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Why I don't h8 today's ruling

Don't get me wrong. I don't like it, and I'm disappointed. I would have like to see it overturned on the arguments already made.

Still, it pops the lid off a can of worms created by Prop 8. It's a very narrow judgement, and there's only one question it really answers.

On the up-side, it maintains our position of strength (sadly entirely disregarded by the "No on 8" coalition and campaign) in working to re-ammend the constitution. We have roughly 18,000 married same-sex families living their lives, working, paying taxes, raising children. We are not destroying the fabric of society in California, we're strengthening it. We are not devaluing California's spiritual life, we're celebrating it. That's what the campaign has to be about, not mealy-mouthed inoffensive unchallenging pap.

There's also the bureaucratic and business madness of supporting three different marriage and marriage-like classes of service. The RNC wants to complain that same-sex marriage will be a financial burden on small business? It's nothing compared to the burden that this balkanized judgement will place on business and government. This will have to be addressed.

Finally, there's the meat of the amendment, "a man and a woman." Wait for a spate of lawsuits to prevent or dissolve marriages since November where "man" or "woman" is debatable. Savvy divorce lawyers are going to go wild with the non-existent legal definition.

The imp of the perverse sees chaos, confusion and unintended consequences coming out of this, ideally enough that the silent center will want to repeal the amendment in disgust.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Nicely said! Also see this analysis about why the civil libertarians in our society should be worried about a ruling that effectively (an unanimously, because both sides agreed on the point) says the equal-protection clause of the constitution is there only as long as a bare majority of voters want it to be.
(Deleted comment)
May. 27th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
Yes, but it's a principle of constitution-making that you shouldn't be able to change your basic governing document too easily. On a tiny scale, that's why it takes two years at two widely separated locations to amend the WSFS constitution; otherwise, a transitory hot-button issue capable of riling up a group of people one time only could get a change rammed through.

I rather suspect that the people who backed Prop 8 will now become among the biggest proponents of constitutional reform cloaked in getting rid of the legislative 2/3 requirement for passing a budget (which I hope we can manage someday soon because it's strangling the state) while including something intended to make future changes much harder. And they need to move quickly in order to get it done before a Prop 8 repeal gets enough support to pass under the same conditions as currently apply.
May. 27th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
Congratulations at least on your still-a-legal-marriage...
What about people legally married elsewhere (Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Canada, Belgium, etc.) who might visit or even relocate to California? (And what about California residents who might legally get married in another state?) What does this ruling mean for THEIR marriages, did anyone address this? Or will this be another subject for legal wrangling?

How about a ballot initiative to declare that California must not refuse to recognize any legal (monogamous?*) marriages that happen to have occurred outside of the state of California? (That would cover my marriage too!) That could make Prop 8 Pretty toothless; think about it....

*I don't know what currently happens in the case of a hypothetical Arab man with 4 legal wives who would move to CA, or what would happen if he applied for citizenship....

Edited at 2009-05-27 06:21 am (UTC)
May. 27th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
I'd be happy to see every state in the union change the wording to Civil Union and be done with the word Marriage altogether. There's a rant in me somewhere, but no strength to get it out right now. Glad the two of you aren't affected by the decision, but I'm sad for those who are.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )