In a landmark decision yesterday, Proposition 8, the ruling in California that deemed gay marriage illegal, was deemed unconstitutional.
In Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s historic ruling he wrote,
“Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment. Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents…the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender. Moreover, the state cannot have an interest in disadvantaging an unpopular minority group simply because the group is unpopular. A private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples is not proper basis for legislation.”
In response to the court’s decision, Jarrett Barrios, President of The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said,
“More and more Americans are supporting equality, and it is the stories of same-sex couples that are leading that charge across the nation. Today’s decision comes after same-sex couples from across California shared their personal stories with Judge Vaughn Walker and the public, helping to show that all loving and committed couples – straight and gay – should have the same opportunity to take care of and be responsible for each other. We urge media to highlight the couples impacted by today’s decision to grant them the liberty and equality upon which our nation was founded.”
This is a huge achievement but it’s not quite time to break open the bubbly and celebrate yet as it still must go through the appeals process. I just don’t understand what the problem is with gay marriage. If two people love each other and have a commitment to one another, they should be able to express those vows the same way straight couples do rather than facing discrimination. Detractors say that marriage belongs between a man and a woman. I say bullshit; gender shouldn’t dictate love or marriage. Gay marriage will not ruin the institution of marriage; if anything, I believe that it will make it stronger. Still others worry about children, what will happen if an LGBT couple adopts or gives birth to a child? I say as long as a child lives in a nurturing home with loving supportive parents, then what more do they need. While I’m relieved I live in Massachusetts, the first state in the country to legalize gay marriage, I want all couples across the nation to have their civil rights’ recognized and be treated equally.
In reaction to the ruling, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Shelly Bailes, “who has been with her partner, Ellen Pontac, for 36 years.” Bailes said,
“A battle won is a battle won. Today isn’t the end, but it puts us one step closer to giving us full rights.”