Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The beginning of the End for Discrimination in Marriage

Two milestones occurred that probably mark the beginning of the end for the laws that deny gays equal protection under our laws.
The Vermont legislature passed a law allowing any two adults to marry, regardless of their gender. They then had to override the Governor's veto.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the law that denied gays access to the civil contract called marriage was unconstitutional. And they did so unanimously.

The laws denying gays the equal protection of the law have never made any logical sense. Every time I have this discussion with people who oppose gay marriage the only real substantive reason they have is because they disapprove of homosexuality. They no longer try to show how society will be harmed in any real way, they just know in their heart of hearts that homosexuality is wrong and gay marriage should not be allowed.

I think we have reached a tipping point. This is like the Battle of Midway in World War II. We haven't won the war yet, but the opponents of gay rights are on the defensive now and they will eventually lose.

Its a great day to be an American, Gay or Straight.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I would add that the Iowa Supreme Court referenced the California Supreme Court decision on "gay marriage". The California Supreme Court is in the midst of revisiting their decision because of Proposition 8. It will be interesting to see if they follow Iowa's logic or Ken Star's arguments.

Uncle Walt said...

Thanks haypops, I didn't read the IA Supremes decision and didn't realize it reference the CA decision.

The problem is that the California Supremes are now facing a different question.
The California initiative process is complicated. It allows minor revisions to the California Constitution using initiaves that can pass with a simple majority. Prop 8 was passed on that basis.
The question before the CA Supremes now is whether Prop 8 is a revision, only requiring a simple majority, or an Amendment. Amendments require some level of supermajority, which Prop 8 did not get.
If they rule it is a revision, Prop 8 stands as passed.
If they rule it is an Amendment because it removes a basic human right from members of the gay community, then Prop fails for not acheiving the required supermajority.
If Prop 8 stands, its repeal will be back on the next CA ballot and the repeal will probably pass. Prop 8's opponents made very little outreach to the Black community in CA. I think they can get a substantial part of the Black electrorate to swing to support gay marriage with the proper effort.

The other question the CA Supremes will have to answer is the status of those existing gay marriages performed between their original ruling and the vote on Prop 8. I can't picture that they will be able or willing to retroactively void the 10's of thousands of marriages that took place last year. You never know until they rule.