Prop 8 Equals Hate.

by Risa Green

 

This has been a tough week for me, legally speaking. Not that I have legal problems. I’m not being sued or suing anyone else at the moment. I’m talking more about what happened in the legal world this week. On the one hand, we had Sonia Sotomayor nominated as a Supreme Court Justice. Whether you like her or not, if you weren’t moved by her story, or by her weeping mother in the audience when Obama introduced her, then you can’t possibly be human. Personally, I’m on the fence about her right now. I don’t know enough about her, and the swirling rumors about her being pro-life have planted seeds of doubt in my mind. I’m looking forward to the confirmation hearings so that I can make up my mind. That said, you can’t argue with the fact that the nomination of a Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court does represent progress for our country. Another ceiling broken. It’s about time.

 

And yet, in the same week, the Supreme Court of California – arguably the most liberal state in the Union – upheld the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. For the second time since Prop 8 originally passed, I am embarrassed to call myself a Californian.

 

I am a lawyer. I don’t practice anymore, but I went to law school, and I spent a few years at a big firm. I have always prided myself on not being a knee-jerk ideologist; I’ve always felt that I am able to see both sides of a legal argument, and that I could argue the merits of a case either way, regardless of my personal feelings. I am staunchly pro-choice, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have sympathy for the pro-life position. I think there should be more restrictions on who should be allowed to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see the point of those who think that gun ownership should be absolute. But when it comes to gay marriage, I can honestly say that I just don’t get the argument of those who are against it.

Sydtaki
07.30.09

As a parable: In a right-handed world, who wouldn't want their child to not risk injury or being treated as a lesser person for being born left-handed. To have to choose between paying a premium for tools designed for proper left-handed use or fumbling with the denial of their true nature. Yet still I know of children who stutter and struggle with enforced use of their right hand to write and don't understand why they are laughed at when the teacher calls them out.

Don't we all desire the right to embrace our true nature? Don't we all want our children to have those same rights regardless of how alike or dissimilar they grow to be from us? I already have had to explain to my children how it was once illegal for me to marry my foreign-born Asian husband, and we would have been denied the right to own property? After that advancement, where it was deemed that mixing of the races should not be a bar to marriage, how will I have the ability to describe how Prop 8 was any less hurtful to those shut out? Those made to feel like second-class citizens? Haven't we as a nation already learned that "Separate but equal" can never be so?

And regarding citizenship, while marriage is recognized as part of the immigration process, civil unions are not. Those same-sex unions involving non-citizens must enjoy one-another's company on a tourist visa, which is a very short time for an otherwise long-distance relationship.

Sorry about the lengthy missive. I know people who suffered a personal loss by this ruling. I do not feel in any way like I deserve the validation of "Marriage" more than those who have been put down.

Lima
07.18.09

It seems like this article had a lot to do with gay marriage, so since some commented on their stand, I shall do the same. I don't see anything wrong with gay marriage, I feel like gay couples have the right to enjoy marriage just as much as straight couples do. No discrimination here. I think, however, that the real reason behind gay couples not being allowed to marry is because we are "one nation under god" and the bible says that marriage is for men and women. Yes, this does have alot to do with Christianity. This country is a christian country and that is christian values, most people or should i say all people in this country that are true christians are not going to agree with gay marriage. I am however not affiliated with any religion so gay marriage, to me is more of a civil rights thing.. not that anybody else who believes that gay marriage is a civil rights thing must not be affiliated with religion. I just thought that I would shed some light on it in a way that might make people think that the government is not just being "mean".

been there done that
06.27.09

Well, daring to venture into an obvious liberal domain, I will test the frigid waters. Gay couples have all the same rights as heterosexual couples under domestic partner relationships, which by many is viewed as tremendous progress, when looking back over your shoulder historically. By many religious conservatives, marriage is a sacrament. Sacraments are sacred (by the very nature of the word). The sacrament of marriage is between a man and a woman, with the intent of procreation. It has nothing to do with hate. That is your spin, not mine. Do not denote lack of support for gay marriage as hate. That bandwagon, like it or not, demonstrates your shortsightedness and appreciation of the past. The constitution is not a living document, meant to change with every new social issue. It is a framework which defines how our nation will exist. It is what makes us a stable government. (Or at least we hope.) Social mores and ideologies should not be forced to supercede religious freedoms. Religious freedoms are what drove people to establish this country. Please, do not use the word "hate" so freely. It is a very powerful emotion, and you do the next generation of children a disservice by lumping so many peole into one box.

Mommie and the City
06.17.09

Ditto! Two steps forward, one step back. At least I have control over what I teach my children...

www.mommieandthecity.com

Kley
06.04.09

If it gives you any comfort, I believe that the ruling was based on the narrow issue of whether the voting populace could decide such an issue (or alter a legislative act) without input from the state legislature. Anyway, I do believe that California's ban is not long for this world - it will go sooner or later. There is a wave of equality sweeping the U.S. on this topic (N.H. today!).

areshea
06.03.09

I moved from California to Pennsylvania and the people in CA are more liberal, however, the powers that be don't follow suit. There needs to be a great change in this country, too many people with old ways and thoughts running the show. Perhaps its time to bring back the ERA or the fact that we are guaranteed Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Doesn't that include two adults of the same sex?

dpare23
06.03.09

I agree, Risa, this makes me embarrassed to be a Californian. But it's only a matter of time and unfortunately we won't be the ones to lead the charge.

klombardi72
06.03.09

Ditto to that, Risa.
Shame on the California Supreme Court.
It's not about a belief or even really about marriage at the root. It's about civil rights. To not allow someone the same rights as straight, married couples because of their sexuality is wrong. It invalidates who they are as human beings by not allowing them the same rights we as heterosexuals have.
Just tell me how it is right to deny someone their civil right to be with someone LEGALLY?
Why can't we call it marriage and not force gay people to have a "union"? A marriage is defined for both straight and gay relationships in the dictionary, and is essentially the closest union of two people.
Is it because of the religious implication/reference to marriage?
Religion should have nothing to do with this.
How would gay couples being married hurt anyone already married?
By denying this right, you are invalidating gay people as humans, saying they are lesser than those who are allowed to marry.
For those who say they support the gay community, but just don't want them to marry, your minds may be open, but it is with limitation. If they are friends and family, you love them but they just can't get married. Love is unconditional, and what you are saying is not. It boils down to civil rights.
Bottom line: Marriage or not, everyone deserves the chance to live the best life they can.
How they choose to do it, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, is their business.

stresso
06.03.09

Amen sister.