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Friday, May 29, 2009

Marriage Setback in California

Hey fellas, I'm back, had a good trip. Well, as I expected, the California Supremes ruled that Prop 8 is valid law in that state, but they did uphold the legality of the 18,000 same-sex marriages made last year. The full 185-page ruling can be read here (PDF).

It's important to understand that the justices were not ruling on whether they agreed with the anti-gay forces: they were instead ruling on the legal validity of a ballot measure duly approved by the voters. California, like 23 other states, has an initiative process whereby citizens can propose and pass laws or constitutional amendments without having to go through the legislature. It's direct democracy; and though I'm not a legal scholar, I can see how it's hard to ignore the explicit will of the people, who are, after all, theoretically sovereign under our form of government: government of, by, and for the people, right?

Which is why it's all the more important now that our brothers and sisters in California work hard on winning the hearts, minds, and votes of their neighbors to overturn Prop 8 in a new counter-initiative at the ballot box come November of 2010. We've already seen that attitudes are changing across the country, as witness the recent marriage victories in Vermont, Maine, Iowa, and Connecticut - with maybe a few more to come soon.

Already, gay rights organizations are mobilizing a constructive response, like the march and rally planned for Fresno tomorrow, in the conservative heart of California. Remember, fellas, that other oppressed, marginalized groups had to march, work, and fight long and hard to win their civil rights; why should victory come effortlessly for us?

It won't; so do your part in this struggle, even if it's only a little tiny one - like, say, writing a blog. You may not have loads of money, time, and energy to contribute, but do what you can. Then one day we can all look back with pride at what we accomplished together.

And, to look on the bright side of this disappointing state of things in the Golden State, the setback to equal rights is inspiring some great creative works by our side, like these two powerful videos by author and filmmaker Keith Hartman:

Share 'em with somebody you know. Do your part.

(Honk to Joe.My.God. for the videos)


Doorman-Priest said...

Plenty of moral support from over here.

Russ Manley said...

Thanks, we appreciate that, DP.

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