Monday, March 14, 2005

If You Want a Ball & Chain, You Can Have One

A coup not only for activists and happy twosomes but also for Gavin Newsom. Be interesting to see how his political stock fares in light of this. Will this be the turning point for a social movement that's been in need of a boost?

**Breaking News ... Judge finds California's marriage law unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO - A judge ruled Monday that California can no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman, a legal milestone that if upheld on appeal would pave the way for the nation's most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.

In an opinion that had been awaited because of San Francisco's historical role as a gay rights battleground, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.

"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.

—Associated Press article by Lisa Leff

8 Comments:

Blogger Zenslinger said...

I reckon there will be a lot more back and forth, maybe even for the rest of our lifetime. But eventually those who wish to marry will be able to do so.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

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11:21 AM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

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11:22 AM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

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11:22 AM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

S-s-sorry for the s-stutter, I was just s-so excited.

11:24 AM  
Blogger mpho said...

And yet you sounded so regal with your "those who wish to marry will be able to do so." Have you thought about wearing a crown?

4:09 AM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

No on the crown, but… thanks! You wear it, it’s your blog.

I was at a birthday party for a deceased friend of my wife's last night. His parents decided to have people over for his birthday, especially those who couldn't make it to his funeral in New York in December. He was a brilliant writer and unbearable to me the only time I met him. The song "The One I Love" was said to be written about him and I suppose the doubters were silenced when Stipe showed up at his funeral.

His birthday was also the Ides of March, but I decided not to mention that.

We were having a discussion about the day's judiciary events. We agreed that Newsom is staking his future as a national politician on how much the populus gets behind the gay marriage issue.

It made me wonder why it is that I assume there will be "back and forth" about this for twenty to thirty more years, if not more. After all, the black civil rights movement rumbled and grumbled since the days of Garvey, but once it was above ground, a lot was achieved, at least legislatively, fairly quickly. Not everyone had love his heart heart for the black man by 1968, but it was clear that the tide had turned -- the mainstream position was that Jim Crow was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why not for gay marriage? I suppose because there is simply less urgency. The second-classing of the gay citizenry is a bit more subtle than "separate but equal." For our local gays, San Francisco is blessedly separate from the less tolerant swaths of the thing known as middle America -- and a damn sight better than equal in terms of the quality of life.

Maybe the potential for violence and oppression just isn't enough to make the movement explode?

3:51 PM  
Blogger mpho said...

Nice Ides of March annecdote. I rather love it. As for this gay thing, you know it's kind of interesting. I think your assumption of "back and forth" is pretty much in sync with the common consensus and yet you're right on the money regarding black civil rights. Especially in this: "not everyone had love in his heart for the black man." In my mind, society always needs a "scapegoat" and if you're it, one of the necessary means out of is via a replacement. If gays aren't going to be second-class, then who can bully instead? There are plenty of potential candidates but it has to be a group that everyone can agree to despise, fear, envy, or whatever drives these things. About the potential for violence: well, maybe it's latent. Gays have made so many strides in the past decade while the other issues post 9/11 have maybe kind of taken the vigor out of the movement in a certain way. If I'm a gay person who is angry about lack of marriage rights, maybe I'm going to weigh that against more tolerant employers and neighbors etc. (for those for whom that's the case) and/or maybe I'm less likely "ACT UP," as it were because anyone who might be so inclined has to think twice these days about resorting to "any means necessary." Does that make sense?

10:37 PM  

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