But, to be honest, mostly I just want to squeal. Squeal with joy. Squeal with relief. Squeal with every gay fiber in my body.
We won, finally, we won. After so many defeats, so many bitter rejections, so much heartache and so much needless hate, the simple truth won out. Our love is no different. Our love is not wrong. Our love deserves protection. Our love is just love.
Of course, the fight is far from over. This ruling is not the last we will hear of Proposition 8, nor is it the last our country will grapple with what it means to have truths we hold self-evident, yet do not follow. This case could and probably should make it all the way to the Supreme Court. While I fear the new conservatism of the bench, I hope against hope that those words declaring us all created equal will prevail.
Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker certainly understood that, ruling in his conclusion:
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
In fact, the entire ruling is filled with amazing, thoughtful, decisive language that says in no uncertain terms that to discriminate against gay couples’ right to marry is wrong, the arguments presented by the Prop. 8 backers were baseless and that our relationships are no different from straight relationships. One doesn’t often get choked up reading 138 pages of dense legal documents. But I did, I really did.
Some highlights (read the whole thing here):
“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and women.”
“Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions.”
“The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent.”
“Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”
“That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as ‘fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.’”
And then, perhaps the most satisfying part of his whole decision was the last four words: IT IS SO ORDERED.
Judge Walker, just so you know, you’ll never have to buy a drink in a gay bar ever again.
Yesterday was a good day. With hard work and perseverance, it will be the first of many more. Oh, and one more thing: Suck it, Prop. 8. Suck it hard.