Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings

OK, so the morning after reports on yesterday's arguments before the California State Supreme Court don't look promising for an overturning of Proposition 8, the ban against same-sex marriages. Many in the media are predicting, based on the questioning of the justices in yesterday's closely watched hearing, that the court will uphold the voter-approved Prop. 8 but may also maintain that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place prior to Prop. 8 should also stay in tact.

This was a hard struggle to begin with, and I'm still not really sure if it was the best legal approach to focus on a technicality--the fact that Prop. 8 is more a constitutional revision as opposed to an amendment, which needs just a simple majority vote compared to a two-thirds vote and the involvement of the legislature for a revision. I actually like state Attorney General Jerry Brown's approach, which is basically that whatever Prop. 8 is, it should be judged on whether it violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution. Let's not focus on the technicality but on the legal implications of the proposition.

I think what the hearing really showed is the fact that California lives under a very flimsy constitution that can be altered often by the populace. One of the justices even noted that the constitution has been amended 500 times! Come on! Give me a break. Should such an important document be changed so often? I'm not a big fan of the proposition process because it's really placing the burden to developing laws on the people when we already have the process of electing officials to do that job.

The ruling should come out in the next 90 days (probably close to May) and it looks like the movement for same-sex marriages will have to go back to the people. And although many people woke up after the November elections to the fact that an injustice occurred, polls still show a slim majority banning same-sex marriages. It's sad to me that people around me still think that as a gay man, I am "different" and that I do not enjoy the same life experiences that they do.

Yesterday, a co-worker sent out an email video of his new baby boy. He and his wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday. He was so happy in his email and said how proud he was of his wife and the love she had with their new baby. He was a proud father and a proud husband. And this life experience just reminded me how sad it is that I can never experience that. Sure, I'm still single so I have that against me. But if I fell in love, we could adopt but I would never be someone's "husband." We would just be two guys with a baby in other people's eyes.

Links to new reports on the court hearing:
"California Supreme Court looks unlikely to kill Proposition 8," LA Times.
"Justices seem to be leaning in favor of Prop. 8," San Francisco Chronicle.
"California Court Weight Gay Marriage Ban," New York Times

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Rain to Stop This March for Justice

Tonight I went to the San Francisco Eve of Justice rally and march. This was one of several similar events occurring across the nation as we all prepare for tomorrow's court hearing on the case against Prop. 8 before the California Supreme Court. Here are some photos from tonight's rally and march, which started in the Castro and then marched along Market Street to City Hall. (Oh, and yes that's actor Hal Sparks of "Queer As Folk" half way through the slide show.) I'm glad there wasn't any rain, which we've had for the last few days in the Bay Area. So that made for a nice turnout.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Attack on DOMA

A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts challenging the federal ban to recognize same-sex marriages performed at various states. There are only two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) that currently perform same-sex marriages and the couples have been enjoying the freedom of love in their state, but still suffer from the same disparaging looks by the entire country on the federal level.

The Defense of Marriage Act, passed under the Clinton Administration as a way to appease a middle-to-conservative nation, prevents federal benefits afforded heterosexual couples to be applied to same-sex couples. There's an effort to appeal DOMA under the new Obama administration but today's lawsuit directly challenges it in the federal courts.

Massachusetts has led the way in bringing marriage equality to gay couples. Let's hope they're successful in this round as well.

Only news link I could find was this Reuters story.