Goin' to the chapel and we're / Gonna get ma-ha-harried!
May 15, 2008 10:41 AM   Subscribe

NewsFilter: The California Supreme Court has just overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Read the decision.
posted by Faint of Butt (239 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
WOO! I'd like to think that Mildred Loving is somewhere smiling.
posted by scody at 10:44 AM on May 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


=/
posted by Addiction at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2008


nah, keep this one, since it links to the decision.
From the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, welcome to the club, Cali.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2008


Ack. Was just creating this post.

Anyway, it's unfortunately a situation where the pendulum is tilting one way resulting in a tilt toward the other way. Opponents of marriage rights have now submitted signatures for a ballot initiative that would create an amendment to the state constitution declaring same-sex marriages invalid. It needs only a simple majority to pass, and similar measures have passed by wide margins.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:48 AM on May 15, 2008


Favorite graf from the ruling, BTW:
Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:51 AM on May 15, 2008 [14 favorites]


Wowie. I was just coming to post this. Looks like everyone's beat me to it.

Thank you, CA.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2008


The other thread has a Mariachi band and free Daquiris.
posted by Dizzy at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


This'n is better. Keepin' it.
posted by cortex at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2008


Those darn activist judges!
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2008


Sorry, meant to add- I find that passage significant because it's so important to the general concept of gay rights, not just vis-a-vis marriage. Despite what some people, even those on left, say, gay rights IS like women's rights, and it IS like minority rights, because the same concept is in play here- the idea that gay are legally inferior to other people.

I think it's likely that, sadly, the amendment overruling this will pass, but I think that's an amazing precedent for the California Supreme Court to establish, and to flat-out declare that "an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


(repost from other)

Way to go California.

Of course, this just means that some yahoos are going to try for a constitutional amendment, but it's still good news for now.

ATTENTION RIGHT-WING DICKHEADS

1) The world will progress whether you like it or not;
2) Come out of the closet, it's nicer out here.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


They just said that a law banning same-sex marriage while allowing opposite-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

One rational conclusion from this is that this legalizes same-sex marriage, since it seems unlikely opposite-sex marriage would ever be made illegal, for the purpose of preventing same-sex marriage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2008


"The ruling set off a celebration at San Francisco City Hall. As the decision came down, out-of-breath staff members ran into the mayor's office where Gavin Newsom read the decision. Outside the city clerk's office, three opposite-sex couples were waiting at 10 a.m. for marriage certificates. City officials had prepared for a possible rush on certificates by same-sex couples, but hadn't yet changed the forms that ask couples to fill out the name of the 'bride' and 'groom.' Kenton Owayang, the office supervisor for the city clerk's office, said he's waiting for word from the state registrar's office about marriage forms and working on getting extra staff members in today in case the city is able to give out the certificates to same-sex couples." *
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2008


Anyway, it's unfortunately a situation where the pendulum is tilting one way resulting in a tilt toward the other way.

Pendulums swing. They don't tilt. You must be thinking of windmills.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oho! I knew I felt my marriage corroding. Thought it was my lackadaisical attitude toward prompt kitty stink-bomb removal.
posted by everichon at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


The only thing keeping me from my ten-avocados-for-a-dollar-roadside-stand birthright has been removed!
posted by mdonley at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2008


(repost too...)

Ahhhnold said he would not support an amendment to overturn it, FWIW.
Not sure if it'll keep the hate-mongers at bay, however...
posted by Dizzy at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2008


4-3 -- another razor thin margin. Two dissent on the grounds that there is no right to marriage for same sex couples, period, by historic precedent -- never mind that this might be wrong, it's the way it was, thus, it's the way it should be.

The last dissent is based on the Prop. 22 vote eight years ago, and states that while he supports, they shouldn't override the will of the voters without compelling constitutional reasons, which he doesn't see. I would disagree, but he's right that the will of the voters should be given deference.

The endgame will happen in November. There will be a constitutional amendment on that ballot to explicitly define marriage as being between one man and one woman. If you believe in this, and you live in California, you must make this amendment fail.

Even better -- get one on the ballot that explicitly denies that definition.
posted by eriko at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awesome, awesome, awesome!

(Is it bad that one of the reasons - albeit a small one - that I'm happy about this is that I can now be married legally in a state/province with a decent climate? I'm sorry, Massachusetts and all of Canada...I just don't want a Vitamin D deficiency!)
posted by harperpitt at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Didn't the CA legislature pass a same-sex marrage law, which was vetoed by Schwarzenegger, who said at the time it should be left up to the courts?

At the time, I found that pretty odd, since most republicans were out there bashing "activist" judges.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2008


Hooray! This is the major American Civil Rights issue of our time.

Unfortunately, the timing of this means that the Republican pigs are going to trot out their standard "OMG the GAYS are trynna get abortions!" horseshit just in time for this year's election. Still, whoopee!
posted by interrobang at 10:59 AM on May 15, 2008


So how long will this last?

The gay marriage debate pisses me off because it's just another arm of conservative manipulation to polarize voters. This shouldn't even be a debate -- the premise of it is completely insane. We may as well have a "debate" about whether interracial marriages should be allowed.
posted by spiderskull at 10:59 AM on May 15, 2008


Congratulations! Welcome to the club, CA.
posted by Ryvar at 10:59 AM on May 15, 2008


GoodNewsFilter I think you mean. Though honestly, how long will it realistically be before marriage becomes an equal-opportunity institution nationwide? I'm optimistic, but all those damned state-level bans do depress.
posted by mumkin at 11:00 AM on May 15, 2008


Didn't the CA legislature pass a same-sex marrage law, which was vetoed by Schwarzenegger, who said at the time it should be left up to the courts?

Yep. Twice. But just last month...

Schwarzenegger shifts gay marriage stand
"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says that if an initiative to ban gay marriage qualifies for the November ballot, he's prepared to fight it.

California's governor spoke Friday in San Diego at the convention of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest gay Republican group.

He has previously vetoed bills that would have legalized gay marriage. A Schwarzenegger spokeswoman did not say what prompted the governor to shift his position.

Schwarzenegger said he was confident a ban would never pass in California and called the effort 'a waste of time.'"
posted by ericb at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2008


Still reading the opinion, but wow - this is a Big Deal:

". . . we conclude that sexual orientation should be viewed as a suspect
classification for purposes of the California Constitution’s equal protection clause
and that statutes that treat persons differently because of their sexual orientation
should be subjected to strict scrutiny under this constitutional provision." (p. 96)
posted by detune at 11:04 AM on May 15, 2008


Veddy interestink, ericb---
Why the Change of Heart?
My only guess--angling for a VP slot on McCain's ticket-- seems like a longshot.)
Did he see the light?
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
posted by Dizzy at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2008


Republicans, talk show hosts and 'news' outlets everywhere celebrate as Cali gives them a double edged wedge issue of gays and activist judges to go into the November presidential elections with.
The decision is worth at least a Billion in fundraising. WV which embraced Hillary will now pronounce her unclean to hold office.
Here we go again.
How do these decisions find such good timing for the Presidential Elections?
posted by OXYMORON at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2008


"Schwarzenegger’s [new] stand [on gay marriage] has precedent. In 1978, former Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan came out against a ballot initiative that would have made it illegal for gay men and lesbians to work as teachers in California public schools, an act that 'made gay rights issues nonpartisan,' Geoffrey Kors [director of the gay rights group Equality California] said." *
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM on May 15, 2008


How do these decisions find such good timing for the Presidential Elections?

I'm also waiting for Bush to return from the mid-East and start issuing Terror Alerts. Remember them?
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on May 15, 2008


Didn't the CA legislature pass a same-sex marrage law, which was vetoed by Schwarzenegger, who said at the time it should be left up to the courts?

At the time, I found that pretty odd, since most republicans were out there bashing "activist" judges.


I'm pretty sure the CA Republican party does not count Ahnuld as a "real" Republican.

The most infuriating thing about his vetos is he said "It should be left to the courts" and "It should be left to the people" but if there was a ballot initiative to ban gay marriage, he would oppose it. There is such an initiative in the works, and he's said he would oppose it. Well, Ahnuld, the courts have decided, and the people, via their elected representatives, also decided, but thanks to your vetos, our up-to-its-ass-in-debt state will get to spend even MORE money because of this idiotic initiative, which never should have been birthed in the first place.

Signed,

A formerly gay-married-and-then-annulled California resident
(who is legally married in Canada, at least - so, thanks, Canada!)
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on May 15, 2008


Finally! Some good news. It brings a tear to my eye.
posted by msali at 11:08 AM on May 15, 2008


getting rid of the all marriage specific features in legislation is really
the best way to go.

nancy polikoff describes this better than i can here.

i watched her talk on book tv (on cspan) a while back, and found
she expressed the issues well and presented very
good solutions along with existing examples that can be found in
various pieces of legislation today.

http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9122&SectionName=Politics&PlayMedia=Yes
posted by MikeHoegeman at 11:10 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The most infuriating thing about his vetos is he said "It should be left to the courts" and "It should be left to the people" but if there was a ballot initiative to ban gay marriage, he would oppose it. There is such an initiative in the works, and he's said he would oppose it. Well, Ahnuld, the courts have decided, and the people, via their elected representatives, also decided, but thanks to your vetos, our up-to-its-ass-in-debt state will get to spend even MORE money because of this idiotic initiative, which never should have been birthed in the first place.

There certainly would have been an initiative if Schwarzenegger had signed the bill, no?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2008


My only guess--angling for a VP slot on McCain's ticket-- seems like a longshot.)

Especially since he's constitutionally ineligible to hold the office.
posted by dersins at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, the timing of this means that the Republican pigs are going to trot out their standard "OMG the GAYS are trynna get abortions!" horseshit just in time for this year's election.

In a way, I hope they do. I hope the right-wing fear machine spins this one up again and starts shrieking about Teh Gays! Because in my fevered dreams, I sometimes like to imagine that the country is sick of this kind shit and got over it the last time it was used to distract us from the real problems in our nation. And then I like to think that the country, seeing this same kind of pointless fear mongering coming from the same people who did it last time, finally realize that they are nothing but a broken record and don't care one iota about "maintaining the sanctity of marriage" or whatever, and are actually nothing but hypocrites with several divorces each. And in this fantastic world my of my imagination, I like to think that the cooler and saner heads would just say "fuck it" and legalize gay marriage just to put the stupid argument to rest.

Unfortunately, I then wake up and realize that they ran this up the flagpole once, and half of the country saluted like idiots, and it managed to completely distract the news outlets from reporting on anything substantive, and if they tried it again, it would probably work again.

Then, when the anger subsides, I pray that this stupid issue doesn't actually become a part of this presidential race, because it won't do anything good.
posted by quin at 11:14 AM on May 15, 2008


Fred Phelps vows to picket ever funeral of every Californian!

This news makes me so happy! I really didn't want to have to move to Massachusetts again.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:15 AM on May 15, 2008


I am silly and forgot he wasn't born on our soil, dersins.
posted by Dizzy at 11:16 AM on May 15, 2008


Woohoo! I'm proud to be a Californian today.

No offense to Massachusetts, but as California goes, so goes the U.S. It's only a matter of time.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:19 AM on May 15, 2008


California: We Love Teh Gays!

Seriously, I can't wait to see the weddings begin. I'm already getting choked up, I swear.
posted by scody at 11:19 AM on May 15, 2008


Hey, Masssachusetts is where many things start first! "The Shot Heard Around the World" and all that. We're happy to have others help spread the commonweal.
posted by ericb at 11:22 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, Homos! Get a room!*


*A honeymoon suite. W00t!
posted by ColdChef at 11:22 AM on May 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Yay, my husband's middle-aged British-emigres-to-Los-Angeles been-together-over-25-years gay cousins can finally get married now!

Oh God, what'll I wear?
posted by Asparagirl at 11:25 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Massachusetts: You Heard It Here First. Congratulations to California for catching up with the times. Now, about you, Rest Of The Country. Can you come to my office in about 10 minutes? We need to have a talk.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 11:33 AM on May 15, 2008


Following up on my post above - I think that no matter how the constitutional amendment issue shakes out at the polls, this is still a tremendously significant opinion for California because of the decision to treat sexual orientation as a suspect class under the CA equal protection clause. The only other state that adopts this is Oregon, and that was an intermediate appeal court, not the Oregon Supreme Court.

Typically, to be treated as a suspect classification under CA precedent, the defining characteristic (e.g. sexual orientation, gender, etc.) must be (1) immutable, (2) bear no relation to the person's ability to contribute to society, and (3) be associated with a stigma of inferiority manifested by the group's history of legal and social disabilities. The appellate court decided that because sexual orientation was not immutable, it could not be a suspect classification. Remarkably, although the CA Supreme Court does not seem to disagree with that conclusion, they said that "because a person’s sexual orientation is so integral an aspect of one’s identity, it is not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or change his or her sexual orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment." It concluded that sexual orientation is therefore a suspect class.

Here is why this is a big, big deal: it means that CA laws regulating on the basis of sexual orientation will be subject to strict scrutiny rather than intermediate scrutiny. To satisfy intermediate scrutiny, a regulation is valid if it involves an important government interest that is furthered by substantially related means - not a very demanding test. To satisfy strict scrutiny, however, the burden is on the state to demonstrate that (1) the regulation is justified by a compelling government interest; (2) the regulation is narrowly tailored (i.e. , not under- or over-inclusive); and (3) the regulation is the least restrictive means of accomplishing that interest. This is a pretty high bar to pass. (It is possible that CA applies a slightly different formulation of the above, since it's interpreting its own equal protection clause, but I would be surprised if it's significantly less rigorous.)

So yeah. This will affect how future laws affecting persons on the basis of sexual orientation will be reviewed by California courts. Big deal.
posted by detune at 11:35 AM on May 15, 2008 [13 favorites]


This thing? Again? Doesn't the government have better things to do than decide how close people's bits can get.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:36 AM on May 15, 2008


Awesome. I love when ignorance and bigotry get their faces stomped. Go California!
posted by fusinski at 11:36 AM on May 15, 2008


I'd be all fo gay marriage, if it weren't for the gowns: trrrrrashyyyyyy!!!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2008


Granted, we don't know what the next step in the backlash will be-- amendment? Supreme Court intervention?-- but...

Wow. Good to see I was completely wrong about the possibility of this.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:38 AM on May 15, 2008


*considers dusting off Universal Ministries ordination certificate and declaring self open for business*
posted by malocchio at 11:40 AM on May 15, 2008




This seems a good a place as any for:

Spouses for Life, a series of wedding photos from 2004, taken by MetaFilter's own DaShiv.
(get a hanky)
posted by ColdChef at 11:41 AM on May 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


I found out about this through Equality California, where they posted a particularly interesting quote today from Schwarzenegger that said :
"I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."
Naturally, them's just words - but it's nice to hear/read such a thing from a Republican on this.
posted by revmitcz at 11:42 AM on May 15, 2008




Great, just in time to use as a wedge in the 2008 elections.

Truly, I'm happy for the gays of California, but a bit worried for the Democrats of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Gavin Newsom really did hurt us at the polls in 2004.
posted by orthogonality at 11:44 AM on May 15, 2008


Republicans, talk show hosts and 'news' outlets everywhere celebrate as Cali gives them a double edged wedge issue of gays and activist judges to go into the November presidential elections with.

6 republicans sit on the California State Supreme Court and only 1 democrat.
posted by Stynxno at 11:46 AM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm very happy with the merits of this decision but very worried about the politics of it. IMHO, the gay marriage issues single-handedly kept Bush in power is 2004.

On shifting national consensus', courts have to be very careful, beause no one likes a court overruling voters' decision. (Liberals have gotten a good taste of this under the Scalia court -- kinda bitter, isn't it?) I've read some very compelling arguments that Roe vs. Wade hurt the pro-choice movement immensely -- that the trend was heading pro-choice very steadily (if slowly), but the court fiat mobilized conservatives and entrenched the 1973 status quo. Clearly, there hasn't been much progress on choice since then.
posted by msalt at 11:49 AM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]




Oh, this is awesome news.

"permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage"

Thank you, CA justices for stating that as well.
posted by pointystick at 11:52 AM on May 15, 2008


Thank you California. It means a lot.

Meanwhile, fuck wedge politics - I'm sick of being a pawn in a stupid game of 'win the redneck states'.
posted by Craig at 11:52 AM on May 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


too bad visa issues are a federal matter.
(come on, what other reason is there really to get hitched?)
posted by krautland at 11:53 AM on May 15, 2008


1) I absolutely believe that gays should have the same rights as straight people.

2) That should be accomplished with marriage by either a) legalizing gay marriage or b) changing all legal aspects of "marriage" to "civil union" for everyone and completely separating church and state. None of this separate-but-unequal civil-unions-for-gays-only B.S.

3) Even if a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage passes, I believe it would violate the US Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. If it ever goes to the Supreme Court, I don't see how banning gay marriage could be constitutional.

4) Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:57 AM on May 15, 2008 [12 favorites]


Keith and I have been married in the eyes of our families, friends, and the universe for five years -- and together for 13. Now maybe we can finally have the legal rights of other married couples, as well as the respect. To the dustbin of history with the GOP wedge-issue cynics who exploited fear and ignorance for short-term gain at the polls.

Mazel tov to everyone today. Love is love is love, and a blessing.
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM on May 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


but he's right that the will of the voters should be given deference.

Given the number of under-educated, ill-acculturated, religious mindrot-infested dumbshits running around, I disagree with this statement.

20th century US civics taught us that the "voters" are often wrong, at least initially.

Government doesn't give us rights, it's supposed to protect them. Nobody is being protected by banning gay marriage, so the ban should be ash-canned.
posted by tachikaze at 12:03 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


If it ever goes to the Supreme Court, I don't see how banning gay marriage could be constitutional.

the 5 Catholics on the court will find a way. You can take that to the bank.
posted by tachikaze at 12:05 PM on May 15, 2008


*cautiously hopeful*
posted by Quietgal at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2008


What's next, California? People marrying animals? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria!

Remember, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Although Eve did have that thing with the snake, too. So maybe people and animals would be OK. Ugh, the Bible is so confusing!
posted by pardonyou? at 12:10 PM on May 15, 2008


from the craven commie commonwealth of MA, congrats to CA for moving towards joining the list of civilized states. (okay, it's a short list so far)

hopefully, by the time a same sex marriage case goes to the SCOTUS, it'll seem obvious that loving v. virginia clearly applies.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:10 PM on May 15, 2008


too bad visa issues are a federal matter

The Sanctity of Family Values (TM) must be defended at all cost!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:10 PM on May 15, 2008


Progress! I hope we get to keep it.
posted by froggmaiden at 12:12 PM on May 15, 2008


If it ever goes to the Supreme Court, I don't see how banning gay marriage could be constitutional.
the 5 Catholics on the court will find a way.

Has nothing to do with Catholicism; William Brennan was Catholic. The fact that 7 of 9 were appointed by Republicans might be a teensy bit more to the point.
posted by msalt at 12:13 PM on May 15, 2008


Given the number of under-educated, ill-acculturated, religious mindrot-infested dumbshits running around, I disagree with this statement.

Like these West Virginian voters [video | 7:40] highlighted (starts at 1:50 mark) by Jon Stewart yesterday. I'm still shaking my head after watching that video once again.
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


the 5 Catholics on the court will find a way

In case anybody else is curious, here's the religious breakdown of the SCOTUS Justices (per Wikipedia):

5 Catholic (Alito, Kennedy, Roberts Scalia, Thomas)
2 Jewish (Breyer, Ginsburg)
1 Episcopalian (Souter)
1 Protestant (Stevens)
posted by Perplexity at 12:17 PM on May 15, 2008


20th century US civics taught us that the "voters" are often wrong

So we should give all the power to the Supreme Court that decided Bush vs. Gore.? Good call! They've shown they aren't afraid to correct the voter's mistakes.
posted by msalt at 12:19 PM on May 15, 2008


The fact that 7 of 9 were appointed by Republicans might be a teensy bit more to the point.

Yes, but so were 6 of the 7 CA Supreme Court justices.
posted by scody at 12:23 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


So we should give all the power to the Supreme Court that decided Bush vs. Gore.? Good call! They've shown they aren't afraid to correct the voter's mistakes.

If only there were some way to... oh, say, balance elected and appointed officials against each other, so that they could check each other's powers.

Nah. It'll never work.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2008


Nice. A clean victory and without the stupid restrictions that Massachusetts put into their SSM laws. Don't get me wrong, Massachusetts did a wonderful thing, but the whole "no out of state people need apply" aspect was just plain dumb.

Now, thanks to California's better approach a gay couple from Texas can get married there and challenge the idiot Texas "defense of marriage" ammendment under the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution. Victory there is the wedge that will give us victory everywhere, or at least it would if the current Supreme Court could be counted on to actually enforce the Constitution, as it is I fully expect that Scalia et al will cheerfully declare that under their bizarro "original intent" nonsense that somehow Article IV Section 1 does mean that Texas must recognize hetrosexual marriages performed in California, but not same sex marriages.

Still, its a good thing. And to the people who worry about the impact of this in November, I say don't sweat it too much. Gay marriage amendments do increase fundie turnout, but they also increase the turnout of sane folks, some studies actually suggest that the presence of a gay marriage ban on the ballot does good things for us on the progressive side.
posted by sotonohito at 12:39 PM on May 15, 2008


So how precisely would this affect federal law? In other words, let's say a gay couple is married in CA. Can they file their taxes as "married, filing jointly"? How about social security benefits, etc.? If gay married is recognized in these federal contexts, does this create an additional argument for recognizing gay marriage in other states, in that failure to do so disadvantages gay citizens of states that don't recognize it vs. gay citizens that do?
posted by Pastabagel at 12:41 PM on May 15, 2008


Even in such a victory, I think we can all hear the alarm horns faintly ringing in the background. We didn't listen to them before, and we paid the price. I hope we do better this time.
posted by felix at 12:42 PM on May 15, 2008


As one half of the 103rd same-gender couple to get a marriage license in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I would like to extend a welcome to the tardy but finally triumphant State of California.

I can't help but think that the Secret Masters of the Gay Agenda have plotted some sort of clever pincer movement attack on the nation now that Massachusetts and California have fallen to the forces of hedonistic joint income tax (state, not federal) filing.

Happy days!
posted by driley at 12:52 PM on May 15, 2008


Can they file their taxes as "married, filing jointly"?

Here in Massachusetts:
With Marriage, Gay Couples Face Tax Tangles.

Navigating Income Taxes for Married Same-Sex Couples .
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on May 15, 2008


This is beautiful news.
posted by hojoki at 12:55 PM on May 15, 2008


So we should give all the power to the Supreme Court that decided Bush vs. Gore.? Good call!

Kohl's having a sale on Strawmen this week?

Public policy, whether reached at via legal argument or the ballot box, is only as good as its philosophical, factual, and dare-I-say-it logical bases.

All human institutions are corruptible. That's the point, and genius, of representative democracy with an independent judiciary.
posted by tachikaze at 12:55 PM on May 15, 2008


Newsweek: A Changing Tide -- Same Sex Marriage Around the World.
posted by ericb at 12:55 PM on May 15, 2008


Are we sure this is a good idea? Because you know the gays are going to start right in on undermining the foundations of western society, with their...multi-tiered cakes, and their monogamy. Where will it end?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:57 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nancy Pelosi:
"I welcome the California Supreme Court’s historic decision. I have long fought against discrimination and believe that the State Constitution provides for equal treatment for all of California’s citizens and families, which today’s decision recognizes.

I commend the plaintiffs from San Francisco for their courage and commitment. I encourage California citizens to respect the Court’s decision, and I continue to strongly oppose any ballot measure that would write discrimination into the State Constitution.

Today is a significant milestone for which all Californians can take pride."
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on May 15, 2008


Arnold Schwarzenegger:
"I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on May 15, 2008


Even in such a victory, I think we can all hear the alarm horns faintly ringing in the background. We didn't listen to them before, and we paid the price. I hope we do better this time.

Difference being, I think, that gay marriage isn't about any kind of wild, weird creative anarchy — or at least, it doesn't have to be. It's just about human rights.

If good old Hunter S. had walked into a restaurant and seen a conservative, churchgoing interracial couple sitting together, I doubt he'd have seen them as kindred spirits. That's a good thing. It means that people of all races can love each other without needing to be caught up in some weird-ass movement. You know a right is well-established when even mainstream, dull, lazy or apolitical people get to exercise it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:02 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is awful. Being prohibited from marrying the person I love has always protected me from the harping "When are you going to get married? When are you going to get married?" of my mother.

Thanks a LOT, justices.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:03 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


(Hmm. Flubbed that rhetorical example, seeing as interracial marriage was still controversial in the late sixties. Oh well. Imagine it was a later version of H.S.T., or there was a time machine involved, or.... oh, fuck it. The point is, basic human rights and the Greater Brotherhood of Freaks are two different things.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:05 PM on May 15, 2008


So can those same petitioners try and have blacks, Asians, Women declared to be sudeenly some less than full class of citizens just because they have the votes? Think not. Just signing a petition don't make it likely or even possible.
posted by Freedomboy at 1:09 PM on May 15, 2008


Basic Human Rights and the Greater Brotherhood of Freaks are not two different things in the group lizard brain of America. They're distinguishable to you and me, but from the not inappreciable distance from which the rest of the country views it, they're so close together as to be the same point, a point marked, for no good reason, "THREAT".

It was Karl Rove's avowed goal to get adam-and-steve anti- proposals on the November ballots, so that all the aggrieved hyperChristians, otherwise disaffected by what had dawned on them to be political lip service to their Great Cause, would show up at the polls and, lacking anything better to do, go ahead and punch out Bush on the ballot as the lesser of two evils.

They are greater in number than you or I can conceive. That's not to say that you or I are doomed, or worse that we should change our behavior or delay/quiet our sensible, life-affirming legislation, but by fuck we have to be vigilant now. It's no time for party favors, the crocodile stirs in black mud and opens its unblinking yellow eye.
posted by felix at 1:14 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are there any heterosexually married people commenting in this thread? Because I keep hearing about how threatening and dangerous my right to get gay married is, and how it will wreck heterosexual marriage. I got gay married in San Francisco in 2004 (that one got annulled, so the threat might not be viable), and then in Canada (foreign country, also might not count in the threat index).

I keep getting told that I have all this power - I can destroy the American family! - and honestly, I ain't really feeling it. So please let me know, you heterosexually married mefites, if I, or any other gay married couple, has wrecked your own marriage yet, ok? Because my power, I wish to revel in it!
posted by rtha at 1:19 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Public policy, whether reached at via legal argument or the ballot box, is only as good as its philosophical, factual, and dare-I-say-it logical bases.

In a democracy, public policy is only as good as its legitimacy, which ultimately comes from elections. The democratic trend is clearly to the left, and specifically in favor of equal rights for gays. Shifting the decision to the courts takes the decision away from this emerging majority, and puts it in the hand of justices hand-picked by Bush and Reagan. Why is that good?

Do you really think the gay marriage movement in 2004 helped anything? That it was not part of the reason George Bush was re-elected? We ended up with 27 regressive constitutional amendments, 17 of which ban civil unions too. I hope the tide has shifted a bit since then, but I would really have preferred to see this in December.
posted by msalt at 1:25 PM on May 15, 2008


I hope the tide has shifted a bit since then, but I would really have preferred to see this in December.

And if it would have come then, someone else would be wringing their hands over how it would fuck up the 2010 midterm elections.

Much of the social progress that's been made in this country has happened without regard to the election cycle. And rightly so.
posted by scody at 1:28 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was 60 years ago that the California Supreme court overturned California's anti-miscegenation law. This was the first time a state had legalized miscegenation in eighty years. This was the start of a trend -- over a dozen more states legalized miscegenation before Loving v. Virginia took care of it at a national level in 1967.

I hope this marks another trend.

I hope it doesn't take 19 years.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:29 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know at least one straight couple here in NJ who won't get married until gay couples can here.

So in that sense, rtha, the gay marriage issue is indeed messing with heterosexual marriage.

Probably not what you meant though. :-)

Congrats, CA. I'm unclear - was this decided on state const. merits, or on US const. merits? My understanding was it was on state, but I thought, if that were the case, it couldn't go up higher to SCOTUS - so one of those two assumptions of mine must be wrong, since people are talking about it being appealed up....

(and hurry up, NJ. I was counting on you being number 2.)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:30 PM on May 15, 2008


Hi rtha, I'm heterosexually married and if anybody wrecks my marriage, it will probably be me. Or Hubby. So I'm not really feeling that Gay Power of yours (sorry to burst your bubble there), but maybe if you go back to City Hall and get re-married... ;)

Anyway, I hope we get to keep this step forward. And congratulations in advance to our future gay newlyweds!
posted by Quietgal at 1:34 PM on May 15, 2008


State constitution, John Kenneth Fisher. The only way SCOTUS would come into play is if someone from a non-gay-marriage state came to get married in CA and then went home and challenged their home state's refusal to recognize their CA marriage. Then you get into the full-faith-and-credit thing, which is federal.
posted by rtha at 1:36 PM on May 15, 2008


Dang it, Quietgal! My heterosexually married friends are all either "Nah, we're good," or "Well, we ain't gonna need your help - we can fuck up our own marriage all by ourselves, thanks!"
posted by rtha at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2008


Basic Human Rights and the Greater Brotherhood of Freaks are not two different things in the group lizard brain of America. They're distinguishable to you and me, but from the not inappreciable distance from which the rest of the country views it, they're so close together as to be the same point, a point marked, for no good reason, "THREAT".

Ah! Right! That's the point I was mangling a minute ago.

I'll grant you that gay marriage seems pretty freaky now. But that fades. There are lots of things that used to seem freaky (interracial marriage, yeah — but also women's suffrage and unions and Protestantism and literacy and fire and whatnot) that even Joe Republican takes for granted now. Apart from a few real nutcases, nobody gets angry now when they see a Union Made sticker, or a translation of the Bible into English, or whatever. Nobody thinks metallurgy is witchcraft. Nobody runs and hides when they see a car. We get used to stuff.

Eventually, if we play our cards right, there is a very real chance that the ordinary Americans you're so terrified of will take gay marriage in stride as well. There will still be stodgy people, boring people, slaves to authority, and ones who fear change and live their whole life on autopilot — Zombie Hunter H Thompson will still have just as much to be irritated about in 2108 as he had in 2008. But gay rights? Nah, we can maintain that if we try hard enough.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:39 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


rtha- If i ever get married (which is seeming more likely as I am using the "not until all my friends can get legally married will I" excuse for my bachelorhood) and subsequently divorced; I will blame you.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:42 PM on May 15, 2008


rtha- If i ever get married (which is seeming more likely as I am using the "not until all my friends can get legally married will I" excuse for my bachelorhood) and subsequently divorced; I will blame you.

Yay! Thanks, mrz!

*hucks muffin at mrzarquon*
posted by rtha at 1:45 PM on May 15, 2008


I keep getting told that I have all this power - I can destroy the American family! - and honestly, I ain't really feeling it. So please let me know, you heterosexually married mefites, if I, or any other gay married couple, has wrecked your own marriage yet, ok?

Well, right after my ex-boyfriend finished congratulating us, he told my wife not to take any shit from me.

So far, he's still unmarried and she's still putting up with my sorry ass, but I'll keep you posted.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:50 PM on May 15, 2008


Are there any heterosexually married people commenting in this thread? Because I keep hearing about how threatening and dangerous my right to get gay married is, and how it will wreck heterosexual marriage.

Here's an important message to all you gay home(homo)wreckers out there! (Act 2 at 31:00, more here by Felber)
posted by Pollomacho at 1:50 PM on May 15, 2008


And a toast to Harvey Milk!
posted by xod at 1:51 PM on May 15, 2008


One of the things I love about Metafilter is how gay-friendly most of you are. Reading the comments alone makes me tear up. Really, I'm wiping away tears now. Thanks, folks.

Also, as a married Canadian lesbian: welcome, California! Stay awhile. No, really, please stay.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:52 PM on May 15, 2008


(Hunter H Thompson? Jesus S Christ! This is not my day!)
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:54 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


So how precisely would this affect federal law? In other words, let's say a gay couple is married in CA. Can they file their taxes as "married, filing jointly"? How about social security benefits, etc.? If gay married is recognized in these federal contexts, does this create an additional argument for recognizing gay marriage in other states, in that failure to do so disadvantages gay citizens of states that don't recognize it vs. gay citizens that do?

Pastabagel - because this decision is based on an interpretation of the California constitution, it has no effect on federal law. Under the Supremacy Clause, "the laws of the United States," i.e. federal laws, are the "supreme law of the land," "any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." Art. VI, Sec. 2. However, it may trigger a federal issue under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, Art. IV, Sec. 1, if a couple gets married in California and attempts to establish those same rights in another state.
posted by detune at 2:03 PM on May 15, 2008


Thank God! It was pretty fucking depressing when Michigan rammed through their retarded No Homo amendment, so I'm just glad to be in a state that's not pathetic and imploding.

Somehow, I get the feeling that there will be a few fewer "confirmed bachelors" by tomorrow morning.

Oh, plus—I'm a Universal Life Church minister. If any of you LA Mefites wanna do this on the quick, get ahold of me.
posted by klangklangston at 2:23 PM on May 15, 2008


If any of you LA Mefites wanna do this on the quick, get ahold of me.

Ooh! We could do The Big Gay Wedding Meetup!
posted by scody at 2:29 PM on May 15, 2008


it's nice to be proud of something happening in my country. for once.

yay yay yay!

although i still believe that government shouldn't have anything to say/do about marriage. separation of marriage and state, i say! why should all of you, who are lucky enough to have found love, also get tax breaks? sux to be single. *sigh*
posted by CitizenD at 2:36 PM on May 15, 2008


public, not really sure what you meant by your comment up there. If you were trying to make a funny, you failed miserably. If not, this celabratory thread is probably not the place for axe grinding.
posted by friendlyjuan at 2:41 PM on May 15, 2008


Hetrosexually married male here. I love marriage so much that I recommend it to anyone who is so inclined. The fact that marriage between some subsets of loving couples is not legal in some places is and continues to be silly. A gay couple getting married no more threatens my marriage than any other couple getting married.

In fact, the impending nuptials of Scarlett Johanson have specifically helped my marriage because now she won't try to seduce me away from my wife.

I specifically encourage attractive gay men to get married because my wife seems to find attractive single men "hot" but attractive married men "off limits." Ergo, gay marriage helps my marriage.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:44 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I keep getting told that I have all this power - I can destroy the American family! - and honestly, I ain't really feeling it.

Barney Frank on "Real Time With Bill Maher" | March 2005
"I try very hard to be a responsible citizen and as a gay man I try very hard to keep track of the marriages I have destroyed, and there really aren't that many. I may have some secret admirers out there and I may have wreaked more havoc than I realize, but they haven't called."
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on May 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


friendlyjuan: I am sorry to rain on your parade but gay rights have a long way to go until they are equal with hetrosexual people. As for the funny or axegrindingness, well I guess that's up to the reader. Personally I think it's pretty sad.
posted by public at 2:48 PM on May 15, 2008


I know at least one straight couple here in NJ who won't get married until gay couples can here.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Support Same-sex Marriage:
"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on May 15, 2008


And a toast to Harvey Milk!

Off-topic, but related: the first official photo of Sean Penn as Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant's upcoming (December 2008) biopic: 'Milk' (which recently completed filming in SF). SF Chronilce on the film shoot.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on May 15, 2008


I was just at SF city hall for the celebration and it was pretty great - I haven't been that inspired by a political gathering a long time. Several of the speakers specifically talked about the significance of the state Supreme Court following the rule of law in spite of the controversial nature of the decision. People kept saying "as California goes, so go the country", so I look forward to having a working constitution again one day.

The old anti-miscegenation laws also came up, and while I generally think that it's not a good idea to compare being queer to being a person of color, the issues of gay marriage and interracial marriage are so similar I don't see how you can NOT make a comparison. I look forward to the day when the reaction to gay marriage being illegal is the same as the reaction to interracial marriage being illegal, which is generally "Why would you make a law about THAT?"
posted by smartyboots at 3:03 PM on May 15, 2008


Huh, apparently I read your comment the wrong way then. Apologies. Although, the way your comment is worded leaves your meaning open to various interpretations. I took it to mean that you were blaming the spread of AIDS on gay folks only, and that the epidemic would be worse were they allowed to give blood. Sublety is not of the Internets' strong points.
posted by friendlyjuan at 3:08 PM on May 15, 2008


Awesome!
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:13 PM on May 15, 2008


So please let me know, you heterosexually married mefites, if I, or any other gay married couple, has wrecked your own marriage yet, ok?

Well, we know that Cindy Lou Hensley McCain wrecked John's marriage to then-wife Carol. Don't know how many gays were involved in arranging the extra-marital affair. Maybe it was Cindy's drug addiction and subsequent prescription drug theft. I keed. I keed the McCains.
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on May 15, 2008


The gays are coming to desecrate the sanctity of your marriage and make ass-slave converts of your children! It is vitally important that this election cycle you choose the candidate with the stones to stop them.

The black guy? The woman? Come on! You know who you can trust!

Ancient Conservative White Male for President '08!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:14 PM on May 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


So we should give all the power to the Supreme Court that decided Bush vs. Gore.?
As a point of fact, this is not the same Supreme Court that decided Bush v. Gore.

posted by kirkaracha at 3:19 PM on May 15, 2008


The risk of having America run by Negro President and seeing the Godless homosexualists free to get married? Way to energize the GOP's base, recession or not. McCain ftw?
posted by matteo at 3:37 PM on May 15, 2008


"So-called 'same-sex marriage' is a ridiculous and oxymoronic notion that has been forced into popular lexicon by homosexual activists and their extremist left-wing allies.

"If people who engage in homosexual behavior want to dress up and play house, that's their prerogative, but we shouldn't destroy the institutions of legitimate marriage and family in order to help facilitate a counterfeit."

-- The Concerned Women of America
posted by digaman at 3:41 PM on May 15, 2008


Please, fellow gays, lets have none of these.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:45 PM on May 15, 2008


I should start cleaning house and inviting old friends to CA. And I really wish some of them were still alive to see this, I would have loved to see them married. Go California!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:49 PM on May 15, 2008


As a point of fact, this is not the same Supreme Court that decided Bush v. Gore.

True enough, it's MORE conservative (Alito for O'Connor). Doesn't that make it even worse to give them the decision?
posted by msalt at 3:54 PM on May 15, 2008


Good job, CA!
posted by ersatz at 4:01 PM on May 15, 2008


Great. Now there will be *that many more* people to compete with for a wedding venue next fall. My engagement timing is impeccable.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:52 PM on May 15, 2008


Once marriage equality is constitutionally banned, it's only a matter of time before they start getting busy on banning divorce. Gays are merely the first, easy target.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:55 PM on May 15, 2008


Metafilter: Making ass-slave converts of your children
posted by ao4047 at 5:15 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I remember when Vernon Jordan said that gay marriage would turn America into "nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals." (And he said it like it was a bad thing.)

Unfortunately, he seems to have deleted the ad from his web site.

Fortunately, I kept a copy of this important hysterical document.

Making ass-slave converts of your children
See I was going to refer to Lawrence v. Texas as Texas v. Buttfucking, but thought it might be crass. Now that the ass-slave bar has been set maybe it's OK.

posted by kirkaracha at 5:57 PM on May 15, 2008


I would comment more, but I am busy PLANNING MY WEDDING!!!!!!
posted by kamikazegopher at 5:58 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hetero and married.
Rock on.
posted by Dizzy at 6:11 PM on May 15, 2008


kirkaracha: I think you meant to say Vernon Robinson, yes? Vernon Jordan, to my knowledge, does not have a website, nor do I believe that he's taken a stand on homosexual alien fiestas.
posted by mumkin at 6:11 PM on May 15, 2008


This is all so very weird. Being a married, straight guy, why should I care that someone gay wants to get married? How is that even a threat to my marriage? Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson wanting to dip me in chocolate and have a snack attack, that's a threat. Bill and Todd wanting shack up next door? Whatever, as long as they don't thrown their leaves in my yard.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 PM on May 15, 2008


The gays are coming to desecrate the sanctity of your marriage and make ass-slave converts of your children! It is vitally important that this election cycle you choose the candidate with the stones to stop them.

The black guy? The woman? Come on! You know who you can trust!

Ancient Conservative White Male for President '08!


Too bad none of the candidates have the stones to support gay marriage. Obama and Clinton continuing the fine wishy-washy national Democratic position on the issue (civil unions but no marriage).

(I'm sure Obama would be more gay-friendly than McCain, yeah, but for all his supposed awesomeness, he's still pretty meek on a lot of issues. Disheartening that two members of groups that also have and continue to face discrimination can't stand up for others)
posted by wildcrdj at 7:39 PM on May 15, 2008


Oh, and again I'm pleasantly surprised by Schwarzenegger. When he first got elected I could hardly believe my state made such a ridiculous choice, but while he's far from perfect he does manage to be more independent (of his party) than most politicians.

Now, if he actually helped campaign against the amendment (instead of just saying he doesn't support it), I'll be really impressed.

(I'm another of those heterosexual married people who fail to see the "threat")
posted by wildcrdj at 7:43 PM on May 15, 2008


Now, if he actually helped campaign against the amendment (instead of just saying he doesn't support it), I'll be really impressed.

I was thinking about it tonight, and I think he's making the right decision. Nothing would rally the anti-gay troops more than if he came out and said, HEY EVERYBODY, I'M GOING TO MAKE GAY MARRAIGE LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:58 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too bad none of the candidates have the stones to support gay marriage. Obama and Clinton continuing the fine wishy-washy national Democratic position on the issue (civil unions but no marriage).

It's disappointing, yes, but understandable given the political atmosphere at the moment. As TPS pointed out, nothing would galvanize the fundies more effectively. Obama seems to have admitted as much at a private LGBT fundraiser:
According to several sources, including Johnson and Lenore, Obama said he did not think it was “politically feasible” to secure marriage rights for same-sex couples in the country at this point. Sen. Obama acknowledged that the community wanted full marriage rights but said that he favored civil unions for now while leaving open the possibility that his position might evolve in the future.
posted by aqhong at 8:37 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would agree, as a same-sex-partnered Californian who has a vested interest in the matter, with commenters above that any presidential candidate who now comes out in favor of the California Supreme Court decision is not only wishing upon himself or herself a repeat of Ohio in 2004, but is handing the anti-gay ballot measure forces the best weapon possible for their fundraising arsenal.

As thrilled as I am that this has happened, and as historic as it is, the decision also virtually guarantees that the California anti-gay-marriage ballot measure -- which was given very little chance of passing before this morning -- will now at least squeak by.

And the anti-gay-marriage ballot measure in California would not only ban marriage -- it would also ban the domestic partnerships that are already on the books here.

For a preview of what's to come in California, look no further than Ohio post-2004.
posted by blucevalo at 9:09 PM on May 15, 2008


I find weddings and marriage tiresome and pointless, but Yay Woo for those who don't.
posted by pompomtom at 9:29 PM on May 15, 2008


Is it just me, or is it weird how many people are scared of how 'conservative america' will respond? It seems to me we should be rallying more than ever, making this a debate topic and doing everything we can to push this into the spotlight, because that's how you start to win. Set the agenda, set the talking points, don't be apologetic or passive aggressive. Just be aggressive. Make them defend the ludicrous position that just because you want to marry the same sex that you should be denied the same rights as everyone else in this country.

And I think there are a lot of 'conservatives' who would agree that the current discrimination is bullshit. It's about helping make the country a better place, a fairer place, one where justice can actually be realized by anyone.

It has nothing to do with heterosexual marriage and we shouldn't let them frame the conversation that way. But we need to stop acting so scared and actually fight to make this a better country.
posted by gofargogo at 10:06 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]




Too bad none of the candidates have the stones to support gay marriage. Obama and Clinton continuing the fine wishy-washy national Democratic position on the issue (civil unions but no marriage).

It's disappointing, yes, but understandable given the political atmosphere at the moment. As TPS pointed out, nothing would galvanize the fundies more effectively. Obama seems to have admitted as much at a private LGBT fundraiser


I remember hearing him say that and thinking how great it was that he gave such an honest answer. But I still think he's wrong. The country is ready to move on this issue if someone would just demonstrate some leadership by pushing in the right direction. Equal rights should be a winning political issue; the fact that it's not is a problem with the candidates, not equality. It seems pragmatic to point out the likely negatives coming from this decision, but I think true pragmatism recognizes that the real cause of those negatives is bad politicians, not good judges.

On preview, what gofargogo said.
posted by scottreynen at 10:50 PM on May 15, 2008


It seems to me we should be rallying more than ever, making this a debate topic and doing everything we can to push this into the spotlight, because that's how you start to win.

That's exactly what happened in 2004. Don't you remember? As a result, Bush won re-election and 27 states banned gay marriage in their constitutions; 17 went further to ban civil unions, so we lost ground there, too. That looks a lot more like losing than starting to win, IMHO.
posted by msalt at 10:57 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The problem with pushing this into the spotlight and condemning it as wrong, bad horrible things to be homosexual is to scare already scared people into action.

So much of their identity can be built around who they are not: they aren't gay, they aren't a democratic, they aren't a terrorist.

To try to forcefully assert and threaten them is only going to cause them to dig in deeper and fight back harder. Unfortunately, we also have the fragmentation on the left. Some people just want marriage, some people don't want marriage as an institution to have any privilege at all, some people want polyamorous relationships recognized (well some of those are on the right also). So while people will be pushing forward on the issue, the cause could be fragmented and its so much easier to just shout NO! in opposition of any change.

Of course, I wish that the issues are really part of a larger issue of opening up the backrooms of congress, getting more people actively engaged in their political systems, and to leverage technology to make a participatory democracy a possibility. Once that happens a lot of the noise makers and propaganda machines will (hopefully) start having less impact.

The fact that this can be such a divisive wedge issue is a symptom of a government that uses controversial issues, propaganda, and secrecy to distract the public from the actual process of governance. I hope we can treat the cause for once (I honestly see it as a possibility with some of the work and issues Obama has been pushing for) that would make the fight for human rights (how about all of those folks detained by DHS and denied medical treatment, or our secret FEMA camps, or the fact that a country we should actually invade for once, Burma, is something we are tiptoeing around) possible.

(also, I hope with all my heart that my friends and relatives who are queer will be able to get married just as I can and not have to fear discrimination. But if we want to push a topic and agenda that will make these, and other issues clear, and possibly resolvable, keeping the discussion on a systemic problem not just a symptom could go a lot further)
posted by mrzarquon at 11:19 PM on May 15, 2008


Equal rights should be a winning political issue; the fact that it's not is a problem with the candidates, not equality.

Nicely put.

That looks a lot more like losing than starting to win, IMHO.

What's the alternative? Waiting around for the fundies and bigots to have a change of heart first?

Any clear-eyed look at American history shows that one of the constants in the struggles for equality has been the ferocious -- even murderous -- opposition that rears its head, time and time again. There was fierce opposition to suffrage African-Americans and women; there was fierce opposition to the right to unionize; there was fierce opposition to desegregation. Not coincidentally, the arguments that are being put forth here that advocate going more slowly as the winning strategy on the path to winning our rights are the same arguments that were made in the 1870s and 1920s and 1950s.

Too bad. If we wait around for the perfect time, for the opposition to melt away, for the magic moment when we divine that a majority of people are on our side, we will wait forever. On the road to progress, there will be victories, and there will be setbacks. Being crippled by the fear of the latter ensures that we will never get our full measure of the former.

To me, it always comes back to what Frederick Douglass said in 1857:
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
The road to progress is never, ever a smooth one -- but either we travel it, or we stay lost in the wilderness. Today's decision was one more step down that road. We will be pushed back, hard. It is simply up to us to push back, harder and longer, till we win.
posted by scody at 11:31 PM on May 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


kirkaracha: I think you meant to say Vernon Robinson, yes?
Shit. I regret the error. I couldn't even copy-and-paste properly. Stupid beer.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:54 PM on May 15, 2008


msalt, I do remember 2004, and I have to disagree with your assessment in one key way: We didn't take the charge. We let them set the talking points (attack on marriage) and put us on the defensive. And we lost ground in many places. But those losses aren't permanent any more than prohibition or interracial marriage bans were.

And super-double yes to what scody said.
posted by gofargogo at 12:07 AM on May 16, 2008


msalt,
I think you are strongly oversimplifying the behavior of the Supreme Court. I am not sure how familiar you are with recent decisions, but you seemed to imply that the fact that 5 Court members are Catholic, and that 7 were appointed by Republicans, will be determinative, but history simply doesn't bear this out. Souter and Kennedy were both conservative appointees, and turned out to be liberal mainstays. Looking to the past, Earl Warren and William Brennan (the king of liberal judges) were both nominated by Eisenhower.

Kennedy, a Catholic Reagan appointee, does not vote in lock-step with the actual conservative wing of the court. Indeed, he wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas. The Lawrence majority (Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens) is still intact, so the change from O'Connor (who concurred in Lawrence) to Alito will affect nothing if Kennedy votes the same way in a future gay-marriage case.

Don't be so gloomy; there's hope yet.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:07 AM on May 16, 2008


2004 we didn't take the charge
Hmm, my recollection is no one was even talking about gay marriage until city officials in San Francisco and Portland (where I live) took the initiative and started issuing licenses. Later the Mass Supreme Court ruled in favor. The talking points were the reaction.

I think you are strongly oversimplifying the behavior of the Supreme Court.
Actually, I argued against the Catholic link, citing Brennan as a Catholic liberal. And yes, Byron White was surprisingly conservative for a Democratic pick and Souter liberal for a Republican pick. But Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas (all very young) are ridiculously lockstep.

What's the alternative?
Winning slowly but solidly at the ballot box, vs. trusting the Scalia court to rule our way. No one under 35 is bothered by gay marriage, to speak of. Time is on our side. But we can lose big in the short run pushing too fast, and the Supreme Court with more conservatives appointed by McCain would lock in that loss long after voters have come around. Look, I don't mean to repeat myself or lecture folks; I'm just an old (46) jaded guy who has supported gay marriage since the 70s and saw us lose huge ground 4 years ago. I don't want any more of that.
posted by msalt at 12:40 AM on May 16, 2008


msalt
Actually, I argued against the Catholic link
Sorry, I misread the comments above. I didn't mean to stick you with things you didn't say. You are certainly right about those 4 (I hope they get a media nickname like the Four Horseman of Roosevelt's day). But I still think things are safe with Kennedy there. And you are right that McCain winning would be a nightmare: the liberal justices are the oldest ones, and I'd bet money that at least one is going to die/retire in the next term. Hopefully, the Democrats can avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory this time...

I can see your point about waiting and letting the democratic tide turn its course. But on the other hand, as MLK said, "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." There are real people suffering, not just because of the denial of marriage rights but from all the various other ways gays are harmed by the law. Is it right to wait 10, 20, 30 years for the country to come around? And what about the die-hard holdouts?
posted by Sangermaine at 12:49 AM on May 16, 2008


Doesn't banning gay marriage violate the establishment clause?
posted by Talez at 1:11 AM on May 16, 2008


Good on you, California, and please sprinkle some of your pixie dust on my increasingly shameful state.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:43 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I haven't been this proud of California in a while. I really believe gay rights are the social justice issue of my generation, and I'm always boundlessly delighted to see any progress being made.

Congratulations to the newlyweds.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:38 AM on May 16, 2008


Great, just in time to use as a wedge in the 2008 elections.

How? None of the candidates support gay marriage. And Clinton and Obama would drop their support for "civil unions" in a second if it did become an issue.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:37 AM on May 16, 2008


If one ever needed proof as to just how non-liberal US news media actually is, all you had to do was channel-surf the news networks last night. It was a veritable orgy of "family-values" talking heads trotting-out the usual bromides..."activist court"..."legislating from the bench"..."destruction of marriage". All that was missing was video of a pair of leather-g-string-clad guys sporting rainbow afro wigs getting married at city hall.

This was an awesome and correct ruling. It was also a nice, fat softball slowly lobbed into the right-wing wheelhouse. Unless some shit hits the fan in Iraq, I fear this is all we're going to hear about for the rest of the election cycle, and McCain promising to sign a constitutional ban.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:37 AM on May 16, 2008


I fear this is all we're going to hear about for the rest of the election cycle, and McCain promising to sign a constitutional ban.

The President doesn't sign a proposed constitutional amendment.
posted by paddbear at 7:46 AM on May 16, 2008


The President doesn't sign a proposed constitutional amendment.
posted by paddbear at 10:46 AM on May 16


No but Senator McCain is not President yet.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:48 AM on May 16, 2008




No but Senator McCain is not President yet.

But there is no proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making (serious) rounds (yet). Amending the Constitution (of the U.S.) is a long and difficult process.

The most recent vote to take place on the proposed Amendment occurred in the United States House of Representatives on July 18, 2006 when the Amendment failed 236 yea to 187 nay votes, falling short of the 290 yea votes required for passage. The Senate has only voted on cloture motions with regards to the proposed Amendment, the last of which was on June 7, 2006 when the motion failed 49 yea to 48 nay votes, falling short of the 60 yea votes required to proceed to consideration of the Amendment.

Dems control Congress. Senator McCain isn't going to have the opportunity to do anything about it, certainly not before November.
posted by rtha at 8:42 AM on May 16, 2008


It was also a nice, fat softball slowly lobbed into the right-wing wheelhouse.

As was said perfectly above, then the problem lies not with equality, but with the candidates. We can either abandon equality in deference to the candidates, or we can keep fighting for it in spite of the candidates.

Look, as long as we have elections, the argument can be made that ANY decision like this will play into the right-wing's hands. A 2009 ruling? OH NOES THERE GOES CONGRESS IN THE MIDTERMS IN 2010. A 2011 ruling? OMG WHITEHOUSE LOST FOR A GENERATION I CAN HEAR THE RIGHT-WING MACHINERY CREAKING INTO GEAR ALREADY.

Seriously, every decision like this is going to spark some sort of backlash. It is a given. There is no soft, easy, guaranteed way to winning this right; no perfect day in the election cycle in which a court decision won't mobilize the the bigots, no synchronized moment in which 50 pro-gay-marriage ballot initiatives won't face opposition in the polls.

Tiptoeing around the Right out of fear of antagonizing them does not actually mollify them; it emboldens them, as the past decade should illustrate in technicolor. They aren't afraid of us; it's time our side stops being afraid of them.

Legalizing interracial marriage didn't happen overnight, or without resistance; it was a tough road that took decades, state by state by state by state. Winning same-sex marriage is going to be exactly the same. It's going to be hard; securing civil and human rights always is.
posted by scody at 9:09 AM on May 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


MLK said, "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

Ironically, MLK achieved all of his success through gradualism and success in legislatures, using civil disobedience to get the public to want change. It wasn't Malcolm X and the Panthers who changed things. Court-ordered busing was a fiasco that re-segregated schools and cities. It was the Civil Rights Act and the Housing Act, not the Court, that changed race relations in America.
posted by msalt at 9:37 AM on May 16, 2008


Legalizing interracial marriage didn't happen overnight, or without resistance; it was a tough road that took decades, state by state by state by state.

But I don't think that's accurate.

If you look at the states that repealed their anti-miscegenation laws before Loving, the common factor that most of them share is a distinct paucity of black people. Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming, all places where white folks didn't have to worry very much that their precious daughters would be seduced by and marry a black man. To be sure, there were other states too (CA, MD), but the white-breadness of the repealing states surely passes the interocular impact test.

I think it's more accurate to call the struggle for interracial marriage a relatively easy road, concentrated first in places where it didn't really matter very much or operating through courts, that took about a decade and was enacted in the places where it really mattered in one fell swoop of judicial fiat.

It is, in other words, a bad analogy to the same-sex marriage struggle.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:53 AM on May 16, 2008


It was hilarious to hear Maggie Gallagher on the news this morning stumping for a constitutional amendment in California to ban gay marriage on the grounds that this terrible, terrible decision made all the people who are against gay marriage (on bizarrely tenuous grounds) "sound like bigots." And all I could think of was, well, that's because you're bigots. Don't like being called bigots? Try not to be so goddamned bigoted. If I can deal with people saying "irregardless" (which the spell check doesn't even flag) or "floundered" for "foundered," you can get used to people saying "married" for gays legally united.
posted by klangklangston at 10:05 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]




In related news -- Marriage equality bill introduced in Minnesota legislature:
"The Marriage and Family Protection Act was introduced by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, and Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, on Friday. The bill would make marriage a gender-neutral proposition in Minnesota, allowing same-sex couples to marry. It would also protect religious institutions that have moral objections to same-sex marriage from being compelled to perform such ceremonies."
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on May 16, 2008


It wasn't Malcolm X and the Panthers who changed things.

The problem with this analogy is that it puts the California Supreme Court on the Panther side of that comparison.

It was the Civil Rights Act and the Housing Act, not the Court, that changed race relations in America.

It was a persistent civil rights movement composed of men and women of all races in every state who changed race relations and won legislative and judicial victories to ensure their rights.

I think it's more accurate to call the struggle for interracial marriage a relatively easy road, concentrated first in places where it didn't really matter very much or operating through courts, that took about a decade and was enacted in the places where it really mattered in one fell swoop of judicial fiat.

I think this glosses over how controversial and difficult the push for interracial marriage was during the civil rights struggle in the deep south, even among liberals. "It was enacted in the places where it really mattered" sounds like it just sort of... happened, outside the context of the upheavals of the 1950s and '60s, which of course was not the case by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by scody at 11:19 AM on May 16, 2008


msalt: That's exactly what happened in 2004. Don't you remember? As a result, Bush won re-election and 27 states banned gay marriage in their constitutions; 17 went further to ban civil unions, so we lost ground there, too. That looks a lot more like losing than starting to win, IMHO.

Pure bullshit. Conservative groups started organizing around this issue under Clinton's watch with the Hawaii decision. The 2004 ballot initiatives didn't just come out of nowhere in blacklash to MA and San Francisco. They were a part of a well-funded and highly orchestrated campaign that started with the state legislatures and petitions a few years in advance.

Which is something that leads me to bang my head against the wall when I read politics on metafilter. The Democrats didn't have a chronic loosing streak from 1998-2004 because of "spontaneous" wedge issues or because of swing states. The democrats were out-organized, out-funded and out-networked from the school boards to the White House. The whole framing of 2004 as a backlash against aggressive queer politics, along with the myth of the über-conservative red states where progressives have no ground on which to campaign are spoon-fed Republican talking points, and utterly ignorant of the real politics on the ground.

And if Clinton or Obama want to be wishy-washy about this, fuck them. I'm not giving them more than the 5 seconds it takes to check their name on the ballot in November. Not when there are queer activist groups building community, forcing legislation through statehouses and city councils, engaging in education, and providing critical services.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:54 AM on May 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


And it's constantly fascinating to me that it's always queers that get blamed for pursuing their interests according to timelines handed to the by the court system (if you don't file by the deadline, you don't file at all), and not the conservative groups who have spent a decade building phone lists and coalitions from the ground up to make this a hot-button issue.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:59 AM on May 16, 2008


I think this glosses over how controversial and difficult the push for interracial marriage was during the civil rights struggle in the deep south, even among liberals.

But the push in the populace didn't really matter. In the end, what happened was the Court made the laws go away. There wasn't any slow steady march of states -- there were states who didn't have miscegenation laws to start with, and states whose courts struck down the laws, and states with hardly any blacks to commit the dread sin of marrying whites who repealed their laws, and a handful of others, and then BANG! All gone at once, even in the most black-hating parts of the South.

None of this means that I think that gay-rights groups should wait for anything. But the analogy to interracial marriage is just not a very good one. The Court isn't going to ride in on a white horse and save the day this time.

Pointing to the success of legalizing interracial marriage doesn't mean anything for gay marriage, because legalizing gay marriage is at present going to be much, much more difficult than interracial marriage since the courts aren't going to force it on an unwilling population.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on May 16, 2008


In other news: Communist party membership no longer a fireable offence in California

First the gays, now the commies! America is under attack, I tell you!
posted by homunculus at 12:37 PM on May 16, 2008


Newsweek: A Different Time -- "Why gay marriage won't pack such a punch in Campaign 2008."
posted by ericb at 2:05 PM on May 16, 2008


Pure bullshit. Conservative groups started organizing around this issue under Clinton's watch with the Hawaii decision. The 2004 ballot initiatives didn't just come out of nowhere in blacklash to MA and San Francisco.

Sure, conservatives tried, but the issue was going nowhere until San Francisco (February 12, 2004) and Multnomah County, OR (March 3, 2004) starting issuing marriage licenses with only the thinnest legal justification - no vote, no court decision. Only 4 states passed amendments before then, over 6 years: Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and Nebraska. 23 more did after.

I know Diane Linn, the Multnoman County executive who initiated the licenses in Oregon. Her heart's in the right place but her political instincts are disastrous. Her entire term was very difficult at best, and she lost reelection decisively.
posted by msalt at 5:01 PM on May 16, 2008


Is it really, truly true that a majority of US citizens are social-conservative retards who wish to deny same-sex couples the full legal rights of conventional couples?

I can easily enough believe one in five Americans is anti-. For anything you care to measure in the USA, there seems to be a consistent one-fifth who are simply batshitinsane or dumber than a sack of hammers.

It's that other four-fifths that makes me scratch my head, though. I should think four out of five Americans wants, for instance, proper healthcare. Or that four out of five want the whole Bush nightmare to go away. That four out of five want a better education system, and would prefer religion be kept out of the classroom.

And yet that four-fifths majority of sensible people don't seem to have the power to drag the knuckle-draggers into this new millennium. WTF? Get off your couch and demand some goddamn change already.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:21 PM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is it really, truly true that a majority of US citizens are social-conservative retards who wish to deny same-sex couples the full legal rights of conventional couples?

Fear of the "Gay Agenda" strikes across many rather disparate segments of this society (though some form of Christian dogma is involved in stoking this opposition).

55% of the US population will say to the opinion pollster that they believe "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years."[1].

What a marvelously retarded population to have at one's command come election day.
posted by tachikaze at 7:56 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


msalt: Sure, conservatives tried, but the issue was going nowhere until San Francisco (February 12, 2004) and Multnomah County, OR (March 3, 2004) starting issuing marriage licenses with only the thinnest legal justification - no vote, no court decision. Only 4 states passed amendments before then, over 6 years: Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and Nebraska. 23 more did after.

Yes, and the reason for this was?

Anyone? Anyone?

More than a dozen state initiatives that were winding their way through the State Amendment process, combined with an extremely well-funded and organized machine capable of getting people to the polls.

Quit bullshitting us. You can't, in effect, tell queers to sit down, shut up, close down the local and state activism necessary to stop and reverse these initiatives, and abandon the court battles, and then claim to "support" gay marriage.

You can't advocate a strategy that has been yielded consistent losses for progressives for over 10 years now, and claim that you don't want any more losses.

It's foolish to think that progressives can challenge Republican call lists and activist networks by sitting on our hands and making empty appeals to moderation and gradual change. Not when the last few years have shown that building aggressive coalitions at the local and state level actually works.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:57 AM on May 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
-from MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:04 AM on May 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


I didn't read all the comments here, but all I have to say about this news is: Good.
posted by ob at 9:16 AM on May 17, 2008


KikJobSluder, you are way out of line in your personal attacks. You don't know me and you don't know what I advocate. Plus, your post has the additional disadvantage of being wrong.

The reason for this backlash was: people don't like change in general, and they really don't like change being forced on them without a chance to vote. It pisses them off. Conservatives pushed bans on gay marriage for 11 years, to little effect; suddenly in 2004 23 passed. And you think, what, they were laying low until that exact time by coincidence? Your vague slogans about moderation being lame don't change the reality of 2004.

Call lists, organizing, lobbying legislators, giving money, signing initiatives, fighting their initiatives, and most importantly, convincing average joes who haven't really thought the issue through -- yes, that's exactly what the marriage equality movement needs to be doing. Trying to get it all the easy way with a lawsuit -- that's the big mistake.
posted by msalt at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2008


Call lists, organizing, lobbying legislators, giving money, signing initiatives, fighting their initiatives, and most importantly, convincing average joes who haven't really thought the issue through -- yes, that's exactly what the marriage equality movement needs to be doing. Trying to get it all the easy way with a lawsuit -- that's the big mistake.


Well, it's not like we're not going to do both, you know. Having had the CASC declare Prop 22 unconstitutional doesn't mean we're going to all go off on our gay-married honeymoons and not organize against the upcoming ballot initiative. You talk as if no one's been working on legislative solutions - we have, for crying out loud, and both bills were vetoed by our governor....who now says he'll fight the upcoming initiative.


The far right is always always going to find a reason why queers shouldn't have rights; they're always going to find a reason to say that a gay rights victory was gained illegitimately: Win in the courts? Activist judges! Win at the ballot box? Lying outsider gay organizers came and took away the rights of decent hardworking Americans! Win in the legislature? Representatives are beholden to special interest groups!

There comes a time when we have to stop playing their game by their rules. We must organize and do outreach and education and GOTV and spend money like water and take the fight to the courts and lobby our legislators and stop playing the reactive game. Waiting for the "right time" to do this will get us jackshit.

This is a battle with many fronts, and we have been and will continue to fight on all of them.
posted by rtha at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Call lists, organizing, lobbying legislators, giving money, signing initiatives, fighting their initiatives, and most importantly, convincing average joes who haven't really thought the issue through -- yes, that's exactly what the marriage equality movement needs to be doing.

The equality movement is vibrate and active nationwide. For example: Marriage Equality USA, GLAD, HRC, etc.

As well, state initiatives are quite busy -- such as: MassEquality, Equality California, Know Thy Neighbor, etc.
posted by ericb at 11:43 AM on May 17, 2008


Massachusetts Activists on Both Sides Ready to Help
"With California poised to allow same-sex marriage, battle-worn activists in the Bay State said yesterday that Massachusetts is about to be thrust into the spotlight again, this time as an object lesson in the practical ramifications and political implications of allowing gays to wed.

Those advocates said the spotlight will only intensify over the next several months, as Californians opposed to their high court's decision push for a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage that is likely to appear on the ballot in November. A similar push for an amendment in Massachusetts sparked an epic fight before ultimately failing on Beacon Hill last June.

...Many activists on both sides said they expected to be called upon to share their experiences, and their advice with their allies on the West Coast. Still, as people distilled the news and pored over the ruling, it was too early to tell how active local advocates would become in California.

But there was no question that the Massachusetts experience would be preeminent.

'Massachusetts will provide a case study to Californians, and really many other states, on what happens in this situation - what our opponents do and how the gay community should respond,' said Arline Isaacson, cochairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.

'We really are a case study in how our community won,' said Isaacson, who helped lead the fight to defeat the proposed ban in Massachusetts, 'so they're going to be coming here to see what we did right and what we did wrong and why we managed to prevail.'"
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on May 17, 2008


The far right is always always going to find a reason why queers shouldn't have rights

It doesn't matter what the far right thinks. It's what average joes (and janes) think that matters. Court rulings allow the far right to change the subject from "why exactly does same sex marriage threaten anybody?" to "These judges are over-riding the will of the people." That is precisely the game they want to play.
posted by msalt at 11:50 AM on May 17, 2008


Trying to get it all the easy way with a lawsuit -- that's the big mistake.

Well a lawsuit in Massachusetts was what compelled our State Supreme Court to rule that gays/lesbians should be allowed to marry. Opponents then sought to have an amendment placed on the 2008 ballot. Community organization, etc. along with lobbying state legislators was what helped defeat the ballot amendment in June 2007. "Opponents of gay marriage face an increasingly tough battle to win legislative approval of any future petitions to appear on a statewide ballot. The next election available to them is 2012."
posted by ericb at 11:56 AM on May 17, 2008


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: "Our experience in Massachusetts has taught us that whenever we affirm the right of people to come before their government as equals, we all win. I congratulate the California court for upholding that principle."
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on May 17, 2008




Sorry, that was in response to msalt's It's what average joes (and janes) think that matters. The point is, that "average joes (and janes)" can change their minds, and that rulings like this can serve as the catalyst.
posted by scody at 12:21 PM on May 17, 2008


Court rulings allow the far right to change the subject from "why exactly does same sex marriage threaten anybody?" to "These judges are over-riding the will of the people." That is precisely the game they want to play.

And if it weren't a court ruling, it would be a legislative effort, or a voter initiative, and the far right would find (has found) ways to change the subject to how these things are bad and anti-American. Where domestic partnership laws have been passed by voters, the right has fought them by saying that the courts should have a say; where rights have been passed by legislators, the right has fought them by saying the voters/courts should have the final word; etc. ad nauseum.

They will fight this fight on all fronts, and so must we. Again, you're talking as if the CASC decision means that we think it's all good and that outreach and education are not going to continue happening. That is not true.

Brown v Board was an incredibly unpopular decision in some parts, and I'm sure there were those in the civil rights movement who thought the timing could have been better. But that decision did not make civil rights advocates lie down and take a nap; they knew then, as we also know, that there are still battles to be fought. There would be battles to be fought if our first big "win" were legislative rather than judicial, too. Did Brown invite the kind of backlash that would not have occurred if change had come more "gradually" (i.e. by legislative effort)? Did it set things back? We have no way of knowing. We do know that those working for change recognized that the work had to be done on many fronts simultaneously.

The question of gay rights in general and gay marriage in particular has never, ever been about a simple conversation between rights activists and Joe and Jane Uneducated. It has always been manipulated by the lies and fearmongering of the far right. It has always been a multi-front fight. And the fact that the CASC handed down this decision does not in fact mean that we can't, won't, and aren't still going to have the "Why exactly does same sex marriage threaten anybody?" conversation.
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


And one more thing: one upside of a ruling like the CASC's (and Massachusetts' SC), where change comes in one swell foop, is that average joes and janes, who have been scaremongered by the right into believing that such a ruling will suddenly cause their daughters to turn lesbian on their heterosexual wedding day or that kindergartners will become gay overnight discover that....nothing changes. For them. They discover, as MA residents have, that giving previously disenfranchised people rights does not actually take any rights away from them. Allowing gay people to get gay married has not meant that nongay people couldn't get married. Allowing gay people to inherit their gay spouse's pension has not meant that Joe's widow Jane has been deprived of his pension.

You're right that people generally hate change. When they discover that nothing changes in their personal lives just because people can get gay married, a lot of opposition evaporates, as evidenced by scody's link above.
posted by rtha at 12:56 PM on May 17, 2008


The "shouldn't gays and lesbians wait until the time is right" to push for equal rights (including same-sex marriage) reminds me of the same excuse many gays and lesbians experience when first coming out. I recall falling for my own cop out: "I don't want to ruin Thanksgiving dinner." But, in the end, I came to the realization that no time is the "right time."
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on May 17, 2008


And, in a Constitutional government like we enjoy in the US, the "will of the people" is not, in fact, sacrosanct. The whole *point* of a Constitutional government is to avoid the Tyranny of the Majority. Absent such protections, and courts willing to enforce them, than 50% +1 of the population can royally screw 50% -1 of the population, and that's a bad idea.

So, yeah, the will of the people is important, but it isn't all important, and it cannot be allowed to be factored into matters of basic civil liberties. We tried that during the Jim Crow era and saw how badly it worked out.

I agree fully that efforts to convince the population that gays aren't a threat are necessary, but as others have observed court decisions that enforce rights are, quite often, the catylist that helps that sort of education and outreach work. Look at it this way, if Joe and Jane American never get shaken up WRT civil rights they will think everything is peachy keen fine and dandy, court decisions like the one in California can serve as a wake up call to Americans who have been blissfully coasting along unaware of the extent to which their fellow citizens have been screwed. And, like all wake up calls, it is (at first) quite unwelcome, but sane folks get over their grumpyness at the alarm clock after a short time.

If blacks had waited for Joe Mississipian to vote out segregation we'd still be fighting over it. Sometimes Sane America has to force Crazy America, by the power of the courts or the federal government, to do the right thing even if Crazy America hates it. They'll get over it, even if it takes waiting for the old guard of haters to die of old age.
posted by sotonohito at 1:17 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A USA Today Opinion piece to which is linked in scody's Slate article --

The Sky Didn't Fall in Massachusetts
"On May 17, 2004, when Massachusetts began marrying its gay couples, that simple declaration — emblazoned on golden stickers shaped like deputy sheriff's badges and proudly worn by ecstatic gay-rights supporters — celebrated a seismic shift. State-approved gay marriage was no longer a theoretical possibility. It was a reality.

Now, a year and more than 6,100 gay weddings later, the reviews are in. Folks in Massachusetts, the first in the nation to experience this expansion of freedom, have swung 180 degrees to favoring it.

Bay State voters now overwhelmingly support gay marriage, 56% to 37%, according to a Boston Globe poll in March. That's a breathtaking turnabout from February 2004. Back then, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gays had to be allowed to marry but before the marriages began, voters opposed the change, 53% to 35%.

...While the outside world debates how to treat its gay couples, Massachusetts sees that fire-and-brimstone predictions didn't come true.

Religious institutions haven't been forced to bless the civil marriage of any gay couple, though many have done so voluntarily. Nor did supporting the court's order to extend all the state-conferred rights and responsibilities of marriage trigger a ballot-box backlash against gay-friendly lawmakers.

Having lived with gay marriage, Massachusetts seems a bit smitten with it. By 65% to 34%, voters say it hasn't weakened the institution of marriage. Only 13% say gay marriage has had a negative effect on married heterosexuals. And 71% expect the state to 'become more and more accepting of same-sex marriage,' Decision Research found in surveying 600 registered voters for MassEquality, a pro-gay marriage group."
posted by ericb at 1:20 PM on May 17, 2008


Lots of straw men here I'm ignoring, but I think this is a v. important discussion.

Brown vs. Board of Education and the Mass. case -- yes, those are the biggest successes of court rulings. It would be nice if folks could acknowldege that sometimes court rulings backfire, or that they have less legitimacy. The Massachusetts case did work in that famously liberal state, but it very likely tipped the presidential election from Kerry to Bush, and definitely led to harsher laws in many states. Timing is very tricky on major social change; there's a tipping point, and I don't think we're quite there yet.

Also: I think it was crucial that the Mass. court gave the legislature time to pass a new law against same-sex unions. When they didn't, that gave more legitimacy to the ruling, and I think that helped turn the tide (as did the good results.)
posted by msalt at 1:47 PM on May 17, 2008


the will of the people is important, but it isn't all important, and it cannot be allowed to be factored into matters of basic civil liberties.

I don't know, if ignoring the will of the people upsets them to the point where they pass constitutional amendments that reduce civil liberties even further, maybe it's better to factor it in after all.
posted by msalt at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2008


I believe the Canadian experience has been similar to the Mass. one: once gay marriage was legalized, and the sky didn't fall, the majority population realized that equality is a Good Thing.

For society to progress at any reasonable forward rate, it seems that change needs to be mandated by the progressive minority. The "bleh" majority, who really don't give a shit about things that don't directly affect their own selves, ends up going along for the ride and winds up discovering that it's all better. The socially conservative minority of haters end up being so marginalized that they're of little matter in the end.

It does help when those who aren't directly affected voice support and vote for progress. Sitting your ass on the couch doesn't do anyone any good at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:30 PM on May 17, 2008


Off the topic of political strategy for a minute: Equality California has a good list of FAQs about the practical nuts & bolts of same-sex marriages, including the fact that there's no residency requirement. So come one (well, come two), come all!

And back to strategy: for everyone ready to take on the fight against the November ballot measure in CA, check out Equality for All (sorry if it's already been linked to upthread!).
posted by scody at 3:23 PM on May 17, 2008


msalt: KikJobSluder, you are way out of line in your personal attacks. You don't know me and you don't know what I advocate. Plus, your post has the additional disadvantage of being wrong.

You've made it clear what you advocate in this thread: queers should not exercise their legal rights. This is, in effect, saying that they shouldn't have those rights at all.

The reason for this backlash was: people don't like change in general, and they really don't like change being forced on them without a chance to vote. It pisses them off. Conservatives pushed bans on gay marriage for 11 years, to little effect; suddenly in 2004 23 passed. And you think, what, they were laying low until that exact time by coincidence? Your vague slogans about moderation being lame don't change the reality of 2004.

No, I don't think they were laying low, because anyone with a clue as to how the winds were blowing recognized that it was going to be an issue when the process of getting these initiatives on the ballot started in 2002 and 2003. Explain it to me, how were ballot initiatives that were started in 2003 (and in some cases, 2002), a "backlash" from events in 2004? Did the state legislators who introduced the ballot initiatives have a magic crystal ball that allowed them to see San Francisco six months in advance?

It certainly wasn't the case that the anti-marriage equality movement was silent for 11 years. There were dozens of laws passed between '98-'04 banning same-sex marriage. The constitutional amendments were intended to make previously passed prohibitions on the recognition of same-sex marriage bulletproof.

Call lists, organizing, lobbying legislators, giving money, signing initiatives, fighting their initiatives, and most importantly, convincing average joes who haven't really thought the issue through -- yes, that's exactly what the marriage equality movement needs to be doing. Trying to get it all the easy way with a lawsuit -- that's the big mistake.

But there is a problem here. The decisions handed down by MA, NJ, and CA this week say that it's not a change at all. The legal rights granted to every American citizen (and in many cases, resident aliens) to equal protection under the law are incompatible with arbitrary statutory restrictions on marriage rights. When queers push these cases in the court, they are asserting their legal rights. Saying that queers shouldn't petition the court for their rights because of potential retaliation, is just another variation on Jim Crow.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:44 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


msalt: I don't know, if ignoring the will of the people upsets them to the point where they pass constitutional amendments that reduce civil liberties even further, maybe it's better to factor it in after all.

Ahh, I read this, and I think Gore Vidal was right in an interview last week when he suggested that Americans don't deserve a Republic.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:04 PM on May 17, 2008


Well, if it helps any, we'd be happy to have you queers up here in Canada. Contrary to idiot belief, it's not the land of snow and cold as soon as you cross the 49th parallel. There are job opportunities all over the place and you'll almost certainly like the social climate up here way more than in the USA.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:08 PM on May 17, 2008


Kirkjobsluder: Most of the time you don't sound like a troll. And I see that you have a long and distinguished history on Metafilter. But when you say crap like, I'm saying that queers shouldn't have legal rights at all? I'm sorry, that's trolling. Am I supposed to respond that you must be a right wing agent provocateur, because you're insisting on the only approach that gives the right a chance to stop same sex marriage in the long run? No. I hang here to avoid stupid vitriol. No problem finding that on other websites.

Or maybe it's just the same kind of disastrous political instinct that has led to 26 states bulletproofing bans on same sex marriage. Pick fights with allies, launch battles against your enemy on the ground they prefer, attack the public and say they don't deserve a Republic. Great strategy. That's sure to win the CA ballot measure fight in November. "You people are stupid! I hope judges overrule all of your idiotic votes!
posted by msalt at 10:17 PM on May 17, 2008


But apparently you people are stupid, and if what it takes to correct the moronity of the masses is for a progressive judge to rule that despite your idiotic wishes everyone is equal under the eyes of the law, then so be it: judge away, judges.

And in the meantime, if your judges or the politicians that appoint the judges are living in the pea-brained past and denying what is true and right, then every progressive thinker had damn well better be working for change.

You can not have a fully rational society if you do not have a system of laws under which all functional adults are not treated the same under the law.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:10 PM on May 17, 2008


Instead of lecturing people on how they are not rational, how about considering that this is a pretty major change and change takes time? According to Wikipedia, no nation on Earth legalized same sex marriage until 2001. (Unlike interracial marriage, which was never banned in many countries, ever.) When was a ballot measure legalizing same sex marriage first proposed? Apparently Canada wasn't fully rational until 2003, and then only in some provinces.

Given the lack of ground work, it's pretty phenomenal how quickly the public is coming along. As I said before, basically no one under 35 has any problem with it. So this arrogant attitude of knowing better than people, they don't deserve democracy, etc. -- I don't understand how you think that helps anything.
posted by msalt at 11:45 PM on May 17, 2008


First the gays, now the commies!

In related news -- Cuba Holds Large Gay Rights Rally
"Cuba's gay community celebrated unprecedented openness — and high-ranking political alliances — with a government-backed campaign against homophobia on Saturday.

The meeting at a convention center in Havana's Vedado district may have been the largest gathering of openly gay activists ever on the communist-run island. President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela, who has promoted the rights of sexual minorities, presided.

...Mariela Castro joined government leaders and hundreds of activists at the one-day conference for the International Day Against Homophobia that featured shows, lectures, panel discussions and book presentations.

...Cuba's parliament is studying proposals to legalize same-sex unions and give gay couples the benefits that people in traditional marriages enjoy.
posted by ericb at 6:03 AM on May 18, 2008


Celebration, Then Strategizing in California

"...it took only a few hours for the decision to slip into the past tense, replaced in many ways by the stark prospect that same-sex marriage could be banned again by voters in November.

...Immediately, the talk went from the decision rendered Thursday to the actions needed to protect it over the next many months - fund-raising, door-knocking, and old-fashioned politicking.

...Mayor Gavin Newsom, who expressed delight over the court decision, said he is planning to draw upon the expertise, experience, and fund-raising lists of gay-rights activists in Massachusetts for what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar battle over the amendment. He said he regularly points to Massachusetts as a reason that Californians should not fear same-sex marriage.

...In Massachusetts, gay-rights activists persuaded some opponents of same-sex marriage in the Legislature to change their minds by talking to the lawmakers one-on-one about their lives. Activists here said they planned to mount a similar campaign on a broader scale, by going door to door to talk to voters in more conservative communities across California.

'What we've seen in the example of Massachusetts is personalize, personalize, personalize,' said Stuart Gaffney, 45, who, with his partner, John Lewis, was a plaintiff in the California case. 'When this issue is personalized, people understand it's about our common humanity and about our shared desire to marry the person you love. And when it's more abstract, that works against us.'"posted by ericb at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2008


To be perfectly blunt, msalt, your plan of "let things proceed at their normal glacial pace instead of mandating change through law" sucks donkey balls.

Gay donkey balls.

Plus it doesn't work. No significant social change has happened in your country or mine without it being made law.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 AM on May 18, 2008


In the days leading up to the California Supreme Court's historic same-sex marriage ruling Thursday, the decision "weighed most heavily" on Chief Justice Ronald M. George -- more so, he said, than any previous case in his nearly 17 years on the court.

The court was poised 4 to 3 not only to legalize same-sex marriage but also to extend to sexual orientation the same broad protections against bias previously saved for race, gender and religion. The decision went further than any other state high court's and would stun legal scholars, who have long characterized George and his court as cautious and middle of the road.

But as he read the legal arguments, the 68-year-old moderate Republican was drawn by memory to a long ago trip he made with his European immigrant parents through the American South. There, the signs warning "No Negro" or "No colored" left "quite an indelible impression on me," he recalled in a wide-ranging interview Friday.

"I think," he concluded, "there are times when doing the right thing means not playing it safe."
posted by scody at 12:06 PM on May 18, 2008 [2 favorites]




Wow, it feels naive to even hope for this, but could Arnold really be planning to lead opposition to the the ballot measure? That would be a huge turning point, Republican leadership on the issue.
posted by msalt at 8:03 PM on May 21, 2008


This is a regrettable decision. I oppose gay marriage as flying in the face of four or five thousand years of civilization and religion. If Californians want to be that arrogant and create gay marriage, so be it. The thing is, Californians referendum-ed against it, but several judges don't give a shit.That's unacceptable.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 8:37 PM on May 21, 2008


Aw, BrooklynCouch, that's just gonna leave me with a rant…

I mean, let's start off with the argument from tradition, or "The world's always been flat." Then the implicit assumptions that gay marriage has been "created" by California, and that constructed things are somehow less valid than scare-quoted "traditional" things. And let's cap it off with the argument from the masses, that unjust laws that reflect the will of the people should stand—did you fail 10th grade civics? (We're in a Republic … Checks and balances … Majoritarianism … Federalist papers etc.)

Why don't you want gays to get married? Where is the harm to you, personally?

I mean, look, people do all sorts of shit that I disagree with (though I don't happen to disagree with gay marriage). People watch NASCAR, people listen to Rush Limbaugh (and weirder Christian craziness), people believe that the government caused the 9/11 attacks, people believe that other people's rights should be restricted based on superstitious biases and foolish half-logic.

But it doesn't harm me, not enough to justify taking away their right to do it. And I tend to believe that when it comes to expanding freedom, the place to do it is here in America and not in Iraq. We can expand the understanding and protection of people's inherent right to do what makes them happy.

And that's not a good idea because we haven't already recognized that right? I mean, that's all an argument from tradition is—a circle where we do things because that's the way we've done things. Or it's not a good idea because a lot of other people don't think it's a good idea? Well, frankly, I've never heard a good argument against gay marriage. I mean, what legitimate objection could there be? It'll lower tax revenues?

There really isn't one. People will repeat the talking points without taking that single goddamned moment to think, "Really?"

What pisses me off isn't just how dumb that is, and how instantly it marks anyone I'm talking to as politically retarded, but that this should be a source of pride. Instead of the technology race of the 20th Century, we could be in a race to make America the best country in the world, the country that has the most respect for human rights and freedoms. But no, we're behind fucking Canada and the Netherlands when it comes to this. I hope we elect a minority president and spread legal recognition for gay marriage across the country and across the globe.

Where's your pride, man? Why do you want the country to keep doing things the way it has been when that way is fundamentally unfair? Don't you want to be an American and stand up for somebody who's been treated unjustly?
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 PM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]




I already offered the aforementioned Mr. Couch the recipe for some excellent hamburgers, and if he's eaten them, he really doesn't need any additional feeding. Even if he hasn't, well, don't feed him. He's on a diet.
posted by rtha at 10:12 PM on May 21, 2008


But no, we're behind fucking Canada and the Netherlands when it comes to this.

The USA is behind fucking Liberia on some aspects of modernisation. Death penalty, metric, drug laws, gay marriage, social welfare... hell, even measuring something so basic as infant survival rate, the US scores somewhere in the forties IIRC.

It frustrates the hell out of me that a nation with so many advantages is just pissing them all away.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 AM on May 22, 2008


I oppose gay marriage as flying in the face of four or five thousand years of civilization and religion.

So does the abolition of slavery. Do you oppose that, too?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:13 AM on May 22, 2008


But no, we're behind fucking Canada and the Netherlands when it comes to this.

Is that supposed to be outrageous? Behind even reactionary HOLLAND?
Marriage, as defined by the civil law, is currently available to same-sex couples in five countries. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001. Same-sex marriages are also recognized in Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005) and South Africa (2006).
It's not exactly comparable to the US incarceration rate, or use of capital punishment...
posted by msalt at 10:36 AM on May 22, 2008


The Netherlands is a tiny country best known for Anne Frank coming there and Vincent Van Gogh leaving. Having them best the US in terms of broadening freedoms is like having Lithuania beat the US Olympic Basketball Team—humiliating.
posted by klangklangston at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Netherlands is a tiny country best known for Anne Frank coming there and Vincent Van Gogh leaving.

Umm, hello-- Dikes! Windmills! Wooden shoes! Dope!
posted by dersins at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


They make excellent ovens AND oven cleaners as well.
A magical place.
posted by Dizzy at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2008


The USA is behind fucking Liberia on some aspects of modernisation. Death penalty, metric, drug laws, gay marriage, social welfare...

Metric system standardized: 1791
"English" system standardized in the US: 1855

Who's the one with the more modern system, who?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2008


The people using Metric. 'Modern' may be a red herring. 'More efficient' might be better.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2008


I was being a smartass
posted by Pollomacho at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2008


It's difficult to tell around here.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:15 PM on May 22, 2008


Having them best the US in terms of broadening freedoms is like having Lithuania beat the US Olympic Basketball Team—humiliating.
wiki: Lithuanian men competed in two of the pre-war Eurobasket competitions for the European championship. They won both [..]. The 1939 team [...] helped popularize basketball in the country [...].

During the Soviet era, Lithuanian players frequently formed the core of the Soviet national team. This was especially so for the 1988 Olympic gold medal winners, which got most of their scoring from four Lithuanians, namely Valdemaras Chomičius, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis and Arvydas Sabonis.

Lithuania won bronze medals in the first three Olympics to feature NBA players—1992, 1996, and 2000, and finished fourth in 2004.

The Lithuanian team won the Eurobasket 1937, 1939 and Eurobasket 2003.
They aren't exactly newcomers.
posted by ersatz at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


That wasn't the point. It's like having Qatar have the tallest building. Lithuania should be best at, I dunno, making envelope adhesive. America should be best at basketball, freedom and gay marriage.
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2008


America should be simply divine at gay marriage.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 PM on May 22, 2008


sigh. i just realized that the religionists may read "divine" as "godly", when I really mean the campy tranvestite style of divine. camp doesn't always come across well in text...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 PM on May 22, 2008


Don't worry, fff. We know who you meant.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:19 AM on May 23, 2008




I oppose gay monogynous marriage as flying in the face of four or five thousand years of civilization and religion.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:20 PM on May 28, 2008




The New York Times explores how New York governor David Paterson's perspective on gay rights came to be:
"...Mr. Paterson said he believes deeply that gay men and lesbians today face the same kind of civil rights battle that black Americans faced. He acknowledged that this position put him at odds with some black leaders, who bristle at such comparisons. 'In many respects, people in our society, we only recognize our own struggles,' Mr. Paterson said. 'I’ve wanted to be someone in the African-American community who recognizes the new civil rights struggle that is being undertaken by gay and lesbian and transgendered people.'"

However, that perspective seems to have been formed at a very young age:

"Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald, he said, were a gay couple, though in the 1960s few people described them that way. They helped young David with his spelling, and read to him and played cards with him. 'Apparently, my parents never thought we were in any danger,' the governor recalled on Thursday in an interview. 'I was raised in a culture that understood the different ways that people conduct their lives. And I feel very proud of it.' ... 'All the time when I’d hear Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald and my parents talk, they were talking about the civil rights struggle,' Mr. Paterson said. 'In those days, I knew I wanted to grow up and feel that I could change something.'"*
posted by ericb at 7:31 AM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]




Wow. That is an amazing clip, thanks. It's hard to believe my eyes. Can something like that be photoshopped? Or has Bill O'Reilly decided the trend is leftward and he's going with the flow?
posted by msalt at 10:39 AM on May 30, 2008


In response to the theocrats who are making it difficult to have real equality: The Rapture Can't Happen Soon Enough to Suit Me.
By the way, do I even need to mention that with the Rapture-ready blissfully ensconced behind the pearly gates the rest of us will be left in peace to enjoy our bedrooms and our most personal intimate relationships on our own terms?
Plus the economy would rebound, teens would get proper sex education, stem cell research would be an all-go, and religion wouldnt be a core part of the supposedly areligious government.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:05 PM on May 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Rapture Can't Happen Soon Enough to Suit Me

I always heard it as, the righteous will float in air and look down on the heathens left behind. And naturally, I figured the heathens would grab every rock, gun and howitzer available and start shooting at 'em.
posted by msalt at 6:22 PM on May 31, 2008


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