Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Gay Thing: California, Here We Come!

We planned, long ago, to "return to the scene of the crime," and revisit Palm Springs on our fifth wedding anniversary. We got married a couple of weeks after same-sex marriage was legalized in June 2008. In November of that year, Proposition 8--sponsored largely by outside monies gathered in conjunction with the Catholic and Mormon Churches--passed on the same night Barack Obama was elected President. That was a paradoxical occurrence, one seemingly perfectly timed. The Prop 8 backers couldn't have known it, but that year was likely the very last time they could muster a majority vote against gay marriage in California.

Five long years have passed since that brief sunny period when same-sex couples could marry in California. At first, we were thrown into legal limbo. After some legal procedures we found out that stay that way, not that the Prop 8ers didn't try to annul us--they did. Next, there was a lawsuit against the state which resulted in throwing out Prop 8 as un-Constitutional, but wait! Can't let them just repeal it, no-no. A stay was placed, and appeal filed. . . and then an appeals court that concurred. . .then another stay. . .and then THE SUPREMES!
See, religious objectors? Not married in church, but at this
awesome city hall in Palm Springs. No Jesus, no "holy
matrimony." So, chill out.
Prop 8 had been legally drafted and voted upon (there had been procedural questions), and the 18,000 couples who had already married got to

For people like me who followed all of this, it was a long, aggravating slog. At all points along the way, and in internet message boards, Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, we were subjected to homophobic idiots, all spewing the same loads of crap that failed in court. Worse, most "pro-traditional marriage" types seemed to have very little understanding of what the case entailed, though they think they know everything about "the homosexual lifestyle." Following that stuff is just a hideous, awful, viper's nest.

A lot of that is gloriously, fantastically over with. Of course, haters go'n hate, and there will still be spewing of nonsense. But it will be easier to let that stuff just roll off now.  California marriage equality will resume after a pointless, expensive interlude. I take great pleasure in knowing that the combined homophobic forces like National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and their affiliates spent millions and millions of dollars, and got nothing. This is my message to all of these busybody, Gladys Kravitzes. . .

So what does the death of Proposition 8, and the gutting of the badly named Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) mean for gay people? Well, it's not all 100% clear yet.  If you're legally married and reside within a state that recognizes it, you're good as gold, as married as married can be to all relevant government bodies and entities. If you're like me, and were married in a state that does recognize it, but live in one that doesn't, it's less clear, though it seems like we'll be able to have federal recognition, but not state.

I'm willing to bet that very, very soon, there will be several lawsuits over this very issue, and will very likely be won under the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. The question is this: will it have to be done in each of the 37 states that don't recognize it, or with SCOTUS step in again?

At this point, I don't care about all of that. We got a huge win in this, regardless of whatever spin you hear. NOM lost; straight up lost. And that makes me very happy.

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