Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Reassurring Election Result


The good news in an otherwise disheartening slate of returns was that voters in California, where I was born, raised and lived until moving to the Northwest a dozen years ago, confirmed their previous declaration that marriage can only be defined as one man, one woman.

After four-and-a-half months of gay marriage, sanctioned by only a one-judge margin (4-3) in a case negating the citizens' 2000 ballot initiative and a law that defined marriage traditionally, a majority inserted the time-honored definition into the state constitution, where it cannot be dislodged.

Though this may tear asunder the use of a particular word for gay couples, it does nothing to change their practical status, as California law already gives those in civil unions complete parity of rights with married couples.

And of course, gays always had an equal right to marry, the same right as any other adult, to choose one of the opposite gender. All that's happened is something linguistic, but deeply significant. It is a message that there are indeed gender differences that must be recognized, and even more importantly, that there is one combining of those differences that we hold as the highest, and for most, God-sanctified means of building connections, raising children, and creating a stable society.

This is extremely meaningful for me, as my husband had suggested I put my work on hold pending California's vote. I'm doing a book explaining the importance of marriage as the uniting of opposites; if Proposition 8 had failed, it would have opened the door for national gay marriage and symbolized Americans' indifference toward my subject. With Barack Obama's pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, nothing could have stopped state reciprocity and the generalizing and devaluing of the institution. Now, I'll write with greater urgency.

And what about those same-sex couples who thought they'd married? There's no way to know how many people this affects, since shortly after the mid-May ruling, wedding licenses in California began listing "Party A" and "Party B" for "bride" and "groom." A study released last month by UCLA's Williams Institute looked at the differences in marriage rates between pre-and post-gay marriage rulings at the same times of year, and assumed any increase was gays. Using that questionable standard, they announced that 11,000 gay marriages had been performed. Williams' Gary Gates says many of these are couples who traveled to California for the ceremony, since the bulk of the weddings occurred at top tourist destinations.

By comparison, Massachusetts, the only other state legalizing gay unions, records 10,385 such couplings in four years --since May, 2004, according to a recent LA Times article.

The big fear was that Californians, like the proverbial frog boiled in slowly-heated water, had grown used to the idea of gay marriage, and, given big donors to the No on 8 campaign like the Service Employees International Union ($500,000) and the California Teachers Assn. ($250,000), would roll over and accept it. This outcome reassures us that no matter who's at the helm of the political wheel, our basic values will keep our nation turning the right direction.

7 comments:

  1. I received a flyer in my house proclaiming Obama and Biden don't support gay marriage. A number of African-American pastors had their pictures on it. So the prop had widespread support. We'll see how the courts react.

    Nice to read your blog.

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  2. Don, the flyer you received was an attempt to get a vote deceptively. Obama has repeatedly said he'll repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and he campaigned actively in CA against Prop. 8.

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  3. >After four-and-a-half months of gay marriage, sanctioned by only a one-judge margin (4-3) in a case negating the citizens' 2000 ballot initiative and a law that defined marriage traditionally

    That is not necessarily how government works. Even if 100% of citizens voted on something, it still cannot contradict a constitution law. The original ballot was just a statute and hence deemed unconstitutional because the judges says the equal protection clause includes gay marriage. Remember, in the end, whether we like it or not, it is the judges (no matter by what margin) decide on how a constitution is applied.

    From what I understand, is, What you have NOW is a constitutional contradiction. In one article it says equal protection and in another it defines marriage. More than likely, this prop is going to be repealed.

    What supporters need was a revision of the constitution, not an Amendment. But that is much tougher and would require a Constitutional Convention.

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  4. >Obama has repeatedly said he'll repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and he campaigned actively in CA against Prop. 8.

    I don't remember him campaigning actively in CA against it. He is against gay marriage, but also against prop 8, but I never heard him making much fuss over the prop in CA.

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  5. " Even if 100% of citizens voted on something, it still cannot contradict a constitution law. The original ballot was just a statute and hence deemed unconstitutional because the judges says the equal protection clause includes gay marriage."

    The judges are tyrannical activist liars. They know full well that there was no real constitutional requirement for gay marriage, but they invented it whole cloth. The equal protection clause

    "
    From what I understand, is, What you have NOW is a constitutional contradiction."

    No you dont that is a fiction concocted by the anti-prop 8 side that are using hook and crook to stop this.

    " In one article it says equal protection and in another it defines marriage. More than likely, this prop is going to be repealed."

    Only if the tyrant activist have lost all credibility. A U.S. Constitution Amendment ended slavery and change US Senatorial elections to the popular vote, etc.

    When an amendment becomes a part of the constition, it applies in a way that amends the original document. It is 100% clear that prior to the judges wrong decision earlier this year, 'equal protection' did not require gay marriage. This proposition merely takes us back to that status quo as of before June.

    This amendment is well founded in law. It would be the worst decision since Dred Scott for any court to overturn a constitutional amendment passed by the people.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ...please where can I buy a unicorn?

    ReplyDelete
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