Friday, May 16, 2008

Marriage Equality Gets a Lift!

(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

The California Supreme Court decided yesterday that the state's "separate-but-equal" scheme for civil unions was unconstitutional based on the California Constitution. This is pretty big news, because A) California is the most populous state in the US; and B) the California Supreme Court is considered to be the most influential state supreme court there is - it's decisions get cited more frequently than any other state supreme court:

(From the NYT) The California Supreme Court, striking down two state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman, ruled on Thursday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The 4-to-3 decision, drawing on a ruling 60 years ago that struck down a state ban on interracial marriage, would make California the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages.

The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days unless the court grants a stay, was greeted with celebrations at San Francisco City Hall, where thousands of same-sex marriages were thrown out by the courts four years ago.

I myself am of mixed mind about the term "marriage." First I'd like to find a partner or at least someone to date regularly! After that, something forever and of course monogamous. I don't know if I want to get married per se. Have my relationship blessed by the Church? Yup, absolutely. I know there are lots of gay and lesbian folks of all ages who want marriage in all its forms, including the name itself. I absolutely respect those who do, and I wonder at my own ambivalence. I want all the same legal protections as a man and woman who marry; I just want them for me and my guy. I'm not sure why I'm hesitant to call it marriage per se. It's not that I do not believe in loving and monogamous lifelong relationships; I most definitely do. And I want the church eventually to witness and bless my relationship whenever it happens. I think I'll need to explore it more and reflect on it. The Cal. SC decision is a good impetus to do some of that work.

In the meantime, read it all here.



Doorman-Priest said...

Could this be the beginning of the end for conservatism?

(Please God.)

RFSJ said...

In the US each state has its own Constitution along with the Federal one. There is already a movement to define marriage in Ca as only between a man and a women via constitutional amendment, which means the CA Supreme Court would not be able to strike it down. The US Supreme Court could, theoretically, but only if it finds a substantive violation of the Federal Constitution or Federal law. And this Supreme Court, courtesy of President Bush, won't do that.

So it's not over yet!

What's the situation in the UK? I confess I hardly know.