Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Same Sex Marriage legal in California

California Supreme Court struck down the state statute banning same sex marriage as unconstitutional.

As one pro-LGBT blogger put it (in hopeful terms) as goes California so goes the rest of the Country saying:

The California Supreme Court is one of the most respected in the country. The New York Times recently ran a story saying it is easily the most influential state court in the country. If we win in California, things will be quite favorable for us in other states going forward on this issue. The California Supreme Court was most instrumental in ending this nation's anti-miscegenation laws by ruling them unconstitutional in 1948 and the rest of the nation soon followed. Let's hope a same sex marriage ruling follows a similar trajectory.


California alone represents the 8th largest economy in the world and over 12% of the U.S. population. In short, what happens in California has tremendous influence economically, politically, socially and culturally. California has a long history of starting new ideas in the United States.

The implications for this are incredible as this pushs forward, to the chagrin of many conservatives, the notion that LGBT rights are beyond minority group rights and are in fact civil rights.

California though will be in the midst of a large battle then this November as one hetero-marriage only advocacy group has suggested it already has more than enough names on petition to force the issue come November. This could infact put a Democratic Stronghold for the Presidency in play as conservatives take advantage of this equitable ruling as a rallying cry.

Only time will tell.

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Sunny South said...

Thanks for posting this:

This is a great day for LGBT Americans, The California Supreme Court doing their job of interpreting the California Constitution have struck down a law that - though may have been approved by the people in referendum - was against the Constitution.

Americans are realizing that there's nothing to fear from Gay marriage. It doesn't suppress the birth rate, it doesn't bring the traditional institution of marriage to ruins, it means more money in the governments tax coffers, it means more kids being brought up in stable households and off the streets or out of the broken adoption system. Marriage may be a system that is older than government, but its also a system that has changed and developed - just like every other human institution. The marriage of today is certainly not the marriage of 250+ years ago when women and children were nothing more than property. Heck even only with the advent of the 13th and 14th amendment of the constitution did we not consider half the population of this country, male and female, young and old, parent and child as property and didn't relate any sort of union between those slaves as even equitable with their own marriages.

~ Sunny South

Gashwin said...

:: sigh ::

I think I want to move to California and marry my dog.* Actually, marry you, and 4 of my friends. And my dog.

Because, you know, I love my dog. And my friends. A lot.

Because, "marry" can mean anything.

Anyway, that's not going to convince you. The meaning of marriage has been diluted and reduced to nothing long before same-sex marriage appeared on the scene.

I never thought I'd think this was an issue worth tinkering with the Constitution over ... but it just might be.

However, it might already be too late.

I suppose we'll continue to disagree -- most emphatically -- on this issue. :)

[* that is a hypothetical, rhetorical dog. I don't actually have one. :)]

Mattheus Mei said...

Of course, we'll have to agree to disagree, you know how I feel about those "slippery slope" argument.

I'm sure that some people presented the same argument in 1948when California struck down its own anti-miscegenation laws that it would lead to some kind of slippery slope as well... And in a way it did, after all that bit of jurisprudence is in fact what lead to the decision yesterday. The 1948 ruling of Perez V. Sharp. "The court held that marriage is a fundamental right and that laws restricting that right cannot not be based solely on prejudice" which is what the justices said yesterday - you've set up two nearly identical systems - domestic partnership, and civil marriage based solely on the prejudice against one's sexual orientation, which they've equated and I've heard some people say to a part of the person that is immutable much like ones skin colour, but doesn't necessarily define the person completely.

So I suppose if you want to talk about slippery slopes let us condemn the case law that opened pandora's box... why don't we go back to the old ways and not mix the races - blacks stay together, whites stay together and Asiatics stick with their own kind. In fact why don't we go back further and reinstate jim crow and Plessy Vs. Furgeson that separate is equal under the eyes of the law, for surely that would rectify this and put people in their proper hierarchial place, afterall it is the white man's burden to make sure all persons of colour know their role in life, isn't it?

St. Izzy said...

Just looking at the post title...

I'll be sure to tell Sam next time I see him.

Mattheus Mei said...

yeah and blogger's acting up so I can't "edit" my post to correct that, or change any other post for that matter... grrr.

Gashwin said...

That assumes Matt, that race and sexual orientation are analogous realities deserving the exact same legal protection.

It's an analogy that, I will grant, has won the day rhetorically, certainly in the blue states, but also in the overall public debate, especially among the younger generations.

It's a false analogy. I'll try and elaborate on that when I get some time.

And mine was not a slippery slope argument per se. I was trying to underscore that marriage -- as a social institution -- is fundamentally tied to heterosexuality, in as much as it is in the nature of things that heterosexuality is the way that the species reproduces itself (and this has nothing to do with individually infertile heterosexual marriages). Once you remove that piece -- heterosexuality -- from marriage, it becomes devoid of meaning, or rather, it becomes a label whose meaning can be filled by anything: two men, three men (why just two? -- surely you've heard of the polyamory movement among some LGBT groups?), two relatives, four friends, whatever.

The "rights" argument completely evades the question of why the state grants marriage any legal protection at all.

I still stick by my point: I want the right to marry my dog, and 4 of my best friends. :) I think I'll go to moveon and start a movement.