Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'll bite--what IS it about other people's marriages that so bother the "Yes on Prop. 8" people?

I just found out that Prop. 8 passed in California. That's the proposition banning same-sex marriages.

I don't get it. Just what is so hard about letting two people in love get the same civil rights that I've had for the past 12 years? Does a same-sex marriage threaten my marriage in any way? Is giving same-sex couples certain legal rights going to somehow threaten opposite-sex couples (including, BTW, those who have taken their marriage vows and then gotten divorced--which is, of course, legal and "doesn't" threaten the sanctity of marriage)?

I hear that the SF City Attorney is going to file suit, claiming that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional (see here). Good.

I understand that a lot of people are uncomfortable with same-sex marriage, for a variety of reasons, and I don't want to marginalize any good-hearted opposition to my own views. But I believe that denying same-sex couples these civil rights smacks of the same popular hesitation that accompanied mixed-race marriage not that long ago. Too many of my friends have had to resort to a variety of legal machinations just to get the right to visit their partners in hospitals, or to have survivorship rights, or to enjoy any of the myriad rights that I get to take for granted as a married woman. I know that times will change, and I foresee a time when this hot-button issue will be of only historical interest, but I sure wish that times were changing a bit faster.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Back to Basics: Alternative Pleading.

Say you sue me because you say my dog bit you.
Well, now this is my defense:

My dog doesn't bite.
And second, in the alternative, my dog was tied up that night.
And third, I don't believe you really got bit.
And fourth, I don't have a dog.

Richard Haynes, Houston (1927- ) Trial Lawyer. Artist. Seer.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution is one of "we the people." The beauty of a democracy is that the people themselves get to decide what values are important to support in society. Individuals who say gay marriage is a right protected by the constitution perhaps need to read the document one more time. I don't see it. The more the Courts (like California) invent rights, the more the rule of law is diminished. I agree that the gay marriage question in time will be resolved and will be a thing of the past but it will be because the democratic system worked. We can't just scream "unconstitutional" at every turn. There is a reason why 70% of blacks voted yes. They don't see it as a civil rights struggle and neither do I. Gay marrriage is about behavior while race/gender is about bias based on characteristics.

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