Friday, May 16, 2008

California Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Gay Marriage: Could be Trouble for Obama

The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage. But it isn't over yet:

"Same-sex couples could tie the knot in as little as a month. But the window could close soon after — religious and social conservatives are pressing to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would undo the Supreme Court ruling and ban gay marriage."

The court went further than just saying gay people may marry each other. It puts the onus on those who argue that gays should be deprived of various rights, as opposed to the previous standard that put the onus on gays to prove they qualified for whatever benefit or right was in dispute. And most significantly:

"Unlike Massachusetts, California has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, meaning gays from around the country are likely to flock to the state to be wed, said Jennifer Pizer, a gay-rights attorney who worked on the case.

The ultimate reach of the ruling could be limited, however, since most states do not recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. Nor does the federal government."

The ruling could be an ironic boon to Republicans, who have been without an issue around which to rally for the upcoming elections. John McCain joins the majority of Voters in opposing gay marriages, while Barak Obama supports civil unions and mostly believes the issue should be left to the states. If conservatives coalesce around this issue, it could play big for McCain.

I remain convinced that gay marriage is inevitable, and that 500 years from now, the average citizen will look back at this battle the same way we look back at slavery, wondering how people could be so unenlightened. I also remain convinced that of all the political arguments, even more than the evolution-deniers, those opposed to gay marriage have the most intellectually and factually vapid of arguments. They prattle on and on about how gay marriage is going to destroy society, but they never get around to explaining exactly how. They write shrill articles with dubious titles like "California Supremes Order Homosexual ‘Marriage’ – Will Citizens Submit?". It will be interesting to see if they can sustain these arguments in the lengthy national debate this is liable to become without coming off as complete nut jobs to those of us mostly dispassionate about the issue.


ollie said...

No, 2004 was a long time ago. Making "gay marriage" as part of some moral issues platform is so retro.

Remember that the Republicans are currently losing while running on those themes; the "folks" just aren't buying it.

Interrobang said...

A friend of mine and I were talking about this issue last night, rather sarcastically. He said it must be terrible how civilisation in my country must have collapsed since we got same-sex marriage three years ago. I said, "Yeah, it's been so bad...I must have blinked and missed it."