I’m not normally a geography-based loyalist. I don’t think I’ve never chanted “U-S-A!” in my life. But I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my state than I was yesterday when our Supreme Court ruled to end the ban on gay marriage. The ruling makes California, the most populous state in the union, only the second state (behind Massachusetts) to allow gay marriage.
In a historic, 172-page decision, the court was unequivocal in its insistence that same-sex relationships are equal to opposite-sex relationships. Quite simply, they said gays and lesbians deserve the basic right to marry.
“... under this state’s Constitution ... [core substantive] rights include, most fundamentally, the opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage…
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.”
That’s right, a “fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship.” Excuse me — I have something in my eye. No. I’m not crying. Just give me a minute…
People make fun of California all the time. Those crazy hippies. Those nutty Hollywood types. Those Birkenstock-wearing tofu eaters. But what California really is is this country’s conscience working ahead of the rest of its body. We blaze trails and get called kooky and are told to go hug a tree. But, when seen through the lens of history, which would you rather be? The ones they say, “Man, I can’t believe it took them that long” about or the ones they say, “They were one of the first to do what was right” about? It’s a no brainer. Love is love. Equal is equal. Right is right. Thank you, California. My state rocks. Happy weekend, all.