Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Prop 8 ruling is no surprise but no total loss either

My original headline was misleading because I forgot to add one word (total). It's been corrected

The California court has ruled:

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, but also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed.

The justices rejected an argument from gay-rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval.

No surprise there. Those angry at this ruling are calling for protests:

Activists in the San Francisco Bay area, including several clergy members, said they planned to block the street outside the courthouse and to be arrested in a mass show of civil disobedience if the justices did not invalidate Prop 8.

"Words are not enough right now. We believe it's time to put our bodies on the line to show that separate is not equal," said Kip Williams, an activist with One Struggle, One Fight, a group that was launched in response to Proposition 8's passage.

Again not a surprise. I'm all for acts of civil disobedience but only up until the point where they benefit our opposition instead of us. And I continue to cringe to think that people like Matt Barber and Maggie Gallagher are lurking around the blogs to find and exploit comments from righteously indignant lgbts.

But then I'm not totally upset over the ruling. The door of marriage equality has been opened due to the fact that 18,000 lgbt couples remain legally wed. And that door isn't going to close. And I know the religious right isn't happy over that.

Despite the ruling, the momentum is on the side of the lgbt community in this fight. We got good news in several states and several more will follow. This minor setback in California can be alleviated if folks there use their anger to push another referendum that would invalidate Prop 8.

And I think they will.

Meanwhile, the rest of us should continue to fight for our rights to self determination. Remember that marriage equality is only one of many fights that the lgbt community must engage. Down here in South Carolina, we are slowly but surely striving forward.

Most likely next month, the lgbt community here will reach a milestone in communication. It took a long time to reach this point and while I'm not at liberty to say what it is right now (although I may soon), trust when I say that it's a positive step.

The Prop 8 should be seen as a minor negative eruption a huge landscape that can and will be alleviated.

Never forget that regardless of what things look like now, we are going to win in the end.

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Tuesday midday news briefs

Mercy this day sucks. I'm home ill and presently having a discussion with one of those Che Guevara types in the community. You know the type - the ones who itching to tell you what they have done for gay rights in the past; all of the marches complete with name dropping of some famous lgbts they feel that you should know.

This day should get really interesting come 1 p.m.

Obama picks Sotomayor for Supreme Court - Gentlemen, hold your noses and start your engines. The conservative bash machine is about to go into overdrive.

Nigel Lythgoe Spews Homophobia on So You Think You Can Dance - On one hand, this could mean something vital. But on the other, it's a diversionary piece of nonsense.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Apparently To Recommend Effectively Closing California State Office Of AIDS - This will be the dumbest thing he has done since The Last Action Hero.

Nevada governor vetoes domestic partnership bill - Nevada governor screws up my Memorial Day holiday.

Nuts to all of this, I'm grabbing a big hunk of chocolate cake and watching a horror movie!

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Today is the day so let us pray

This is it. In just a few hours we will know the California court's decision on Prop 8.

I'm hoping for the best but I am prepared for the worst. I've been in prayer about what may happen for several reasons. Regardless of the size of California, I'm not exactly happy that everyone's eyes are on this decision despite the fact that either way it goes down, it won't change anything going on in my state, South Carolina.

I am resentful to a degree of how folks are going to declare the battle for marriage equality either won or loss due to this decision while totally forgetting the fight for lgbt equality in general, especially in the so-called insignificant states such as South Carolina where we recently fought hard to beat back an ugly anti-gay teen dating violence bill.

And I am worried about which way my community will act. If it's a total victory, people are going to spend unnecessary time celebrating while the religious right will be planning their next move.

And if it's not a complete victory, you just know folks are going to act stupid. Anger is good but counterproductive anger is stupid. And I cringe to think of more Phyllis Burgess incidents (i.e. the elderly woman who was pushed at an anti-Prop 8 rally after she began pushing people in order to get in camera. One guess which element of the story folks like Mike Huckabee and Michelle Malkin focused on).

So I await today's news with a degree of indifference and some fear. But my fingers are crossed that good will and intelligence will rule the day.

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