Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prop. 8 ruling restores equality

What a great gift to be given last Wednesday, the knowledge that loving and committed couples are that much closer to being able to wed. I was overjoyed that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.

Prop. 8 was nothing more than an exercise in mob tyranny. A majority of only 52.3 percent approved amending the California Constitution to eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry.

A California Supreme Court ruling in May 2008 struck down California marriage laws that banned marriage for same-sex couples. As an aside, I believe San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom should earn an honored place in California history for first putting events in motion that brought about this landmark ruling.

When Prop. 8 eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, it preserved the legally-wed status of same-sex couples who married during the brief interval of time from when the California Supreme Court ruling took effect, until Prop. 8 successfully amended the California Constitution.

The first challenge to Prop. 8 was a waste of time and energy because its focus was procedural instead of on people's rights. The challengers should have heeded what is written in the California Constitution: that while the California Legislature must achieve a two-thirds majority vote to amend the constitution, California voters can amend the constitution with a simple majority.

Hence my characterization of Prop. 8 as an exercise in mob tyranny. I'm sure that those people railing against Walker as a so-called activist judge who overturned the "will of the people" don't concern themselves with the 47.7 percent who were opposed to Prop. 8. Far from representing the will of a vast majority, the outcome of Prop. 8 was determined by a mere 5 percent.

This latest challenge, the subject of Walker's ruling, made more sense to me. It directly addressed what was so objectionable about Prop. 8: that it eliminated people's rights. Heck, it even said so on the November 2008 ballot.

In spite of a pending appeal, I share the joy of same-sex couples who have made commitments to each other and who are that much closer to having their equality restored. I believe that legitimatizing same-sex relationships will strengthen our society as a whole.

My husband and I have been together for 18 years and I've never understood the rationale that denying same-sex couples the ability to wed was a "defense" of marriage. In what way has my husband's and my relationship been strengthened and protected by other people being denied this right?

The top reasons that people divorce, according to Linda M. McCloud on AssociatedContent.com, are money, infidelity, poor communication, changes in priorities, lack of commitment to the marriage, sexual problems, addictions, failed expectations and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

If people want to strengthen or "protect" marriages, than these are the problems they should address, instead of attempting to impose restrictions upon whom can be legally wed.

If anything, marriage will be strengthened with that much more couples able to wed and to share and model their strengths as they overcome the genuine obstacles cited in McCloud's article.

To follow the Prop. 8 ruling and its aftermath, including requests by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to immediately allow same-sex marriages to resume, visit http://prop8trialtracker.com/.

Published Aug. 10, 2010 in the Lake County Record-Bee

No comments:

Post a Comment

Robust debate and even unusual opinions are encouraged, but please stay on-topic and be respectful. Comments are subject to review for personal attacks or insults, discriminatory statements, hyperlinks not directly related to the discussion and commercial spam.