Democrats like myself have a very different feeling today than we did yesterday, when we were still sitting on pins and needles waiting for the election results. We've been disappointed so many times in the past, we just couldn't believe that we might actually win one.
But win we did, and we won big. But for some of us, there was a dark spot. A sucker-punch to the gut even. Florida, Arizona, Arkansas and California all had anti-gay propositions on their ballots, and they all passed. So, just when we were feeling good about overriding bigotry, we found out that it still exists in America, it's just that gay--as the saying goes--is the new black.
I'm not saying racism has been overcome, but it has been dealt a decisive blow. And that's terrific. But anti-gay bigotry has been reinforced, and in large numbers from the very people who are feeling euphoric about a minority President. Blacks and Latinos in specific voted very heavily to ban gay marriage. And in the case of California, they weren't preventing same-sex marriages, they were stopping them.
The question that is getting the least attention is, should civil rights issues even be issues that are held to a public vote? Can I vote against your marriage? That would seem to be the very idea that we've just set precedent for. And what of people like me, people who were already married in California? What is our status? Was my marriage annulled by public vote? California Attorney General Jerry Brown says no, but the question is still up in the air.
Fortunately, there seems to have been a contingency plan. Several legal challenges to Proposition 8 are underway, and I'm hoping that some or all of them are successful. We've just got to stop doing this. And we need to stop religious groups from controlling our laws. I'm sure there will be much more heard of this issue in the weeks and months to come.
Proposition 8 Challenged
Lambda Legal, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) have urged the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The groups argue that Prop. 8 is invalid because it was improperly attempts to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality and deprives the courts of their essential role of protecting the rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such a radical change in the way the courts and state government work cannot be decided by a simple ballot measure. The legal groups filed the writ petition on behalf of Equality California and six same-sex couples. . .
Read more at: Lambda Legal