Disappointed in California … Yet Again – Prop 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court

26 05 2009

Yes, it is sad but true, the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, which has stripped away the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state. However, the Supreme Court did allow those 18,000 who were legally married in the state between the original Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage in 2008 and the fateful November 2008 election to remain married. These marriages were not retroactively revoked. Although I am pleased that my marriage is still acknowledged by the State, I am appalled that my friends will not be granted that same opportunity to not only express their their love, but also receive the benefits and respect associated with marriage. My fight is for all of those who no longer have the option of a civil marriage in the state of California.

There is hope, however. As noted in a New York Times article:

Chief Justice George wrote that the court was bound to uphold the right of California voters to amend the constitution, whatever the merits of the claim that it is too easy to do so. And so, he wrote, if there is to be a constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, it must “find its expression at the ballot box.”

The language of Justice George’s decision seemed almost regretful, as he wrote that “our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution.” Instead, he wrote, “our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.”

Where I see my hope is the fact that the Supreme Court was not necessarily saying that they agreed with the passing of Prop 8, only that Prop 8 was legally on the ballot. Although it was disheartening that they chose to not view the stripping of rights as a revision to the constitution, they were wise enough not to take away rights from those of us who were already married and it opened the door for our continued fight.

Would it have been easier and more joyous for them to have overturned the validity of Prop 8 to even have been on the ballot? Yes, it would have. However, there is a chance that we would once again have grown complacent and had to deal with this fight when the religious right found a way to get another proposition on the ballot. They have once again awoke the sleeping giant. This decision will not only have us continue to fight, but hopefully continue to educate. If Prop 8 had been deemed invalid, those 52% of voters would have still had the same mindset – still thought that we should not be allowed to marry. Also, they might have become disenfranchised with the voting process. Now we have the chance to better educate those who do not understand and to do so using the same process that stripped our rights in the first place.

Do not go quietly … it is time to stand up in what you believe. The chance to support your own rights. Get involved.

In San Diego, there is a rally tonight (May 27, 2009). Here is the information:

We Unite for Equality!
Show up to volunteer starting at 4pm.
Gather at 5:00PM THIS Tuesday (5/26)
March at 6:00PM @ 6th Ave & Laurel St.
Rally or Protest at 7pm

You can also donate to and/or join HRC, Equality California, or any other wonderful organization that protects our rights.

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