man in Indiana who became severely disabled and whose parents prohibited his partner of 25 years from visiting him in their home.
Marriage should be decided by the people on the state level. That’s the way this nation works )in theory). Changing attitudes will eventually prevail. Straight folks are beginning to realize that gays geting married is not a threat. In fact, a recent poll showed that a majority of people in California were ok with the concept of gay marriage. The fact is, we’re just like anyone else. We live, we love. We are your neighbors, teachers, lawyers, public servants. Some of us just want the right to marry.
Here’s what I don’t understand: is there so much love and commitment in the world that we can afford, as a society, to be contemptuous of some portion of it? If two women in white want to join hands in front of their families and friends and vow to love and honor one another until they die, the only reasonable response to that is happy tears, awed admiration and societal approval. And—this part is just personal opinion—one of those big honking KitchenAid mixers with the dough hook.
Before we know it that will be the response everywhere, not just in Denmark and the Netherlands and Canada and California: approval, appliances. The polls predict the future. The younger you are, the more likely you are to know someone who is gay. The more likely you are to know someone who is gay, the more likely you are to support gay marriage. The opposition is aging out.
Someday soon the fracas surrounding all this will seem like a historical artifact, like the notion that women were once prohibited from voting and a black individual from marrying a white one. Our children will attend the marriages of their friends, will chatter about whether they will last, will whisper to one another, “Love him, don’t like him so much.” The California Supreme Court called gay marriage a “basic civil right.” In hindsight, it will merely be called ordinary life.
I think things are going that way. That’s my hope and my dream.