Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another step toward equality

Check out this powerful statement by the sponsors of the case that just struck down marriage discrimination in California.

Step by step we creep toward equality. (Why must we ask for permission?)

Today was a BIG day in California.

"In a major victory for gay rights activists, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a voter initiative banning same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution's equal protection and due process rights clauses.

After a five-month wait, 9th Circuit District Court Judge Vaughn Walker offered a 136-page decision in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, firmly rejecting Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in November 2008.

'Although Proposition 8 fails to possess even a rational basis, the evidence presented at trial shows that gays and lesbians are the type of minority strict scrutiny was designed to protect,' Walker ruled."

"Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs' objective as "the right to same-sex marriage" would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy -- namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages."

"Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society."

That is to say: Prop 8 was bullshit and has now been deemed so under the law.  Let's move on.

So we are happy - but did you catch it?  The judge ruled that the opposition failed to "possess even a rational basis" behind their bullshit arguments.  The arguments that keep us from being with our loved ones in the hospital, that stop us from being full parents to our children, that allow us to support each other through medical benefits at work, that allow our partners to stay in our rental properties after we DIE, that give our homophobic relatives the right to scavenge through everything if a partner dies.  And on and on.  Spare me.

Today is a good day.  But why must we fight so?


Rachel said...

Woo Hoo! Finally! Let craziness die and Love rule :D

Jean said...

I've never understood how it could be considered "illegal" to love, cherish, and care for another human being. It's beyond me. It simply doesn't make sense! Love should be celebrated and encouraged, not crucified and condemned. Kudos to California!!

Stephanie said...

This battle has been going on long enough! Yay for moving in the right direction! Let's hope forward progress snowballs quickly!

The Reader said...

I did catch it, and I couldn't have said it better myself. Good for him, and yes, how I wish we could all stop fighting about it. I LOVE how he said the plaintiffs aren't asking for a right, they are asking the state to recognize a right that (should) already exists. Oh, would that the rest of the US (world) wake up to that distinction!

And, LOVE the photo of you & Luiz!

Jim said...

Thanks Reader, the photo is in front of City Hall in San Francisco just after we got legally married on Valentines Day back in 2004 (the CA Supreme Court later nullified all those marriages some four months later).

Jim said...

Sorry - I removed the photo of Luiz and I because Luiz felt a little too exposed (internet and all). I understand. But shucks - I love that photo!

Jim said...

Luiz chose this photo to put in place of the last one. Same story, same day.

One day I'll do a post that tracks the roller coaster that has been our wedding/domestic partnership/stable union drama and the local/state/federal legal interference as well as popular support that has run through it all. Way more complicated than it need be!!