California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Prop 8, which banned same sex marriages, is unconstitutional. In their ruling, the judges proclaimed that Prop 8
“served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.“
Can I hear a “WOOT WOOT”?!?
But wait, don’t bust out the champagne cocktails just yet. Although the 2-1 decision is cause for celebration it by no means marks the end of the war! Prop 8 proponents have vowed to appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court. With that prospect only one ruling away, we can expect the constitutionality of Prop 8 being argued in front of the Supreme Court within the next year.
It’s ironic that those who choose to spew the rhetoric of hate and attempt to enact laws that deny the civil liberties of others, do so in the name of religious faith. Real Christ like, don’t you think?
There is a group more dangerous to our civil liberties than the proponents of Prop 8 and similar laws; those who unwittingly fall victim or participate in discrimination out of laziness or ignorance. When voting I encourage you to participate in the process by fully comprehending what, and who, you are voting for. During the 2008 election those polled ranked the importance of possible nominees to the Supreme Court at 15th. Are you kidding me? 15th! With the constitutionality of Prop 8 less than a year away from being decided ….where would you rank the importance of who elects the next Supreme Court Justice now? Three judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled Prop 8 as unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision; one judge was appointed by Carter, another by Clinton, the last by G.W. Bush. Care to guess which judges made up the 2 “for” and the 1 “opposed”? It is time that people wake up to the power they hold and exercise their power with due diligence.
When reviewing the decision released by the court, I was struck by the humanity and genuineness that shown through in an otherwise lackluster legal document. The justices effectively communicated their understanding of why same-sex couples demand the right to marriage and why ‘domestic partnership’ is a poor alternative with humor and pop-culture references.
“A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.”
“Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called ‘How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire’ it would not have conveyed the same meaning…”
“We need consider only the many ways in which we encounter the word marriage in our daily lives and understand it, consciously or not, to convey a sense of significance…We are excited to see someone ask ‘Will you marry me?’ whether on bended knee in a restaurant or text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see ‘Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?’
Prop 8 serves as a reminder that the politics of the United States, by design, is not suppose to be a spectator sport and requires our full attention. Prop 8 is not a gay and lesbian issue; it is about stripping individuals who belong to a *‘disfavored group’ of their civil liberties. You may not be a member of the group that is in disfavor today but who’s to say that you or the people you love will not fall into disfavor tomorrow? Remember that society is fickle where morals, opinions, and views change quickly. The denial of basic human rights and civil liberties should not be tolerated or supported…especially from ignorance or laziness!
*Term used by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in their Prop 8 ruling