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Sad day

March 5, 2009

Prop 8, which prohibits gay marriage in California, is here to stay.

So it looks from what the state Supreme Court said today, when they shot down the argument that the ballot initiative was an improper way to amend the constitution, according to The Los Angeles Times. The court has 90 days to make its final ruling, but it sure looks like things have already been decided.

I’ve made my views clear in earlier posts, but to summarize:

I think proposition 8 is a travesty of the political and legal processes, and that in short time those who voted “yes” will be ashamed to admit they did so. It sets a terrifying precedent, in that now gay couples everywhere have to worry not just about the problems they already face, but the possibility of having their few existing protections and rights stripped away by hateful or ignorant neighbors.

Before deliberations began this morning at 9 a.m. Pacific time, my friend the lawyer sent me a note (links and bolded words added by me):

It appears the basic issues are indeed what we discussed.
This will be a very important case in its ramifications on the lives of many Californians. However, it ‘s worth revisiting my earlier summary of the argument to remind yourself that this turns on what is, in some ways, a technical question. People always want courts to “do the right thing” but courts’ function is simply to apply the law as written–doing otherwise is the “wrong thing.” That said, I think the legal argument against Prop 8 is persuasive and I obviously hope it succeeds.

Earlier today The New York Times posted an interesting piece on the deliberations and the protesters surrounding them. It sounds (and looks) like an impressive, if nonviolent, clash of ideologies. Apparently, so many people showed up they had to set up a Jumbotron in front of City Hall.

I’m sorry I can’t be there to witness it, but at the same time, I’m happy to have missed things like this:

Several ardent — and outnumbered — opponents of same-sex marriage also held signs with messages like “Gay = Pervert” and “A Moral Wrong Can’t be a Civil Right.”

And yet still people wonder why we take this issue personally.

This post was updated and edited for clarity Friday, March 6.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Shawna permalink
    March 5, 2009 4:30 pm

    Noooooooo. I got the news from you. I hadn’t heard the verdict yet. I just had the nicest talk with a supporter handing out buttons and flyers earlier this week and we were both so hopeful. I am terribly ashamed of my state and of the fact that supporting your neighbor as a human being just doesn’t seem to get through to people in this day and age. I just came back from lunch with a friend who is newly engaged. Everyone should be able to glow like that.

    • March 5, 2009 5:21 pm

      Technically, they do have 90 days to deliver a verdict. But the popular opinion of the proceedings seems to be our side doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, I’m sorry to say.

  2. March 5, 2009 9:11 pm


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