Disappointment in California

Kirstyn and Lisa

Today, the Supreme Court of California decided to upload Proposition 8. Prop 8 amends the constitution of the state to define marriage as being between a man and a woman only, blocking marriage between same sex couples.

Last year, for a brief time, it was possible for same sex couples to be marriage. R and I have two friends, Kirstyn and Lisa, who took advantage of this to marry. This has actually been on our minds recently because they have a much grander wedding planned for this year. They married last year, as far as I understand it, because of the fear that what happened today would come to pass. They wanted to get married while they had the chance. It turns out to be very smart that they did so. All of the same sex couples who did get married are grandfathered by the ruling today, so they won’t be stripped of their civil rights and their legal marriage (though they are never allowed to remarry if they divorce…).

I am disappointed, appalled, and flabbergasted that the state of California, of all states, actually managed to pass this proposition and to have it upheld by the state supreme court. So much for the “loony lefty” image of California.

As far as I am concerned, this is completely a civil rights issue. I don’t buy self-serving and bullshit arguments, usually led by conservative Christian clergy, that marriage has “always” been between a single man and a single woman (history proves that terribly, terribly incorrect, even in Europe). Beyond this, marriage confers significant social and economic benefits that are upheld by state and federal governments. If some cleric doesn’t want to marry a gay couple, he or she is free not to do so. That said, it isn’t the government’s business to discriminate against gays and lesbians simply because of the agenda of Christianity (because, let’s be franks, they aren’t doing it because Jewish or Islamic clerics don’t like it either).

I am 100% committed to equal rights, in all ways, for gays and lesbians. Those rights should include the right to marry and all the privileges that go with it, along with many other rights that straight people enjoy.

This fight isn’t over.

Update: I applaud the clergy and staff at the Pacific School of Religion for being willing to stand up for their beliefs today. (PSR is a member school at GTU, where I am doing my doctorate.)