Thursday, August 05, 2010

To be self evident

I want to say something eloquent, moving, powerful about the yesterday’s overruling of Proposition 8. I want to convey the importance of the decision, the giant step forward this signifies for equality, the long road still ahead until all men and women truly have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want this moment in history to be remembered as the beginning of something bigger than ourselves. I want this to be the train that cannot be stopped.

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.


Anonymous said...

Amazing and a long time coming. They'll probably try to demonize this judge. He was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

Anonymous said...

As Rachel Maddow said it... ‎"But here's the thing about rights. They're not actually supposed to be voted on. That's why they're called 'rights'."

Yay for now...too bad there's a stay until the appeals are done...

ingridmariarakel said...

Yay, so awesome!!!

Momo said...

I have to join you in saying "SQUEEEEEE!"

It feels great to know that we have support!

Ithil said...

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE from Norway! We're so happy for you :)

Anonymous said...

The magnitude of this victory has been the subject of many a Facebook status by teenagers in Pennsylvania. That includes me.

I don't do jumping for joy or squealing under any circumstances, but this made me run screaming through the house to tell my family.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be american

Elena Tebano said...

great. just great. ad so right

Anonymous said...

You know something? I cannot believe that you previously posted a long winded complaint when Prop 8 was uriginally enacted, Did you have any idea that it was going to be overturned? If not then why not?

Don't you live in Iowa? Do you eeven even get the notion that you are living in the United States of America? Don't you realize that these are NOT the days of Slavery and that some states cannot offer rights while others don't?
Sure other states have similar constitutional amendments, but this is all a game. Obstructionists realize the inevitable is going to occur and therefore they set up as many roadblocks as possible. Gay IS the NEW Black! I know because I am Black and Gay.

Anonymous said...

I love my Constitution. It is a thing of beauty. A wonderful document, but even better when it is an applied reality.

MormonLesbian said...

I love how your twitter broke the exciting news before or any other news website.

Making Space said...

Thanks! Love the quotes and the final statement. Beautiful.

T said...

Yay for Cali! Yay for the humongous step forward for equality! But in our celebrations, let's not forget the many, many members of our community who continue to be victims of harrassment, discrimination, and violence. Just because the legalities are changing doesn't necessarily mean that the public mindset is changing with it. We continue to be treated as second class citizens or circus freaks in many places - even in those states where gay marriage is legal. More often than not, we are objects of ridicule, curiosity, and animosity when showing affection in public places. I applaude those who fought for this ruling in Cali but the fight continues on this front and on many others - until we are able to change the public's perception of us, equality will never truly be ours.

shawan said...

I heard you squeal as far as Paris ^^
I'm so glad prop 8 was killed and buried! what a great set on example of equality and justice!
It really gives hope all around the world.

Amanda said...

My facebook status yesterday was "yeah, suck it Prop. 8"


Lissa said...

Thank you for writing this. In part, your words inspired the post I wrote last night.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, the fight is far from over. This ruling is not the last we will hear of Proposition 8,"

Essentially the fight IS over. Sure the Obstructionists are going to try to throw whatever they think will work, but the fight is over.

Do you really think that some states in this country are going to allow gay marriage whille others don't? Because Reagan was unsuccessful in getting a Constitutional Amendment on a Federal level, it's only a matter of time before all the states who instilled laws banning Gay marriage are overturned. Why do you think there is no public outcry from the repugnicans? They know it's OVER. I mean Ken Cuccinelli Attorney General of Virginia was elected on an anti gay platform, hasn't said a word because he knows the house of cards is starting to fall..

Maybe you need to talk to a lawyer and get your facts in order.

Robin said...

Well, it took them long enough! Hooray! I did a bit of a fist pumping happy dance when I read this news (although quietly, since I was at work).

Welcome back, California. We in Massachusetts have had gay marriage for more than five years now, and things are just fine. Best wishes to all of your citizens who can now gain legal recognition for their love. :)

Anonymous said...

I am beyond joy for those who share same sex love. I am hetro but I have joy no less than those of the opposite. I pray this makes it all the way to the supreme court and it is finally, once and for all, made law. The term rights irratates me when used in the same sentence as vote. One does not equate to the other.

i too am squeeling like the little piggy!!

Anonymous said...

I got tearing-eyed and giggly excited over the last few days with all the coverage... and just when I thought I was gonna get misty-eyed again, I read, "Judge Walker... you’ll never have to buy a drink in a gay bar ever again" and lmao.