The dark cloud hanging over the otherwise sunny election results remains the discriminatory anti-gay ballot amendments that passed around the country (two of them in now blue states). And it was personal for me, in California, where The Other Half and I were married this summer.
The notion that didn't get enough play was the intrinsic difference in California's Proposition 8, which didn't seek to prevent hypothetical rights. It actually took existing rights away, right in the pages of their State Constitution. This thing isn't over though, and there are many areas where the issue will be revisited--over and over again.
First, there is the problem of existing same-sex marriages. What happens to us? From precident, California constitutional amendments are not retroactive, unless they are worded that way. Proposition 8 was not worded to be retroactive, without (ironically) a liberal reading. Though it amends the constitution to allow only opposite-sex marriages, it is assumed that the wording would apply to marriages after November 4, 2008.
So for now, it would seem, my marriage is still valid. Until it is challenged, that is. And I don't believe for one second that Prop. 8 supporters are warm hearted enough to leave well enough alone. I'd like to ask them what they'd think of people voting on their marriages, I'll tell you.
If existing same-sex marriages turn out to be legally valid, a dichotomy will exist in California, where some gay people are married, and others are not allowed to. This will set the stage for a constitutional show-down.
CALIFORNIA WILL CONTINUE TO HONOR MARRIAGES OF SAME-SEX COUPLES WHO MARRIED BEFORE THE POSSIBLE PASSAGE OF PROP 8
The California Attorney General, Equality California, and the nation's leading LGBT legal groups agree that the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who married between June 16, 2008 and the possible passage of Proposition 8 are still valid in the state of California and must continue to be honored by the state. . .
Read more at: Out.com