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Knocking Down Prop 8

February 8, 2012

The 9th Circuit Court in California has ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional. It’s not as much of a slam dunk win for gay marriage as some people would believe. Instead, the judges noted that this ruling only applied in the state of California. Since California had previously made gay marriage legal and Prop 8 revoked the right to gay marriage, it was ruled unconstitutional due to the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment. Those states which currently have gay marriage laws now have precedence to discourage people from trying to revoke those laws. The states which have already outlawed gay marriage are a different matter.

Those states which currently define marriage as being between one man and one woman and defend it as “traditional marriage” are ignoring that this definition of marriage is not as traditional as they would like to believe. In different times and different cultures, marriage has been defined as a range of different things. A number of different cultures have endorsed same sex relationships, including early Christian Romans. Even the bible doesn’t get too far before defining marriage as between a man and his two wives. Funny enough, all arguments against gay marriage based on their lack of procreative ability are inadvertently arguments for polygamous marriage. After all, the bible does endorse taking a second wife if the first wife proves infertile.

Yesterday’s ruling is not a slam dunk, but it is a major step in the right direction. The supporters of Prop 8 have declared that they will continue to appeal the decision. I truly hope that they do. Some people have expressed concerns that the Supreme Court of the United States may not rule in favor of gay marriage. The judge who leads the court currently was appointed by Bush Jr. and the court has recently made some decisions which have been a bit mind boggling. Most notably, declaring that corporations are people. But in this particular case, the precedence is clear. A right was granted, and then voted away. No matter the supposed “will of the people,” rights simply cannot be removed from a minority by a majority. The majority has tried again and again over the course of our nation’s history. Each time, the rights of the minority won out.

There is still a long road ahead of us. There are still battles to be won before we can declare true victory. There will be hold outs. There will be a resentment. There will be people whose long entrenched beliefs will cause them to discriminate against gay married couples despite the law. Even knowing all of that, I still have hope. I hope that this year will be the year that historians mark as the turning point for gay rights. I hope that some day soon, Gay Rights will simply become rights.

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This also seems relevant to the discussion.  The design is old, but it still works.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 10:15 am

    I’ve long been mulling over a solution that, while not perfect, might be better than what is going on now.

    Maybe I should run for president when I’m old enough, lol!

    • February 8, 2012 10:21 am

      The best solution, as far as I have heard, is the French one. Everyone gets a government approved union performed by a government official which grants certain rights under the law. And if you want a religious marriage by a religious official, you get one of those, too. Religious unions are not automatically recognized by the government, and the government union may not be recognized by your faith. It’s a complete separation of church and state.

      • February 8, 2012 10:31 am

        Yup, that’s been pretty much what I’ve been thinking. Everyone of legal age can get a civil union, and “marriage” is kept as a religious thing. People who don’t believe two men can be “married” wouldn’t have to recognize them as such, but they WOULD have to recognize their union and the rights that go along with that.

        Let’s make this happen, want to be my VP? 😛

        • February 8, 2012 10:38 am

          It’d never work. The country would never elect two hippy chicks to the White House. Even if we would make a great balanced ticket.

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