Gay Marriage in California: My Initial Reaction

I’m just stepping on toes today, and for that I apologize to my colleagues, but there are times when you just have to say what you have to say.

As my colleague Mac reported earlier, the highly anticipated decision by California’s Supreme Court on whether or not gay marriage should be legal came in today, and the verdict was good; at least for now, homosexuals can get married in California.

While it is expected that the ruling won’t become law and permits to homosexuals won’t be made available for another thirty days, this is most definitely a step in the right direction, and the sanctity of the institution for same sex couples will be safe at least until November.

That’s when a California constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is expected to show up on the ballot.  The passage of such an amendment would be a terrible blow to the cause given that, as far as I understand, such a measure would bypass both courts and Governor Schwarzenegger who, though he has vetoed pro gay marriage legislation in the past, has sworn to uphold the court’s ruling in this instance, and opposes the amendment.

But that’s a fight I think we all have to be ready and willing to fight.  If we can defeat the measure, that should, for the time being anyway, provide some permanence for same sex couples in California.

My initial reaction, funnily enough, was to call up my brother and be like, “DOOD!  POP THE QUESTION NOW WHILE YOU STILL GOT TIME!”  But I don’t think he’s in that kind of a relationship yet.

But one day he will be, and I plan on being a part of the fight to make sure that when he is, he can walk down that aisle.  Heh, maybe our stepdad can preside over his wedding like he did mine.

In any case, what really struck me as I read the LA Times article was the sheer joy.  I mean, there are couples talked about there that have been together longer than I’ve been alive!  Imagine all that time and not havig the right to say, “This is my husband,” or “This is my wife.”

I couldn’t imagine the kind of toll that must have on a relationship, and how that must affect one’s self esteem and psyche.  Which has always been the great shame of this country’s battle to keep gay people from being married.  It’s blatant subjugation; it’s not even a veiled attempt at saying, “You’re not good enough to enjoy the rights that the rest of us enjoy.”

Usually, when confronted with this argument, the anti-gay marriage crowd often either dives into the Bible, or they mince words.  After all, no one is banning these folks from marrying someone of the opposite gender, just folks of the same gender.

Which isn’t the point.  The point is that they are prevented from entering the institution of marriage with the person that they love and want to be married to.

So, yeah, as someone who is something of a “hopeless romantic” this is a pretty good day for me.  I can’t imagine the excitement so many couples must be sharing right now, that thought that finally, after all this time, they get to be a real, married couple.

Their joy reaches me from accross the country, and touches me deeply, and while I’m not over there, I still share in their joy, and revel in this triumph.  Today wasn’t so much a victory for justice, as it was for love.

May the next few months bring you all the validation and respect and love you all richly deserve, and when it comes down to the fight, I’m there.

As cheesy as it may sound, love is definitely worth fighting for.

One Response to “Gay Marriage in California: My Initial Reaction”

  1. DrGail says:

    I too am incredibly heartened by this ruling; it’s happening more quickly than I had hoped.

    I came of age in the 60s, where “living together” was more than just acceptable. Times have changed, of course, but my attitudes haven’t necessarily changed. However, when it came right down to it, I chose to get married. Mostly because of the tax and other benefits that accrue to married couples, rather than cohabitating ones.

    Nevertheless, I find it hard to imagine how marriage is acceptable for heterosexual couples (even when they don’t plan to have children) but not for homosexual couples. The laws in this regard totally offend my basic sense of fairness.

    This is a happy day for anyone who yearns for equality for all Americans. . .as goes California, so goes the nation (eventually).


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